Text: Titus 1:5-16

Fulfilling the Unfinished Task (Full Sermon Manuscript)

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Background:

Just by reading verse 4 of Titus chap 1, we can see that this letter was written for Titus by Apostle Paul (v1).
Titus had been with Paul many times. First, during the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15; Gal. 1-2). Second, from Ephesus, he was sent to Corinth (2 Cor. 8:6, 16-17). Third, they met again in Philippi—then returned to Corinth. Fourth, he was assigned to Crete. Fifth, asked to meet Paul in Nicopolis (Western Greece). And lastly, he was tasked to go to Dalmatia (Montenegro/ Yugoslavia).

Titus exemplified what a true follower of Christ must be. The same with Timothy, Paul told them that a Christian must teach others also so that they can also share the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 2:2).

Main Idea:

Reading our passage, there are two things that Apostle Paul commanded Titus to do in Crete. These are the very purpose of his stay in Crete. Let us read verse 5:

5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Two things: first, “to put in order what was left unfinished;” second is to appoint elders. First one: there is unfinished business in the lives of Christians. There’s something missing, something lacking that each of us must long for. We are not perfect nor in a glorified state of life. Hence, the need of putting things in order in our lives through discipleship, prayer, and growing intimacy with our Lord and Savior.

Second task: appoint elders. Now, in here, I might challenge some of the existing views that some of you might have. In 1 Timothy 3, Acts 6, and even here in Titus 1:5, it clearly states that we appoint elders. It does not say, ballot boxes nor election, nor pushing someone to be an elder. But by appointment. This has been the practice of the early NT church, so as we.

Examples of Gospel myth:

(1) Extreme Positive thinking similar to the Prosperity gospel
(2) The myth that you can be saved by your own work
(3) The contrast is also true. Not attending church services, nor Bible study, fellowships are just fine since I am already saved.
(4) Those who say that the Bible is not the word of God are another danger.
(5) Others would say that Jesus Christ is a mere man, a great teacher but not God. (6) The Spirit is just a force and not another person of the Trinity.
(7) Last myth, Pluralism. Pluralism says that we can find salvation or know God through any world religion.

Three Directions:

  1. Deep Worship
    1. Preaching
    2. Prayer
  2. Deep Discipleship
    1. Studying the Word
      i. “Encourage others by sound doctrine” v9a
      ii. Defend the truth: “refute those who oppose it” v9b
      iii. “Rebuke them sharply” v13
    2. Transforming Lives
      i. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).
      ii. We conform to the Elders as they conform to Christ. They are our spiritual models. Hence the need for higher qualities of being a follower of Christ.
  3. Deep Evangelism and Missions
    1. The purpose of Paul sending Titus to Crete is the advancement of the gospel of Christ. The church is more than a mere institution, but we should be missional.
    2. We are not doing it right if we are just focused on the things about ourselves and not longing for the expansion of God’s Word.

 

Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
September 12, 2021

*This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.