The Apostle Paul’s short epistle to his missionary companion, Titus, has much to teach us yet today. Titus had been left behind on the island of Crete to put in order things left unfinished and to appoint elders for all the churches there after the island had been evangelized by Paul. False teachers were already upsetting whole families and the low estate of Cretan character was another problem. As in 1 Timothy, Paul gives Titus timeless directions about the kind of church leaders needed there (or anywhere). Also, he schools Titus on the Christian lifestyle he needs to cultivate in the churches to adorn the gospel of Christ and to give enemies no handy excuse to disparage the church or our message. This concern is one that we would do well to take heed today where so much sin continues to scandalize churches.
As he faces his imminent exit (according to Jesus’s earlier word to him) Peter writes this second epistle to us as a grand reminder of well known truths that, if heeded, will keep us growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, will render us neither useless or unfruitful in His service and furnish us a lavish entrance into His eternal kingdom. God has done the heavy lifting, giving us everything pertaining to life and godliness. Now our part is bring due diligence to the growth process.
To incentivize us, Peter reminds us that our faith is firmly rooted in history and divine revelation through the prophets and apostles, like him. Still, he warns, as in the past, so in the present and future, false teachers, whose ways he profiles, will always appear to seduce those who are unstable and unalert. From these we need to keep our distance. And as we walk with Christ in the present, it is imperative that we keep focused on our future hope despite the mockers who will dispute it. Keeping our eyes fixed on the approach of the day of the Lord begs us to live in moral readiness for the end of history and the reign of God into eternity.
The Psalms comprise perhaps the most generally beloved literature in all of God’s word. The reason for that is not a puzzle. The psalms, many penned by King David, are so personal and addressed to God “out of the pits” where, at one time or another (or better yet many times) all of us believers […]
Penned by Luke, the author of the third gospel, which recounts the beginning of the ministry of our Lord Jesus, the book of Acts is the sequel, narrating the continuation of His ministry through His chosen apostles. It describes the birth of the church and the fulfillment of the OT promise of the outpouring of the […]
Following Jesus is our conviction, our passion and our vision. That is what we are all about. But sometimes it helps a lot to flesh that out a bit, because following Jesus, which is the reflex of an honest-to-God faith, is really a pretty radical thing. In this short series of four messages, Pastor Jim […]