Manifesto for a Gospel-charged Life
March 18, 2012 Series: Titus: God's People, God's Mission
Scripture: Titus 2:1–2:15
Fads come and go. Magic-Eye posters. Penny-loafers. I know every adult in this room has done the Macarena.
Gospel-centered is all the rage today. And praise the Lord! I pray this is no fad.
It seems as though for the past few decades we have wondered through the desert of churchified self-help, evangelical jousting of church v.s. church, ministries vs. ministries, with the congregational consumers cheering on the competition by their church hoping. Circus-centered church has been the prettiest girl in school.
But now, we are in a day, we are walking out of the desert and the gospel of grace has sprung from the rock and we are drinking it. We are no loner drinking the bitter waters of legalism and mere religion, but the pure gospel of grace. The gospel is on our lips more than ever before. And this is a work of God.
I think all of this because I’ve heard from so many of you, who have been in church for decades and say, “I haven’t heard the gospel in years!” Times are changing and it’s a work of God.
When I say GOSPEL, I mean the truth, of the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, dying in our place, to pay for our sins, to rise again from the dead and to grant us forgiveness and a new life sustained by Him — this is to be our entire life.
Gospel-centered means — everything — why we do what we do, what we do, how we do it — it all springs from what Jesus has done for us.
Today’s passage is a Manifesto for a Gospel-charged life.
Here’s where God taking you Christian: We are to be sin-killing, grace-soaked, Jesus-fixated, glory-hungry, gospel-charged people.
What do I mean by gospel-charged? Super-charged engines get more power, by allowing more air, and more fuel. Faster and stronger than my 89 camry. I couldn’t win a race against a 92 year old lady in her Rascal.
But what engine are we running on? What motivates us? Morality? Accountability group? Try harder? Legalism? Reputation? Or The Gospel of Grace?
Just like a super-charged engine, Gospel-charged Christians, live by the gospel, the "power of God", with the wind of the Holy Spirit combusting in their life, propelling them to live for the fame of Jesus.
Can we be honest here? Let’s not joke about our need. Let’s not be a church where we play games, and conceal how messed up we all are. God loves sinners. You believe that? Good spot for an Amen! God loves sinners! We all need Jesus. We will not grow, until we fess up, walk in the light, as he is in the light.
CALLED TO BE SIN-KILLING PEOPLE
I’m not going to say a lot here, spent 2 sermons in Chapter 1 unpacking Biblical manhood, and if you weren’t here, go back and listen.
But let’s talk about two of the things that Paul says older men need to hear.
1) First one is LOVE.
Older men, should be some of the most loving people on the planet. You’ve seen you’re sin for decades and God still loves you. God has been so gracious to you, and it should pierce your hard heart.
But most of the time, older men are angry, grumpy, cranky, impatient, fed-up, irritable, complainers, grace-less, judgmental on and on.
We could say it this way, Older men, strive to be...
1 Cor. 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things..
Last thing, we’ll see about Older Men...
2) Stay the Course — steadfastness. (v.2)
This word give a flavor of “courageous endurance.” Don’t go into neutral. On many levels, in the home, don’t let “okayness” in your marriage be the goal. Keep working hard at loving your wife, goal is present our wives before King Jesus holy and mature unto Him.
In your involvement with church and ministry, thinking you’ve done your time, and now it’s time to sit back. No way. Investing into the next generation, helping with projects, praying and serving! Labor for the work of the gospel till your lungs give out. Keep going! Do not get to the end of your life and think, “I’ve wasted it.”
Keep pursuing Jesus as though He died for you yesterday and is coming back today.
Your love and steadfastness should be motivated for God’s love and steadfastness for a sinner like you — discovered in the gospel.
God is addressing you today as well. The simplicity of what God says here is profound. God says one thing to you today.
v. 6 “Be self-controlled.” - That’s all God says here. A young man that is typified by self-control is a rare breed. Young men are typically like wild colts, lots of passion, drive, and hunger but they are out of control. They need to be saddled. Reigned in by the Spirit of God.
You need to be killing sin, areas that are not controlled. Lust and Purity, money, sleep, speech, anger, eating, work, laziness, time, internet, school, schedule, etc. You need a schedule, I had a young guy tell me one time, “Man, I don’t need to plan, I want to be led by the Spirit.” “No, you are just lazy. God has planned everything before the world was created. If you want to be led by Spirit, get a calendar.”
Young men strive for a life of self-control, because you don’t want to be led by their flesh, but by their Savior, who saved them from their flesh.
Paul has some counsel for the Women on the Church...
Older Women (v.3-5) - How Old? Old enough that a younger women would actually listen to you.
“Behavior” - Jesus demands that every ounce of your behavior be submitted to Him. And this is the journey of your entire life. Good news, is that what Jesus demands, Jesus also supplies. God doesn’t call us to do things, and then leave us out to dry. We go to God for the help we need.
True womanhood: reverent in behavior. Note of “holiness” or “sacred.” You are to be a woman of “sacred” things. Ladies, your love for Jesus, and His love for you, should be the aroma of your life.
“Not a slanderer.” Slander is saying things as truth, though they are not. Gossip is telling truth, that need not be told. Slander is on the most diabolical sins in the word of God. I say “diabolical”, because that’s the greek word used here: diabolos, which is used 34 times in the NT for Satan.
Paul is saying, Older women, don’t be devilish. Sneaky. Satan is sneaky with his accusations and critiques, and lies that he sows like seeds. If you hear slander, you kill it, if you don’t — you’re complicit. Be women of truth, because you are following the way, the truth, and the Life — you want to be more like Jesus, not Satan.
You are called to be a trainer of the younger women. (v.3b-4). Classic text on Discipleship.God wants you to teach the young women how to love their husbands and Children. God wants you to be a model to the young ladies. Not a model of perfection, but what you’ve learned along the way. We need models of honesty, warts and all. Jesus is the only model of perfection.
“Train to love their husbands and children.” — That doesn’t seem romantic! The word love here is not about romance, it denotes more of a friendly, warm, caring, kind-hearted love. Cooking is discipleship.
This is huge — Love their Husband and Children — that’s the order it needs to be in. Your husband needs to know that and your kids need to see it.
A great thing to do, would be to read through this text, pray through this text, and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to areas of your life that need growth.
“Working at home” - God isn’t saying that every woman must be a stay-at-home woman. If that were the case, than the Proverbs 31 women was in sin, as she made things and sold them at the market. Paul is saying the same thing he told Timothy to tell the women of the church, “Don’t be a busybody.” Your job and hobbies are not more important than your home and the souls in it.
A busybody is scurrying about, doing lots of things, but doing nothing. Keeps her facebook, pinterest, scrapbooks up to date, more than the food in the pantry. We are talking about a pattern.
She is more worried about other people’s children then her own. She is more concerned with everyone else and their problems, than her own. A busybody is more concerned with what’s recorded on the DVR, facebook, pintrest, and sale items, than the laundry, clean floor, groceries, loved Children, cherished Husband.
A neglected home - doesn’t bring glory to God. Ladies whatever your tasks are in the home, they vary from home to home, they are to be done for the glory of God, because He’s called you to that role. These are not sexist things to say, they are Biblical.
You are called to be a steward in the areas of the home that God has given you.
Young ladies, this may mean you need to learn how to cook, how to discipline children in a biblical way, how to encourage your husband and children,what submission looks like. There is a lot that could be said here, I’ll repost the sermon on submission on The City...
See why women, you are to do all of these things? Verse 5 “that the word of God may not be reviled.” For the good of the gospel, for the fame of Jesus.
So the gospel is not blurred with the ways of the word, but that it would shine brightly by your life.
Paul says the similar thing about slaves, and we can apply this to all of us, who are under authority, especially your boss.
Slaves / Employees
God wants you to be well-pleasing to your boss. Gospel-centered Christians want to be the best employees, because they realize they are also working for Jesus. They aren’t trying to prove themselves, but point to their Jesus.
You should ask your superior? “Is my work well-pleasing?” Initiate your own informal performance review. “How can Improve?” Do your job, do it well.
Christian, do you see why this is so important? “May adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” The word “adorn” was used to describe how to best setup jewels to show off how stunning they are.”
God is saying, live this way, and you will show how stunning the Gospel is. That Jesus has changed you! That you aren’t like the world, not because you superior, but because Jesus is your great God and savior. God wants us to kill sin and grow in holiness.
Now, I’ve been hinting at how we are to be gospel-charged, centered, and focused this entire time. But now Paul makes it abundantly clear, that all of our behavior, is to spring from the Gospel.
I ge this from v. 11, the first word: “FOR." That little Greek woord, gar, changes your life!
Why should you pursue the things that have been listed in verses 1-10? FOR...
The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation! That’s why we obey, kill sin, grow, change, and follow God! Because God came down from Heaven, he died on the cross for you and your sins, rose again, saved you, and made your His. Jesus has done great things for you! And we are to respond to the gospel truth with a gospel fueled life.
Any other motivation is not Christianity. Fear (I’ll get in trouble). Pride (They’ll judge me). Moralism (Gotta look good). All wrong.
Our entire lives now are to be one of reaction — we are reacting to Jesus’ actions for us on the cross. Verse 11 is telling us this. When we simply act, it’s in our flesh, when we react from the gospel, it’s from the Spirit.
Paul tells us, you do live this way because of God’s grace upon you!
BE GRACE SOAKED & JESUS-FIXATED
Now, grace is not some abstract force or fuzzy ideal. It’s Jesus. Grace is one of his nicknames. He is grace. He appeared, He is the one who saves.
Paul is writing here to help us become captivated by Jesus. You get captivated by Jesus, you begin to take sin captive.
When your affections are stirred for Jesus, you’re less attracted to sin. Gospel-centered people are fixated on Jesus and fueled by what He’s done for them.
The Gospel is God’s power for us to change, anything else will fail. Look at the text, who is at work in us right now?
Jesus is at work in us (V.12) . He has given us his Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God and He is training us to renounce our sin and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. Everything that I said earlier, that God wants us to be doing, He is at work in us.
The answer to our sins - Jesus. If we don’t go to Jesus, we will not change.
We cannot be like Jesus without Jesus! We've all tried that one? Let’s go back to Jesus! Bring it back to the gospel.
If you don’t believe in Jesus, ask yourself this - did Jesus die for your sins? If you believe that, you are his. If you don’t believe that, you need to, because either Jesus suffered for them, or you will for eternity. Go to Jesus! Repent and go throw yourself at Jesus.
He died in our place on the cross for us to saves and to sanctify us, to change us.
Paul tells us in v. 14 that Jesus came, “to redeem us” from sin and to “purify” us. Jesus is not surprised by our sin. He knows it all! And how amazing that He still wanted us! That’s the love of God! Older men, that’s the love of God! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Jesus didn’t just love fixed up Jeff, He loved the most sinful Jeff possible.
That love motivates. He took the nails for me. He endured being hung naked to save my life. The gospel ignites worship, and fans the flames of obeidence.
Christian, you are accepted before God because of Jesus. Best news in the galaxy!So Christian, we don’t obey for acceptance, we obey from acceptance. All by Jesus.
v. 13, “waiting for our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ” - One of my favorite texts in all the Bible!
We are waiting for our hope...King Jesus!! Namely, the appearing of the glory!
The glory of God is to motivate our lives. Our lives existing for nothing less than to enjoy the glory of Jesus. Are you hungry for the glory of God! Do you want to see it! Do you want to behold it! Moses wanted it. “Show me your glory!”
We will see his glory! The radiance that is Jesus. The power, the holiness, the majesty, the authority, the grace, the love that is Jesus! We will see Him!
I love that Paul says, “OUR” — He’s ours. Communually and Personally. Ours!!And he’s our “GREAT GOD and Savior!” Jesus is great! I pray our church and lives trumpet this message...JESUS IS GREAT!! Jesus is our great God AND Savior. One of the clearest texts in the whole Bible that shows, Jesus is fully God!
What Jesus did, is doing, and will do, is what we orient our entire lives around. He is the why and the how
Gospel-centered life says, “Jesus died for me, Jesus is helping me, Jesus is coming back for me.” Be consumed with Jesus. Be crowded by God’s grace.
The 3 fold mantra of your life should be:
That’s a gospel-charged life. One that reacts to the grace of God, the cross of Christ, and his super-abounding love for Them.
The most practical thing we could do is look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-4). Fix our eyes upon Jesus.
O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.