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February 22, 2022 12:00 am
Those in authority are gifts from God that we'd probably give back if we could. Whether it's a boss or a policeman, a church leader or a family member, there is probably someone in your life you find it hard to submit to. In this series 'Remarkable Christianity,' Stephen shows us from Paul's letter to Titus why submission to authority is a testimony the world finds hard to ignore.
Reason to write a letter wouldn't be Titus. It would've been the Roman Senate and let me tell you a thing or two would have been his attitude and growled at every changing of the Roman guard complained all over again every time you got a fresh set to guard demanded better treatment of the freeborn Roman citizen sitting in a cell.
Please call the rats nest. Any rights and everything you God calls you to live a distinctly Christian lifestyle.
There may be times when doing that demands that you set aside your rights that's hard. It takes a great deal of humility, but living for Christ is what's important today working to explore how Christians can live godly lives in our modern culture. Welcome to wisdom Stephen's message today is called living in the city in Paul's writings learn yours on ramp is on the throne societies depraved as ever. So no sexual norms at this time heterosexuality was considered prudish by the early Roman society. The Emperor was bisexual pedophilia, adultery, idolatry, abortion, prostitution and drug addiction were not only empire wide. They were legal and openly acceptable. And this was the century in which Jesus Christ planted the living church and the church exploded into existence. Why among among other reasons, because Christians were so remarkably different in this new thing called the church than their culture that they had respect for authority, these children of parts could care last year you got around authority, even when authority hated the very ground. The Christians walked upon the back room will eventually demand the Christians express their allegiance to the city of man by actually offering a pinch of incense in the clearing. Caesar is Lord.
And Christians will die as martyrs rather than attempt to overthrow the Emperor simply refused to deny the Christ along with lots was it ever right to disobey the law absolutely. Whenever whenever the will of the law demands that you violate the word of God stand with the apostles and say we will obey God rather than man rather than mountain insurrection or instigate a plot to overthrow Nero. Paul is actually delivering rather shocking news that they are to respect and pay taxes to Nero the authority of the land to keep the law of the land unless it causes them to violate the word of God and at that point they are willing to lay down their lives and die in the Christians did what they did that and they sang on their way to their execution that serve the city of man as bright lights and they knew now they were about to enter the city of God according to the will, providence and direction purpose of God in the world and could only shake his head in wonder at those remarkable people so friendly this what's practically apply them a few ways and when he gets to convicting a move on what your attitude toward the authority in your life were all under the authority of somebody. Everyone in this auditorium is what your attitude toward the authority of your parents. Man I can't wait to get out of the house. What your attitude toward the authority of your teachers, your supervisors, your pastors, elders, the town Council the IRS as you fill out those forms when you meet your hunting or fishing quota. When you write out your check for property taxes, which are attitude when the police officer pulls you over.
I really don't want to go there so you keep moving on fairly quickly about what you do in a red light at 1 AM when nobody else is on the street, wondering was he there that I see wasn't there. I just pulled out of the year awards when television shows up time you were young children in kindergarten when the time is part of an experiment, how to respond to the authority were put in a room with toys and a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and they were told they could play the toys, but they couldn't eat any of the cookies until the teacher came back in the room and then the teacher left than the tech began to roll the agony was terrible.
Some kids immediately walked over the plate just stared at the cookies to stared and stared. Some started talking to themselves. Don't eat the cookies don't eat the cookies. One kid went over the corner just banged his head against the truth is the cameras rolling.
People are probably watching.
But even if they are, what is your spirit what is your attitude what is in communicating to you as a relates to authority anything remarkable there okay on knuckle under.
You know the Bible is clear I need to get with and obey the law and that's great but I warn you, if possible, just getting started.
You'll notice the knowing of something to say about how we relate to rulers. He has five commands about how we relate to others, give them to you as we work through this quickly.
The first thing he says effectively relating to others is to go the extra mile is the last part of verse one. Be ready for every good deed is eagerness and that friends be ready, it's on your mark get set and you are ready you're ready to go on your way to serve your community leaders, its citizens as you live in the city of man with the truth. You represent our salt and light. Be ready for good deeds. That means that Christianity does not give us a free pass from society and this attitude can be remarkably different from the status quo. The Jewish community on the island of Crete. In fact, throughout the Roman Empire urged separation from local culture and the office, huddled together the first century Jews lived outside of Israel form tightknit communities where nobody got in and nobody went out the story and say they were slow and reluctant to submit to local laws and authorities felt they were above it. One author wrote that they work that they treated the people around them with a thinly veiled disdain rather than live among the people and demonstrate the glory character by the Capt. themselves did nothing at all in what they would've defined as secular society. So now they come to faith in Jesus Christ, we will. We want a sterile community center at each other.
He does not does not in any way be touched by secular society which made you can't touch it when you post on the church to do that to each other. Certainly that the biblical principle. Gleason six is good to all people, especially those of the household of God absolutely should be emphasized above everything here but Paul is just talking about us. In fact, you'll notice he ends his statement here with the clarification were to do these things to all men not just believers so so what is my heart communicate about this idea of going the extra mile. What would my hands communicate my feet. My spirit is it somebody else do that or I'm ready. I'm on ready seat. Any moment on this occupied island. A Christian could feel the touch of the flat of a Roman spear on his shoulder and he knew he was immediately by law, compelled to carry that soldiers gear for 1 mile everybody despise the practice.
The people of Crete. The Jewish community, especially no doubt believers. Why would you want to interrupt your schedule and walk a mile out of the way. A Roman mile was considered a thousand steps, and it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to imagine that that that person then picks up that gear and that backpack and they begin. He begins to walk and he counts 1 to 3, four, and just the attitude noise counts five, six, 997, 998 999, 1001. There's your gear here Jesus Christ prepares the way for the church and the preaching of these distinctives only back in Matthew chapter 5 and he says whoever compels you to go 1 mile, go with him to get the phrase going the extra mile. Can you imagine the surprise of a Roman soldier if you were to say listen, I know I've counted out a thousand steps, but I'm willing because of my obedience to Jesus Christ my Savior to carry your gear one more mile you want to demonstrate remarkable Christianity and the church and intercommunity. Be ready to go the extra mile. Secondly, avoid the grapevine avoid the grapevine. Paul writes further inverse to malign no one is that verse opens malign no one diverted from the Greek word blasphemy which gives us our word blasphemy to blaspheme. Only in this context is referring to slandering another person slander no one in note that Paul does not add the loophole slander or malign no one. The information isn't true.
If it's true. Let no malign no one and is directed for the believer could be any clear interviews or insulin unless we can run down politicians, we can run the fellow believers, we can't run down colleagues at work or students on the campus were family members and ever hope to elevate the reputation of the gospel effectively engage in that were just like them were not remarkable work status quo. That's the kind of activity the city a man has mastered one historian set of Crete in the first century culture that verbal slander was practiced as a fine art. They had it down that doggy dog world. I mean they they could swing that sword and cut a path to the top verb is here subordinate to the opening imperative, which implies then the closing type, you have to remind them.
Remind them remind them again. Remarkable. Christianity does not run people through the mud, so it is a mean take words out of your vocabulary.
That would be insulting, demeaning words like stupid jerk fool.
I never forget talking to a man after a service since left the church years ago moved away. Nobody shares a look around. His family had evidently been waiting outside the know where he was talking to me. Go to term and just about emptied out on his middle school age son spotted us and ran up to his dad and said we've been looking all over for you, you idiot. I know I turn pink. Just you know thoughts of capital punishment were becoming clear to my mind. I just stood there silently waiting and a watch with amazement as this and never corrected his son. It occurred to me later that more than likely, this was the language of the father in the home and never registered. We happen to be living in a demeaning crafts, vulgar, rude society, which is great news because we can demonstrate a remarkable distinction in the way we talk go the extra mile avoid the gutter of the grapevine. Next, Paul writes in verse to be peaceable. It's a word that literally means unknown brawler you're looking to drop your gloves. Just give me an opportunity put it in another way for your outline secular tagging as this is Paul's third command in regard to relationships with others and you can say this way.
Christianity does not swing back even if you have what many might consider a good reason to take a shot.
You don't do it. Let me help us all to clarify what this would mean by way of application when you simply think of the apostle Paul's own experience is writing this letter to Titus is writing this malign no one don't take a shot. He said those things and he has been bound up in the legal culture of his Roman world, Roman governors, through pride and incompetence have kept them bound in prison for years. Roman authorities illegally bound them they've beaten with rods they delayed hearing charges against him. And then when the charges were presented. Even though it was, not found guilty. They kept him under house arrest for several more years.
In fact, up until the point where he is eventually executed if anybody had a good reason to write a letter it wouldn't be to Titus it would have been the Roman Senate and let me tell you a thing or two could have been his attitude when he could've growled at every changing of the Roman guard complained all over again every time you got a fresh set to guard him demanded better treatment is a freeborn Roman citizen getting sitting in a cell in a place called the rats nest.
Any rights in everything give thanks, we know we witness to the soldiers because in letters to remark by name to those within the military and giving greetings to them for now believers. They must of left their watch scratching their heads and saying to each other that guy guy man is he remarkable or what I recommend to my seminary students I teach a course in your usually small biography of Robert Chapman I mentioned before Pastor, he was the pastor of a small church in 19th century England. He was single. His entire life pastor a very small church. His entire ministry yet made a significant contribution to his community and those who knew him, Charles Spurgeon, in fact called him the St. Leo's man in England saying something but not everybody like Robert Chapman hit his enemies a grocery in the community hated him. Thank you and ECB so infuriated.
If Chapman ever came near his store with any kind of open air witnessing or preaching, and on more than one occasion he walked past Robert Chapman while he was preaching and spit in his face he would verbally attack Chapman as he came around Chapman never retaliated. He never struck back one occasion. Some of Chapman's wealthy relatives came to visit him since Robert was single.
They convinced a look let us buy the groceries and let us cook for you for the for this week or two that were with you and Chapman agreed they asked him where he would recommend they go to purchase the groceries and he insisted they go to the grocery of this man, who'd insulted them for so many years that they didn't know anything about the drama but Chapman insisted that they travel to the other side of town do their shopping his store and so off I went. They ended up purchasing a lot more food than they could carry, so they asked that it all be delivered to the home of RC Chapman stunned grocery asked them to repeat that address did you said you must've come to my store by accident, should know, Mr. Chapman insisted that we come in by this from you when the grocer arrived with the delivery and when Chapman answered the door. Little grocer broke down into tears. Chapman ended up leaving the faith in his Lord that very afternoon. I didn't always happen that way sometimes it does is you set the groundwork of a remarkable Christianity because the world knows you're not like them with good reason to refuse to swing back. Fourthly, he tells us to stay the course. He writes in verse two to malign no one to be peaceable.
Notice to be gentle but outward and quite grasp the depth of character bound up in its construction. It's an adjective it's found only five times in the New Testament, it refers to someone who is patiently instead fast is what I'm saying Paul is commanding us to stay the course. Let me define it to you. By reading a definition of a Greek scholar, he said it means this it refers to someone who is able to submit to injustice, disgrace and maltreatment without hatred or malice, trusting God in spite of it all. That's why Paul is saying in our secular remarkable Christianity stays the car said you could add the word sweetly, there's the challenge that's easy for policies. Apostle we got a tour of heaven. We expect to write this kind of stuff. No Paul uses again the same word from the dark cold interior of the rats nest of prison design for people who never got out and he said let your gentle spirit be known to all.
Philippians 45 the apostle Peter use the word as well when he wrote always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have so that you can let him have it of the snow always have an answer so you can stick it to I like that answer the translation with some of this is me try one more time always be prepared to give an answer, but first Peter 212 do this with gentleness and respect. So to make it practical. Lost Howdy respond when your question Howdy respond when your faith is ridiculed or challenged Howdy Howdy react to debate one journalist writes about our culture today. These rights, he writes reasoned discourse is imperiled. It is giving way now to in-your-face soundbites playing hardball is the dominant metaphor for American dialogue are interchanges or confrontational, divisive, dismissive, balance and fairness are casualties on evening shows has two, three, sometimes four voices contends simultaneously for dominance volume and stubbornness are the new civic virtues which is great news because now our spirit can be all the more remarkable, as we represent the city of God while living in the city of man is one more command from Paul to Titus and to us all. Simply put it this way. Don't play favorites. He concludes verse two by writing showing every consideration to all men to notice that when you give you the literal translation of the Greek word translated all in your text ready means all thank you could expand it to write in the margin. Every kind of man you could translated all kinds of people in adjuster favorites regardless of race, religion, political leanings, social status, education, salary, neighborhood and ethnicity. You just keep adding all kinds of people show every consideration to them, be eager be ready to meet it. How remarkable is that another illustration from my reading of biography George Whitfield spiritual leader in the 1800s who was an itinerant preacher. He was not allowed to preach in most churches it was nonconformist. We preached outdoors to thousands of people remarkable biography he found out about a widow with a large family. His landlord recently taken all her furniture away because you couldn't pay rent. He immediately wrote a long distance out to her village with a friend. They arrived at her home and and and much to her surprise and gratitude. He gave her 5 pound that's five dollars in American money, depending on how sympathetic the exchange rate is. It was enough money back then to pay her rent to get her furniture back in today's economy. Whitfield's gift was probably more along the lines of $500 as they rode home later that afternoon Whitfield's friend, chided and you really know the kind of money to give away, and Whitfield said when God brings in need for us is that we may relieve it the matter no matter what the two men writing other horses and are suddenly startled when a robber rides his horse up and confronts them, demanding their money. Whitfield inhabiting the other guy did. And so the robber got all the friends money after the thief roadway, Whitfield turned the tables on his friend reminded in a much better was the poor widow that was money than the sea. They continued on their journey, but suddenly the robber returned and demanded Whitfield's heavy winter coat's winter Whitfield actually graciously agreed without a fuss, took off his coat, gave it to the thief but then asked the bandit if he could at least have his old tattered coat in exchange because it was a cold day exchange codes, robber, roadway, and they continued on the rise in silence. After some time you can believe it.
They spotted the robber galloping towards them as fast as he could again and fearing now, this time for their lives back for rights. They spurred on their horses and fortunately arrived at some cottages before the robber reach the thief had to turn away indelible recorded is no doubt mortified because what transpired for when Whitfield took off the man's tattered coat by the fire.
He found in one of the pockets is 5 pounds and in another nearly 100 more, which means in today's economy. Whitfield gave that widow $500 and got $50,000 back.
I'm ready to be remarkable Lord, who can I get my tongue to come see me after the surface with you soon. We might say a sentence I meet up with the help I would turn out who would give money to a stranger in need who would graciously offer thief. These are the attributes of remarkable Christianity go the extra mile avoid the grapevine refused to swing back, stay the course and don't play favorites along the lesson you just heard from the teaching ministry of Stephen Davey is called living in the city of man.
It comes from Stephen series entitled remarkable Christianity.
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Once you go there you will be able to access the archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible teaching each of those full-length sermons is available for you to listen to, or if you prefer reading. You can download the manuscript. So if you ever miss one of these messages on the radio. You can go to our website to keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it firstname.lastname@example.org this current series remarkable Christianity comes from Titus chapter 3. Stephen has a book in which he teaches through the entire book of Titus. It's available during this series at a deep discount information is on the website or you can call us today at 86 648 give us a call and then join us back here next time will continue through this series here on wisdom