Focused Teaching in God’s Household (A Sermon Skeleton of Titus 3:1-11)

Translation:

1 Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to slander no one, to be non-brawling, gentle, demonstrating every meekness to all people. 3 For we ourselves also were once unwise, disobedient, being led astray, being enslaved to lusts and various desires, passing our days in malice and jealousy, hated, despising one another. 4 But when the kindness and benevolence of God our Savior was revealed, 5 not from works which we did in righteousness 6 but according to His mercy, He saved us 7 through washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He bestowed upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 in order that , being justified in his grace, we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and concerning these things I want you to constantly affirm, in order that they who are entrusted to God may be careful to practice good works. 9 But avoid stupid disputes and genealogies and quarrels and fights about the law, for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A heretical person, after one and then a second admonition, shun, 11 knowing that such a one is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned.

  1. Important Doctrine Defined
    1. (1-2) Remind them
      1. to submit to rulers and authorities
      2. to obey
      3. to be ready for every good work
      4. to slander no one
      5. to be peaceable, gentle
      6. demonstrating complete humility to all people.
    2. (3) For we ourselves were also once…
      1. Unwise
      2. Disobedient
      3. Led astray
      4. Enslaved to lusts and various desires
      5. Leading life in malice and jealousy
      6. Hated
      7. Despising one another.
    3. (4-7) But…He saved us.
      1. He saved us When the kindness and benevolence of God our Savior was revealed
      2. He saved us Not because of works
        1. Which we did in righteousness
      3. Rather He saved us according to His mercy
      4. He saved us Through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit
        1. Whom He bestowed upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior
          1. In order that…we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
            1. Being justified in His grace
  1. (8) Encouragement to Preach Important Doctrine
    1. The saying is trustworthy.
    2. And concerning these things I want you to insist
      1. Insist In order that the they… may be careful to practice good works
        1. …(they) who have trusted God
      2. These things are good and profitable for people.
    3. (9-11) Dealing with Distractions and Schismatics
      1. But avoid…
        1. Stupid disputes
        2. And genealogies
        3. And quarrels
        4. And fights about the law
      2. For they are unprofitable and pointless.
      3. A heretical person, after a first and second admonition, shun him.
        1. Shun him Knowing
          1. that such a person is perverted and sinful
            1. He is being self-condemned.

Commentary:

The preacher is to remind his congregation to live gently, submissive to the earthly authorities. Christians, we are not to be rabble-rousers looking for a fight. We, above all people, should be humble and gracious.

After all, remember what you used to be! We were not chosen because we were better than anyone else. Au contraire—we were sinning with the worst of them! In fact, we in the church used to hate one another and be hated by one another!

And yet, when we were in our sinful state, God saved us. He didn’t save us because of our righteous works. He saved us because of His love for humanity. He washed us and made us new people. Through Jesus Christ (who is our God and Savior) the Father endowed us with His Holy Spirit. God even went so far as to adopt us into His own royal family, making us His own heirs!

These things—that is, proper Christian behavior, human depravity, and unconditional election and salvation—these are what the preacher is to focus on.

Here is what not to focus on: stupid controversies, genealogies (trying to show who was truly “in” and who was “out”), quarrels and fights about the Old Covenant Law—these things are unprofitable for the Christian. They are pointless. We are under grace, not law. We were saved because of God’s love, not because we somehow earned it. We didn’t earn it. We earned nothing—salvation is all of grace .

If someone is out there dividing the church and causing schism, give him three strikes. Warn him once. Then warn him again. Then, kick him out. Do so knowing that such a person—who wouldn’t stop even after the church leadership warned him twice!—has gone astray and been corrupted by sin. He condemns himself by his own heresy.

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