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February 4, 2024

Set Your House in Order (Titus 1)


In the vast tapestry of Paul's missionary journeys, the island of Crete stands out as a significant chapter in the life of Titus, one of Paul's trusted companions. Having been released from prison in Acts 28, Titus remained on Crete to address the challenges faced by the fledgling church. In many ways, Paul's letter to Titus parallels his counsel to Timothy, both reflecting the unique struggles of young Christian communities. The essence of Paul's guidance to Titus revolves around three pivotal themes: appointing godly leaders, teaching sound doctrine, and emphasizing the enduring nature of grace.

Paul, in his introduction in Titus 1:1-4, identifies himself as a bondservant—a slave by choice with a specific mission. His calling is not confined to a title; it extends to the profound purpose of spreading the gospel. This prompts reflection on the audience's own devotion—what they live for. The sermon probes into the question: Are we enslaved to temporal pursuits like money, work, pleasure, or technology, or do we live for something eternally significant?

Paul's job description, outlined in verses 1-2, encompasses providing faith for belief, truth for godliness, and hope for eternal life. The sermon delves into the intriguing notion that God, despite being omnipotent, restricts Himself from certain actions, such as breaking His promises or going against His nature. The promise of salvation and God's unwavering presence in trials and tribulations underscore the reliability of His commitments to believers.

Titus 1:3 introduces the concept of divine timing, emphasizing that God's plans unfold in due time. The audience is reminded that, even if God doesn't show up when we want Him, His timing is perfect. The narrative then shifts to Titus, acknowledged as a true son in the faith, highlighting the personal aspect of Paul's relationship with him. Grace, mercy, and peace are extended, underlining the essential qualities of Christian fellowship.

Moving forward, Titus 1:5 unveils Paul's purpose for the letter: to set things in order, appoint elders, and teach sound doctrine. The sermon accentuates Paul's emphasis on three qualities when selecting an elder: family life, character, and doctrine. The characteristics of blamelessness, faithfulness, and humility are explored in depth. The sermon particularly underscores the importance of ministry beginning at home, as outlined in Titus 1:6.

Titus 1:10-16 addresses the prevailing issues in the Cretan church. The insubordination, idle talk, and deceit within the community are dissected, shedding light on the different manifestations of rebellion. The audience is urged to discern between idle talkers, who argue over non-essentials, and deceivers, who purposefully propagate false doctrines. The destructive impact of such influences on households and the church at large is elucidated.

The sermon concludes with a call to "Set the house [of God] in order," echoing Paul's directive. Emphasizing the crucial role of the man of God at home, the sermon draws on 1 Timothy 3:5, underscoring the inseparable connection between one's ability to lead a household and their capacity to care for the church of God. In a world filled with distractions and challenges, the timeless wisdom embedded in Paul's letter to Titus resonates, providing a blueprint for order and steadfastness in the journey of faith.

For more message like this one, please visit Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, led by Pastor Allen Victor.

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