Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

When Young Men are Christians (Titus 2:6)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

If you're able, please remain standing, and let's give our attention now to titus chapter two, Titus two, verses six through eight, and then eleven through fourteen, titus two, verse six. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self controlled, show yourself in all respects, to be a model of good works and in your teaching, show integrity, dignity and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. And now to verse eleven, 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 Save Your Jesus Christ, who 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 to us. Please be seated. Let's we give our set, our attention now to these verses in Titus two. We're giving our attention to the fourth of five different sets of instructions given to different people within the church. First older men, than older women, than younger women, and now younger men from Ted US instructs them, instructs them, giving them the instructions that have been received already. The older men were also called to be self controlled. The older women were called to teach this kind of self control to the younger women, and that's why Paul begins with verse six when he says Likewise, urge the younger men to be self controlled. Now this word is a little bit difficult to translate. It's translated here as self controlled. In older translations it's translated as prudent or temperate. It has perhaps the idea all of these things combined together to some degree or another. It's really difficult to say. But what is clear is there's this kind of prudence and a wisdom that is a being being focused on here. I'm perhaps with a...

...particular note of self control, the idea that one is living in their lives in this sound way, in a wise way, in a prudent way, and thereby controlling themselves, their passions, so their pleasures. Recently, a social commentator and political commentator, Camille Pelia, was complaining about what she called an excessive bloyishness in some of our current Republican presidential candidates. It is as if their maturity has stalled, she says. Now, this is her personal judgment. You may disagree with her, but certainly we all would agree that there is a poor, important gravatoss that is to be had in our leaders, a kind of wisdom, of self control, restraint, a temperance. I'm she admits that these particular people she has in her targets are remarkable for their ambition, their intellect and charm, but they lack depth, she says. They are often given over to what she labels as self absorption, absorption and narcissism. They may be quick on their feet and able with their tongue, but they're also smart, Alex she says, Glib and ultimately juvenile. Well, again, this isn't the first time, perhaps you've heard these kinds of comments, and whether or not you agree with her conclusions about the current slate of nominees, who can argue that leaders should have in themselves the characteristics of mature leaders, integrity, dignity and soundness and speech? Well, if that's true for presidents, it's also true for pastors, and that's what Paul calls tied us to. The office of a minister is one that demands respect. The world may not give that respect, but at least the minister should of his own office. When he considers the high calling of heralding the Kingdom of God, of exercising the keys of that kingdom, of watching over a soul and even a flock of souls, you'll immediately recognize that, while you want your minister to be himself and to be authentic, you also want him to not be a boy but to be a man. Being a child is fine, but it is something we are called to grow out of, as Paul says in First Corinthians Thirteen, when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. And this is what Paul Hall's tightest to and it's what he calls him to urge the young men to is, as well as the older men and the older women and the younger women, but he particularly says of the younger men, to urge them to it and perhaps this is because, I'm often it is the...

...younger men who take the longest in getting there. It's a strong word, urge. It's used in various places in in terms of mourning, calling, begging, pleading. The demons use this same word, this urging, when they say to deem to Jesus cast us into that herd of pigs. They plead with him, they call out to him. It's that same kind of pleading and urgent calling that Paul says to titus. Teach these things to the others, but to their young men. Urge them, urge them to be wise. Well, as I mentioned, perhaps this is because, more than any other group, I'm young men have the hardest time giving up the passions and pleasures of youth. There are, of course, many exceptions to this, but it's usually not the young mother who blows all her money at the reduce track or goes out and buys a fancy sports car when there isn't any money left. It's often the young men who struggle to form a reasonable plan, to employ themselves in the world, to stick to the plan, to execute it. It takes some knocking around in the world before they learn the maturity they need to get to the place that they are to be, to be temperate, self controlled and matured. Too often young men are controlled by their passions, by their dreams. They refuse to listen to advice, they struggle to see their own weaknesses. And so Paul tells that the young men are to be urged, urged to temperance, urged to prudence, to self control. Of Titus is to be a model of this. He is not merely to tell them what to do, but show them in himself, in his own actions, the maturity that Paul seeks of young men and of all of us. This temperance, this reasonableness, is to be found in titus himself. He says that tied us as a minister, is to exhibit this in his good works. In fact, he'SAS be so good in his works that he has to be a model for others, in his teaching in particular, but in every area. He is to have integrity, he's to have dignant dignity, words that are sound. Integrity means that he has to live his life not as a hypocrite but as a in a unified way. The things he teaches are to be the things he practice. has others are watching. Paul says, I'm you. Notice he goes on to say, show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works so that opponents may be put to shame. Having nothing evil to say about US, opponents of Jesus Christ will seek to shame us in our lives, ministers and a members alike. The enemy and the enemies of Christ will seek to find ways in...

...which we are weak and to put us to shame, and they will often accuse of things. But at the end of the day, whether they accuse or not, we must be able to stand on our own two feet and be able to have clean consciousness before God and say of these things I am free, so that they accusations will be put to shame, these accusations of integrity and dignity and soundness of words. How is he to show dignity? Well, this, of course, is not acting proud, but it's feeling the weight of the office he has been called to. Ministers who are silly and smart, Alex and Glib, especially in the pulpit, should be corrected, for this kind of immaturity takes away from the proclamation of God's word. It is a serious thing he does. It doesn't mean there isn't room for areas, forms of speech and a certain measure of sarcasm from time to time. The prophets use that, Jesus uses it, but it does mean that the overall character of the Ministry of the word should be one not only of soundness, but of of weight, of gravity, of dignity. Finally, his speech is to be sound, it is to be true, it is to be that which is reliable. If you go and you walk out on a bridge that isn't sound, you're not going to be on a bridge that for very long. The words that the minister feeds his flock with must be true and they must be strong. They must be delivered in a way that means what he says and he says what he means, and this is true not only of his preaching and his teaching, but at all times. Perhaps this means that he would be wise to speak less rather than more. He should weigh his thoughts, he should know the power of his tongue. It means that he should be studious in forming his thoughts and measured as he presents them. In putting it in this way, God is reminding us that a measure of a man is not in his physical strength or his social power or money, but it's in the strength of his character. It's in the wisdom of his heart, and of a minister in particular. The weight of a minister, the dignity and integrity of and the words that he speaks, are not found in his charisma or his charm or his good looks or these other things that are often so attractive, the things that we want, but they're found in the faithfulness of his delivery of God's Word and the way that he weighs these things on us and he delivers to us, haralds to us the word of God. In all these things, tide us and all and the ministers after him are to feel the weight of these things and honestly to be...

...humbled, for tide us and me and many others are indeed humbled by these things, knowing that we often let our tongues run when they should be stopped, knowing that we do not walk in the ways that God has called us to walk, and in that we are called to submit to the very word that we preach, to be humbled by it, to turn in repentance and ask God to forgive us our sins, and in that it is my hope, as it was titus's hope and Paul's hope, that you would be imitators even of me, not in anything that is great in me, but in the biblical repentance that we are all called to, in humbling ourselves when we go wrong and coming before God and submission to his word and in faith about, in faith in His grace. We are all called, as God's people, to follow him, and we follow him by hearing his words and walking in his ways. Our lives are to be lived under the control of the spirit, not under the control of the flesh. We are to live purposely for God, not distracted unto ourselves. We are to live for his will, not our immediate pleasures temptations. So this is the vision that Paul sets before tied us, before young men into a degree, to all of us. These kind of way of walking in the world that sees the word and the will of God and desires to know it, to be balanced in it, to feel the weight of it, to walk in it as one, as people who are self controlled. So how do you get there? How do you become a wise person, a temperate person, a prudent person. The Bible gives many answers. We find many, in particular in the book of proverbs, and they are two things come to the for that I'll bring your attention to briefly. The first is the fear of the Lord. This is stated so clearly that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. And second the book of proverbs calls all of us, and we might say young men in particular, I'm to a disposition of wisdom seeking, a posture that recognizes that wisdom is something that is attained to. It's not something that's simply handed over or stumbled upon or found, but it's it's sought. Throughout the book of Proverbs, God reminds us that we are to seek after these things, after we might seek after treasures, focused, attentive, looking, willing to overcome obstacles and challenges to get there. That's hard work. The proverbs also remind...

...us that often times that that work of obtaining wisdom is not very pleasurable. We often learn by being disciplined. For that reason, the proverbs remind us, I'm not to not to a Chafe at reproof or turn away when we are instructed and disciplined. Instead, we are to be thankful for these kinds of things, to diligently seek after them. So these things, to these two things together, really form a large part of what it means to get wisdom or is I asked a second ago. How do you get there? How do you become this kind of person, a posture of seeking wisdom and the fear of the Lord? What does it mean to fear the Lord and to seek after wisdom? Well, it means to honor the authority of God, means to recognize that he has given us a moral order in which we live. It means humbling ourselves. Seeking knowledge and wisdom like you would a treasure. Means growing to know the world that God has made and finding your place in it in subjection to him and his will. You will not get there by doing all the opposite of these things, just to make it clear and playing. If you refuse to honor and recognize the authority of God, if you refuse to recognize the moral order in which you are called to live, if you are proud, if you do not seek after wisdom and knowledge, if you do not desire to grow, if you do not desire to place your will and subjection to God, then you will be a fool. That is the language that proverbs use. The proverbs use, you will be like an animal that is has to be let around by bits and Bridle, unable to restrain yourself. You will be one who constantly falls into error, again and again and again, who constantly falls to the consequences of your sin again and again and again, who wakes up every morning lazy and wondering, why do I keep having all these problems over and over again, and you will find yourself, ultimately, one who is separated from God, in your pride, in your self absorption, in your narcissism, you will find yourself as one who is not wise, but who is cast aside by God, as a fool. This is how you get there, but key to all of this is, of course, the grace of God. We cannot get there, we cannot obtain attain to the things of the Lord on our own strength, according to our own wisdom, because when we exercise our quote unquote wisdom, the Bible teaches us that we are indeed fools. But though it is the wisdom of God that often is called foolish. That is our true...

...salvation. And what is that wisdom of God? Well, is what Paul says in verses eleven through fourteen, that the grace of God has a period bringing salvation for all people. The wisdom of God is that he has come into the world through Jesus Christ, our Savior, to crucify the fool in order to make him wise, to discipline the fool, to instruct him that we might grow and depend on grace. And when we humble ourselves before the Lord, when we repent of our sins, when we see our foolishness in this way, he does indeed make us wise. He strengthens us in our grace. He even trains us. He says in Verse Twelve, the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce all ungodliness worldly passions and to Live Self controlled, upright and Godly lives. In the present age, this happens because the Holy Spirit is at work within the world. This is why we turn to God and not to ourselves when we seek these kinds of things, when we want to live our lives in accordance with God's will. That means living our lives in accordance with His grace. It means seeking after him, knowing his plans, as Paul goes on to say in verse thirteen, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. You see, the wise person, the temperate, self controlled person, has a goal, has a purpose. It's not the attainment of wealth, it's not the satisfaction of his momentary desires. It is, and I quote, the appearing of the glory of our Great God. Save Your Jesus Christ. Young men, that is what you are to set your eyes upon. That is the hope to which you are walking, that is your those are your marching orders, that is the thing that strengthens in you and keeps you this solid, everlasting hope that God's glory has appeared in the coming of Christ, that grace of God has appeared, bringing for salvation for all people, and that he will come again. The glory of God will appear and in the meantime he is training you to renounce on godliness worldly passions and to live self controlled and upright lives. If you desire to be a wise person, a mature person, a person of integrity and dignity in character. You must therefore look to the grace of God, you must find yourself established in him and cast aside any hope you have of obtaining these things on your own. You must focus on...

...him and His grace that comes to us through the cross, to find all of your foolishness and your sins are crucified there, and look to the appearing of the glory of our Great God and Save Your Jesus Christ, because, as verse fourteen says, he gave himself for us, US, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. If you want to make your car work, you have to run it according to its plan. You can't stick the key in the seat or in the ceiling or in the dashboard somewhere. It only goes one place, it only works one way. This is how God has created the world. He has willed it in one direction and we live in it according to those ways. But we only live it according to those ways if we put our faith in the grace that has come in Jesus but when we do, we find that His grace is sufficient, that our lives often begin to work. Even though we suffer, even though we falter, God keeps us for himself, his own possession. The word says who are zealous for good works. May We indeed be zealous for good works. May God teach us, teach all of us, young men and maidens, old men and old women, all of us together, to be zealous for these things, by trusting in His grace to supply them, provide them until the end. Let us pray our.

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