Five Core Principles That Should Guide A Believerís Life & Service
Today: Be Committed To Godís Message
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
The Apostle Paul wrote three Pastoral Epistles to two young pastors, Timothy and Titus. We have been studying Paulís letter to Titus. Our attention has been devoted to Paulís Greeting To Titus in verses 1-4. In this opening l-o-n-g sentence Paul shares Five Core Principles That Guided His Life and Service to The Lord. These principles should guide every pastor and every believer. In our last message we looked at the first two principlesÖ
You will remember that Paul identified himself first as "a servant of God" in verse 1. The word translated servant is the Greek word doulos and it refers to a person who is a slave and who has wholly devoted himself to the will and service of another. Paul was the doulos or servant of God. All Christians are owned by God for they have been bought with a price. Therefore, "being made free from sin" we are "become the servants of God." Romans 6:22
Godís mission for believers focuses on three things revealed in Titus 1:1b-2a Ė "1b according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life." These are 1) Evangelism 2) Edification & 3) Encouragement. TodayÖ
"which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his wordÖ"
I love this Greek phrase - ὁ ἀψευδὴς Θεὸς -- ho apseudēs (aps-yoo-dace) theos, which is correctly translated, God that cannot lie. Our God is a God of the truth! He can be trusted completely. God is faithful to His Word. This is not true of the other Gods. The Greek and Roman gods were liars and deceivers. The pagan gods of then and now fit that same mold, because the progenitor of the false gods is Satan and we know that "he is a liar, and the father of it" according to John 8:44.
I want to have you turn in your Bibles to Hebrews 6:18 Ė "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:"
Next, turn to 1 Samuel 15:29 "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent."
When you examine these verses it is plsin to see that God cannot lie. That is important because we saw in the first part of Titus 1:2 that God has promised eternal life. Therefore we can believe Him. He promised this "before the world began." What does that mean? It means that God planned for the redemption of sinners even before creation. Manís sin did not take God by surprise.
We see some interesting things about Godís "eternal purpose" recorded in 2 Timothy 1:9-10 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
First, Godís Salvation cannot be obtained by works Ė "not according to our works." Perhaps the biggest lie that is told by so called Christian Denominations today is that WE play some part in our salvation. Thatís the devilís lie.
The second thing we see about Godís plan of Salvation is, that it is facilitated (made possible) only by the person and work of "our Saviour Jesus Christ." Let me put it plainly. Christ is the ONLY Savior! There are NOT many ways to God. We read in 2 Timothy 1:9b it is "according to his (Godís) own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
Thirdly, a person receives spiritual life and immortality by believing the Gospel message. We read in verse 10b Ė "who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." The Gospel is a proclamation of the atoning death of Christ for our sins, His burial and His physical resurrection from the dead, proving that God had accepted Christís payment for our sins. We read in Paulís letter to the Romans that Christ was "Ödeclared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" Romans 1:4
So, hereís the truth:
This is the message we are to be committed to!
That brings me to Titus 1:3a which says, "But hath in due times manifested his wordÖ" We are so blessed to live in this "dispensation of the grace of God" (Ephesians 3:2). We can look back at Christís death and resurrection. The Gospel is clearly presented in the New Testament. We can read it or hear it and know the truth and be saved. However, Godís Gospel message was not clearly seen in the Old Testament. There are bits and pieces revealed throughout, but they did not see the whole picture. They had to believe God by faith that the Savior was coming. Colossians 1:26 puts it this way -- "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:"
I like the way Adam Clarke puts it: "God caused His Gospel to be published in that time in which it could be published with the greatest effect. It is impossible that God should prematurely hasten, or causelessly delay, the accomplishment of any of his works. Jesus was manifested precisely at the time in which that manifestation could best promote the glory of God and the salvation of man. Paul said this to the Galatians "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4-5
At just the right time Paul says in Titus 1:3a God "manifested his word." The phrase in the Greek reads ton logon autou Ė ton logon auton, means God made known the doctrine of eternal life, by the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ by His Word.
It is the Word of God (and believing it) that brings about a personís salvation: 1 Peter 1:23, 25 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." James 1:18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
It is the reading and studying the Word of God that helps us to grow into mature Christians: 1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
It is reading and heeding that Word of God that helps us to live holy lives, pleasing unto the Lord" John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Let me tie up the loose ends for you. In this
message we learned that, as Christians, we are to be committed to
Godís message and that message is revealed in His Word, the Bible.
This message is ture, because God does cannot lie. Further, we are
to proclaim his message. I close with Amos 8:11 "Behold, the
days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the
land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing
the words of the LORD:"