Old Faithful 

Titus 3:8

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

Sometimes, when we want to emphasize the importance of something, we might add a phrase like “to tell you the truth” or “honestly speaking” or “without a doubt” or “without question.” It was common for Jesus to use the term “verily, verily” or “truly, truly”, when driving home a particular truth. For Paul, the favorite lead-in was “this is a faithful saying.” He used it five times in his writings, and each time emphasized a different truth.

1 Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

Beyond any doubt, the reason for Jesus coming into the world was to save sinners. He did this by willingly laying down His life on the cross. The Jesus who called the dead back to life, walked upon the water, and commanded the demons to depart, is the same Jesus who allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified; all this to save sinners. For us to benefit from His work on the cross, we must, like Paul, realize we are the sinner He died for, and receive the pardon He provides.

1 Timothy 3:1 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”

Something happens when we begin to grow in our relationship with Jesus. Within us, a desire grows to serve Him. People, who prior to coming to Christ, may have been extremely selfish, now find themselves wanting to help others, or serve in the local church. Paul explains, wanting to serve the Lord is a good thing, and wanting to serve in the capacity of a pastor is a call of God. If you are being called, answer.

1 Timothy 4:9 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”

Before making this statement, Paul had declared, “godliness is profitable for all things in this life and the one to come.” Whenever making an investment, we want to know the profitability of it. Will I get back what I am putting in? Paul explains that with godliness you will get a return far greater than the investment you make. Godliness will affect every part of this life, and will leave a storehouse of treasures awaiting you in the next.

2 Timothy 2:11 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.”

This is the first line of a chorus sung by the early churches. It declares, without question, there is life after this life. For those who trust Christ, we will live with Him for all eternity. Heaven is filled with glory, but the heaven of heavens, is the presence of Jesus. To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.

Titus 3:8 “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

This is the final use of the phrase in Paul’s writings. Here, he is emphasizing the fact that all who trust in Christ for salvation should be filled with good works. Doing good things will not save you. However, if you are saved, you will long to do good works. You will desire to show your trust in Christ by living a brand new life. These good works should show themselves in your home, neighborhood, place of business, school, hobbies and circle of influence. How do you think your world would be affected, if today, you walked out the door seeking opportunities to do good works unto others, as a way to reveal Christ to them?

Let’s be sure to maintain good works, after all, the salvation of our loved ones may depend on it.

Pastor Jim

Did You Hear That?

Titus 2:1
“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine”

The purpose of the teachings of God’s Word is not simply information. We should not expect a test when we arrive in heaven or a pop quiz along the way. Instead, we learn the Word so we might behave right. Sound doctrine must lead us to sound living. Elsewhere, we read of the doctrine that accords with godliness. When our understanding of God is correct, we will worship, live, act, react and speak in ways that are pleasing to God. Here, Paul exhorts Titus to speak properly. While proper speaking would include praise, evangelism, and encouraging others, it also avoids gossip, slander, backbiting and complaining. Paul is referring specifically to the things Titus would be teaching within the church. He divides the body into groups based upon age, gender and vocation; encouraging proper behavior from each of them.

It is clear from this chapter that Paul expected believers to minister to believers. Titus would be responsible for teaching the people, the people would be responsible to minister to one another, and to share Christ with others. A couple of key principles of ministry are woven through the text.

First, Paul exhorted the older believers to minister to younger ones. That is, those who have walked with the Lord and gone through the experiences of life, should be seeking to assist those who are new to the faith, or not as far along on the journey. What a blessing it is when those who have raised their families, now serve in Children’s Ministry, assisting the children of the young families. It is such a benefit when a more mature believer takes the time to disciple a younger Christian; investing time by taking them into the Word and prayer.

Second, Paul reminds us that the way we live will either impede or empower the things we share. He warns of the Word of God being blasphemed by wrong behavior. The gospel message cannot be communicated without words. Paul asked the Romans “how will they hear without a preacher?” We must courageously share Christ with our friends, family and co-workers, but words alone are not enough, we must live it. The world wants to see Christianity, not just hear about it. They should see it in the way we treat them, each other, and especially our families. Paul speaks of the relationship between the young husband and wife. When that relationship is godly, others will be attracted to the Lord.

Finally, Paul wrote, women should minister to women, and men to men. That is a pretty good rule of thumb for ministry. I think it is a good idea for men to get plugged into men’s groups, and women into the women’s study. While we can grow without personal relationships, it is my experience that our growth is enhanced when we take the time to establish relationships with others of the same gender, and dig into the Word together.

Pastor Jim

Double Agent

Titus 1:16
“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”

  • The church in Crete was like most churches. It had a pastor, who was seeking to minister to the spiritual needs of the people, while facing many struggles from within and without. It had members who were growing in the Lord and seeking to serve Him, and members whose growth was stunted, due to a variety of lingering and tolerated personal sins. Then there were others, who only pretended to be Christians. Paul describes this group as ones who claim to be followers of Christ, yet they fail to really follow Him.

“They profess to know God…”

The word “profess” is a very important word. It is used in Romans 10 to describe personal responsibility in salvation. We are told, in order to be saved, we must “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus” (Romans 10:9). The word “confess” is the same word translated profess in our text. It is used again in 1 John 1:9 where we are told “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us”, and is also used in Hebrews 11 to describe those who lived lives committed to the Lord. Those individuals are also described as men of whom the world was not worthy. Paul is suggesting there are people in the church who look like they are believers. When we see them on Sunday mornings we assume they are living lives committed to Christ. They say all the right things, speak the language, know the songs, maybe even lift their hands in worship, or hand out bulletins at the door. The problem is, their lives from Monday through Saturday don’t back up the profession of their lips. They are only pretending, play acting, putting on a show in order to hide the fact that they have never surrendered all to Christ.

“in works they deny Him…”

The word “deny” is also a very important Biblical word. Jesus used it in Luke 12:9 when He said, “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Paul also used the word when writing to Timothy stating “If we deny Him, He will also deny us.” (2 Timothy 2:12) The word “deny” means to reject, and was used to describe those, who on Palm Sunday raised their voices in praise, but on Friday cried out “crucify Him.” Paul explains in this verse, the word means more than a simple statement. While it is necessary to confess Christ with our lips, it is also necessary that our lives back up our profession. Coming forward at the altar call is an important step in your Christian life, but it does not stop there. We must move on to walking after Jesus in our daily lives. If you are putting on your best Christianity to show up at church each week, only to live a double life throughout the week, you are not only in sin, but in grave danger. Deception is always dangerous, but self-deception is deadly.

Don’t wait another minute to lay down your sin and get things right with the Lord.

Pastor Jim