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Church of the Good Shepherd

Change

Titus 3:1-11 Change - Mission Sermon 2008

Introduction

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1iwZKVz6wQ&feature=related

1.  The Story of the Bible is a Story of Change.

Genesis - God created the world ex nihilo

  • Spirit hovered over the water
  • Created the universe
  • Brought order out of chaos

In this text v.5 - Regeneration & renewal = a new genesis

The Fall

  • The Spirit hovers over fallen humanity
  • Recreating the image of God in us
  • We need individual renewal
  • We need change

The flow of redemptive history is how God is bringing change to fallen people

  • Old Testament - looking forward to Jesus
  • New Testament
    • Gospels
    • Acts & Letters (Epistles)
    • Revelation

The Bible is a story of:

-          Genesis

-          Regeneration / New Genesis

-          Paradise

2.  This Passage is About Change

Titus 3:4-7 - But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Goodness & loving kindness of God our Savior Appeared

Advent / Christmas

Mary's Song in Luke 1 (The Magnificat)

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

 Zechariah's Prophecy over John the Baptist:

Luke 1:76-79 -

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

He saved us

We don't save ourselves

Not because of works done by us in righteousness

No religious acts / devotions / Bible Study / Sacrifice

By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

Regeneration = παλιγγενεσία

"New Genesis"

-          Greek thought - every 1000 years the world is washed by fire and recreated (new genesis)

Eschatological & Moral Revolution

Matthew 19:28 - Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world (παλιγγενεσία/New Genesis), when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel

Renewal = á¼€νακαίνωσις

"new" (καινάς ) is the "epitome of the wholly different and miraculous thing which is brought by the time of salvation".

  • a new heaven and a new earth, Rev. 21:1; 2 Pt. 3:13
  • the new Jerusalem, Rev. 3:12; 21:2
  • the new wine of the eschatological banquet, Mk. 14:25
  • new name, Rev. 2:17; 3:12 (Is. 62:2; 65:15), cf. 19:12
  • new song, Rev 5:9; 14:3

Isaiah 43:19 - Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Being Justified by Grace

Grace alone

Justified

Heirs

We inherit all things in Christ

Hope of Eternal Life

This life is not all there is

3.  Who are We to Tell People to Change???

Shouldn't We Accept Them As They Are?

Yes & No

Yes - Accept them because we aren't any better

Titus 3:3 - For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

No - Help Them Change Because Love Compels Us To Bring Healing to People

Story of man with withered hand in Mark 3

Mark 3:1-6 - Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here." And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Bill Hybels "A Dearing Dream"

It's a story that should nail us every time we read it because everywhere we look today, we see people with withered parts.  Withered hands we can point toward healing.  Withered dreams we can point toward support.  Withered minds we can point toward wisdom.  Withered souls crying out to be saved.  But unless we are diligent to constantly raise our awareness for seeing people the way that God sees them, to corral our courage to engage in spiritual conversations, and to resolve our hearts that the way of Christ is the way we will choose to live, we will drift through our days and settle for letting broken people stay broken and lost people stay lost.  And who wants to live life like that?

The story in Scripture of the withered hand man ends with him coming forward and finding his healing.  But as the Pharisees stormed out that day and the room fell silent, I imagine Jesus standing there with an optimistic gaze.  "Someday," I envision him saying to Himself, "places of worship will be filled with followers of mine who are wrapped up in the business of getting people healed. They'll bind up broken souls, they'll weep over hopeless futures, and they'll rescue hell-bound eternities.  Healthy hand reaching out to withered ones-this is the dream I dream."

4.  How Do We Help People Change?

#1 Pray

Wish list in Bulletin

#2 Network

Last month of brainstorming

Goal = To introduce things that we can invite people to

How Gung-Fu got started

Scrap booking

Keller article - every facet of the church must have an outward orientation

...many churches are discovering that the entire church can be based on a philosophy of networking. It is a complete retooling of the entire church's ministry, giving every part an "outward" face, making virtually every ministry activity a - friendship evangelism event. This means everything -worship, small group life, education, etc. This is to create a "corporate culture." It can be supported by planning and ministry programs; it can be done by even (and by ESPECIALLY) the new believer.

? does this mean we aren't building believers?  No!

Both wanderers & followers need:

-          To answer tough questions

-          To face internal doubts

-          To find hope in difficult times

-          To hear the Bible taught in clear language

-          To be lead to worship in a way that move heart, mind and spirit

#3 Stand Together

Titus 3:9-11 - 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.

 #4 Share the Gospel

Story of church planting assessment - I failed this

My answer

They were looking for:

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Best = your story

Conclusion

#1 Who Will You Pray For?

#2 What Part of your Network can be Used by God?

#3 How Can You Better Stand Together?

#4 Learn How To Share the Gospel

 

 

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