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Supporting God’s Work
15 November 2020 AM – Titus 3:12-15 – Tit20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Supporting God’s work is a way that Christians can tangibly worship God. However, as we will see this morning, supporting God’s work is far more than just financial giving. There are several ways we can support God’s work.
Transition: In Paul’s closing words to Titus, he identifies three of the ways that we can support God’s work.
The first way we can support God’s work is to …
1. Support it by Personal Encouragement
a. Paul asked Titus to visit him (v.12)
1) Paul planned to send Artemas or Tychicus to Crete to relieve Titus. Likely, this break would encourage Titus.
a) We know nothing about Artemas except that he must have been a faithful preacher that was capable of taking over where Titus left off in the work of strengthening the churches in Crete.
b) Tychicus was a Christian of Asia who accompanied Paul on his last trip to Jerusalem (Ac 20:4). During Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, Tychicus carried the letters of Ephesians and Colossians to their churches. In them, Paul describes his character. (Colossians 4:7) “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:“
2) He asked Titus to be diligent or not waste any time in coming to see him at Nicopolis. He wanted him to come before winter. There are two cities with the name Nicopolis, but this one is probably the one located in Greece, across from the heal of Italy.
3) Paul did not state the reason for his request.
a) Perhaps Paul had another mission for Titus.
b) Maybe he just wanted a firsthand report of the work on Crete.
c) It could be that Paul needed his help.
d) Whatever the reason, Titus’ trip to see Paul would be an encouragement to the Apostle.
b. You too can be an encourager
1) God’s servants (preachers, missionaries, evangelists) are humans just like you. They often get weary and discouraged. They appreciate encouragement.
2) You can encourage them with words of appreciation and thanks, and by letting them know you are praying for them.
3) You can encourage them with emails or letters.
4) You can encourage them with personal visits.
The second way we can support God’s work is to …
2. Support it by Personal Giving
a. Titus was to bring Zenas and Apollos on their journey.
1) The only thing we know about Zenas is that Paul called him a lawyer. If he was a Jewish lawyer, then he was a Scribe and teacher of the Jewish law. If he was a Roman lawyer, the he was a civil lawyer. He was on Crete, evidently working with the preacher Apollos.
2) Apollos, on the other hand was a Jew of Alexandria, a learned and eloquent man, who became a Christian and preacher (Acts 18:24). Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more perfectly in “the way of God” (Acts 18:26).
3) The word translated “bring … on their journey” means to provide things needed for their journey.
4) Evidently, Paul was asking Titus to provide for these men personally so they would have the necessary supplies for their trip. By doing this, they would have nothing wanting or lacking as they travelled.
b. Financial giving is God’s plan for funding His work
1) God established this early in the Old Testament.
a) (Proverbs 3:9-10) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.“
b) (Malachi 3:10) “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.“
2) Giving a tithe to your local church is God’s plan for Christians in our age as well. A tithe is 10% of your gross income. Anything given more than your tithe is an offering. Though giving is a sacrifice, it honours the Lord. God blesses those who truly honour Him. Giving from the heart will also unite your heart with God’s work.
a) (1 Corinthians 9:14) “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (Galatians 6:6) “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.“
b) (2 Corinthians 9:7) “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.“
Here is an interesting thought. The preacher George Mueller. He said, “God judges what we give by what we keep.”
The third way we can support God’s work is to …
3. Support it by Personal Involvement
a. Individuals must learn to maintain good works
1) When Paul said, “let ours also learn”, he was probably talking about “fellow Christians”. This would apply to the believers in Crete. All Christians are to maintain or give attention to good works. Prioritise good works.
2) This is the fourth time in this book that Paul mentions “good works”.
a) In verse 8, good works spoke of our words, conduct, appearance, friendliness, honesty, faithfulness, hard work, witness, etc.
b) Here, Paul applies the good works to meeting necessities – for necessary uses. Financially supporting the work of the Lord helps to meet necessities. However, the context speaks of sacrificing to meet the necessities of the preachers (Zenas and Apollos) who are about to travel. They needed money, food and provisions.
c) When we give attention to good works in this manner God is able to make us fruitful. Fruitfulness may be present blessings or eternal blessings. This is similar to what Jesus said. (Matthew 6:20) “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:“
d) Flip over to (3 John 1:8) “We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” John called Christians “fellowhelpers” who were hospitable and helpful to preachers. When you help God’s work in any way, you are doing good works.
b. We too may be fruitful if we maintain these good works
1) When we get involved in the work of the Lord (witnessing, praying, helping, giving) with a right attitude and right motive, our lives can be fruitful for the Lord.
2) To bear fruit from good works we must abide in close fellowship with the Lord. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.“
3) When we get involved in supporting God’s work, God will make us fruitful. In thanking the Philippian church, Paul wrote, (Philippians 4:17) “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.“
Paul closed the epistle with a kind greeting (v.15)