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what I see as the flow of thought is, Paul is admonishing not to speak ill of any man (this would include those in authority over us, whether it be church leadership or secular) and he "justifies" it by reminding that before we were saved we had a lot of sinful, contentious behaviors.  Basically -- except for the grace of God that brought you salvation and made you a better man, you would be just like the person you criticize, and in fact, you were once just like him.  Because of the grace you received, you should be a kind and gracious person to those who need that same grace.  It is through those good works that those men see a difference and are potentially won to the Lord.  Face it, everyone in the world complains about those in rule over them, those who are kind to them will stand out and make an impression.

at least that is where I saw the progression going....

Sister, you have indeed seen a similar flow of thought to what I have also noticed. I would add that this is not just about our communication, but in how we behave. Further I would suggest that this passage offers us specific information on how we are to respond to those who are indeed "not nice" to us. I would suggest the following as a summary: "How to deal with people who irritate you."

I am regularly reminded that I have been treated way better by God than I would prefer to treat others -- oh, how gospel grace teaches and trains us to live differently (Titus 2:11-12).

Two things of significance for preachers: Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) is telling Titus what to preach on ("Put them in mind" has the idea of "remind them"); furthermore in vs 8, he tells him to regularly affirm these things so that we who are believers will be careful to maintain good works. We who preach should take note of Spirit inspired commands on preaching topics!

There is much here for meditation toward sanctification of our character and behavior, but I sense that we are supposed to be focused on vs 1 for now.

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Does anybody else have any thoughts, comments, or areas of discussion that you would like to see discussed?

Alan

I agree that the point of 3:1a,b is our submissive response to government. The emphasis on levels of government officials (principalities, powers, magistrates) certainly pushes us to respond with obedience and submission at each level of government. (There are exceptions, but these should be for clear and direct demands against the clear and direct commands of the Lord our God (cf. Acts 5:29).) However, vs 1-2 offer 5 subjects of responsibility which Titus was to remind his hearers of  (that is 5 if we separate out subjection of principalities and powers and obedience to magistrates as 2 separate responsiblities). Ought we not also think through the last phrase of vs 1 as well as the we do the beginning of the verse?

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Trapperhoney,

Thank you very much for your comments on the responsibility of Christian behavoir towards leadership. As God instituted government (church, local, rulers, etc...), we should obey the leadership above us as ultimately all leaders in all aspects of life will give a full accounting, (lost or saved), for all of the decisions (good or bad), that they made and will be rewarded accordingly. I fully understand that the lost rulers of this world, and other leaders in areas of importance (including churches), cannot comprehend the judgment to come on all decisions and laws, the judgment will take place nonetheless. Acts 24:25

Christian Markle said, "There is much here for meditation toward sanctification of our character and behavior, but I sense that we are supposed to be focused on vs 1 for now."

Throughout the book of Titus the Apostle Paul dwells on our character and our sanctification. If I needed to put a title on the flow of thought on 3:1-8 I would probably write, "Sanctify Yourselves."

Alan

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The Tongue

Titus 3:2

     (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

One of the hardest things to control is our tongue. James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Maybe that is why God only gave us one tongue and two ears so that we would listen more than we would speak. God is against all forms of evil. This includes speaking evil of others, gossiping, and spreading false rumors about others by mouth or by print. Even if a fault is found out against a brother, it is best to let God judge him and keep our mouths shut and our pens silent. We are living in an age when even Christian writers are slandering brothers in Christ for any reason under the sun. Brethren, we need to stop printing slanderous material about anybody. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Remember Job? Job was a righteous man who suffered much for having integrity. Yet, his so-called friends judged him day after day and spoke evil of him while he was in the midst of extreme suffering. All through the book of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, continually accused Job with lies, half-lies, slanders, and innuendoes. Finally, God put an end to it. God told Jobs’ three friends to stop their lies, Job 42:7-9.

Like Job’s friends, God will judge those who slander, by mouth, or by pen, a brother in Christ. King David warned us about this matter in Psalms 50:19-21, “Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slenderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I [God] kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such as one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” God will judge, and reprove, all those who slander a fellow Christian, especially a man of God in the ministry. Psalms 105:15 clearly states, “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

Brethren, God hates slander, gossiping, innuendoes, and other forms of backbiting.” These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-18

We ought to carefully weigh all the facts when we deal with men and not judge people carelessly. Remember what the Lord Jesus said when we had a problem with another saint? We are supposed to go directly to the person and talk with him. If that did not resolve the conflict, then we were supposed to go the pastor of the church that he was in, (not the church of the one accusing the brother), and then discuss it with the pastor.  and two or three witnesses and then take the matter before the church: Matthew 18:15-17.

Very importantly, if the brother in question was a minister, then there must be at least two or three witnesses even before the matter was heard: 1 Timothy 5:19

I know there are brethren that just love to pick verbal religious fights and spread slander about the character, and work, of a fellow pastor, evangelist, or missionary. The best advice that I know is to just avoid them and not answer them, if possible. Why? Usually, those who want to have verbal and written fights are foolish and unreasonable men who do not really want the truth anyway. We need to take the advice given by King Solomon in Proverbs 26:4, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him, ” And, Proverbs 10:18 and 19, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”

God wants His people to develop within themselves a gentle and meek spirit. This is in direct contrast to a prideful, boastful, and brawling attitude. Paul said it best in Ephesians 4:1 and 2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”

We need to be longsuffering and put up with those who are brawlers, evil and have other character defects. As Christ put up with us before we were saved, and before we were sanctified, I might add, so must we try to develop a non-judgmental attitude towards others. The Apostle Paul said, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up ... Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4 and 7. We should strive to have a non-judgmental attitude in our hearts.

 

 

Edited by Alan
correction

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Now that we have included vs 2 may I make some observations?

In Titus 3:1-2 Paul commands Titus to regularly remind the Cretan believers of 5 responsibilities. Grammatically the list looks like this:

Put them in mind

to be subject to principalities and powers,

to obey magistrates,

to be ready to every good work,

To speak evil of no man,

to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

1) They are to have a submissive attitude toward governmental authorities.

2) They are to actually obey governmental authorities.

3) They are to be prepared (ready for immediate action) for all kinds of good works.

4) They are not to speak with the intent of malice toward anyone

5) They are not to be a brawler (ready for a fight, a chip on the shoulder) - instead they are to be gentile and displaying all kinds of meekness toward all.

 

There is much to explore here. Like what does it mean to be ready for every good work? What does that look like practically speaking? What forms of communication are evil speaking and what forms of communication although not pleasant are actually right not evil? What does it mean to be a brawler? What does gentleness look like?

Although I am interested in all of these questions, I would like to emphasis only one specific idea. Why the emphasis in the last phrase of vs 2 -- ALL meekness toward ALL men? This I believe really sets the stage for the rest of the passage (vs 3-8). May I suggest that the universal nature of this responsibility draws out from us a natural question? HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I DO THAT WITH EVERYONE? And the answer is found in our recall of our own evil depravity toward God (vs 3) and His merciful response to us (vs 4-8). Note that the notion of the preparation "to every good work" is repeated in vs 8 in the phrase "be careful to maintain good works." The point of vss 3-7 then is to help us know what to review constantly so we will respond properly when it very hard to respond properly.

For the glory of His grace,

Christian Markle

Edited by Christian Markle

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We ought to carefully weigh all the facts when we deal with men and not judge people carelessly. Remember what the Lord Jesus said when we had a problem with another saint? We are supposed to go directly to the person and talk with him. If that did not resolve the conflict, then we were supposed to go the pastor of the church that he was in, (not the church of the one accusing the brother), and then discuss it with the pastor. Matthew 18:15-17. If these steps are not taken then it would be best, and spiritual I might add, to not judge our brother and drop the matter. And, very importantly, if the brother in question was a minister, then there must be at least two or three witnesses even before the matter was heard. 

Does Matthew 18 actually teach that we are to take our unresolved personal conflicts to our spiritual leaders? It seems that if the first step (private confrontation vs 15) does not win back the brother then it is not time to get a Pastor, but to get other spiritual brothers to go as witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These witness do not need to be fully informed (so as to be "on the side" of one brother or the other, but come to hear the case. These witness appear to fulfill two purposes: 1) to be able to establish every word (vs 16) and 2) that they may speak into the situation so as to be heard (vs 17). This does not need to be a Pastor. I suggest that Paul saw the believers of Rome to be fully able to admonish one another because they had two characteristics: 2) full of goodness and 1) full of all knowledge (Romans 15:14). Jesus does not say go to your pastor, he says take two or three witnesses. If these are not heard, then one may take it to the church (again not to the pastor per se, but to the assembly). The congregation may then rule on the matter. If this ruling is then ignored then there is to be treatment such as a heathen and/or publican (vs 17).

You are correct that not all matters are worthy of this progression. I think it is possible to allow love to cover and mercy to prevail at any stage of this process. The determining factors however, should be the potential spiritual damage if one backs off. We are indeed called to forbear one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

For His glory,

Christian Markle

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Another reason I don't believe Mt 18 requires the pastor to be one of these witnesses (notice I said didn't require him as one as opposed to a prohibition from him being one) is that it would eliminate a check and balance in the church. What I'm referring to is a situation where the person in the wrong is the pastor himself, the same Mt 18 process applies to him which couldn't be done if you HAD TO HAVE the pastor as one of the witnesses. 

Then there's the issue of not having a pastor at the time of an issue that won't wait. They had that problem here shortly before they called me. They had to put a man out at a time when there was not a pastor here and no indication as to when there would be one.

Edited by OLD fashioned preacher

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On ‎2015‎年‎9‎月‎23‎日 at 10:26 AM, Christian Markle said:

Does Matthew 18 actually teach that we are to take our unresolved personal conflicts to our spiritual leaders? It seems that if the first step (private confrontation vs 15) does not win back the brother then it is not time to get a Pastor, but to get other spiritual brothers to go as witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These witness do not need to be fully informed (so as to be "on the side" of one brother or the other, but come to hear the case. These witness appear to fulfill two purposes: 1) to be able to establish every word (vs 16) and 2) that they may speak into the situation so as to be heard (vs 17). This does not need to be a Pastor. I suggest that Paul saw the believers of Rome to be fully able to admonish one another because they had two characteristics: 2) full of goodness and 1) full of all knowledge (Romans 15:14). Jesus does not say go to your pastor, he says take two or three witnesses. If these are not heard, then one may take it to the church (again not to the pastor per se, but to the assembly). The congregation may then rule on the matter. If this ruling is then ignored then there is to be treatment such as a heathen and/or publican (vs 17).

You are correct that not all matters are worthy of this progression. I think it is possible to allow love to cover and mercy to prevail at any stage of this process. The determining factors however, should be the potential spiritual damage if one backs off. We are indeed called to forbear one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

For His glory,

Christian Markle

 

On ‎2015‎年‎9‎月‎23‎日 at 10:51 AM, OLD fashioned preacher said:

Another reason I don't believe Mt 18 requires the pastor to be one of these witnesses (notice I said didn't require him as one as opposed to a prohibition from him being one) is that it would eliminate a check and balance in the church. What I'm referring to is a situation where the person in the wrong is the pastor himself, the same Mt 18 process applies to him which couldn't be done if you HAD TO HAVE the pastor as one of the witnesses. 

Then there's the issue of not having a pastor at the time of an issue that won't wait. They had that problem here shortly before they called me. They had to put a man out at a time when there was not a pastor here and no indication as to when there would be one.

Matthew 18:16, "But  if he will hear thee, then take with thee one of two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

The Lord does not specifally say one of the witnesses must be the pastor. I will change the lesson to reflect the item noted.

Matthew 18:17, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

In the strictest sense, both Christian Markle and Old Fashioned preacher are correct; the word pastor and/or bishop, and/or overseer, is not mentioned. And there are some cases when the pastor is the one accused (by two witnesses), where it is obvious the transgression is held before the church body with the pastor as the one accused.

The reason why I said to bring it before the pastor as the pastor is the head of the visible church and the representative of Christ; 1 Peter 5:1-4

As 1 Timothy 3:1-7;5:1 & 17-19, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 are further revelations from Paul and Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, on the office of the Pastor (bishop or overseer), as the visible head of the local church I believe it is completely appropriate to say that (except in extreme circumstances), the pastor must be present for any accusations brought before the church body.  

Furthermore, a church without  a head is an incomplete body. If a decision was made to expel the accused individual from the church without the consent of the pastor it  would be, in my estimation, not appropriate. Be that as it may, I will not belabor the point mentioned. 

Alan

Edited by Alan
scripture addition spelling Auh. 22, 2016

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Matthew 18:16, "But  if he will hear thee, then take with thee one of two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

The Lord does not specifally say one of the witnesses must be the pastor. I will change the lesson to reflect the item noted.

Matthew 18:17, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

In the strictest sense, both Christian Markle and Old Fashioned preacher are correct; the word pastor and/or bishop, and/or overseer, is not mentioned. And there are some cases when the pastor is the one accused (by two witnesses), where it is obvious the transgression is held before the church body with the pastor as the one accused.

The reason why I said to bring it before the pastor as the pastor is the head of the visible church and the representative of Christ; 1 Peter 5:1-4

As 1 Timothy 3:1-7;5:1 & 17-19, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 are further revelations from Paul and Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, on the office of the Pastor (bishop or overseer), as the visible head of the local church I believe it is completely appropriate to say that (except in exteme circumstances), the pastor must be present for any accusations brought before the church body.  

Furthermore, a church without  a head is an incomplete body. If a decision was made to expel the accused individual from the church without the consent of the pastor it  would be, in my estimation, not appropriate. Be that as it may, I will not belabor the point mentioned. 

Alan

Brother Alan,

I am thankful for your clarification on Matthew 18. I think you are on safer ground with that.

I would like to press your view of the Pastor a bit. The Biblical text only gives headship in the church to one person, Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 2:10, 19). We pastors are not heads; we are overseers (ie managers). We do not preside as lords over believer-priests (1 Peter 5:3 cf 2:5,9); we are not the mediators between God and the church. We are the teachers of doctrine; this is how we lead, feed and protect the flock. The congregation makes the decisions in the area of discipline (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5). Christ died for the church; it is God's flock (1 Peter 5:2)., Christ is the chief shepherd (vs 4); we are simply His under-shepherds. I do not think it is an oversight by Christ to not mention church leadership in Matthew 18. This certainly does not exclude the pastor from the process, but it does not demand his involvement either. The pastor's role is to teach the principles of conflict resolution; he certainly may be a witness in the second step. He may also guide the church through the third and implementing the fourth step, but he certainly is not the "visible head" of the church...Christ is the church's ONLY head.

For the glory of Christ in His Church

Christian Markle

:

Edited by Christian Markle

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The Lord Jesus is the head of the church; that is indisputable. But, at this time the Lord Jesus is not, "visible." Please note in my post I made careful note that He is not visible at this time and that the pastor of the church is the "visible," head of the local church.

In the qualifications for the pastor we read, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For is a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 1 Timothy 3:4 and 5 The pastor is to rule the local church as a man rules his household.

This does not mean being a dictator or other forms of miss-rule. I fully understand that many pastors are not fit for the office in our day and age but that still does not change the order of the New Testament, local, Independent, Baptist church.

And, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders, pastors, who rule "well," are worthy of double honour. Those pastors who do not rule "well," will be denied the crown and taken care of accordingly at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The pastor is the under-Shepherd of the visible, local, church and is to "rule," the church in the absence of the Chief Shepherd. The pastor is to rule the church as the personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, those pastors who are faithful "rulers," will receive a crown as a reward for doing so. "And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 5:4

Alan

Edited by Alan
spelling

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The Lord Jesus is the head of the church; that is indisputable. But, at this time the Lord Jesus is not, "visible." Please note in my post I made careful note that He is not visible at this time and that the pastor of the church is the "visible," head of the local church.

In the qualifications for the pastor we read, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For is a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 1 Timothy 3:4 and 5 The pastor is to rule the local church as a man rules his household.

This does not mean being a dictator or other forms of miss-rule. I fully understand that many pastors are not fit for the office in our day and age but that still does not change the order of the New Testament, local, Independent, Baptist church.

And, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders, pastors, who rule "well," are worthy of double honour. Those pastors who do not rule "well," will be denied the crown and taken care of accordingly at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The pastor is the under-Shepherd of the visible, local, church and is to "rule," the church in the absence of the Chief Shepherd. The pastor is to rule the church as the personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, those pastors who are faithful "rulers," will receive a crown as a reward for doing so. "And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 5:4

Alan

My point is that the Scriptures never indicate that the pastor is any kind of "head" of the church. This designation is reserved for Christ alone. Certainly there is authority given to the pastor, but he is not a visible head. It appears that you were trying to say that he is the human (visible) authority (head). I may be assuming too much, but this may be neglecting to value the authority vested in the congregation, which is both visible and exactly what Christ seems to emphasize in Matthew 18.

Clearly we have stepped far off the intended study of Titus 3. I am wiling to drop the matter here, or move the discussion to another thread, but we should probably get back to the passage in question, right?

For the glory of His church,

Christian Markle

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Clearly we have stepped far off the intended study of Titus 3. I am wiling to drop the matter here, or move the discussion to another thread, but we should probably get back to the passage in question, right?

For the glory of His church,

Christian Markle

We will heed the admonition of Christian Markle and just discuss the items pertinent in Titus 3:2 We may need to remind ourselves that the passage in question is primarily dealing with controling our tongue and having grace towards others  and not primarily with the position of the pastor.

Alan

 

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Titus 3:3

Our Sinful Nature

     Verse 3

     (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Expected Characteristics of the Saints

In the book of Titus Paul the Apostle wrote to Titus, and to us, the expected characteristics of those saints within the New Testament church.

In Titus 1:5-9 the Apostle Paul gave to Titus the Qualifications and Characteristics of the office of the Pastor and/or Elder or bishop.

In Titus 2: 2 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the aged men.

In Titus 2:3-5 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the aged women.

In Titus 2:6-8 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the young men.

In Titus 2:9 and 10 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the servants.

Characteristics of the Saints before they became Saints

The scriptures plainly teach that man has a sinful nature. Romans 1:17-32 and 3:10-23 give us a true picture of the heart of man. In conclusion Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The Lord Jesus plainly said that the problem of all the filth and evil of mankind comes from the heart. Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Paul says that we, and the entire human race, are sometimes; foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving our sinful pleasures are envious and full of hate.

Foolish

“The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3

Disobedient

The law was written to show how disobedient we are to God, His Righteousness, His holiness, and His commandments. “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [homosexuals and lesbians], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 1 Timothy 1:8-10

Deceived

So far, in the book of Titus Paul the apostle has told Titus 6 times to be sound in doctrine: i.e., 1:9 and 13; 2:1, 2 and 7 and 10. Six times in just two short chapters! Why did Paul warn Titus that sound doctrine is paramount in the church? Because before people are saved and taught the true doctrines of the bible they are deceived in their religious beliefs.

The Mormons are deceived, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are deceived, the Buddhists are deceived, the Catholics are deceived, and various denominations are deceived in numerous religious doctrines.

The Apostle Paul, in Titus 1:10-16, listed, “The Characteristics of Reprobates or False Teachers.” I would suggest that the reader re-reads these characteristics of the reprobates, or false teachers. The false teachers are deceived in their religious beliefs and some of these false doctrines listed are in our independent, fundamental Baptist churches today.

Serving Divers Lusts

For examples of the lusts of the flesh the reader is directed to Galatians 5:19-21 and Romans 1:22-32

The Apostle Paul had already taught the grace of God teaches us to deny the lusts of the flesh; Titus 2:11 and 12 When a saint is living in the lusts of the flesh he has not been taught by Grace.

Serving Divers Pleasures

The pleasures of sin, the flesh, and the world are just for a season. Hebrews 11:25

Living in Malice

The definition of malice is: 1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; spite.

A person living in the lusts of his old nature has malice; the desire to see others suffer and has a spiteful attitude. Because Haman (Esther 3:1-6), had anger and malice in his heart towards Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy, out of spite, the Jews.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31

Envious

Our old nature is envious of the blessings in other people’s lives and can cause a root of bitterness to spring out of our hearts. Because of our envious nature, we covet other people possessions, wealth, fame, and even their mates. Exodus 20:17

Hateful

Our old sinful nature is full of hate. At times, we hate God, we hate our neighbor, we hate our mates, we hate our children, we hate our rulers, we hate the Law of God (the Law is perfect and good), we hate man’s laws, and we hate those who try and do good.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come ... Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” 2 Timothy 3:1 and 3

Hating Others

God is love and loves the whole world and the Lord Jesus loves the world and gave His life for the sins of the whole world: 1 John 4:8-10 While on the Cross of Calvary the Lord Jesus died for all men.

Our old sinful nature not only hates those who we perceive are against us but it hates others out of spite.

Guilty Before God

In the above list Paul clearly shows that all of us before we are saved are sinners guilty before the Holiness and Righteousness of God and deserve to spend eternity in hell. Romans 1:32, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Romans 3:19

Sin is a worldwide problem.

The Chinese race, through the false philosophies of the teachings of Confucius, Buddhism, and Taoism, believe that they are without a sinful nature. They feel that they are without sin and that any bad habits that they may have are through a lack of knowledge. They do not believe that man, at least the Chinese race; does not have a sinful nature. A favorite Chinese saying is, 人自初性本善。 Roughly translated, that means, “The nature of man at the beginning is good.” This goes in direct contradiction with the laws of nature and the word of God. The Confucian philosopher Mencius, (372-289 B.C.), is credited with being the Second Sage, or holy person, after Confucius. Mencius is also credited with the teaching that all men born at their birth are good and that evil is a product of our lack of knowledge.

Even though a number of their philosophers believe that they are without sin, there are some notable exceptions to this rule. Hsun Tzu, (fl. 298-238), was a notable Confucian scholar and a high official in the Chinese kingdom. His background is somewhat obscure do the lack of record keeping at that time. Hsun Tzu took the opposite school of thought of Confucius and Mencius and taught that, “The nature of man is evil: his goodness is acquired.”[1]

Paul now gives Titus an example of why we should have a non-judgmental attitude towards those who do evil. The example? Our own lives before we got saved. Lehman Strauss points out in his commentary, Galatians and Ephesians that, “The old nature, which is present in every believer, is subject to every form of impurity.”[2]

Conclusion

The apostle Paul is using this treatise on the sinfulness of the old nature to show us that we deserve to spend eternity in hell. Paul is also about to express the wonderful kindness and grace of the Lord Jesus in the next section of Titus.

Thank the Lord, once I got saved, the Lord Jesus started to clean up my life; as He does to all those who are saved. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. As Paul is expressing to Titus, the evidence of a man having salvation is his personal testimony. Sinful old habits, such as foolishness, disobedience, serving lusts and pleasures, envying and a hateful attitude are washed away and Christ gives us new characteristics as we walk in Him.

After a person is saved, Christ develops in us a loving attitude, a thankful attitude, and a desire to know the truth, a love for God, the Bible, the church, and the lost who need to get saved. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

 

[1] De Bary, Wm. Theodore. Sources of Chinese Tradition. (Vol. 1. New York: Columbia University Press, 1960) Page 104.

[2] Strauss, Lehman. Galatians and Ephesians. (Neptune, N J: Loizeaux Brothers, 1957) Page 193.

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But why the walk down memory lane? Why is Paul reminding us what we were like before? Certainly we can develop a great gospel message on from vss 3-7. But may i suggest that Paul was not telling Titus to preach this to the lost, but to those that were already saints. Again, why the review of the Gospel? To what end is this line of thinking? If one gets this right, one will have a powerful tool in the sanctification process.

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But why the walk down memory lane? Why is Paul reminding us what we were like before? Certainly we can develop a great gospel message on from vss 3-7. But may i suggest that Paul was not telling Titus to preach this to the lost, but to those that were already saints. Again, why the review of the Gospel? To what end is this line of thinking? If one gets this right, one will have a powerful tool in the sanctification process.

Your comments brought to mind a song I heard growing up:

The things that I love
I hold dear to my heart
They are borrowed and
Not mine at all
Jesus only let me use them
To brighten my life
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could have been
Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Nothing good have I done
To deserve God's own Son
I'm not worthy of the scars
In His hands
Yet he chose the road to Calvary
To die in my stead
Why He loved me I can't understand

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could have been
Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

it is titled, "Remind Me, Dear Lord" by Dottie Rambo

I also think that this ties in to 2 Chronicles 7:14.  That verse has come up a lot lately because the condition of society and the direction it is going is very grievous to many Christians, so their minds are turned to revival.  They want to see a revival and the country turn back to God and these horrible sins squashed down again.  They quote and cling to this verse, and they pray fervent prayers asking for revival, but nothing is happening.  I think it lies in the fact that when they quote that verse they frequently stop after "pray" or even "seek my face" and the phrase "turn from their wicked ways" is the most important!  Christians are ignoring sin in their own lives, because they don't recognize it as sin.  They are using the world as a standard, and that makes them look pretty good.  But if we truly humble ourselves (examine our innermost man) and pray (repent) and seek God's face (use his standard and not the world's, get to know who he truly is -- this will reveal in our lives what is hindering revival) and TURN from our wicked ways (put them away from us, a complete change to come in line with God) only then can we have revival.  Reminding the Christians of who they were before Christ and where they would be now but for the grace of God would be a big step in that direction.

Edited by trapperhoney

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Your comments brought to mind a song I heard growing up:

The things that I love
I hold dear to my heart
They are borrowed and
Not mine at all
Jesus only let me use them
To brighten my life
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could have been
Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Nothing good have I done
To deserve God's own Son
I'm not worthy of the scars
In His hands
Yet he chose the road to Calvary
To die in my stead
Why He loved me I can't understand

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could have been
Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

it is titled, "Remind Me, Dear Lord" by Dottie Rambo

I also think that this ties in to 2 Chronicles 7:14.  That verse has come up a lot lately because the condition of society and the direction it is going is very grievous to many Christians, so their minds are turned to revival.  They want to see a revival and the country turn back to God and these horrible sins squashed down again.  They quote and cling to this verse, and they pray fervent prayers asking for revival, but nothing is happening.  I think it lies in the fact that when they quote that verse they frequently stop after "pray" or even "seek my face" and the phrase "turn from their wicked ways" is the most important!  Christians are ignoring sin in their own lives, because they don't recognize it as sin.  They are using the world as a standard, and that makes them look pretty good.  But if we truly humble ourselves (examine our innermost man) and pray (repent) and seek God's face (use his standard and not the world's, get to know who he truly is -- this will reveal in our lives what is hindering revival) and TURN from our wicked ways (put them away from us, a complete change to come in line with God) only then can we have revival.  Reminding the Christians of who they were before Christ and where they would be now but for the grace of God would be a big step in that direction.

One of my favorite Dottie Rambo songs.

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Christian Markle,

Thank you for your post. We do need to go down, "memory lane," and remind ourselves of the wonderful salvation the Lord Jesus freely gave us and the change that He wrought in our lives.

King David said, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2

Trapperhoney and Standing Firm in Christ,

Thank you for the lyrics of the song by Dottie Rambo, "Remind Me, Dear Lord."

I do hope the brethren enjoy the song, "Remind Me, Dear Lord."

May God bless you all as we study the riches of the Grace of God in the book of Titus.

Alan

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Titus 3:4-7

The Kindness and Love of God

     Verse 4-7

     (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

   (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

     (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

     (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Our righteousness, in the sight of God, as Paul clearly showed in Titus 3:3, is filthy and God will not allow our filthy righteousness to enter heaven. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6. We deserve to spend eternity in hell because we have sinned against a holy and righteous God. “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a. “...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b.

Because God is love, 1 John 4:8, He provided a way to pay the penalty for our sins and impute His righteousness into us in order for us to escape the damnation of hell and dwell with Him in heaven for eternity. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

God is truly kind and loving to us. Because of His mercy and grace, God became our Saviour! God did something to prove His love for mankind. He left the glories of heaven, became a man, the man Christ Jesus, and died for us on the cross of Calvary! My friend, that is sincere love.

It is hard to comprehend this kind of love due to the fact that so often we only love those who love us or who are in our immediate family or circle of friends. God loved us while we were sinners, unlovely, ungrateful, and seeking our own will. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. Brethren, please study Romans chapter 5 more carefully to know more about the love of God. The Lord Jesus died for all of the sinners of mankind throughout the ages.

When the Lord Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary He died for all mankind. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” 1 John 4:14 The doctrine of the Limited Atonement taught by the Calvinists is not sound doctrine and is heretical.

Our salvation from an eternity in hell is provided completely by the mercy and grace of God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is absolutely nothing we can do in order to merit, gain, or work for our salvation.

King David and Mephiboseth

An illustration of the kindness of God is given in the Old Testament story of King David and Mephiboseth in 2 Samuel 9:1-13 and 2 Samuel 21:14. King David, placed upon the throne of Israel by the direct will of God, had the power and authority to put his enemies to death. This included the descendants of King Saul. Because of the iniquity and rebellion of King Saul, the land of Israel was under the hand of judgment of God. But, because of the kindness of King David, 2 Samuel 9:1, he saved Mephiboseth from a life of poverty. Also, he spared Mephiboseth from death, 2 Samuel 21:7.

"Which he shed on us abundantly"

Because of the kindness and grace of God, He saves us and abundantly blesses our physical and spiritual lives through His Son, the Lord Jesus. Brethren, how can we ever even come close to repaying Him? We ought to serve Christ out of a heart of love and gratitude for what He has done for us. “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”. Romans 12:1

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Justification

“That being justified by his grace...” Once a person trusts in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, then that person is justified in the sight of God. Our own works cannot save us nor can it justify us in the sight of God. Only the grace of the Lord Jesus can justify us. Please study Romans chapter 3:20-31 and chapter 4 to understand more fully how God imputes His righteousness onto us and then declares us justified.

Once a person is saved, and justified, then that person is an heir of eternal life in heaven. Our salvation is eternal and starts the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. We are kept secure by the sealing of the Holy Spirit from the moment we get saved.

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Titus 1:2. What greater hope could God give us, eternal life in Heaven! Paul said it best in Ephesians 1:13 and 14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest [deposit] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

God saves us by His grace and keeps us saved by His grace. Praise the Lord! I am so happy that I cannot lose my salvation in any way due to the fact that it is God, through the sealing of the Holy Spirit that keeps my salvation. Truly the grace of God is wonderful and beyond all of our comprehension in our present life. But, I am very joyful in the fact that once we are in the presence of God in heaven, He will give us a better comprehension of His marvelous grace.

 

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The love and kindness of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary for the eternal salvation of our souls is wonderful and marvelous. If anyone has a testimony concerning these verses being a blessing to your heart I am sure we would all appreciate you sharing it.

 

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Thought: How we treat our most stubborn enemy is a commentary on how well we understand how God has treated us. Sadly, I am still learning to put into practice what I say I believe about the Amazing salvation I have so undeservingly received.

ChristanMarkle,

Thank you very much for your thoughts and testimony.

Living a live with grace towards others is why the Lord Jesus said, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:45 God uses the natural world to bless His most stubborn enemies.

One of the aspects of the teaching of grace of God in our lives, (see Titus 2:11 and 12), is to treat our enemies who wrongly persecute us with grace. The Lord Jesus, "Grace Exemplified,' said also in the Sermon on the Mount concerning how to treat our enemies, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:11 and 12

And, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39 Brethren, if a person physically harms us for the a testimony that we give for the cause of Christ we need to turn the other cheek and let him do it again.

The Sermon on the Mount was given to us to teach us to have grace in our hearts towards others.  As you pointed out admirably, all of us are learning how to live a life of the grace of salvation: which we undeservingly received.

Alan

 

Edited by Alan
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King David and Mephiboseth

An illustration of the kindness of God is given in the Old Testament story of King David and Mephiboseth in 2 Samuel 9:1-13 and 2 Samuel 21:14. King David, placed upon the throne of Israel by the direct will of God, had the power and authority to put his enemies to death. This included the descendants of King Saul. Because of the iniquity and rebellion of King Saul, the land of Israel was under the hand of judgment of God. But, because of the kindness of King David, 2 Samuel 9:1, he saved Mephiboseth from a life of poverty. Also, he spared Mephiboseth from death, 2 Samuel 21:7.

2Sa 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

The kindness given to Mephiboseth by David was because of his love for Jonathan, not simply because of any innate kindness of David.  The love David had for Jonathan flowed over to encompass any family Jonathan had left.  I am sure there is a deeper spiritual application for that truth, because in a way we are similar to Mephiboseth in that grace and mercy is extended to us due to the love God has for his Son who died for us....

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2Sa 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

The kindness given to Mephiboseth by David was because of his love for Jonathan, not simply because of any innate kindness of David.  The love David had for Jonathan flowed over to encompass any family Jonathan had left.  I am sure there is a deeper spiritual application for that truth, because in a way we are similar to Mephiboseth in that grace and mercy is extended to us due to the love God has for his Son who died for us....

Trapperhoney,

If you would like to develop this theme concerning David shewing kindness to Mephiboseth due to Jonathan's sake, and include it in this study, I believe it would be appropiate and be a special blessing to all of us.

I also believe that the story of Jonathan, Mephiboseth, and David, as King, is a living story of the grace, kindness, and love of the Lord Jesus, our unworthiness of His blessings and His wonderful grace not only as our Saviour, but as our King. As you mentioned, there are deep spiritual blessings in this story for all of us that can be further untapped.

I will delay the next lesson for awhile to see if you would like to develop it further.

Brethren,

The Kindness and Love of God is a familiar theme in both the Old and New Testaments. Besides the story of King David, Mephiboseth, and the relationship with Jonathan, if there are other examples anyone would like to bring out, or if you would like to further expound on Trapperhoney's thoughts, feel free to bring it for discussion.

Alan

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