√ Re·new·al: the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken
Titus 2 [NIV]
– 1 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.
My words today are Paul’s words from Titus 2. They are “quoted truth” and details that matter. They emphasize renewal is a personal blessing but God has a Kingdom purpose for it. Paul reminds people of any age or status in life that personal renewal is “so” much greater than personal benefit.
“These, then, are the things you should teach… while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
– so that no one will malign the word of God.
– so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
– so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,…15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. [NIV]
The life in which Jesus has chosen to live again for the world to see is ours! “The hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” is critical to our life today because “to the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.” The conscious need of those who love Jesus to practice purity in their daily life is the hope of a transformed world view!
We live in a world where we are bombarded on almost every front by impurity and yet the Apostle calls us “to be pure.” Life in Christ as William Barclay says, is “the offer of God’s power for our frustration, of God’s serenity for our dispeace, of God’s truth for our guessing, of God’s goodness for our moral failure, of God’s joy for our sorrow…we can do nothing except receive.”
“Now at his appointed season he [God] has brought to light” the reality of our need for purity. Mark 7:15 says “It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.[NLT]” Isolation isn’t the answer to fighting the impurity of the world around us; choosing to live in Christ and practice purity in it is! We have Jesus, we have the wisdom of the Scripture, we have the promises of God, and most practical of all we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us practice purity. Practice makes perfect.
My Jesse Tree of 2017
This is why we celebrate past, present and future.
“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” Titus 2:11-14 [MSG]
Titus 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. [NIV]
I discovered there is one more thing to be added to my list in last Sunday’s post about the Holy Spirit. I missed this very important point but as so often happens, God has a way of building something more complete than what I already knew.
Everything on my original list – inspiration, truth teller, guarantee, within, teacher, support, helper and confirmation – was God’s own truth from his word. God designed the work of the Holy Spirit in us to be very personal to each of us but there’s one thing more…
God has added this Word from Titus 3 to my list. It’s important because it reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in each of us is very personal to him too: so “we might become [his] heirs…” Now it’s a complete list!