Over on the “Resources” page I have just posted the audio and print resources of a nine part series through the book of Titus. The theme for the study is “Truth Shining Through Transformed Lives.”
I pray that God will use these not only in your own life, but as you serve and minister at your local church.
“But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)
OK, clear enough. But just what would that look like in action?
Here’s something to consider: Titus discipline process
Is true change possible?
Not merely for us as individuals, but for entire families? Communities?
After the Apostle Paul and his co-worker Titus had evangelized the island of Crete, the apostle left Titus behind to “put what remained into order” (1:5). A limited number of new disciples, gathered in small fellowships in the various towns on the island found themselves living out this new life in Christ in the midst of a very dark culture (1:12). What possible hope did they have that not only would they remain true to their new Master, but that the gospel itself would triumph among their people?
Paul wrote to remind Titus and to inform the new disciples of the transforming work God intended to do, not only in each of them and in their homes and families, but in the larger populace of the island as well.
That process begins with TRUTH. As each one hears the gospel of the grace of God in Christ (2:11-14; 3:4-7) the process begins. As each one continues intentionally immersing themselves in the truth of God’s Word the process continues.
Knowledge alone, however, will never transform anyone. Truth must be met with active TRUST. That is to say, “sound doctrine” must be met with “sound faith.” Active faith evidenced in obedience to the truth sets in motion a powerful transforming process.
When truth is met with trust TRANSFORMATION begins in that life. Our lives begin to take on that “which accords with sound doctrine” (2:1). All the implications of the truth of God begins to be worked out in the details of our lives. Jesus actively comes to rule each part of who we are and what we do.
This visible transformation of lives, homes, and marriages then becomes a effective TESTIMONY to the lost community in which we live. Our lives “adorn the doctrine of God” (2:10). The unbelieving take notice. They become willing to hear the TRUTH. Some respond with TRUST. And the TRANSFORMATION process rolls on, by the power of the Holy Spirit!
A chart of the process may be found here: Titus-Transformation Process
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 1:5)
The noun “regeneration” points to the act of entering new life, while “renewing” points to the qualitative nature of that new life.
“Renewal without regeneration is cosmetic; regeneration without renewal is spiritual infanticide.” (The Pastoral Epistles for Pastors, p.553)