Sermon #1883 — Miscellaneous Notes

 

Title:                                 Don’t ever forget who

you are and Whose you are!

 

Text:                                 Titus 2:1-15

Date:                                Tuesday Evening—December 14, 2010

Subject:               Free Grace Promotes Good Works

Readings:           David Burge and Rex Bartley

                                                                        Romans 12:1-21

Introduction:

 

Once our daughter, Faith, started going places on her own and doing things with other people, I used to tell her, and told her often enough that she would have a hard time not remembering it, — “Don’t ever forget who you are and whose you are. Your name is Faith Fortner. You are Don Fortner’s daughter. Everything you say and do reflects on me, your mother, our church family, the gospel we believe, and the God we serve. So don’t forget who you are and whose you are.”

 

That is the title of my message to you tonight. — Don’t ever forget who you are and Whose you are! I am specifically talking to you who are God’s, to you who have been…

Š      Chosen to salvation in eternal election by the everlasting love of the triune God.

Š      Redeemed by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Š      Regenerated and called by the saving grace and power of God the Holy Spirit.

I am talking to you who are justified, sanctified, pardoned of all your sin, forgiven of all your trespasses, and purged of all iniquity, — to you who are members of the family of God, — to you who are the sons and daughters of the Almighty. This is my message to you — Don’t ever forget who you are and Whose you are!

 

Changed Lives

 

When the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ went into the pagan, amoral Gentile world, (a world in which drunkenness, homosexuality, adultery, and fornication were just as rampant as they are today), it changed men’s lives and taught them to honor God in their personal habits of life as well as in their doctrine (Romans 6:12-18; Ephesians 4:17-5:2).

 

(Romans 6:12-18) “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

 

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

 

(Ephesians 4:17-32) “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

 

(Ephesians 5:1-2) “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

 

When the gospel conquers the heart, the life is radically altered. Grace teaches men and women how to live for the glory of God.

Š      The Samaritan Woman

Š      The Gadarene

Š      Zacchaeus

 

(Titus 3:8) “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”

 

(Titus 3:14) “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”

 

Proposition: The gospel of the grace of God teaches all to whom it is revealed that salvation is by grace alone; and it teaches us how to live in this world for the glory of God.

 

Turn with me to Titus chapter 2. I want you to hold your Bibles open on your laps and follow closely, as I declare the message of God the Holy Spirit to our souls in these fifteen verses of Inspiration. In this chapter the Apostle Paul is instructing Titus in the work of the gospel ministry. He is telling Titus and all gospel preachers how to lead and instruct God’s saints in the gospel of Christ.

 

Divisions: As we look at these fifteen verse, I want to call your attention to these five things:

1.    The Adornment of Grace (vv. 1-10)

2.    The Work of Grace (v. 11)

3.    The Teaching of Grace (v. 12)

4.    The Expectation of Grace (v. 13)

5.    The Motivation of Grace (vv. 14-15)

 

The Adornment of Grace

 

In verses 1-10 Paul tells both the man who preaches the gospel and the people who hear and believe the gospel how to adorn the gospel. He is telling us how to behave ourselves so that we may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things (v. 10).

 

This is both our personal responsibility and our great privilege. I hope it is our desire. We are to “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” That is to say, We are to set forth in our lives as well as in our doctrine the beauty, glory, and attractiveness of the gospel of Christ. If we hope to persuade men and women to believe the gospel we preach, we must live by the gospel to the glory of God. If we would honor Christ and his gospel in this world, we must have our lives regulated and governed by the gospel.

 

Pastors (v. 1) — As a pastor, as a preacher of the gospel, I am responsible to adorn the gospel by faithfully preaching it. — “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (v. 1). Every preacher has a mandate from God. And the preacher’s mandate is always the same. All who are sent of God as his messengers to eternity bound men and women are sent to preach the gospel, to constantly declare those “things which become sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

 

(2 Timothy 4:1-5) “I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

 

The doctrine we preach is the doctrine of grace, which is the doctrine of Christ. And those things which become sound doctrine are those things that are consistent with and honoring to the gospel.

Š      Sovereignty — Substitution — Satisfaction — Success

Š      Ruin by the Fall — Redemption by the Blood — Regeneration by the Holy Spirit

Š      T.U.L.I.P

 

Specifically, gospel preachers are responsible to pointedly apply the gospel to the daily affairs and responsibilities of men and women in this world. It is a pastor’s responsibility to faithfully teach people how to live in this world for the glory of Christ, applying the Word of God to every area of life. And it is the responsibility of God’s saints to personally obey the gospel, applying it to every area of their lives.

 

I realize that many people prefer to ignore this fact, but it is a fact nonetheless — God almighty does interfere with people’s lives. If the God of glory is pleased to open the windows of heaven drop his saving grace into your heart, he will take over. He insists on it! Christ will either be Lord of all or he will not receive you at all. This is what Paul teaches in verses 2-10. He has a word here for just about everybody.

 

Aged Men (v. 2) — “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”

 

Aged Women (vv. 3-4) — “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”

 

Young Women (v. 5) — “To be discreet, chaste, — (Act like a lady. Dress like a lady. Talk like a lady.) — keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” — This does not mean that a housewife must not work outside the home (Compare Habakkuk 2:5). It means that your primary concern in life is to be taking care of your husband and your children. Don’t seek to be a socialite or a busy-body. Be a good wife and a good mother.

 

Young Men (v. 6) — “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” — Behave like men. Assume responsibility.

 

Pastors (vv. 7-8) — “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

 

Servants (vv. 9-10) — “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

 

I am calling for all who believe the gospel of the grace of God to adorn it, to show forth the beauty and grace of the gospel in all things for the glory of God. — “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you are indeed born of God, if you truly are a believer, if you have really experienced the grace of God, you know that grace teaches you so to live.

 

The Work of Grace

 

(Titus 2:11) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

 

As Paul uses the term here “the grace of God” refers to “the doctrine of God our Savior.” “The grace of God” in this verse means “the gospel of the grace of God.” The gospel we preach, “the doctrine of God our Savior,” is “the gospel of the grace of God.”

 

The doctrine of the gospel is the message of grace.

Š      Not Freewill, but Free Grace!

Š      Not Merit, but Mercy!

Š      Not Works, but Grace!

Š      Not Grace and Works, but Grace Alone!

 

Grace is the origin of the gospel. — Grace is the message of the gospel. — Grace is conveyed by the gospel (1 John 1:1; 1 Peter 1:23-25).

 

(1 John 1:1-3) “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

 

(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. 24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

 

And grace is the rule of the gospel (Romans 6:12-14; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15). — Not Law but Grace! — “The love of Christ constraineth us!

 

This gospel, the grace of God, brings salvation. — I know that salvation is by God’s operations of grace, that it is an act of free and sovereign grace, grace that is almighty and irresistible. But in this context, “the grace of God” is used as a synonym for “the gospel of God.” The Holy Spirit is telling us that the gospel is the means by which salvation is brought to and wrought in chosen, redeemed sinners.

Š      The gospel of the grace of God shows us the way of salvation — Faith in Christ.

Š      It proclaims the person and work of Christ, who is Salvation.

Š      It is the announcement of salvation accomplished by Christ.

And the gospel of the grace of God is the means by which God the Holy Spirit brings salvation to elect sinners (Romans 10:13-17). — No Life without the Gospel! — No Faith without the Gospel! — No Salvation without the Gospel!

 

(Romans 10:13-17) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

This gospel of the grace of God has appeared unto all men. — Certainly, Paul does not mean for us to understand that every person in the world has heard the gospel. Obviously that is not so. There are people in this town, many of them, who have never heard the gospel! What Paul is telling us is that the gospel has been and is preached freely to all men and women, people of every rank, race and region (Romans 16:25-26).

Š      God has his elect among all people.

Š      It is our responsibility to preach the gospel to all men (Matthew 28:19-20).

Š      The gospel we preach brings salvation to all who believe. — It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16).

 

The Teaching of Grace

 

(Titus 2:12) “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

 

Whenever the gospel of the grace of God comes into a sinner’s heart by the life-giving, regenerating power and grace of God the Holy Spirit, it effectually teaches him some things. It teaches us...

Š      To Whom we must Look for Eternal Life (Isaiah 45:22).

Š      What to Believe (Galatians 1:6-9).

Š      And How to Live in this World!

 

The gospel is not given for intellectual speculation, but for practical direction. It is given for our eternal salvation and for the ordering of our lives. It tells us plainly what we are to do and what we are not to do. It tells us what to follow and what to shun.

 

The grace of God effectually teaches saved sinners to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The gospel teaches us to say “No” to unbelief and the neglect of God, his Word, his worship, and his will. It also teaches us to say “No” to worldly lusts, sensuality, covetousness, ambition, and the desire for recognition and praise. The grace of God teaches people to live right.

Š      With Respect to Ourselves: Soberly!

Š      With Respect to Others: Righteously!

Š      With Respect to God: Godly! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1-2)

 

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

(Romans 12:1-2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

 

The Expectation of Grace

 

(Titus 2:13) “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

Read verse 13 again very carefully. — “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Paul does not tell us to set dates or even speculate about when the time of our Lord’s coming may be. He does not tell us to look for signs of the end time, or to even think about when the end time may be. Grace teaches us to look for Christ himself, and to do so standing upon the tiptoe of faith and expectation. Grace gives us a good, well-grounded hope, a hope that breeds expectation, anticipation, and desire.

 

There is one common and blessed hope for all believers. There is not one hope for one group and another hope for another group. We all have the same hope, upon the same grounds, a glorious, blessed hope, a hope that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined!

Š      The basis of our hope is grace, free grace through a crucified Substitute (Ephesians 1:18).

Š      The thing hoped for is glory. We are “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

The gospel sets our hearts upon the hope laid up for us with Christ in heaven, not upon the things of this world (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-4).

 

(Matthew 6:33) “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

(Colossians 3:1-4) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

 

Fade, fade each earthly joy, Jesus is mine.

Break every tender tie, Jesus is mine!

Dark is this wilderness,

Earth has no resting place

Jesus alone can bless. Jesus is mine!

 

Farewell, mortality — Jesus is mine!

Welcome, eternity — Jesus is mine!

Welcome, oh loved and blest!

Welcome sweet scenes of rest!

Welcome my Savior’s breast! Jesus is mine!

 

Our hope of eternal glory with Christ, if we trust him, is a well-grounded hope.

Š      Our Father promised it (Titus 1:2).

Š      Our Savior purchased it (Hebrews 9:12).

Š      Our Substitute possesses it (Hebrews 6:20).

Š      We have the earnest of it (Ephesians 1:14).

Š      In Christ we are worthy of it (Colossians 1:12).

 

Our blessedness will be attained when Christ, who is our Hope, appears. — Notice how Paul describes our Savior. He appears unable to find words worthy of him.

Š      Jesus Christ is the great God!

Š      He is the great God and our Savior!

Š      Soon, this great God who is our Savior shall appear!

Š      Then, we also shall appear with him in glory! — That is the expectation of grace (1 John 3:1-3).

 

(1 John 3:1-3) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

The Motivation of Grace

 

Give me your attention just a little longer. This is so important. Paul is calling for us, in every aspect of our lives, to “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” How will he induce us to obey his admonition? How will he persuade us? How will he motivate us?

Š      Not by Threats of the Law!

Š      Not by the Promise of Rewards!

Š      But by the Declaration of Grace!

 

Read Titus 2:14

 

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ gave himself! He gave himself for us! And he gave himself for us…

Š      That he might redeem and deliver us from all iniquity, from all sin and all the consequences of it! — From Its Penalty by Blood Atonement. — From Its Dominion by Regenerating Grace. — From Its Being by Resurrection Glory.

Š      That he might purify (by blood and by grace) unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

God’s saints are a purified people; and God’s saints are a peculiar people. We are a people loved with a peculiar love! — The Objects of His Peculiar Delight! — Blessed with Peculiar Blessings! — Supplied with Peculiar Provisions! — Separated from the World by Peculiar Grace!

Š      Electing Grace!

Š      Redeeming Grace!

Š      Regenerating Grace!

Š      Preserving Grace!

 

Note: The word “peculiar” means “distinctively excellent, valuable, and honorable.” We are Christ’s portion, the lot of his inheritance, the jewels of his crown, his fullness (Ephesians 1:23), his peculiar people!

 

Christ’s peculiar people are made by the grace of God to be zealous of good works. God the Father ordained that we should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10). God the Son redeemed us that we should walk in good works. And God the Holy Spirit effectually teaches every chosen, ransomed sinner to be zealous of good works.

 

Application

 

Now read verse 15 — This is Paul’s admonition to Titus; and this is the Word of God the Holy Spirit to me, as your pastor, and to every preacher of the gospel. — “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

Š      These Things Speak Both the Doctrine and the Duties of Grace!

Š      And Exhort— Press with earnestness.

Š      And Rebuke Reprove all who neglect, oppose, contradict, and deny these things, the doctrine and the duty of grace.

Š      With All Authority In God’s name! With God’s authority! With God’s Approval!

Š      Let no man Despise Thee!” — Give no one reason to despise you. — Have no regard for the opinions of disobedient men.

 

Paul shows us by his own example what he means in 1 Corinthians 4:1-3. — “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.”

 

(Hebrews 13:7) “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

 

(Hebrews 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

 

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, children of God, oh, you who are Christ’s blood bought people, — Don’t forget, don’t ever forget who you are and whose you are!

 

(Philippians 1:9-11) “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

 

May God the Holy Spirit give us grace that we may “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things,” for the glory of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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