Titus 2:11-14 (Andrew Francis)
Andrew Francis





God’s plan produces a posture while we await the future promise.

Titus 2:11-14 – 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.






Sermon Audio Transcript
Awesome. Well, I've got a little stage furniture. I'm taller, obviously, and I need stuff higher. Okay, so I don't know about you, but I absolutely love when we're joined together, all the generations in one room, it's such a blessing. When we were leading worship, that was such an amazing day when everybody gathered older, younger all together, so I'm thankful for it today. Today is such an amazing day. I'm also thankful to be able to teach. Next week, Jason will be back with us. But what an honor to be able to teach today, so I'm grateful for that. My name is Andrew Francis. I don't know if you if I've met you or not. But how many of you are new year's resolution people? Raise your hand if you can raise them up high. Don't be afraid. Raise your hands up high. Okay. Yeah, I know my dad. Yes, yes. Okay, good. Good. Good. Okay, so how many of you are new year's resolution keepers? Yeah, so I always say that, like, I'm this balloon. And then there's a string that has to hold me down. And then down here, there's this rock with the grumpy people that have to hold the string down. And the balloon, I tend to dream is what I'm trying to get at. I tend to make lofty goals. And so years ago, I just said, Hey, you know what the heck, but I'm not gonna do resolutions. When I was a kid, I remember. So clearly, I don't remember what age I was junior high, or so. But I told my parents, I wanted to be a state champion, tennis player, state champion tennis player. The problem is I wasn't very good at tennis. And I really had zero desire to put the effort in to become better at tennis. And then one year as in obviously, it's official when we posted on Facebook. Yeah, laugh at me now. Okay. I posted on Facebook that I wanted to be fluent in Spanish for the next year. I knew like maybe five phrases in Spanish and I could count etc. unrealistic goals. So what I began to do is just every year at New Years, I just take an assessment and scale back maybe. And I look for things in my own life where Okay, God, spiritually, how am I doing in New Years is such a time of it's like a breath of fresh air. It's really just one day. But it's like a light switch goes off. And this new light switch just breathes fresh air into our lives. And it allows us is to be able to mentally say, okay, 2023 to go on 2020 fours here. What are we going to do differently this year? One word just keeps popping up into my mind. And it was posture, posture, and I just felt God just impress upon me the posture and lead into spiritual posture. What does my spiritual posture look like going in to the new year? To be honest, though, the conversation of posture goes a little further back. And it's a little funny because the posture used to be a physical posture conversation, and that led the physical conversation of the posture lead into the spiritual conversation. What I mean by that is, obviously you could tell them six, eight, and I'm in a five, eight world. Yeah, are you short people, I'll just eat it. Everything's made for you. doorways are made for you shoes are made for you. Everything is just like, suited for shorter people. And so when I'm in the car on a long trip, I'm constantly adjusting. I'm constantly moving, and I'm having to make sure I'm sitting out correctly, or else I have a pounding headache later on and making sure my shoulders are back. And so I feel gimmick, to I guess, to a TV gimmick, if you're seeing the posture corrector. You've seen that before? Okay. Yeah. If you've put it on, you know, what it's all about. It's two straps that go around your shoulders, and then they tighten up in the back. And yes, it does produce posture. Yes, you look like an absolute idiot.Guaranteed, guaranteed. And yes, I posted on Facebook. So five, six years ago or so I get this posture. corrector I'm gonna you know, I'm going to fix this shoulder stuff. I'mgonna fix my neck. I'm gonna do this. So I put the posture corrector on, and I brought my shoulders back, I get in the mirror and I'm going, Hey, this is great. Like, I'm feeling great. It's a little uncomfortable, but I'm feeling great. I'm feeling great. And I'm going my chest is sticking out kind of weird. Kind of walking around like this. And then I go to wash my hands. Now watch this. I have no mobility. My shoulders are back. Hey, that looks great. But then I go to wash my hands and I'm doing this, and I can't bend this. And I'm doing this and so my family's laughing at me, it's just a great door deal. But I'm trying to do a shortcut to fix this posture problem that I have. And so the posture corrector went in the posture corrector trash bin, and I moved away from that. Mistaken in line with posture correction. I moved into the spiritual posture, conversation, and I just kept reading and reading and in God's word about, okay, what does the spiritual posture look like? What does it mean for us to have good spiritual posture, and I read and I read, and I read, and God just brought me to Titus. Once you open up your Bibles, to Titus will be in Titus two is to go ahead and get a head start. We'll read it. And then we'll dive in. It's a little book, in the New Testament, it's a letter written from Paul to, as you could guess, Titus. If you're there, I'll start reading Titus two, we're in verse 11. As I'm reading through God's word, I come to this section of scripture. And it just hit me. And I read it once. And I was like, wow. Then I read it again. And I read it again. And I got a buddy who I was texting back and forth with and he's like, man, you really are digging in Titus right now. And I'm like, yeah, yeah, just it's just so good. It's so good. And so I want to share it with you, Titus 211, through 14, Titus 211. Through 14, I mean, the ESV. So here we are. It says, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope. the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness in the purify for Himself a people for His own possession.Were zealous for good works. That that move you like it moved me just let that soak in a second. Such good.I want to show you what God taught me out of that whole thing. I'm just gonna be honest, I'm not a good writer. So forgive me you're probably gonna have to it this is not a good position and I can move it back a little bit. But what God revealed to me through this text is a simple thing. God's plan so I'm going to wrap this up God's plan. I told you I'm a bad writer. produces.posture while we, oh, I told you. I just gotta make sure I don't erase the whole screen.I'm just going to do that while we wait. I'm gonna put this here. So all of our peas are together. The promisein your read that that's bad. That's really bad. That's really bad. Oh, my promise. So there, see, there's my Spanish there.Don't tell Jason don't tell Jason. Okay. Okay. God's plan produces a posture. While we wait, the future promise not really an alliteration guy or a three P's or three T's. But it just fit with this text. And you might have seen it, you might have seen it. We're gonna I'm gonna show you in the text. how this unfolds just in these four verses. But before we dive into that, I want to give you a little background. I think it's always important when we go to God's word to understand the context, like what's happening, what's happening in the writing what, what Paul is going through, or what Titus is going through what happened in the city and nation or the island or whatever. In this case, we're going to Crete, so Titus got dropped off and Crete. He drew the short straw in this case. Crete is an island. If you were to go to a map and you look at Greece, and now I'm back Kurds. But if you look at Greece, and then you go around, and there's a bay there, and then Turkey is right here, if you were to go straight south of that you'd run into an island of Crete. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere. And so Titus was sent there we're in at the end of x x 28 stops, and then we're like, x 34. Maybe, which is not a bug, but we're there somewhere in this story. And so Titus gets dropped off. And who are the people in Korea? worst of the worst. It was known as the center of immorality or one of the centers of immorality. And how do I even know that? Well, chapter one, verse 12, go there. chapter one, verse 12, just go over even one of their own. A prophet of their own said this, he said, cretins are always here's a big word there. They're always liars, evil beast, and lazy gluttons. And I love how Paul says this. He says, Hey, listen, one of your own guys says this, and it's true. They're bad. They're bad people. We do know in the middle of this all where there is immorality, and you know, just ungodliness there are some Jews present in Crete. How do I how do I know that? Well, you could go back to X to at Pentecost. There are accretions, cretin, sorry that are there at Pentecost, three times a year, a Jewish man would have to go back to Jerusalem and offered temple sacrifices, one of them was Pentecost. So in x two, we see the Jews from Crete are in Jerusalem there. And they hear the message they hear their native tongue being spoken at Pentecost and x two. So we have a young man who gets draws the short straw gets to go to this island in the middle of immorality in the middle of all this worldliness and this ungodliness gets to face the false gospels and, and gets to face liars and evil beast and lazy gluttons. And who wants to sign up?Now, right? It's crazy. But if I was to take out the word crit from that,and I was to compare the same thing to the US, wouldn't you kind of agree that it's about the same? You see, the world around us is just growing and immorality. It's growing and worldly passions, it's growing and evil. You don't have to go very far to to see it. Get on the news or anything you just see pornography is rampant, sexual sin, just rampant. And it's hitting younger and younger and younger addiction is just taking over. So when you assume that if we have a letter written by Paul, to Titus, and this creed in the center of immorality, and then we have us who is in center of immorality as well, when you think we might buckle up and take note, and I think that's what we should do. Because it means more now. It should we open our ears to this message. And we realize that it has something important to say to each one of us. It's it's relevant. If you had one thing, like let's say, Paul is writing this letter to Titus, and he wants to relay one thing to these people to Titus in this case. Now remember, we can't just send an email or a text and so he's got one opportunity to send a letter to Titus. What do you think he focuses on? He doesn't focus on hey, listen, Titus, they're messed up people. You stand on the corner, and you yell at them, and you judge them. He doesn't say that he. He says a simple message. He calls the people to godliness. It's countered to what you might think. He calls Titus to godliness. And how do I know that? Well, just look at the text, chapter one, verse one, the knowledge of the truth accords with godliness. Chapter One, he starts off with leadership and elders in the church and they must be guests. Godly, older men. We're just going to hit every age group here. Older men and chapter two, they must be can you answer? Godly, older women, they must be godly. Yeah, y'all got to help me out a little bit. Chapter two younger women must be there we go. Younger men must be. And then in chapter two where we're at today, all Christ followers must rid themselves of ungodliness. Now the one thing he says and it's so clear in this way, is that we are to pursue godliness in the middle of a world At his full of immorality, he points the attention to us and says, Pursue godliness, pursue godliness. Let's see how this dives in our plays out into the verses. Let's go there. Back to chapter two, verse 11. We're in the first part of this God's plan. God's plan and this is a beautiful plan. The first part is in verse 11. It says, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation. For all people, two things there. There's a lot the grace of God in this case is obviously, the grace that we receive at the grace of God is a person, a person here that grace is the incarnate Jesus, who has common flesh and blood is God appearing before men, laying down his life for those people bringing salvation for the world, bringing for all people and bringing grace for those who believe. He was always the Savior, from the beginning to time he was, is and will be the savior. And that's what he wants to remind and to relate to them. When you see patterns when you see multiple repetition thing like we just talked about a second ago about this godliness we see throughout we see another repetitious thing in here, where it's this focus on God being Savior, God being savior, chapter one, verse three, by the command of God our Savior, chapter one, verse four, grace and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior, chapter two, verse 10, the doctrine of God our Savior, to 13, our God, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, three, four, when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, three, six Holy Spirit is poured out on this ritually, through Jesus Christ, our Savior six times he reminds that Jesus Christ that God the Father is our Savior. And what an amazing thing to remember, in the midst of immortality, the people in Crete are searching for something in ancient literature shows, artwork and carvings and stone reference Zeus and other Greek deities as Savior. They were looking for a savior somewhere. And then Paul reminds Titus that God is our Savior. God is our Savior. And what good news to take into an ungodly world is that God is our Savior, six times he does it. And it is so good. The second part of God, God's plan, the first one is that He is our Savior. The second one is in verse 14, verse 14, it says, He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself or people for His own possession. You see what we did that we took it up a notch. It's not just that God saved us. But he redeemed us from all ungodliness. He redeemed us from all worldly things, he purified himself, a people for His own possession. He made us his own, he saved us. And then he brought us what an amazing message. What an amazing message. You see, God's plan only starts the equation. Next we have the actual posture, which is where I want to focus our time in today. But it leads to this. God's plan produces a posture and I want to show you the posture of a believer. Again, there are five verses. And then there are five times after that it's this repetition. We need to take note of this five times after that. So in verse 12, this is the posture of a believer verse 12. A believer renounced his ungodliness and worldly passions. A believer says no to things that don't honor God. I believe he says no to the things that the world lust after. To is also in verse 12. We live with self control. We live with self control. This is a sound mind. It's like drunk or sober, and he's asking us to live a sober mind, a clearer mind. That's the second one. The third posture of a believer is we live up right. We live with righteousness. We do what is right in just the fourth thing, we live with godly lives. This is also in verse 12. With devotion to God. We do that The things that honor God. And then five, he repeats the fifth thing five times throughout the book. I know this is a lot. But in verse 14, he finishes out the posture, a believer, and he says, the posture of a believer, they are zealous, for good works. They are zealous for good works. Paul says is five times and to seven, be a model for good works to 14, that they are zealous for good work. So we just talked about three, one, be ready for every good work, three, eight, be careful to devote themselves to good work, let our people devote themselves to good work and 314. He just repeats this. And it's important. It's important. He is saying that God's people have a burning desire for good works. We have a burning desire to act out our faith. You see from the beginning of time, we were always meant to stand out. We were always meant to stand out. That's why God gave the Old Testament people that covenant. Old Testament covenant was meant so that because he knew if he knew that they were going to be in captivity, and he knew they were going to be going into the promised land. And as a result, he gave them a structure to abide within in order for them to be godly in the world that they go into, that they would stand out and be different. It's always meant to be that way. Always from the beginning of time, nothing has changed. Paul focuses the attention on an inward change, and that inward godliness affects the outward world. Are you following that that inward godliness that God calls us to? It impacts the world outer world. So let's dissect and let's start building this true gospel. Go back to chapter one. Verse one.Paul starts from the very beginning talking to Christians he, he talks about for the sake of God's elect, the Christians, the believers, and he says so simply right here, he says and their knowledge of the truth, their knowledge of the truth and he goes on, he says, which accords with godliness. Now see that statement as one knowledge of the truth and godliness in the structure of the sentence. They are tied, they are inseparable knowledge of the truth is godliness. It's not the other way around. It's a hierarchical position in the text right here is that knowledge of the truth equals to godliness. knowledge of the truth is Galleon. So it's not godliness equals truth, its truth equals that. And so what is this knowledge that we're talking about? What is this that we're talking about? So let's begin because I don't know about you. But an area that I've struggled with in my own life isI stop there. I know that God's saved me. And I know that he brought me out of something to something and maybe you're in the same position.And then once I'm over here, I start just tacking on these things. I start tacking on these rules and commands that I need to live by. And I start holding myself to that, and I'm, I'm holding, I'm going so deep within this, and I'm trying to just hold all this weight up, and it's so hard, and it's so taxing that because I'm operating within my own power. And that's how legalism rises up, would you agree? It's legalistic when I realized that God saved me and elevated me, but then all of a sudden, I'm following rules and commands that I've put in place that I've put in place in order to somehow win him over or to somehow to keep my salvation. But But ladies and gentlemen, that's not the whole gospel. That's not the whole gospel. Yes, God has saved us. And yes, God has called us to something with the highest of expectations, holiness, he's called us to that. He saved us and called us to that. But then there's more. Because a false gospel says he's called us, he's saved us. He expects all this service and then I work it out with legalism. That's, that's false. That's completely false in the Gospel, because there's a word that I skipped over in the text. And I did it purposely. I want to show you this right now is that God saves us His plan, and then the true path restroom a believer. Is that Yes, I'm called to a higher expectation. But I'm not alone. I'm not alone in this. It's not me, taxing and working out my salvation. It's the Lord within me. Yes, high expectations. But I have him within me. And what great songs we sing today our God fighting our battles. Such good message gets good messages in this text, that we are not alone, go back to verses 11 and 12.Guys, this is beautiful. It's amazing when you connect all this, watch this. He says, For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for who? All people. But then there's a word that we didn't mention a minute ago. Training. Your text might say instructing. This is on going and modifying the subject here that the grace of God is doing the work. The grace of God, Jesus himself is actually doing this work within the yesterday's high expectations. Yes, I play a part but I'm not alone. The stakes haven't changed, the expectations haven't changed. Nothing has changed. We are still called to the highest of levels. But we get there through him and with him. The text talks about training, instruction. And we know that we are given the Holy Spirit. And it's that very holy spirit that and enables us to take and keep and continue on this path. We can't stop anywhere on that journey. We can't stop with salvation only because the Bible would argue that if those two things don't exist, if that life doesn't exist, you question whether the salvation actually exist, it started to begin with. They all go together, salvation and then God brings us like we said to something, a life. His expectations working through us. That's the complete gospel him training us, him, instructing us him working through our lives. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit empowers us to completely be able to live the life that God has called us to. God still calls us to this holy life, he still calls us to this godly life. He calls us to a life set apart. He calls us to a reverent life and honorable life, he calls us to good works. He calls us to great works. He calls us to burn in our heart for those works. But the good news is, is we have a helper, we have the perfect helper, the only one that can make that life possible. He changes us because he lives in us. In Can I just leave you with a statement changed people change the world. Changed people changed the world. Otherwise, we wouldn't have anything to meet about here today if those 12 men didn't go out and change the world. Right? They didn't do it alone. I love how Eugene Peterson in The Message says this. Verse 11 through 13. And the message he is summarizes this well, he says we're being shown it's ongoing action with the Holy Spirit and we're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless indulgent life and how to take on a God filled God honoring life. This new life is starting right now. And it's wedding, our appetite for the glorious day when our great God and Savior Jesus Christ appears. Isn't that good? You see from the beginning of time God had a plan to save us all to live within us and help us produce a posture that will be a glory Are yes example to the world around us, they will see our lives that they are truly set apart. And they will also see a godly church that is anxiously awaiting the promise, their hearts turn towards the promise of the return of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.It's then and only then, when we embrace this message that we are truly a beacon of light, as Paul was trying to communicate to Titus, that the church is godly and the church is pursuing godly and godliness and a spirit field and letting the spirit move and work in our lives, then we will by default, be a beacon of light to the world around us. We just can't stop too early. We have to allow the Holy Spirit, we can't just stop and give up. We have to continue. I know that. When we preach, and when we teach it, we talk about theological issues. Sometimes it may seem like it's unattainable, or hey, that's good, Andrew, that's great. I'm gonna write that down. And we're going to kind of move on. But what does this look like in our lives? Like, what does it really look like, when this happens? And so as I'm I'm 43. And I'm, as I'm getting older, I'm noticing that I'm struggling with a little bit of negativity with cynicism is that we all struggled with any of that. I've noticed that I'm easily on the side of pessimism, sometimes, this inner thoughts. And what do I do with that? You see, and know that negativity? I know that cynicism. And I know that's not of the Lord. I know that. So how does something like this get acted out? Because if this is not practical, this is not something that we can just use today and move today, then it's just stays here in theological realm. And so God has really been working with me on that, I know that it's not right. But the amazing thing is, is I don't have to sit there and work it out in my closet, say, I'm going to bite this on my own. I'm going to do this. Everything I have with me, I'm going to do this. Yes, it does take effort.But to do it with him. And so as I struggle through this, and as Isee negativity and see cynicism, creep up, I pray. And I just go to the Lord and oh my god, I know that you don't want me to be that way. I can't overcome this without you. I just can't. I want to be changed father. got help. Help me. Help me be changed in this area father in the app. It's not like a light switch goes off. Like it just prays what I'm done with that, okay, good. But I'm living this life that God intended me to live with high expectations, spirit filled, God moving through my life. And so now, in light of that I have this power. I can overcome this. Not in one sitting. But obviously, as I just conditioned myself with prayer, and seeking the Lord and just studying God's word. I can come to this and I can overcome it. And maybe when I said, negativity or cynicism, maybe you struggle with that. Or maybe it's something else in your own life that you know that it isn't really the godly life that God intends for me. Maybe God is already at work in your life. And I just say go to the Lord. The posture is yes, these high expectations, but it's a team. It's the spirit within us fighting that battle.Wow, that is beautiful. I don't have to carry that. I can rely on him. There are sins in my own life where I just I look up and I'm going you know what I used to struggle with that.And like I don't anymore, and that's the freedom. That's the power of the Holy Spirit. It enables us to do that. We just can't forget the posture that God calls us to. And then once we're there, we fight battles with him. Change people, change the world. I want to lead you in a time of prayer. Today. Many years ago, I was reading a book. And I remember the circumstances it was a non Christian woman and a Christian woman that was leading a Christian woman was leading the non Christian woman in prayer. And she really had no clue how to pray. And so she begins her prayer and she looks up, you know, that little promptings like, hey, look up for just a second. And this non Christian woman was sitting like this. And the lady was kind of awestruck with that position. And it kind of overwhelmed her in that moment. She was like, you know, what, how many times do we pray like this? And this lady who has no clue how to pray, she's praying like this. You see what this is, is open hands. You can give when your hands are open, you can submit and your hands are open. So if you'll bear with me and just put your hands in this position as a church, let's just do this together all around the church just as this lay our hands before the Lord God may be stirring in your heart this morning. For areas of your life that maybe he is leading you to areas of ungodliness of ways that his spirit is already at work, pruning you, working through you, let's be obedient to the Lord and give that to him andstay in a posture before the Lord of open hands.