Sunday, January 06, 2019

Christian Morals

If our lives ended today, how would those around us assess our contribution to our fellow man? Our example leaves an impression on others. With God's help, it will be one of love, faith and purity of life. The book of Titus captures the pattern God gave for every believer and the direction for their life. Being a Titus chapter 2 person of godliness should be the desire of every parent for their child, every partner for their mate, and every believer for their own life.

Paul urges us to let our lives be a model, template or pattern for others to follow. We are to warn the unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak and be patient with all. In other words, we are to be Christ-like in everything we do, say or think. The more we ignore or neglect God's truth, the further away from him we slide, and the more eroded our society becomes. We are to be morally pure.
God has built into each of us an alarm system to warn us of the unwanted entry of sin into our lives. It's called guilt. Without guilt, we would continue to live in sin until it dominates and defeats us. Whenever the alarm goes off, we are to heed it and repent. Doing what is right is more important than winning.

To put it bluntly, people in our society are rusting from the inside out. Their souls are corroded, and slowly wasting away from the corrosive power of the sea of moral pollution they navigate each day. Each day we walk through life we are sprayed with the salt-like corrosive fog of the world that seeks to eat up the strength of our souls, corrode the framework of our spiritual lives, and decay us secretly on the inside. This is unseen by everyone except God.

We are not left alone on earth merely to know for ourselves what God has said, but rather to share his good news with others. When we share the good news, we must do so with a gentle, respectful delivery, but with the same zeal shown by Peter. Paul told Titus that he should come alongside every young man by sending older men in the faith to lovingly and gently nurture the young men in the faith to avoid the corrosive influences that would affect them. In modern times, that would mean guarding against the corruption of things such as greed, envy and pornography.

Purity is an un-corroded choice we can make by God's grace and through the power of his spirit. Believers who are prompted by grace must never allow themselves to succumb to the ways of the world. To be un-corroded believers, we must saturate ourselves with God's Word and invite him into our daily life.

We must not be afraid, for God will give us the strength we need. By doing so, we will easily disarm our opponents. We need to be trained in evangelism so we can be prepared for and handle all kinds of situations in a biblical manner. We must be wise in how we do this. We have the privilege of shining God's light on a hurting world. We have the hope of eternal life in heaven as well as God's comforting presence on earth. When we let that hope transform us, everyone we touch wants some of it.

We need to mention the faith we do understand, and trust the Holy Spirit to help us speak. It can make the difference between life and death for others. We must use words that people understand. We must be prepared to share our personal testimony, including the three basic points:
1. What our life was like before we received Christ.
2. How we received Christ
3. What difference Christ has made in our life.

We prepare ourselves to hear the word of God for our own lives. We prepare ourselves to listen for the voice of God in our own affairs. Doing so gives us hope. Hope is how we view tomorrow. Hope is how we are defined as a Christian.

Each Christian has gifts that are important to the church. Paul tells Titus that the young men who want to grow up to be the godly and mature servants of God must begin to cultivate six qualities while they are young-qualities that all Christians must cultivate. They are:
1. Live a restrained life in an unrestrained world.
2. Follow Christ in an Christ-less world
3. Believe right so we behave right
4. Stay focused on God in a world of distractions

We are to treasure each other's gifts, share each others' sorrows and rejoice in each other's joys. We are all part of one another.

To be sure, Christ calls us as individuals but we are part of the whole and not the whole! Creativity and innovations can be wonderfully valuable gifts for Christ's holy church. They can also be ways for precious human beings to be misled in directions that produce questionable fruit. Christ was born into this world so that others who follow him will look after their fellow men and women. To accept life and live it in that fashion means that Christ is always with us, because the gifts of serving others are continually being bestowed upon humankind. We must be alert, because there are a lot of really good deeds all about us.
When we gather as a church and hear God's Word, we have come to a point of decision. We have to decide if we are going to be just hearers of the Word or doers. We must do whatever it takes to starve the evil desires of our flesh and those of our families. We are to put on Christ by starving our flesh. We are to give Christ our unblurred, focused life, service and gifts. We can keep from wasting the most precious years of our lives by grabbing onto the grace-energized changes God wants to make inside of us, so that we will be the people he can use to maximize his Kingdom, purposes and plan for this world!

We are encouraged to be patient when persecuted for righteousness sake, just like Christ suffered patiently. We are to give ourselves wholly to God and be willing to suffer and do what is right, especially if it is God's will that we as Christians suffer for doing good. We sanctify God before others, when our conduct invites and encourages them to glorify and honour him. We should be able to defend our faith with meekness in the fear of God.

We owe it to our fellow Christians to stand up in the defence of their reputation, and we are under special obligations to those from who we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God's hand of good to us.

There are certain traits that should characterize a believer who serves the Lord. We are to obey him in doing good works, so others can see God's love and kindness through us. We are to teach God's word with passion and conviction so that others will learn to follow Christ in obedience. And we are to live with dignity-fleeing from sin and living in submission to His will-because we realize that we represent him in the world, and the rewards Christ has reserved or us are awesome.

One day we will stand in front of Jesus and give an account of our lives. He has already told us what he wants to say to each and every one of us: "Well done, good and faithful servants". He has already told us that everything we do, say or think is either good or worthless, and that the good he rewards and the worthless he burns.

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