From the first pages of the bible, before sin entered mankind, God called work good and his people to work for his glory. In Titus 2:9-10, Paul teaches that Christians are to continue to work for God's glory, how they are to do so, and that God's glory is the only acceptable motive for Christian labor. Our passage for this morning doesn't provide an exhaustive list of how to work for God's glory, but it directly addresses some of the key components of it. With that, let's pray that God would help us to see his design for work and workers, that by the power of the Spirit connecting with God's Word, we'd be brought to love God's good design for our work, and let's pray that God would be glorified by Christian workers who absolutely stand out because they work Christian-ly.
Over the next few weeks, Lord willing, we're going to look at Paul's commands for older and younger men this week, employers and employees the following week, and then we're going to spend a few weeks on older and younger women (in this section, I want to lay out the beginning of a vision for the future of women's ministry at Grace).
Let's pray, then, that God would make his commands plain. Let's pray that he would make their gospel origin plain. Let's pray that he would grant us a love for one another that causes us to lean into the commands of others as well as our own. And let's pray that God would increasingly cause us to worship him as we consider these descriptions of the Son and as he conforms us into his likeness.
Having spent the past the past few months looking at what Titus has to say about elders and eldership, I want to wrap all of this up by helping you see how you ought to respond to it. In other words, given all we’ve seen about why God has given elders to the local church, what elders are supposed to do, and what qualifies (and disqualifies) someone to be an elder, I want to answer one simple question today: what does all of this mean for church members?
Having spent several verses explaining what makes for godly elders and eldership, then, Paul turns his attention to what constitutes ungodly leadership. The title of this sermon is "Liars, Evil Beasts, and Lazy Gluttons". I chose that title because it's intriguing and it comes directly from v.12. However, I could also have called it "Qualities of Ungodly Leaders," as that's mainly what this text is about. Let's pray that God would help us to understand this passage well in order that we might be able to smell ungodly leadership a mile away. And let's pray that God's glory would be plain as he leads our church.
God loves his people and therefore he cares for our souls. In Paul's letter to Titus, we're able to clearly see that one of the most significant ways in which God cares for our souls is through qualified elders in a local church. But what makes someone qualified to be an elder? What should we look for in potential elders in order truly experience God's loving care and avoid the harm that comes from placing ourselves in the care of someone who is unqualified? Once again, answering those questions is the point of our passage for this morning (along with 1 Timothy 3:1-7). In it, Paul gives a list of qualifications for elders—a list of things that God has made true in those whom he's called to serve his church as elders.
Let's pray that God would make this list clear to us and true of the elders and future elders at Grace. And let's also pray that God would continually remind us that caring for his people in this way is a certain effect of the gospel—that another of the benefits won on the cross by Jesus Christ is the constant and perfect loving, shepherding care of God's people.