Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/mensupport/20061208.m.htm
MEN'S LEADERSHIP SUPPORT GROUP
Part XII: Functioning Effectively As A Leader In A Deteriorating Culture
E. Asserting Responsibly Productive Living
Lesson: (1) The believer's salvation from sin by God's grace is a shift away from the unproductive sin of a decadent culture so that (a) INSTEAD of rebelling against the government, having fellowship with false teachers and neglecting to help godly evangelists, believers are (b) to be PRODUCTIVE: they are ((1)) to submit respectfully to the government, ((2)) avoid the ministry of false teachers and ((3)) materially help those who minister God's truth. (2) Godly leaders must promote such practices.
- A morally declining culture sabotages human productivity, for lying, abuse and laziness mark such a culture, and laziness is the hallmark of an unproductive culture, cf. Titus 1:12.
- However, godliness leads to an opposite end, that of great productivity, a fact Paul revealed was to mark the life of a godly leader as well as to be his emphasis with others (as follows):
- Asserting Responsibly Productive Living, Titus 3:1-15.
- Paul had noted the Cretans among whom Titus ministered were culturally inclined toward deceit, abuse and uncontrolled behavior, Titus 1:12. They thus tended to live lives that inhibited human productivity.
- Well, after the errant social relations and errant attitudes from such a cultural background had been corrected through Christ, the leaders were to call the disciples to humanly productive living, Tit. 3:1-15:
- In Titus 3:1, Paul urged Titus to remind believers on Crete to be prepared to do every good work.
- In Titus 3:8 ESV, Paul again urged Titus to insist that believers devote themselves to good works.
- Finally, in Titus 3:14 NIV, Paul urged Titus to disciple believers to devote themselves to good works that they help in cases of pressing need, and not "live unproductive lives."
- Noting the details of this concern shows us Paul wanted Cretan believers in Christ not to reflect the laziness of their decadent culture, but to be productive in good works (as follows):
- Believers were to be productive in relation to the government by submitting to its rulers, Tit. 3:1, 2-7:
- Paul's first admonition for believers to be ready for every good work in Titus 3:1b was given in connection to the believer's need to act respectfully submissive to government rulers (Titus 3:1a) versus being rebellious and disrespectful as often occurs in decadent cultures, cf. Titus 3:2.
- This admonition was followed by a reminder by Paul of the fact that believers have been saved from a sinful way of life that included such godlessness by the wonderful grace of God so that they might live righteous and law-abiding lives before government authorities, Titus 3:3-7.
- Believers were to be productive in relation to false teachers by avoiding their influence, Titus 3:8-11:
- Paul's second admonition for believers to devote themselves to good works was given in regard to the need to avoid the ministry of false teachers, that believers not get involved in their fruitless discussions on questions, genealogies and strivings about the law that only divide, Titus 3:8, 9.
- Indeed, those who divided people over fruitless wranglings were to be expelled after the first and second admonitions (Matt. 18:15-17), for they are subverted and sin, being self-condemned, 3:10f.
- Believers were to be productive in relation to godly itinerant ministers of God's Word by materially supporting them in their travels, Titus 3:12-15:
- Paul's third admonition for believers to devote themselves to good works was given in regard to helping itinerant evangelists by contributing to meet their material needs, Titus 3:12-14.
- Believers were to help such men as Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journeys, for helping them was part of God's ministry of discipling the world, Titus 3:13 with 3 John 5-8.
Application: (1) May we who lead recognize the need to live and promote a PRODUCTIVE lifestyle that counters the UNPRODUCTIVE lifestyle of our lost world. (2) This means (a) promoting respect and obedience toward the government, resisting false teachers and their teachings and supporting godly messengers (b) OPPOSITE the decadent culture's TYPICAL disrespect of the government, fellowship with spiritually errant teachers and neglect of supporting God's messengers of His truth!