Seven Duties Christians Have To The Unsaved
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 11/12/06
Titus 3:1-2 "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men."
I want to remind you about the culture in which the Apostle Paul and Titus lived. It was a blatantly pagan culture. The Roman culture worshipped a variety of pagan gods and goddesses. Idolatry, ritual prostitution, slavery, tyranny, immorality and corruption were everywhere. Naturally, since this is in the early foundation period of the Church, Christian principles and practices had no influence on the culture at this early date.
Why am I pointing this out to you? It is because the Roman Empire in general and Crete in particular were every bit as degenerate as America is today, and then some. The United States of America is essentially now a pagan nation. But there is just a dim reflection, in some areas, of the strong Christian foundation our nation once had.
Despite the pagan nature of any culture, there are seven things that should characterize the Christianís attitudes and actions toward the unsaved.
Letís begin our study by looking at anÖ
Overview of the 7 Duties of Christians to the unsaved
1 - Be Subject to Principalities and Powers
2 - Obey Magistrates
3 - Be Ready to Every Good Work
4 - Speak Evil of No Man
5 - Be not Brawlers
6 - Be Gentle
7 - Show Meekness To All Men
1. Be Subject to Principalities and Powers
Paul instructs Titus, in Titus 3:1 that he is to remind the Christians of Crete that they are to be subject to something. The word subject means to obey or to put yourself under the authority of someone. In this case, the principalities and powers are a reference to government authorities. The word translated as powers (exousia exousia) is more commonly translated as authorities. Paul does not identify the specific governmental authorities that are to be obeyed. Therefore any kind or level of government official is to be obeyed. The only exception is if these officials forbid us to do what God clearly says we are to do (see Acts 5:24-29).
Romans 13:1-7 gives us seven reasons why all people are to be under divine obligation to obey human government.
1) Government is established by God Ė Verse 1 says, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
2) Resisting governmental authority is the same as resisting the ordinance of God. Verse 2a says, "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of GodÖ"
3) Those who oppose governmental authority are inviting Godís Judgment. Verse 2b says, "They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."
4) Government is designed to restrain evil. Verse 3 says, "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same."
5) God designed human government to promote the good of individuals and society. Verse 4a says, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good."
6) Government has been divinely empowered to punish evil doers (even capital punishment). Verse 4b says, "But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
7) We should be subject to government because if we donít we could experience Godís wrath but also because if we do not our conscience will convict us. Verse 5 says "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake."
An example that is used of being subject to the government is the paying of taxes. I donít like to pay taxes. I donít like how they spend the money I pay in taxes in many instances. But, we are still to pay our taxes. We see this in verses 6-7. "For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."
To be sure Paul was aware that the Roman government was thoroughly pagan, morally degenerate, brutal, unjust and oppressive. However, they were still to be obeyed. People were still to pay their taxes. That is even what our Lord taught in Matthew 22:16-22. (See also Matthew 17:24-27).
The point is, that even though the "powers that be" are not Christians, they are to be obeyed!
Now we come to the second point in our outline or Titus 3:1 Ė
2. Christians Are To Obey Magistrates
This simply rounds out the first point, indicating that Christians are to be obedient to any human authority. However, as I previously noted, if a human authority instructs us to do something that the Bible forbids, then we must obey God rather than man. An example of what I am talking about is shown in Exodus 1:15-17. The midwives refused to kill Hebrew babies, even though the King had commanded it.
3. Christians Are To Be Ready To Do Good Works
Even though we live in a post-Christian society, we are still to look for opportunities to help the people around us. (See Galatians 6:10)
4. A Christian Should Speak Evil of No Man v.2
The word translated as speak evil is blasfhmew blasphemo which means to verbally attack or to slander. As Christians, we ought not to be considered as loud, rebellious, or agitators. We can speak the truth about people, but even then it is to be done in a non-slanderous, non-malicious, and uncontentious way.
5. Christians Are Not To Be Brawlers
The word translated brawlers is amacov amachos which basically means not be pugnacious or contentious; not to be fighters. (It literally means Ďnot macho.í)
6. Christians Are To Be Gentle
The word translated gentle means to be reasonable; to be good natured. The word is the opposite of contentious.
7. Christians Are To Show Meekness
The concept of
meekness is having our emotions,
especially our temper, under control. It is to be even-natured to
others. This is how Christians are to behave toward unsaved people.