PERSONAL IMPACT, Week 15, Altered Living, Titus 2

Text for today we look at Titus, Chapter 2,

11 “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (Titus 2:11-14 NLT)

Notice, there are two “revealed” in today’s passage.  One begins the passage and one occurs in the middle of it.  One is a part of history and it was so in Paul’s day…

I. Revelation: Grace and Glory

A. Revelation (1st Appearance):  Has been revealed”

“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” (vv11)

1st Appearance:

Revealing the entire life and ministry of Jesus Christ: approximately thirty-three years, as best we can determine, from the birth of Jesus through the cross and the resurrection; from Bethlehem to the Mount of Olives; from the open heavens, where the shepherds heard the voices of the angels singing, to the open heavens when the disciples looked up and saw him disappearing into the clouds. Thirty-three years, the Son of Man, God’s Son, Jesus Christ was Revealed!

B. Revelation (2nd Appearance): Will be revealed. (v13)

“The glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” (v13)

2nd Appearance:  This was prophecy,  and is still today,  2,000  years after these words were written. We read, “we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.” (v13)

  • We look forward to the Glory in Jesus:  This is the only way out  for a war -torn, weary, over taxed, over political, troubled world…
  • It is more meaningful to us today than it was when it was written, for many students of Scripture feel this blessed hope, this revelation of glory, is drawing very near.

C. INSTRUCTION (IN BETWEEN):

We look forward with hope (vv12-15)

“…to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed” (v13)

1. IN BETWEEN, comes what has been called, quite properly, “the age of grace,” This is the age in which we live, and the age in which Paul lived and wrote.

  • I call attention to one other interesting fact — that the word “revealing” is, in the original, epiphany.  It has been transliterated into English and means “a shining forth.” The wonderful phrasing of the New English Bible reads, “The grace of God has dawned upon the world.” What a beautiful expression that is the Incarnation!
  • AGE OF GRACE, means that the First Subject on God’s Agenda to discuss with people is not Judgment, but Love.
  • It is amazing how many today fear that if they draw near to God, the first thing God wants to talk about is condemnation, that he wishes to punish them for their sins…Not True!!!

However the Scriptures say, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

  • In Example: God’s first concern with us is not judgment. I was in Orlando at a Campus Crusade Rally and Training one day with Jill.  Among other parts of the program they had asked a number  of leaders to tell their stories about salvation… One man startled the group by saying, “I want you to know that I had a long-standing resentment against Campus Crusade. I read some of their literature one day and discovered they had what they called ‘The Four Spiritual Laws’.

Law 1: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

Law 2: We are sinful and separated from God. Thus we cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

Law 3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sins. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.

Law 4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

He said, “I read these four spiritual laws through and I felt very angry for I recognized that all they had done was to take the three points of our good Southern Baptist ‘plan for salvation’ and simply prefaced it with another and called it ‘The Four Spiritual Laws’. They left off the intro…’you are a sinner and if you acknowledge your sin God will save you.’  I would go to people and tell them they were sinners but I could never get any of them to admit it! But one day I decided to try these four spiritual laws and instead of starting out with the subject of sin I started out with the idea, ‘God loves you and has a plan for your life,’ and you know, in the last three weeks I have won four men to Christ, because I started out with God’s love.”

  • That is grace, the first subject on God’s program.  Not only is the nature of His appearing plainly Grace for us, but the purpose of it is clearly announced. Paul says, “the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” (v11)

III. SALVATION: Altered Allegiance

“We are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God (v12)

  • Salvation is not merely a reserved seat in heaven, or an insurance policy against going to hell. Too frequently this is what we make it. Salvation is described for us quite accurately, “turn from godless living and sinful pleasures”
  1. Altered Allegiance

a. Have you Discovered that the Devil’s chain on us is to get us to seek the Approval of Others , rather than God?

b. This is the Desire to Please People…Our crowd, friends, etc… ? Strongest motive is a desire to please whoever is around us!

c. Altered: Look to Christ. and desire Him and love Him…Be Overwhelmed by His Grace!

”wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God”

Salvation is, an Altered Allegiance

  1. Paul writes to the Romans: that very soon he is utterly set free from slavery to others’ opinions:

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2)

III. Sanctification: Altered Living

6“In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. (vv6-8)

  1. Let Everything you do Reflect Integrity… Right living, a heart that  has been changed by contact with Jesus Christ. Look at verse 2-3,

“Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely…Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God.” (vv2-3)

Altered Living

2. Sanctification is the Question of: How are we Living ?

”He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (v14)

3. The Secret of a Godly Life is God Himself in that Life!!

  • Jesus, living in you, making the difference, imparting the power, preserving purity. He is the only answer.

“In this world,” Paul said, literally, “in this present age.” Where are you to show this change? In church? Well, that is a nice place to start, but the place where it will really count is at home, at work, at school. In other words, right in the center of your life. That is where the change is to be manifest.

I read this week a sermon of Charles Spurgeon’s, the great London preacher, on Christ’s words to the demoniac, “Jesus said, ‘No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.’” (Mark 5:19b)

Spurgeon said, “Oh, if I could do it, I would seek out the hermit in his lonely cave and say to him, ‘If you are what you profess to be, a servant of God, then upset this picture and leave this dreary cave and wash your face and go home to your friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you.”‘ He said, “I would go to the monks and to the nuns, and say, ‘No more of this absurd discipline. Go home to your friends and to your parents, and turn your houses into convents and live your lives, not in some isolated separation which is disobedience to the will and purpose of God, but right in the center of life. Go home to your friends.”‘

  • Christianity was made to interfere with households and family ties. It makes a better husband and a better wife and a better son and a better daughter out of anyone who takes the Lord Jesus seriously.
  • And, if you ask why all this happens, you have more than a hint in Verse 14. We read of the Lord Jesus..

”He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us,   and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (v14)

  • The key is, “his very own people” i.e., a people for his own possession. We can never escape the transcendent mystery of the Christian message, that the God who became incarnate in Bethlehem is willing and able to become incarnate in you.

THE SECRET…

  1. It is a Transformed Heart and a Transformed Life:
  • Christ did not come simply to give us a Beautiful Manger scene to look at. He came to be a Savior . He came to give salvation, to begin right where we are, in our place of need, And that change is always manifest in this two-fold way:

Altered Allegiance & Altered Living