Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

When Slaves are Christians (Titus 2:9-14)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well. If you are able, please remain standing and let's give our attention to God's word. Now in Tiedus, chapter two, tied us two, verses nine through fourteen, Titus two, verses nine through fourteen. Bond servants are to be submissive to their own masters. In everything. They are to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God. Our Savior for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce on godliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and Godly lives. In the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. May God bless his word. Word, please be seated. As Christians, we believe that our actions make a difference and make a difference to God and they make a difference to how other people perceive our God. As Paul gives instructions to tied us this pastor on the things he used to instruct his people, both old and young men, old and young women, I'm older and younger, and now also to bond servants or two slaves. I'm we've seen now three times, three different ways in which I'm God has told us that our actions make a difference. In Verse Five, after in Verse Five, we read that good works prevent the reviling of the word of God. They keep people are when we act in a Christian way, people are kept from reviling God's word. In Verse Eight, we read that when we act well, when we do good works, this shames the opponents of God by taking away all hope of any true accusation. If they can't bring true accusations, they're left...

...to only live in their lives. I'm to stand on falsehoods. These are the first thing. Two things are that are mentioned. Our good works prevent the reviling of the word of God. They shame opponents by taking away the hope of true accusations. And now, in verse ten, we read that are good works also adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior. This is an amazing thing to say, like a painting, a beautiful painting that can certainly stand all on its own. That's what the doctrine of God is like, the doctrine of God our savior. What might be included in the doctrine of God our savior will all kinds of things. His triune nature on his saving plan, his perfect will, his goodness, His grace, is justice, His mercy, his infinitude, his all powerfulness. All of these things would be included in the doctrine of God our savior. We are talking about the god of the universe as he enters into the world to save his people. That's the painting, and what Paul Tells Titus is that these bond servants, when they do good works, they amazingly by those good works, are able to adorn the painting, like taking a great masterpiece and putting it in a frame that holds it up, displays it, magnifies it all the more. What an amazing thing to say that our good works can adorn the doctrine of God our savior. We often doubt these kinds of things. We doubt that our good works do much of any good. We doubt this a lot, and often we use this doubt as an excuse not to be zealous and good works. We think that our actions can't really have any good effect. But let the Christian slave, or the instructions to the Christian slave, put this particular doubt to rest. If anyone would ever think that they were too below the possibility of making a difference, of doing something like adorning the doctrine of God, of preventing the reviling of his word or shaming the opponents of his God, of God, consider the slave. Consider the position of a Christian who is a slave, who is weak, who is oppressed, who is no doubt in all kinds of difficult circum stances that would lead one to things like depression and frustration and all kinds of anxieties. Think of the slave. And here God speaks directly to the lowest person in civil society, the...

...most troubled, the most bound, and tells them that when they do good works, they adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior. An amazing thing. If that's true of the good works of a slave, certainly that's true of the good works of those of us who have the luxury and the blessing of being more free. So as God sets his loving eye on Christian slaves, bond servants. What is it that he requires of them? God does not pass over them. God does not say the are unworthy of receiving his commands, of belonging to his kingdom, of being called his servants. Know, he speaks to them directly and says, you are my servants, I have instructions for you to follow. What does he require of them? He requires of them good works. He requires them to do things well, to do them by faith and to glorify God. These are three good things to member as a kind of a side. If you ever are asking yourself, but what is a good work, it's always these three things. It's it's an accord with the Commands of God, it proceeds from faith and it is unto God's glory. Missing any one of those three and it's not really good work. When you think about that, you'll quickly realize how weak our works are. Maybe, sometimes, sometimes they might be in some ways somewhat in accord with God's commandments, but do they proceed from faith or are they done out of our selfish ambition, our pride? Are A man pleasing? Are they done for our glory or for God's this is, of course, why we need Jesus to save us, not only for them our evil, but also, in a very real sense, from our good, properly defined and evaluated. But this is what a good work is. It's done in accordance with God's commands, it's the fruit and evidence of true faith, and it's done for his glory. And though they are never perfect and require the blood of Jesus Christ to cover them and perfect them and present them before the father is a sacrifice, they are nevertheless in this way good and God is pleased by them. They adorn born the doctrine of God, our Savior. Well, what are the specific good works that God calls Christian slaves too, and, by extension, all of those who are called to be under the authority of others, who are called to obey and in one sense or another?...

Well, the first thing God says to them is that they are to be submissive, they are to have a posture towards their earthly masters of obedience. They are to be ones that are desiring to honor the authority of the one who is over them. Now, God doesn't say here that this is only a honor, that is to this honor is to be given only in those cases where there is a good master. There are times, the Bible will tells us, and of course we know from experience when people who rule over us are not good. They are even evil and require a very difficult things in requiring sin. God, of course, would never have his servants obey an earthly master at the expense of their heavenly master. But in everything else the answer is yes. It's the clear teaching of scripture here and in several other places throughout the New Testament that bond servants, these slaves, are to be submissive to the ones who are over them. We read they then Paul gives some specifics to that. I'm not only are they to be submissive, but they are to be well pleasing. They are to be well pleasing, which means that they are to aim not only to get the job done, but to aim for the pleasure of the ones that they serve. You know this at work. It's a big difference to simply do the job that you're acquired to do and do it with a spirit that is aiming to bring pleasure to those who are over you. One way to avoid this or or too. I mean rather to accomplish this is by the next command, not being argumentative. People who are under authority are often attempted to be argumentative about things, making the tasks that they are called to do and the authority of the ones who are over them very difficult, fir challenging. When we when a servant is argumentative with his master, it disrupts the entire household. It challenges the relationship at every point. It makes things difficult. Children, you know this when you are argumentative with your parents. It doesn't make life easy. It does and make it their jobs easy for them. In fact, they end up doing it with much groaning. It becomes challenging and difficult and it is not pleasing to the Lord. The same is true for workers who are at work. It's one thing to respectfully ask why a thing might be done or challenge in an appropriate way to lead towards good things. It's another thing...

...altogether to be argumentative, and this honestly doesn't need a whole lot of time, does it? We know what this means. Next, we are told that slaves are also not to be pilfering. It's a turn. That means basically stealing, taking things that don't belong to you. And this, of course, is a great temptation of those who are called to be under the service and authority of another because, as you know, masters do not all are not always fair with wages, with time, with all kinds of things, and there's a temptation, strong temptations, and ones that feel justified that well, of course, I can take this home and I can use this for myself, but often times the stealing that happens is not justified at all. It's simply I want what I want and I want it now. Employee. Theft, as many of you know, is a big deal and some of your own businesses you have all kinds of safeguards and protections and policies to guard against this very thing, because it's a very real thing. It costs our country, our economy on all kinds of money all the time and it ends up affecting the way that we make transactions and live in the market place. Well, imagine if this was happening not just in the marketplace and in common society, but but in your own home. Stealing, thieving, pilfering, not just things, of course, but time as well. When a servant is lazy and doesn't use his time to the best of his ability is essentially taking from his master or his employer. We can think of other things as well, but the point is that in all respects, the one who is a servant must be careful. We remember, Jesus is parable of the servant who received the talent and didn't embezzle it and didn't lose it, just didn't do anything with it, and he was still condemned. Servants are called not merely to hold on to what they are given, but actually do something for the profit of those who rule over them. And finally, this is a shown, or this is summarized by the expression showing all good faith. It's not just in these particular little things, but in a very comprehensive sense. Those who are slaves, Christian slaves, and, by extension, others of us who are under authority in similar ways, were called to be faithful in all things, not just in the pleasant tasks, not only when it's fair or would justified, not only when the job makes sense or when it's to one's own advantage, but in everything, in everything, God says,...

...they are to be well, pleasing, submissive, not argumentative, but showing good faith now, my guess is that most of our struggles are not as hard as a slave's might be. But how do you do in the position of a higher and a freer person, in a position of freedom that you have and belong to? How do you do in these things as a child, as an employee, as a citizen? Are you argumentative? Are you submissive? Are you pilfering? These are things for us to consider. These are the good works that God calls Christians to, even in very difficult and challenging circumstances. Will you remember what a good work is? It's not only to be done in accordance with God's commands, but also out of faith and to the glory of God. What does that mean? Well, it means that the Christian slave finds his strength to do these hard things. He finds his strength and will and knowledge of these goods in his God, his savior. What does that mean? Well, a lot of different things. It means that he knows that the fruit he bears, the good works he bears, are the fruit of grace and the product of faith in God, our Savior. The Christian remembers Romans One, thus fourteen, twenty three. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. He looks to God, his savior, to advance these things in him. In his difficult circumstances, in his challenges, in the ways in which he falls short. He looks to God to be the one who produces these things in him, to to establish him in faith so that good might proceed from it. He knows that salvation has come. This is what verse eleven tells us, for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, even for the slave, the Christian slave, the one who wants to be zealous for good works, even in Him Pos position, knows that salvation has come even for him or her, and that in Christ he has been set free. He knows and he believes that in his union with Christ, he no longer lives aimlessly or for the pleasures and lusts of in of his flesh, but he lives as directed and as empowered by the Holy Spirit himself. As Paul says, this God has is the one who is training us to renounce on godliness and worldly passions, to live in faith and be zealous for good works. is to...

...be one who enters into this training with a measure of excitement and trust that it is going to do some good. This is often why we don't exercise right we really wonder is this going to produce benefit? But here we are promised that God is training us and he does produce benefits in our lives. He puts to death, that's which is worldly in us. He strengthens us in zeal for good works. This is what the Christian does. He looks to God for these things, he trusts him for these things. Another thing the Christian does is he seeks his satisfaction, his comfort and his peace and his care not from material possessions or worldly honor or even the care of a good master. In fact, he is willing to endure the loss of all of these things because of what he believes. He believes that the salvation of God has appeared and in that the Kingdom of God has come and that he belongs to it. He knows that he doesn't have to pilfer and steal and be a man pleaser because his treasures are in heaven. He knows he can be a good worker and submit even in difficult circumstances, because his master is the greatest master of all, his savior and his king. He knows that he has cared for it by God, because he believes that on the Cross, Christ has borne his sins, his grief and has set him free from sin and death and the evil one. He knows that his troubles, even the troubles of his slave, will one day be lifted up with Christ in glory. And this is why, quoting from these final passages, a final verses eleven through fourteen, he waits for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Though he seeks to be well pleasing to his earthly master, he's not a man pleaser in that negative sense. He seeks to be well pleasing because he's a God pleaser. He finds his satisfaction and his hope in the God who has saved him. He finds his hope not in front of him, in his household and his duties and his job at this particular moment, but ahead of him. He awaits for the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is why a Christian can work difficult jobs, jobs that are terrible and frustrating...

...and seem like there's spinning nowhere, and and and and all the other things we complain about. He can do these kinds of things because God calls the Christian slave to obey and to produce these kinds of works and promises to work in him. As he puts his faith in Christ, the God will do these things in him and, as he does as a slave, produces this kind of good works. We see that a person who believes these things, these good things about the doctrine of God our savior, will be a different sort of person. If you believe these things about the salvation that has come, the hope that is to appear, the training that is currently going on, you will be a different kind of worker, different kind of person. You'll be the kind of person who can walk up right when the world and your master pulls you down. You'll be the kind of person who can breathe in freedom even while you're a slave. You'll be the kind of person who whose works will prevent the reviling of the word of God, whose good works will put to shame the accusers of the saints and whose good works, by God's grace, will adorn the doctrine of God our savior. This, of course, is all to the praise and glory of our God. This is what it means to be the frame that adorns the picture. It is to receive the glory from the picture and send it right back to God and his ever increasing glory as he magnifies himself and his name. This is what it means to be a Christian, to work for God and to be loved by him. May God teach us these things and how to live in this world in a way that is pleasing to him. Let us pray.

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