Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Living As Positive People in a Negative Word: 2 How We Live

Living As Positive People in a Negative Word:

2 How We Live

Text: Titus 2:12

Introduction:  Almost as Good a Life as your dog
Consider this...

If you can start the day without caffeine, If you can get going without pep pills, If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, though no fault of yours, something goes wrong, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can ignore a friends limited education and never correct him/her, If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend, If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, or politics, Then, my friend, You are may live a life ALMOST as good as your dog.

Today I want to talk about living the positive Christian life we find it described in Titus 2:12

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Review verse 11
Grace: From the Greek word charis khar’-ece; It means God’s undeserved, unearned favor and love
Salvation that is ours through the gift of God’s love through his Son, Jesus Christ. Who had appeared on the earth born as a baby, lived as a sinless man, died as our redeemer, and rose from the grave as our savior.
And in Titus 2:11 we were challenged to show that grace to all men through our own lives.

Now we come to verse 12 of Titus 2 and the subject of positive living continues.


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

The One Teacher, Grace

This verse continues the subject from verse 11 which is grace. Grace is our teacher. The word teacher in the Greek is παιδευουσα / paideuo (pahee-dyoo’-o)
The word was used for two types of instruction, gently teaching a child and not so gently chastisement.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

2 Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

Paul tells us that grace teaches us but exactly how does grace teach us? Sometimes the undeserved love of God , is as a father instructing his child with tenderness and loving words. Sometimes still as a father, still in love, punishes a child to direct us back to Him. Whether positive or negative it’s still of God’s grace and still because He loves us.

Becoming a willing student of God’s grace.

The real question is not how grace teaches so much as it is, “Am I willing to learn from grace?”
Willing to listen when He speaks from His word the words of love or willing to accept the chastisement because I know he does it from a heart of love.
Willing to learn from God in both the difficulties and the victories of life? The joy and the sorrow, the light and the dark, the blessings and the defeats that come with following Him.

 Hebrews 12:5-6, 11-12 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. …  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Illustration: “When I Consider How My Life is Spent” by John Milton

John Milton was the writer of Paradise Lost, the longest poem in the English language. It is about the rebellion of Satan and first sin in the Garden of Eden. He finished the book after he was impoverished and blind by quoting it to his daughters, who wrote it down.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my day, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide.
"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask; but patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, They serve him best; his state
Is Kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."

Transition: First we must know that grace teaches us and next we see the lessons that grace will teach.


Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

The Double Denial

The first lesson that grace will teach us is a lesson about denying two things in our life, ungodliness and worldly lusts.

Denying ungodliness
Ungodliness means lack of reverence toward God.
It means not acknowledging God as the creator and sustainer of all
It means overlooking God in the blessings of life
It means not thinking of God in the decisions of life.
That is ungodliness, simply leaving God out of my life.
Along with denying ungodliness we are to deny worldly lusts.

Denying worldly lusts
Worldly lusts are the desires of this world and the things it offers us.
It is dressing, talking, acting, planning, scheming and working as if this world were all we had and  there was no eternity. It is placing a priority of today and discounting tomorrow, it is loving this world more than the world to come.

Paul says “Grace teaches us to deny these things. Shut them down in our own lives.
I think of it in the same way doctors kill a tumor in the body by shutting off the supply of blood to the tumor. Without new blood, it simply withers and dies.
In the same way through God’s grace we are to deny our time, attention, money or thoughts to these things and they will wither away.

Living in denial in a positive way.

Living in denial is usually a negative term it means not willing to confront reality but in Titus 2 it’s a positive thing.
As positive Christian we live in the right kind of denial. We deny the ungodly attitudes that remove God from our life and we deny the worldly lusts that removes eternity from our life.

This kind of living makes Christianity count in a world where too many times we don’t make much of a difference. Lets face it Christianity today is weak and irrelevant. It has lost its power and its ability to change the world because the two things we should have learned from grace, denying ungodliness and worldliness, have not been learned.

Quote: Peter Marshall, was the chaplain for the US Senate in the 1940s, describes 20th century Christians in these words: "They are like deep-sea divers encased in suits designed for many fathoms deep, marching bravely forth to pull plugs out of bathtubs."

Scripture: Romans 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
When that is true then Christianity counts in this world, and when enough Christians count in this world then the world will be changed.


Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

The Triple Way

Grace teaches us first to deny that which would be detrimental to our life as children of God, but the lesson does not stop there. Next grace teaches us how to live and the lesson is in three parts. Living soberly, righteously and godly.

Is to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)
That’s what we are supposed to be doing, living.
Just get that definition down and you’ve got more out of this sermon then most ever get. Live! Christians are supposed to live!
Paul tells us then how we are to live.

Living Soberly
Sophronos / so-fron’-oce: with sound mind, self-controlled, temperately, discreetly
This is the word Paul uses most often when describing the ideal Christian life.  Live it in self-control, in balance, not in the extremes but in moderation.

Titus 2:1-6 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 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, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
Next our living is to be righteously
Righteously simply means doing what is right.
Along with soberly and righteously we are to be living godly.
Which means living with God always in the forefront of your thoughts, decisions and actions.
To live in the way God would have you to live.

Are you living the PCW (Positive Christian Way?)

Are you under the teaching of Grace, living the triple? Sober, right and godly.
Soberly, Just means under control.
It means positive living with your self.
Are your sins confessed and your weaknesses under the cross?
Are you giving yourself to God and letting his Spirit control your body, soul and mind?
Living soberly is the cornerstone of being a disciple of Christ.
Righteous, simply right living.This is positive living with others.

Do you treat others according to the standard Jesus set?
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Paul said it this way in Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

This is positive living with God.

How long since you’ve really spent time with Him?  How long since He made a difference in your life?  In other words, how are you and God getting along? It is a question each of us should ask every day. Where is God in my life today and how do I know that to be true?
What grace teaches us, in the end, can be summed up by just saying, Be what you are, be what grace has made you, be a Christian. That truly would be powerful.

Illustration: AW Tozer on Christians

A real Christian is an odd number, anyway. He feels supreme love for One who he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge. - A.W. Tozer

Conclusion: In This Present World

Paul’s Conclusion

Paul says we are to live this life now, “in this present world.” 
It starts right here it begins this moment, or it probably never will begin. This moment, this day, this present time and how you live it, is of vital importance. The past is gone and the future is waiting. What we do now in this present time is what is of vital importance.

Illustration: Tom Young cheers me up.

In a hundred years nobody’s going to remember you let that guy get a touchdown.” It made me think of something else though.  In a hundred years what will people remember?  What difference will I have made in this world? If I’m living the way Paul says soberly, righteously and godly, then it is eternity that will remember.

In a hundred years most of the things you are giving your life’s blood for will not even exist or matter.  But the acts of a life lived in positive relationship with yourself, your fellow man and your God will go on forever.  So, how are you living your life? How are you learning and showing the lessons of Grace this morning?

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