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Living Soberly, Righteously, and Godly in This Present World
TEXT: Titus 2:12 THESIS: Reflection on Titus 2:12 SONG: "I Surrender All" INTRODUCTION: 1. Titus 2:12 and the rest of Titus is addressed to Christians (the church, the saved); it does not detail how to become a child of God, but it details how the child of God should be moved by the Word of God in Christian living. 2. Titus 2:12 is the summary definition of the manifestation of true Christianity in the lives of Christians and churches of Christ; while it is possible for individuals and churches to appear to manifest Titus 2:12 when really they are corrupted with sin, Christians and congregations cannot be acceptable to God without demonstrating Titus 2:12. 3. The implementation of Titus 2:12 involves both the eradication of some things from one's life and the replacement of such with godly virtues. BODY: I. Titus One: A. The instruction of 2:12 rests in the authority of an apostle (1:1). B. Heeding truth and practicing godliness are the bases of hope (1:2). C. The Word of God is the sole medium by which this truth is revealed to men (1:3). D. The appointment of elders is a contributor to individual Christian and congregational 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (1:4-9). E. Manifestation of the lack of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' is evident among unruly, vain talkers and deceivers (1:10). F. The Jewish error and abuse of the Gospel oppose 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (1:11-14). G. A defiled conscience prohibits 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (1:15). H. Evil works negate professions of godliness (1:16). II. Titus Two: A. Sound doctrine (truth) underlies 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:1). B. Elderly men are exhorted to be models (patterns) of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:2). C. Elderly women are exhorted to be models (patterns) of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:3). D. Young women are exhorted to be models (patterns) of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:4-5). E. Young men are exhorted to be models (patterns) of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:6-8). F. Servants are exhorted to be models (patterns) of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:9-10). G. All men are availed of salvation -- the path of which is 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' (2:11). H. Putting off and putting on NOW is the key to eternal hope (2:12-14). I. The apostolic authority with which these instructions were initially given are equally forceful and authoritative today (2:15; 2 Tim. 2:2); there is no cause to despise the messenger -- it is not his message nor is it given by his authority. III. Titus Three: A. Submission to government is necessary to fulfill 2:12 (3:1). B. Meekness is necessary to fulfill 2:12 (3:2). C. Christians have put off and must abandon old ways in order to fulfill 2:12 (3:3). D. Old evil ways must be replaced with better ways; a void must not be left after casting away old ways (3:4). E. One cannot earn a favored position with God, but if one does his little part, God will do his big part (3:5-8). F. Apostasy is an ever present threat (3:9-11). IV. LESSONS: A. The pursuit of 'soberness, righteousness and godliness' is predicated upon DIVINE AUTHORITY (1:1; 2:15). B. DIVINE INSTRUCTION by which 2:12 is facilitated is the Word of God (truth) or sound doctrine (1:1, 3, 9; 2:1). C. Valid Christian hope is tied diametrically to implementation of 2:12 (1:2; 2:11-13; 3:7). D. Titus 2:12 is accomplished through DIVINE COMMANDMENT KEEPING of the "common faith" (1:3-4) versus KEEPING COMMANDMENTS OF MEN (1:14). E. Practicing 2:12 equates to being "sound in the faith" (1:13; 2:2). F. Without "living soberly, righteously and godly" the Christian's conscience is defiled and his profession of Christianity is vain (1:15- 16). G. Elders, elderly men, elderly women, young women, young men, servants (slaves, employees -- in principle, anyone who is subject to someone else) are given specific instructions in Titus by which they can practice 2:12 (1:6-2:10). H. Living "soberly, righteously and godly in this present world" involves being: blameless, not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre (not covetous), hospitable, sober, just, holy, temperate, one who holds fast the faithful word, of good conscience, of sound doctrine, sound in the faith, charitable, patient, not a false accuser, teachers of good things, compassionate, discreet, chaste, a pattern of good works, uncorrupted, sincere, sound in speech, under subjection, not a brawler, gentle, meek, not foolish, not disobedient, not deceived, not lustful, not lovers of pleasure, not living in malice, not envious, not hateful, workers of good, and not factious (1:6-3:10). I. When Christians do what they can and still fall short of righteousness whereby they can come into the presence of God — through mercy and grace God makes up the difference (conditionally) (2:11, 3:5-7). J. Mercy and grace are conditional on good works (1:7; 2:5, 8, 14). K. There is an emphasis in Titus on "sound doctrine" (1:9; 2:1) and "sound in the faith" (1:13; 2:2). CONCLUSION: 1. It is not enough to obey the Gospel by which one's past sins are remitted. 2. Hope of eternal life is conditional upon implementation of the Word of God in one's life to produce truly Christian living. 3. Sadly, many Christians and churches fall far short in this area and it simply cannot be so without adversely affecting their prospect of spending eternity in heaven with God. INVITATION: 1. Christians: 2 Cor. 13:5; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7. 2. Non-Christians: Acts 2:38; 22:16.