Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Holy Spirit - Session 1


...he saw the Spirit of God coming down
on him as a dove
The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is doing a study of The Holy Spirit.  The study will look at who the Holy Spirit is, His role in the Trinity, His interaction with man, His role in and after man's salvation.  This is an intense study of the Holy Spirit in scripture.  We are using the bible as our primary reference resource.   These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments  below. We welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, and prayers.

Introduction


Remember as we finished Titus last week we said that the point that Paul was driving home to both him and Timothy was that believers should show their salvation through good works.  The ability to


perform those good works,  is given by the Holy Spirit and evidenced in the way a person lives..  
The way we live should show the result of Christ’s work in us—just like fruit shows what kind of tree it is and how healthy it is.   

In his prayer for the Ephesians Paul prayed that the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself in their lives and personality
Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)16  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.17  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.18  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.19  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. "
This is something that I found on the bible.org website
You might as well try to hear without ears or breathe without lungs, as try to live a Christian life without the Spirit of God in your heart. ― D. L. Moody


Someone once articulated that the average church member’s understanding of the Holy Spirit is so vague it is nearly non-existent. Imagine a conversation with a Jehovah witness (JW); it might go something like this. JW: The word Trinity never appears in the Bible and is a myth. Christian: While you are correct that the word Trinity itself never occurs in the Bible the Bible teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate persons but one God. JW: The Holy Spirit is merely God’s “active force”1kind of like electricity but not a separate person. Christian: Really! I am not sure; that doesn’t sound right. I will have to get back to you on that.


Let's start with a few basic questions


Who is the Holy Spirit?
What is the biblical evidence for the personhood of the Spirit?
What did the Holy Spirit do in regard to creation and revelation?
What is the Holy Spirit’s role in a person’s conversion and sanctification? What about spiritual gifts?   


We are going to explore these things and probably much more during this series.  I have no idea of how long this study will last.    It will be completely up to the Holy Spirit.  When He says that’s enough we’ll end it.

Who is the Holy Spirit?



Most Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is not a vague, ethereal shadow, nor an impersonal force. He is a person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. He is considered to be the third member of the Godhead or the Trinity.


Now there has been a great deal of discussion about the Trinity.  
  • What is it?  
  • Is there really a Trinity?  
  • Is it three separate persons?  
  • Is it one person with a split personality?  

Some religions or religious groups, even some that say they are Christian,  don’t believe in the trinity.  Some examples are Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Christian Science, Jehovah' Witnesses,  and there are others.    They will say, and they are correct, that the word Trinity is not in the bible, but the truth of the Trinity is there.  


The Trinity is not the subject of this study series, so we are not going to get into the doctrine of the Trinity, but we do have to talk about it  because it’s important in knowing who the Holy Spirit is and His role.


We say that the Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


1. God the Father—Jesus Christ referred to His Father as God


John 6:27 (NLT)27  But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”


2. God the Son—Jesus is identified as being divine


John 1:1 (NLT)1  In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.


While Christ never specifically called Himself "God," His Father did apply the title to Him


Hebrews 1:8 (NLT)8  But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.  


Jesus acknowledged having unlimited power—an attribute possessed only by the divine Creator


Matthew 28:18 (NLT)18  Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.


He also accepted worship


John 9:35-38 (NKJV)35  Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"36  He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"37  And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."38  Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.


3. God the Holy Spirit—After declaring that God raised Christ from the dead, the New Testament goes on to credit the Holy Spirit with the resurrection


Romans 8:11 (NLT)11  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.


Jesus reinforced that idea when He commanded the disciples to baptize new believers in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  -


Matthew 28:19 (NLT)19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit’s role as a member of the Trinity



The Father, Son, and Spirit are equal in their divine attributes. Yet each relates to mankind in a different way because He has a specific role. It's very important to understand this distinction: We do not have three gods; we have one God in three persons functioning uniquely and perfectly.

The way of redemption showcases these roles in a clear manner.


The Father designed and organized how mankind would be redeemed


Galatians 4:4-5 (NLT)4  But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.5  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.


He set into motion a complex set of events, actions, and prophecies which culminated in the life and death of a Savior.


The Son carried out the plan


John 6:37-38 (NLT)37  However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.38  For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.


He followed the Father's instructions to come to earth, even though that meant He would have to die.


The Holy Spirit sees to it that every person feels a call toward God's saving grace


John 14:26 (NLT)26  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.


John 16:5-8 (NLT)5  “But now I am going away to the One who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going.6  Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you.7  But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.8  And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. (Emphasis mine)


Furthermore, He transforms the lives and hearts of those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ.


What is the biblical evidence that The Holy Spirit is a person?



First, the Holy Spirit is a Person. He is not a mystic “power” or “thing.” or an “it” as if the Spirit is a thing or force that we can control or use.
John 14:17 (BBE)17  Even the Spirit of true knowledge. That Spirit the world is not able to take to its heart because it sees him not and has no knowledge of him: but you have knowledge of him, because he is ever with you and will be in you.
This means that we are in a relationship with the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is a Person who has personal relationships with not only believers, but also with the Father and the Son. We see the Spirit working in conjunction with the Father and the Son throughout the Scriptures.
The Holy Spirit has attributes that only a person could have. He has intelligence, feelings, a will, He prays, He does miracles (humans can’t do this),  He can be lied to, He can be insulted, He teaches and He directs.  


He has intelligence


1 Corinthians 2:6-13 (NLT)6  Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.7  No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.8  But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.9  That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”10  But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.11  No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.12  And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.13  When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.  


This wisdom Paul is talking about is wisdom taught by the Holy Spirit, who is the perfect Teacher.   

He has feelings


Ephesians 4:30-32 (HCSB)30  And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.31  All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.32  And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.


We can hurt the Holy Spirit’s feeling, or grieve Him.  How?  Through dependency on self, pride, selfishness, distrust, worry, fear, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred and similar self-centered, negative actions.  


Although the Holy Spirit can be grieved he will never leave you because He is our seal, our guarantee.


Ephesians 1:13-14 (NLT)13  And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.14  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

He has  a will


1 Corinthians 12:11 (HCSB)11  But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.


Here Paul is talking about the spiritual gifts given to all who believe.  


The Spirit gives the gifts whoever he decides to give them to so He has a will.  The words “as He wills”  indicates that He alone decides and that they are not the result of anybody deserving any gift.


Here is another example of the will of the Holy Spirit


Acts 16:6-10 (HCSB)6  They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia and were prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in Asia.7  When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.8  So, bypassing Mysia, they came down to Troas.9  During the night a vision appeared to Paul: A Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, “Cross over to Macedonia and help us!”10  After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them.  


It was not His will for Paul and the group traveling with him to go to Asia, they tried to go to a place called Bithynia but they were prevented from going there too.  Then Paul got a vision that directed him to Macedonia and specifically Philippi where some people think he may have met Timothy and his mother and grandmother.


He prays  


Romans 8:26 (HCSB)26  In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.


Likewise, the Spirit helps our weakness. The weakness referred to is our inability to analyze situations and pray intelligently about them. Sometimes we cannot pray because words cannot express the needs we feel. The Spirit's response of sighs too deep for words shows how God through his Spirit enters into our experiences.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

He does miracles (remember humans can’t do this)  


Acts 8:39 (HCSB)39  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer. But he went on his way rejoicing.


He can be lied to


Acts 5:3-4 (HCSB)3  Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field?4  Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!”


I want you to notice two thing in these verses. The first is that the Holy Spirit is lied to. This means that the Holy Spirit is personal. You cannot lie to a table or to electricity because it is not a person. The second aspect is that lying to the Holy Spirit is equated with lying to God. This means that the Holy Spirit is God.


We are not told how Peter recognized this deception; it was probably by divine illumination. Peter charged Ananias not with deceiving him but with attempting to deceive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is obviously a person, and verse 4 shows that the Holy Spirit is also God.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.


He can be insulted


Hebrews 10:26-29 (HCSB)26  For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,27  but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.28  If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29  How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?  


Deliberate sin is a rejection of the sacrifice of Jesus and to be honest a believer can’t be guilty of this because remember if your salvation was authentic then it is permanent.  Deliberate sin The threefold charge follows: (1) contempt for Christ in the thought of trampling under foot; (2) rejecting the blood-bought covenant as worthless and unholy; (3) despising the person and work of the Holy Spirit. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.


Next week we'll continue or study of the attributes of the Holy Spirit that prove from the Scriptures that He is a person and we are going to look at all the names for the Holy Spirit in scripture.



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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Paul's Letter to Titus - Session 3 - Doing What's Good

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistle (Letter) to his "true son", Titus. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers

Introduction

Paul makes it clear in this part of his letter to Titus, what we know as  chapter 3,  that a major result of the gospel and Christian doctrine is that believers should demonstrate good works. In our very first session in chapter 1 we said that you could recognize that a person truly knows God by their actions or works. Not works leading to salvation but works because of salvation.

Titus 1:16 (HCSB) They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

Paul was writing to Titus about false teachers and those who were following them. If you can recognize these folk by their works or actions then the opposite would be true as well. Those who know God will be known by their works also. In their case it would be good works. Works done in love.

Here’s something that Jesus said;

Matthew 7:15-20 (HCSB)15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says; The grace of God is the root; the good works are the fruit.

We finished our study last week talking about grace, and Pastor’s bible study on Tuesday was on grace.

Titus 2:11-14 (HCSB)11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people,12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

All God's promises and saving work from the beginning of have revealed his grace; starting with Him killing an animal and clothing Adam and Eve after they had sinned and reaching it’s highest point, although not the end of His grace, with salvation through Jesus for the remission of all of our sins and redeeming us. All His blessings and gifts have been designed to lead men to repentance

Grace not only saves, but also teaches and trains us. God's grace teaches us to refuse to sin and live in obedience.

Titus 3: 1-15


1.  How does God want us to respond to authority?


Titus 3:1 (HCSB) Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,

Christians need to be good citizens and obey the government. (However, Christians should never do something that is against God's laws.)

Romans 13:1-4 (HCSB)1 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval.4 For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.

All authority comes from God to protect citizens. When rulers of a country make good laws then that country will be a safe and a peaceful place.

Paul also wrote Timothy about praying for those in authority

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (HCSB)1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior,

We are to pray for everyone but specifically for those in authority so that we (the church, believers) can live a quiet life and worship in peace and safety. We are blessed that we can do it here but there are many places where the government doesn't or can't provide peace and safety for Christians or others to worship in peace and safety.

At the time, that Paul wrote his letters highest government official  would have been for the emperor in Rome he would have other Roman rulers supporting him. Christians should pray for all those who govern them. They should pray for them, whether they are good or bad. What the government leaders  do and say will affect the lives of all the people. The purpose in praying for them is that they will govern well. The prayer is that all that they do will be for the good of the people. The Christians should pray that the government will enable us to live and worship in peace.

2.  In addition to having respect for those in authority how are Christians to treat everybody?)

Titus 3:2 (HCSB) to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people.

Christians should show love and kindness to everybody because that is what the gospel is all about. Our example is Christ. God is love. Christians can have opinions, we don't have to agree with everyone but  our disagreements shouldn’t end in anger or fighting. .

1 Peter 2:21-23 (HCSB)21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth;23 when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.

It was important that Titus remind them that now that they had received God's grace they need to remember what they were like before they were saved. We would be smart to remember too.

3.  What were we like before we are saved?

Titus 3:3 (HCSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

We must not forget what we were like before we were saved and that’s why we should have compassion for those who are not.

4.  What saved us from our foolishness?

Titus 3:4 (HCSB) But when the goodness of God and His love for mankind appeared,

Grace and love appeared in the form of His Son Jesus Christ. Mankind was pitiful before and was lost in sin with no way out. Let’s go back to what we read last week.

Titus 2:11-14 (HCSB)11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people,12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

5.  Why does God save people?



For doing good works.

6.  What role does the Holy Spirit play in a person’s salvation?


Titus 3:5-6 (HCSB)5 He saved us— not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.6 He poured out this ⌊Spirit⌋ on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Salvation is a gift of God's grace. Not because of anything we have done,even those good things we did. He saved us according to His mercy and grace. Once saved the Holy Spirit renews us and gives us the power to please God.

7.  What is the result of being justified?

Titus 3:7 (HCSB) so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Romans 8:16-17 (HCSB)16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children,17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

It was God’s purpose that by his grace he should save and justify us. When Jesus Christ died, that paved the way for God to forgive all our sin. When were were saved He justified us and made us righteous, or in right standing with Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (HCSB)17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So now that we have been justified and have become a new creature and renewed we have the power through the Holy Spirit to enjoy a new quality of life. And when we die, our spirit will be with the Lord.

8.  What did Paul tell Titus to stress? Why?

Titus 3:8 (HCSB)8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.

The trustworthy saying was what he just said about the believer being saved by God’s grace and as a result of that the believer has had the Holy Spirit poured out on them justifying them and making them joint heirs with Christ. He told Titus to insist on those things, to stress them, repeat these things over and over and it's good for us to be reminded over and over about the same things.  Then we will be pron to do the good works that God saved us for which will in turn be examples for others.

9.  Why is it important to avoid controversies and arguments?


Titus 3:9 (HCSB) But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

We could go back to our study of Timothy to answer that question.

2 Timothy 2:14 (HCSB) Remind them of these things, charging them before God not to fight about words; this is in no way profitable and leads to the ruin of the hearers.

Don't quibble over words but seek the truth. Quarreling affects both those who quarrel and those who listen to them. It wears people out and causes people to question their faith.  It's a waste of time to argue over unimportant things because you are probably not going to be able to get them to change their minds anyway.

10.  A person who argues all the time can be very divisive. How does Paul say we should treat this kind of person?

Titus 3:10-11 (HCSB)10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning,11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.

When a person keeps arguing, they can cause trouble. They are proud and won't listen to other people. A person who is like that can confuse new Christians. And he can divide a group of Christians. Paul says to warn them once or twice. In warning him he was to correct the person by showing them where they were wrong. That would give them a chance to change. If the man continued to cause trouble, he would become a false teacher. Titus and the Christians had to avoid him.

Paul said something similar to Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (HCSB)
1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days.2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good,4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

11.  Why is it important for Christians to do what is good?

Titus 3:12-15 (HCSB)12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me in Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.13 Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey, so that they will lack nothing.14 And our people must also learn to devote themselves to good works for cases of urgent need, so that they will not be unfruitful.15 All those who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with all of you.

After a few personal notes, Paul gives the final reiteration of the main burden of his letter—that the believers should be careful to maintain good works. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Next Week we are going to start a study of the Holy Spirit, His position and role in the Trinity, His relationship with the believer, evidence of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, etc.  I don't know how long the study is last other than it will last as long as the Lord has something for us to lean on this topic.  So pray for me that I will allow the Holy Spirit the guide me as I study and prepare for you. 


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Paul's Letter to Titus - Session 2 - What Must Be Taught to Various Groups (Qualities of a Sound Church)

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistle (Letter) to his "true son", Titus. These posts are my notes for each session. Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments in the comments below. We welcome your thoughts and prayers

In bible study Tuesday I taught that when you receive salvation God makes you a new creature that is has been and continues to be renewed (see "YOU ARE A NEW CREATION YOU HAVE BEEN RENEWED" click this LINK). One of the other things that happens is that we become Christ's brothers, that includes male and female, and as such joint hers with him. What does that mean well listen to what Charles Spurgeon said.

Romans 8:17

Joint heirs with Christ.

The boundless realms of His Father's universe are Christ's by prescriptive right. As "heir of all things," He is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and He has admitted us to claim the whole as ours, by virtue of that deed of joint-heir-ship which the Lord hath ratified with His chosen people. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable glory, are, by our blessed Lord, made over to us for our everlasting possession. All that He has He shares with His people. The crown royal He has placed upon the head of His Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned Himself that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not sit upon His own throne until He had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head and the whole body shares the honour. Behold here the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ's throne, crown, sceptre, palace, treasure, robes, heritage, are yours. Far superior to the jealousy, selfishness, and greed, which admit of no participation of their advantages, Christ deems His happiness completed by His people sharing it. "The glory which thou gavest me have I given them." "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." The smiles of His Father are all the sweeter to Him, because His people share them. The honours of His kingdom are more pleasing, because His people appear with Him in glory. More valuable to Him are His conquests, since they have taught His people to overcome. He delights in His throne, because on it there is a place for them. He rejoices in His royal robes, since over them His skirts are spread. He delights the more in His joy, because He calls them to enter into it.


Review


Last week we started our study of Titus with Paul reminding him of why he left him on the island of Crete.

Titus 1:5 (HCSB) The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town:

Titus had to put everything in order. He had to organise the church properly. His first job was to appoint elders in all the churches. in this letter, Paul told Titus what qualities elders and leaders should have.

Titus 1:6-9 (HCSB)6 one who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. 7 For an overseer, as God’s administrator, must be blameless, not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled,9 holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.

He should silence the false teachers and others who were rebelling against the doctrine that he and the other apostles taught.

Titus 1:10-13 (HCSB)10 For there are also many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from Judaism 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly.12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith

Titus 1:16 (HCSB)They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

Today's Study What Must Be Taught to Various Groups (Qualities of a Sound Church) 


This week we will get into what Paul says about what must be taught in order to have a sound church.

Titus 2:1-15

1.  What's the theme of this chapter?

Titus 2:1 (HCSB) But you must say the things that are consistent with sound teaching.

The theme of this chapter is "Teach Sound Doctrine". The false teachers on Crete were teaching the  wrong things. We talked about that last week.

Titus 1:10-13 (HCSB)10 For there are also many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from Judaism 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly.12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith

Titus 1:16 (HCSB) They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

2.  How can older and younger Christians help each other?


Titus 2:2 (HCSB) Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance.

Younger people often copy older people; so older people should be good models.

  • Older men should be mature. They should not behave in a foolish way. Here's how the older can be good models. 
  • They should not drink too much wine because then they cannot think clearly.
  • They must be men who other people can respect. 
  • They should be serious and they should not be silly. 
  • They should be sensible. They should think about the results of their behavior and actiopns. 
  • They must trust God completely as they believe the true gospel message.
  • As they trust God, they will love him more. Then they will be able to love other people more. Then they can give more sympathy to those people who need help. Some old people tend to complain about people more. But this should not happen to Christians.
  • They should be patient. 
  • They should have courage when life is difficult.
It is also possible for young people with these characteristics to teach and be models for older folk. My mother always tells me that I have taught her a lot which has helped her in her knowledge of the bible and the Holy Spirit. When she has a question about a spiritual issue she always asks me. The same thing is true about nonspiritual issues.

3.  What must older women be taught? Why?

Titus 2:3-5(HCSB)3 In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. ⌊They are⌋ to teach what is good,4 so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children,5 to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.

They must be taught that they need to be mature so that they can counsel the young women. They  should be;

  • Reverent
  • Not drink to excess
  • Sound in faith. So they needed to know the truth about the gospel, not the stuff the false teachers were saying
  • Loving to one another 
  • Patient in dealing with one another 
These are much like the things characteristics the model older men.

4.  What specifically does Paul say that younger women should be taught?

Titus 2:4-5 (HCSB)4 so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children,5 to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.

You’ll notice that Paul didn't tell Titus to teach the young women how to act but he told him to tell the older women that it was their job to teach them. Why? Because the older women should have
more experience and should have wisdom.  They would also be better able to connect with the younger woman than with Titus or one of the other men.

In that society, most of the young women were married. Some were widows. But Paul suggested that the widows should marry again. Remember that from our study in Timothy?

1 Timothy 5:11-15 (HCSB)11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry12 and will therefore receive condemnation because they have renounced their original pledge.13 At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn't say.14 Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan.

When Paul wrote, most of the women had no education and no jobs. They were supposed to marry, have children and keep the home. When the husband died and the children had left home, they did not have much to do. There was the danger that these women would be lazy. Worse still, they might waste their time and that of other women. They would go from house to house. They would spend their time talking to each other. They would gossip about other people. And they would talk about things that they should not talk about. They would get involved in affairs that had nothing to do with them.

The older women should teach the younger women:


  • To control themselves. 
  • They should be pure, morally good.
  • In those days, a married woman worked in her home. She was responsible for everything that happened in her home. Therefore, she should be willing to work hard for her family.
  • They should be kind and not selfish. 
  • They should respect their husband. 
Ephesians 5:22-28 (HCSB) 22  Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23  for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.
24  Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.
25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26  to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27  He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.
28  In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Women must live in these ways so that no one can say evil things about the Christian message. For example if they had a husband that was not a Christian their husband might believe because of the life of his wife including the respect that she had for him and the way she worked for her family

1 Peter 3:1-2 (HCSB)1 In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the ⌊Christian⌋ message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live 2 when they observe your pure, reverent lives.

It could also mean that the relationship that Christian husbands and wives have would attract other people.

5.  Why is it important for Christians to live blameless lives?

Titus 2:5 (HCSB)……. so that God’s message will not be slandered.


So that the word of God could not be slandered. 

To slander is to make false statements damaging to a person's reputation.

6.  What advice did Paul give to younger men?


Titus 2:6-8 (HCSB)
6 In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled7 in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.8 Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.

Paul used the strong word encourage or urge when telling Titus to teach and to persuade the young men. Young people, especially young men, are often tempted to do silly and sometimes wrong things. They may over confident because they do not have enough experience or wisdom. If they are not yet married, they are interested in only pleasing themselves. If they have a wife and family, they may not
realize their responsibilities. I can say all these things about young men because I was once one of them.

 Just like with the young women it is very important that young Christian men should control themselves properly so unbelievers can't say scandalous  things about Christians.

7.  Who did Paul say should set an example for others? How?

Titus 2:7 (HCSB)........ Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

Paul told Titus that he should set the example. He was the leader. We as leaders are to set the example also.

Paul told Titus to be a good role model just like he told Timothy and as we should be.

1 Timothy 4:12 (HCSB) Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

He had to teach the truth and his actions should exhibit the love that he taught.   This would be the exact opposite of the way that the false teachers and unbelievers, the opponents, taught and acted.

8.  What was the response Paul hope for in Titus being a good role model? This also holds true for us as we are role models for the young and the unbeliever

Titus 2:8 (HCSB) Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.

Titus had to be careful about everything that he said in public or private conversation. People watched Titus and they listened to him. They were ready to accuse him. But Titus could show that they were wrong. If he lived in the right way, he would be innocent. They might still oppose him. But they would have to respect him because of his behavior People would see that he was different from the false teachers. As a result, some of them would believe the good news about Jesus.

9.  How did Paul instruct slaves? Why?

Titus 2:9-10 (HCSB)9 Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back10 or stealing, but demonstrating utter faithfulness, so that they may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.

Remember Paul talked about the relationship of slaves and masters in 1 Timothy too.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 (HCSB)1 All who are under the yoke as slaves must regard their own masters to be worthy of all respect, so that God’s name and His teaching will not be blasphemed.2 Those who have believing masters should not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but should serve them better, since those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved. Teach and encourage these things.

In those days, there were many slaves in society. Paul accepted it as part of normal life.

In Colossians  Paul taught Christian masters and slaves how to act in the right way. Both slaves and masters serve Jesus Christ. He is their master who is in heaven. So slaves are actually working for the Lord.

Colossians 3:22-4:1 (HCSB)22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but ⌊work⌋ wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,
24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism. 4:1 Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.

  •  A slave must obey his master. Paul did not say whether the master was a Christian. But the slave should even obey a master who is not a Christian. 
  • A slave must be eager to please his master. A slave must be willing to do his duties. He should work well.
  • A slave should not argue with his master. He should respect his master. A slave should not insult his master. His master is the boss.
  • A slave must not steal. A Christian slave must not steal even the smallest thing.
  • A slave must be completely honest and loyal. A master should be able to trust his Christian slave.
Paul does not discuss the ultimate question of the right and wrong of slavery, but stresses the obligations resting on the slave, and the opportunity even in that situation to "enhance the doctrine of love that is a major part of the gospel"

The purpose of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society. The Bible often approaches issues from the inside out. If a person experiences the love, mercy, and grace of God by receiving His salvation, God will reform his soul, changing the way he thinks and acts. A person who has experienced God’s gift of salvation and freedom from the slavery of sin, as God reforms his soul, will realize that enslaving another human being is wrong. He will see, with Paul, that a slave can be “a brother in the Lord”

Today, while none of us is a slave, very few if any are totally "free" economically. We have to deal with employers, teachers, bills and our level of income. We often resist and resent these boundaries.

10 What does the grace of God bring?

Titus 2:11 (HCSB) For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people,

Salvation through Christ.

All God's promises and saving work from the time that He created man have revealed his grace; all his blessings and gifts have been designed to lead men to repentance.  Grace not only saves, but also teaches and trains in godly living.  God's grace teaches us to refuse the wrong things and God's grace teaches us to live in the right way:

1 John 2:15-16 (HCSB)15 Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.

11.  Why should all Christians, whether old or young, be taught?


Titus 2:11-14 (HCSB)11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

When someone becomes a Christian, he or she starts a new life. In Colossians 3:5-10, Paul said that a person takes off his old character. We talked about that on Tuesday when I said that as new creatures we are renewed and being renewed every day.

Colossians 3:5-10 (HCSB)
5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient,7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.

12.  What’s our motivation to live righteous lives?

Titus 2:12-13 (HCSB)12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christians should always think about the future. One day, Jesus will return to this world

Acts 1:9-11 (HCSB)9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them.11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (HCSB)14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

2 Peter 3:10-13 (HCSB)10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that ⌊day⌋ the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, ⌊it is clear⌋ what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness12 as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat.13 But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.

 In the future, God's glory will appear when Jesus returns to this world. Jesus Christ, who is both God and Savior, will return in power. It will be a magnificent event. We know that it will certainly happen. Christians will then live forever with God. So, we should be happy as we look forward to it.

13.  How did Paul emphasize the importance of teaching all Christians?


Titus 2:15 (HCSB) Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

The grace of God is the basis of good works, but it is essential for the minister continually to proclaim this grace, exhorting and reproving, with the authority of God's Word. Let not our ministry be such as would give men reason to despise us. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
Teaching both encourages and corrects.  Teachers should not let anyone dismiss you because if you carry yourself the way that Paul tells Titus to carry himself and to teach others to carry themselves you can't be dismissed.  Your lifestyle and character will demand respect.  

Things to think about this week

  • What responsibility do Christians have to each other?
  • What role should accountability play among Christians?
  • What can we learn about work from Paul’s instructions to slaves?
  • How can you make the gospel of Christ attractive to unbelievers in the way you work?
  • What motivates you to live a godly life?
  • How can you ensure that what you teach other Christians, even by your own life’s example, is in accordance with sound doctrine?
  • How can you remind yourself each day that the way you work is a testimony to others?
  • What step can you take in the near future to learn from another more mature Christian?
  • What step can you take in the near future to share what you have learned with a younger believer?

Next Week Chapter 3 - Doing What Is Good                          

Paul's Letter to Titus - Session 2











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