"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Friday, November 11, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in TITUS – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER 2

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever met a comedic combat soldier on the field of battle? Neither have I; such an attitude could prove fatal under such circumstances. The consequences are very sobering to think about.

Every soldier in the battle has the utmost of serious minds; they are wary, attentive, precautionary, defensive but not at the expense of effectively offensive measures.

The Christian warrior can’t afford to be any less; the consequences are eternal. Since Satan is still the (illegal) governor of this world (2 COR 4:4; JOHN 14:30), we are on the battle field of ‘planet Rhebyl’(pronounced “rebel”) We can’t afford to take our battle gear off, this spiritual armor afforded to us by GOD Himself.

So as we read about these issues for the church, let us understand that to walk uprightly – and soberly – is to walk in accordance with GOD’s will, walking in the Spirit, and having every piece of armor in place.

To not do so is to court danger and defeat.

TITUS 2:1-2
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;

Any military marches on its stomach; strong food for strong bodies. “sound doctrine” is considered strong spiritual food for strong spiritual health (HEB 5:12-14) – any able warrior for Christ needs their spiritual life to be sound, healthy and strong. The old expression, “You are what you eat” applies here absolutely.

As has been spoken of before, our doctrine will affect our lives, and vice versa. Good doctrine will bring about spiritual prosperity and purity; bad doctrine will bring about spiritual poverty and perversion.
It’s the same with a perverse and polluted lifestyle: such will cause any sound doctrine taught to become tainted.

Older men, particularly those considered spiritual elders of the church should be mindful of their conduct – to be serious regarding the cause of Christ, and reverential towards the LORD and His Word; they should display self-control over their lives, not given to the things of the flesh.

These older men, whether considered for the office of elder or deacon or not, but simply as Christians should also be sound in their doctrine, as are all true disciples of the Word. All things should be done through the motivation of agape love (GOD’s own type of unconditional love), and patience goes along with that.

TITUS 2:3-5
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

The older women are not in the least exempt in their conduct: reverent of GOD, which precludes any tendencies of slander against others; they are allowed wine, but only so much – without any influence that would cause intoxication. The older women are to be teachers – and lest anyone use this verse to justify women pastors, it must be conceded that they are to be “teachers of good (biblically sound) things” to who? The younger women, who should love their husbands, their children and to be “discreet”, which in the Greek also refers to being sober minded. The young women are to be chaste, that is to say, modest.

In today’s world most especially this is a crucial matter. I’ve seen women come to church service dressed like they were going to a nightclub! And I won’t exclude the men either! Modesty today is looked down upon, seen as prudish and outdated.
Yet we are not to conform to the world; Scripture states modesty is expected for the child of GOD, and so any conduct to the contrary is sin, plain and simple. Modesty is godliness on display.

Another thing that’s looked down upon and has been for decades (ever since “Women’s Lib”*) is being a home maker – a “stay at home Mom”. I personally applaud, encourage, and commend with the greatest of admiration ladies who refuse to conform to the status quo, but instead are committed to bring up their children alongside their committed and faithful husbands, in “the fear and admonition of the LORD” - something wholly contrary to the globalist, one world mentality that sees Christianity as The Enemy #1 (EPH 6:4).
* On an interesting side note: A couple decades ago Hollywood director and political activist Aaron Russo once had a conversation with a new friend of his, one of the Rockefeller clan who divulged that family's new world order goal involving 911, "war on terror", etc., but also created the cause of Women's Lib for two purposes: to divide the family even further by getting mothers out of the house (the biblical family order is contrary to the globalists agenda), and then to double the American tax base that they will use for their own nefarious purposes.

 Aaron Russo exposes Rockefeller
9/11 foreknowledge and goals

Raising children in our American culture is seen as secondary at best or unimportant at worst. To raise up future citizens of this nation, equipping them with godly values and spiritual truth, to the end result of seeing them saved and members of the eternal kingdom is something I find wholly, and vitally important, a mission that’s second to none!

In today’s world, with the cost of living sky rocketing, I can understand why both parents need to be working in order to put food on the table; perhaps years ago, and not as much today, both parents worked not out of necessity, but in order to procure “the finer things of life” – various luxuries, sometimes inspired to keep up with the proverbial “Jones” (?). Yet I can think of nothing finer than a strong family that loves and supports one another. In light of this, materialism is an unworthy goal!

Any strong nation is based upon strong communities, themselves based on strong families, the basis of such are strong marriages – and those marriages are strongest that are founded solely upon the Rock, the LORD Jesus Christ! This is why Satan is so adamant on promoting divorce and disrupting (especially) godly marriages!

TITUS 2:6-8
6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, sobriety is a recurring admonition from the apostle Paul for pastor Titus to pass on to his congregations. In any of these instances: whether you’re talking about wisdom dispensed from older to younger generations, to modesty, peace and order in the home, obedient wives, loving husband, and submissive children – a lack of any of these things provides an open door for the enemy to slither his way in, virtually unnoticed, and eventually, inevitably wreak havoc.

The young men are to be sober-minded, showing a pattern (a consistency) of good works (EPH 2:10) which should be in evidence in the life of any Christian who has been saved by grace (EPH 2:8-9).

For more on this, check out this Two Part article: GET SERIOUS! Part ONE; and Part TWO.

Here again, doctrine and conduct are intertwined: notice how the apostle in the same breath mentions integrity and doctrine. As asked before: What are the first two letters in the word ‘doctrine’? It isn’t just to learn, but to live! Otherwise, the spiritual foundation will be faulty and will not stand the test of time, much less the temptations of the serpent (MATT 7:26-27).

Young men are especially susceptible to corruption; they are easily impressionable and in the heights of their zest and thirst to discover all that this world has to offer, they can become heady in the titillating temptations that the enemy craftily dresses up in the most devious garb possible for the gullible.

How can such corrupted beings possibly maintain any level of incorruptibility??
PSALM 119:10-12
10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You! 12 Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes!
Regarding “sound speech” – what did our LORD say?
LUKE 6:44-45
44 "For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
So by hiding the Word in our hearts (the idea here is to place something in a container for safe keeping (such as a safe, or a locked cabinet)), this is a preventative measure to ensure that we don’t sin against GOD.

And as He teaches us His statutes, we gain the spiritual fortitude to not wander from His will, and we spill these treasures of truth out from “the abundance of our hearts” in our sound speech. Every living thing produces after its own kind through the marvelous, miraculous feat of Divine engineering, “the seed” (GAL 3:16).

And the Word of GOD – produces after His own kind! All of the wonderfully good fruit, from trees made good by His grace! Such incorruptible and sound speech is a product of wisdom “that cannot be condemned, [so] that … an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
PSALM 37:30-33
30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged.

PSALM 51:6
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts [integrity], And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
TITUS 2:9-10
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

Who would have ever thought that in the 21st century, there would still be such a thing as slavery. “Not here in the good ol’ US of A!” one might say, but they would be wrong. Human trafficking, and especially child trafficking is today’s most lucrative commodity, though things like “Pizzagate” and the like are sadly ridiculed and dismissed, but the facts are clear enough for those willing to look them with unbiased eyes.

In the days of the Roman Empire slaves were as common as togas (about 1/3 of the population were slaves). The difference was the slaves were much cheaper. If one was injured or became deathly ill, the owner could be permitted to toss them out on the street and beg for a living, and another slave purchased to take its place.

This attitude gradually began to change in the days of the apostles, until finally, there was talk about abandoning – slowly – the slave class until they could be integrated into society. The apostle Paul mentions that if any slave who was a believer had the opportunity to gain their freedom, that they should pursue it (1 COR 7:21-22) For an excellent article on slavery and why didn’t the apostles speak against it, check out this article!

However, Paul’s admonition today would be more fitting for an employer/employee relationship, but what of tomorrow?
What if this world becomes so badly off economically on a global level that people lose the ability to fend for themselves and even governments can’t flip the bill anymore? I could well imagine that the billionaires and trillionaires would hire en masse droves of employees without monetary remunerations – only food, clothing and shelter. Sound infeasible? Consider REVELATION 18:13.

In any employment we are engaged in, let us always remember – we work for the LORD! Thus, in spite of ungrateful employers, adverse working conditions, not being appreciated by recognition, promotion and pay raises, we won’t grow discouraged, frustrated or bitter – especially when we see others who are terribly derelict in their duties, yet still favored by the upper management – because our labors are for the One we love, and He has eternal reward waiting for us for all of our faithful service!

TITUS 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works
(EPH 2:8-10).

Through out the whole of Scripture, beginning in the earliest of chapters in GENESIS, there is the fluent and recurring theme of redemption, starting with “the seed of the woman” and it all points to the LORD Jesus Christ, the ultimate manifestation of the grace of GOD!

The whole of human history is split in half with the life, death and resurrection being the fulcrum of all time, divided between BC and AD. We didn’t deserve the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His blood atonement on our behalf; it was granted solely by the grace of GOD which brings salvation and has indeed appeared to all the race of man.

This salvation is granted upfront by GOD’s grace, beginning with justification, but it doesn’t stop there – this salvation proceeds then to sanctification where by the Spirit of GOD acting upon our new nature (as opposed to our old [Adamic] sin nature, leads us to “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” and rather than the old life, our new life in Christ allows us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age [of darkness and rebellious sinfulness].

Such lives are lived with a confident expectation of “the blessed hope and glorious appearing” of Him Who is “our Great GOD and Savior, Jesus Christ”:

1 JOHN 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

The world will never be our friend, nor should our relationship be as such, where we in friendly comradery partake of its vileness and intentional and treasonous rebellion against our LORD (JAMES 4:4). On the contrary – the LORD Jesus stated such: that if the world treated Him the way it did, we can’t expect anything different (JOHN 15:19-25). The world hates us because of the Light of Christ that shines from our lives (JOHN 3:20; PHIL 2:15).

Nevertheless we can’t afford to allow ourselves to be offended at such treatment and turn away from the living LORD (MATT 13:21) Who alone has the words of eternal life (JOHN 6:68).

It’s because the LORD gave Himself fully to us, in absolute surrender, in response, we freely give ourselves – by the grace of GOD, fully so – to Him and live godly in Christ Jesus, even though we may be persecuted as a result (2 TIM 3:12-14).

We can, and we will persist in living godly, witnessing to the truth of the Gospel and the hope of the resurrection and the Second Advent, and enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 TIM 2:3-4) realizing that our LORD is at the door, and we will be Home one Day soon!
1 PETER 3:15-18
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
TITUS 2:15
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

Titus was likely not as young as Timothy but was still young enough that elders might despise him (that is, to depreciate his GOD-given position as a pastor).

The LORD has given these gifts unto men (the church) – apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. (EPH 4:11), and to this intent GOD has commanded us to assemble in fellowship (HEB 10:25) so that we may be recipients of His blessings, instructions, commands, admonitions, comforts, His grace, peace, and wisdom from such vessels as pastors and teachers and evangelists (the apostles and prophets having already fulfilled their foundational role).

None of these positions in the church have no intrinsic authority in and of themselves; their authority rests upon the Holy Scriptures, and if any conduct themselves contrary to the counsel of the Word of GOD, then they are operating outside of that authority and as such is considered illegitimate.

Nothing should be done on merely the pastor’s say so where spiritual matters are concerned, but on the authority of GOD’s Word.

Thus, whether a church has an old pastor or young, a pastor of longstanding or newly appointed, if what they teach in exhortation, rebuking and reproving is biblical then they relate to the church “with all authority” and speak for the Head of the church, the LORD Jesus Christ.

For THIS reason, I would ask you, the readers of TTUF to pray for me. By this coming January, I will be a newly appointed pastor for three years counting. My desire as a pastor is two-fold: to honor GOD and to bless His bride and lost sheep yet to come into the fold.

In order to do so, I must represent GOD for His saints, and model godly conduct in Christ before them. I can only accomplish this by the grace of GOD, coupled together with my willing heart to die to self and let Christ be all in all in and through me.
As I recently taught on DEUTERONOMY 3 at SHINE BRIGHT Church, I pointed out that Moses was not allowed into the promised land because he misrepresented GOD before the nation of Israel just one time in his forty years of ministry.

THAT is how seriously GOD takes being misrepresented! May I never do so, please LORD, by Your grace!

On that note, we have just one more chapter to cover in the book of TITUS, and upon completing it, we will have also completed this study of CROSSING The T’s (1 THESS through TITUS).

Next, I feel that the LORD has directed me to get into an Old Testament study of the book of NEHEMIAH (one of my favorite!).


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