Living Right in a Wrong World

13 September 2020 AM – Titus 2:11-12 – Tit20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: We have found in our garden that dandelions are determined to keep growing. We can pull the top off and it will regrow. We can even pull them out and put them in a bucket and they often try to flower. They keep growing even when everything is against them.
            God wants Christians to be like those dandelions. He wants us to keep growing spiritually even when the world is against us. He wants us to live right in a wrong world.
Transition: These verses tells us that living right in a wrong world requires Preparation, Instruction and Application.
Living right in a wrong world first requires …
  1. Preparation
a.         To begin, you need saving grace
1)         Last week we covered this in depth. If you missed last week, I strongly urge you to go to our website and listen to the sermon.
2)         You cannot possibly live right in this wrong world if you do not first receive God’s saving grace. You must be a true Christian before you can receive God’s grace to live right.
3)         Many religious people (who have not truly received God’s saving grace) get frustrated trying to live right in their own strength. This is because, as Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Until God cleanses your heart, you cannot truly live right. Living the best that you can will still fall short of God’s perfection.
b.         God’s grace not only saves, it enables right living
1)         Remember that God’s grace is divine enabling. It is the enabling of the Holy Spirit in our lives to do things that we are incapable of doing on our own.
2)         Just as God’s saving grace enables a sinner to receive His forgiveness and eternal life, so God’s sanctifying grace enables a Christian to live right in a wrong world. The word “sanctifying” means to make holy or pure. It sets a believer apart from the sins of this world to live for God’s glory.
3)         God offers this sanctifying grace to every Christian (all men). If you are a Christian, He offers it to you! With God’s help, you CAN live right in a wrong world.
Living right in a wrong world then requires …
2.        Instruction
a.         God’s grace teaches us
1)         God’s grace is teaching us. Its teaching is more than just relaying information. The word actually refers to child training.
2)         It is used of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition. It is instruction with reinforcement. It includes chastening when we fail to listen and obey.
3)         If you have ever taught a dog to heel (to walk at your side), you know that it takes more than just bribes; it takes training including reproof and sometimes punishment. I am teaching our dog to heel. Each time she pulls ahead, I say, “Heel” and pull her special lead that runs under her legs. This is uncomfortable and she is slowly learning to heel.
4)         So it is with God’s grace. It trains us by word and sometimes by chastening to get us to follow His way.
b.         God’s grace teaches the need for self-denial
1)         The word “that” translates a word that means in order that. God’s training is in order that we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.
2)         Before we can make the application, we must first deny the hindrances. The word deny has to do with disregarding our interests. It is rejecting or refusing to do something. It is saying, “NO” to hindrances. Our verse identifies two hindrances to which we must say, “NO”.
a)         We must deny ungodliness. Ungodliness strictly speaking is irreverence toward God. It is dishonouring him. Before we can really grasp what it means to be irreverent toward God, we must understand God’s holy character. (1 Samuel 2:2) “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” (Habakkuk 1:13) “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…” (Proverbs 8:13) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Before we can live right in a wrong world, we must deny, or say, “NO” to all that dishonours God.
b)         We must deny worldly lusts. These lusts are things desired by the unbelieving world. They are evil things that a Christian should not desire. Worldly lusts include wanting to dress immodestly like the ungodly, wanting to wear hair styles like the ungodly, desiring to look at filthy things, and listening to music that blasphemes God. It includes desiring worldly vices like swearing, smoking, drinking, gambling, and dancing. (1 Peter 1:14-16) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
3)         You will never be able to live right in a wrong world until you deny or say, “NO” to ungodliness and worldly lusts.
Living right in a wrong world finally requires …
3.        Application
a.         The application is not automatic
1)         Note the phrase, “we should live”. Grammatically, this is a statement of possibility. In other words, “we might live” this way if conditions are met.
2)         The conditions we must meet are receiving God’s saving grace and then denying ungodliness and worldly lusts. It is then, and only then that we can live right in a wrong world.
3)         The first condition of receiving God’s saving grace is a one-time event. Once you are truly born into God’s family by placing your faith in Jesus Christ, you are forever His child. The second condition of denying ungodliness and worldly lust is a daily duty. Every day, we must say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly lusts. It is a constant trial in our lives.
4)         If you have been struggling to live right, very likely, you have not met one or both of God’s conditions.
b.         The application takes discipline
Denying or saying “NO” to ungodliness and worldly lusts is negative half of the application. We then find three positive applications that also take discipline.
1)         God wants you to live soberly in this wrong world.
a)         This is living with a sound mind, temperately, prudently or discreetly. It is living as a person who is in his right mind.
b)         Therefore, living in a right mind is fearing God and keeping every thought and meditation pleasing to our holy God.
2)         God wants you to live righteously in this wrong world.
a)         This is living a life that is right, fit, proper or upright in the sight of God.
b)         Living righteously is carefully selecting every word and deed so that your life pleases our holy God.
3)         God wants you to live godly in this wrong world.
a)         This is living a life that is pious or reverently devout.
b)         Living godly is keeping your heart and attitudes pleasing to our holy God.
4)         You see, God wants your thoughts and meditations, your words and deeds, and your heart and attitudes to be constantly holy in this present world so that you will be always ready for the blessed hope (v.13).
Conclusion: Living right in a wrong world requires Preparation (saving grace and sanctifying grace), Instruction (saying “NO” to ungodliness and worldly lusts) and Application (choosing to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world).
            Here are three questions to ask yourself this morning. Are you prepared to live right? Are you following God’s instructions to live right? Are you applying God’s actions to live right?
Song: I Have Decided – 397