A Spiritual Checkup

26 July 2020 AM – Titus 1:12-16 – Tit20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: If your doctor does a physical checkup on you and finds some problems, the wise thing to do is to take action.
Transition: Paul had given the false teachers of Crete a spiritual checkup that revealed three more spiritual problems for Titus to address. As we look at these, examine your own spiritual life.
The first spiritual problem revealed was that …
  1. Their Faith was Unhealthy (v.12-13)
a.         They overlooked vices
1)         Even the local prophets admitted that the Cretians had a reputation for three vices.
a)         They were liars. They did not always tell the truth. (Colossians 3:9) “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
b)         They were evil beasts. They were bad natured and ferocious. (Ecclesiastes 7:9) “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
c)         They were slow bellies. They were lazy gluttons. (Proverbs 6:6) “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
2)         The false teachers did not consider these vices very bad. Sadly, many professing Christians today excuse these vices in their own lives. If you know deep down in your heart that you are struggling with one of these vices, do not excuse it or ignore it.
b.         These vices hurt their faith
1)         The word “faith” here is talking about their belief system. The false teachers claimed to be religious leaders, yet they practiced these vices without shame.
2)         God says here that they who do these vices are not sound in the faith. Their faith is not healthy. Now, overcoming these vices is not part of saving faith in Christ. However, you cannot be a health Christian while excusing such vices in your life.
3)         Paul told Titus that he must rebuke them sharply. He must reprove them severely. Lying, having a hot temper and being lazy and eating too much are not petty sins.
The second spiritual problem revealed was that …
2.        Their Rituals Led Away from the Truth (v.14)
a.         They heeded Jewish rituals
1)         The Jews had added fables or idle tales to their religious rituals. In 2 Timothy 4:4 we read, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2)         The Jews also had scores of commandments of men that they placed on a par with God’s Word. During Jesus’ ministry, the Jews repeatedly condemned Him for not washing his hands, picking grain to eat on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath, and ministering to sinners.
3)         Many religions today follow manmade fables that add to their doctrine. Rituals may include:
a)         Reading prayers
b)         Praying to saints
c)         Christenings or baby baptisms
d)         Confessing to a priest
e)         Condemning birthdays, holidays, blood transfusions
f)          Requiring door-knocking
g)         Requiring Saturday worship
h)         Claiming that baptism is part of salvation
4)         Rituals often begin when a spiritual leader twists Scripture to say something that God never intended. Someone has wisely put it this way, “When the plain sense of Scripture makes good sense, seek no other sense.”
5)         Many religions like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Seventh Day Adventists began in the mid-1800s with a person who did not agree with the plain interpretation of Scripture.
6)         Any requirement for eternal salvation other than repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is a ritual.
b.         Rituals turn from God’s truth
1)         Rituals turned the false teachers from God’s truth.
2)         Rituals also turned their followers away from God’s truth.
3)         Before the New Testament was completed, Christian doctrine and practice was verbally taught by the apostles, prophets, pastors and evangelists of the first century. The absence of the written New Testament made it easier for false teachers to twist what was taught and to lead people away from God’s truth.
4)         We now have God’s completed Word. The Bible is God’s truth. It is to be our supreme and ultimate authority for all doctrine and practice. Be careful what translation you use. Many are based on a corrupt text. KJV is good.
a)         Jesus prayed, (John 17:17) “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
b)         (Psalms 119:160) “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
c)         (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The third spiritual problem revealed was that …
3.        Their Unbelief Defiled their Hearts (v.15-16)
a.         Purity begins on the inside
1)         The Jews thought that keeping rituals made them pure. Jesus countered this saying, (Matthew 15:19-20) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
2)         Failing to keep a ceremony does not defile a person. The sinfulness of one’s heart leads to outward sins. Those sins defile a person.
3)         Remember what we learned in 1 John 1. If you are truly a child of God by faith in Christ, if you sin, you will lose your fellowship with God but you will not lose your relationship with God. He will chasten you but not kick out not of his family. If God does not chasten you when you sin, you are not a genuine Christian (Hebrews 12:8).
4)         To the unbeliever who is defiled by his unrepentant sinful heart, nothing is pure. Both his mind and conscience are defiled.
b.         Actions speak louder than words (v.16)
1)         The false teachers professed that they knew God, but by their actions, they denied it.
2)         A person who claims to be a Christian yet who lives an offensive, disobedient, and spiritually fruitless life, he is deceiving himself.
3)         Jesus said in (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
4)         What does the Bible say about becoming a true Christian? (Acts 3:19) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, ” (Acts 16:31) “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, ...” (Romans 10:9) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Jesus said in (John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Conclusion: If God did this spiritual checkup on your life, what would it reveal? Do you have a healthy faith or one corrupted by vices? Are you practicing rituals or following God’s truth? Is your heart pure or defiled before God? Does your life testify that you truly know Christ as your Saviour? Are you sure that you have repented of your sin and trusted Christ to save you from hell?
            If this spiritual checkup reveals a need in your spiritual life, I urge you to deal with it today. Do not ignore it. I am happy to talk with you about your needs. Come see me after the service.
Song: Only Trust Him – 252