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"Christian Living in a Pagan World" 6/27/24

Dear brothers & sisters,


Are you surprised by the speed of Canada's descent into all that is ungodly? Are you discouraged by the trajectory of our nation?


It is common, as we see society rejecting God and His ways, to wonder "How now shall we live? How should we live, as the family of God, in times like today?" We may feel as though we are in uncharted waters, but by the grace of God we are not left without an answer.


Friends, you & I need to remember this, our responsibility as citizens of heaven doesn't change with the times and neither does our God.


Consider the words of Paul to Titus. 

When Paul wrote to Titus, he said "This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might 1) put what remained in order and 2) appoint elders in every town," Titus 1:5.


Titus, was to travel throughout Crete (a pagan society, see Titus 1:12-13) to complete the work of Paul and leave the churches in Crete well-established in right doctrine (Orthodoxy) and right practice (Orthopraxy). To aid him in this task, the apostle Paul gave him further instructions to teach throughout all the churches. These instructions, remain with us today, a guide to build our lives upon, as a local body in Cardston, Alberta.


Taking a closer look at Titus chapter two, we find a word spoken to every group within the church in Crete. 


In the space of ten verses, there are instructions specific to:

1) Older men,

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 2:2.

2) Older women, 

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 2:3-4.

3) Younger women, 

...train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 2:4b-5.

4) Younger men, 

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 2:6.

5) Titus, 

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 2:7-8.

6) Slaves, 

Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. 2:9-10.


Can you find yourself in the verses above? According to these verses, what does God have to say to you as a man or a woman in this stage of your life?


Though times have changed, the standards for Christian Living haven't changed.

Paul continues, giving the doctrinal basis for these commands. In short, we are called to live in this way, because of grace. To live in this way is not arbitrary, but rather mandated by grace.


Titus 2:11-15

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our 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 lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.


Those who say that grace encourages people to do whatever they want, do not understand the kindness of God. Christ came to save the lawless (those who don't deserve redemption) and makes them holy. God's grace changes people. The person who says, "I love God," yet lives their life without any regard for what God thinks, shows that they don't have the love of Christ within them. The only catalyst for living a life that pleases God is to truly know the kindness of God. Then, we no longer trust in ourselves and we no longer live for ourselves. No matter how dark society becomes, the light of God's glorious grace is able to strengthen those who trust in Jesus Christ and enable us "to live self-controlled, upright, and goldy lives in the present age" (2:11).


Do you know the grace of God, which transforms sinners into saints?

Then, how is the grace of God evident in your daily life?


Grace & Peace,

Matt

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