Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People

Devoted to Good Works



Devoted to Good Works

J.C. Thompson |

This week we'll see in Titus 3 how we can grow in our devotion to good works.








Introduction (Titus 3:8; Romans 6:1)

  • In the time in which we live, we are told from every angle where we should focus our time, energy, and money.
  • Paul gives Titus and us 2 areas to place our focus in the Christian Life.
    • Be Devoted To God
    • Be Devoted to Good Works
  • This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. … Titus 3:8 (NLT)
  • Today our focus will be on our devotion to good works.
  • How can we begin to grow in living a life devoted to God? Let’s begin.

 

I can grow in my devotion to good works by…

  1. Understanding they are a RESULT of my SALVATION. (Titus 3:8. C/R: Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13; Titus 2:14)

 

  • In order to grow in our devotion to good works, we must first understand what good works are.
  • What is a good work?
  • The word work in Greek is “er-gon”. It is a deed or action that carries out an inner desire.
  • The word good here is “kalos” - It means beautiful by reason of the purity of someone’s heart and life. Something that is praiseworthy; morally good.
  • What are “good works”? Good works are not isolated acts of doing good, but instead the picture of the whole life of the believer lived for the glory of God.
  • This means your work, your family dinners, what you do in the car, in your home, at school, on your phone, and at church are included in your “good works”
  • The idea of works can limit our thoughts to only specific acts, but scripture speaks to the totality of your life as your “good work”
  • So isolating our good actions or works such as giving to the homeless but not including our feelings towards our family does not fit under the definition of “good works” as defined by Scripture.
  • While some denominations or churches teach that our salvation comes by our works or because of our works, Scripture does not teach this.
  • Instead we see that Scripture teaches our salvation is a gift received through faith, also a gift, and salvation changes us into God’s people. (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23)
  • Our new life, attitudes, actions and behaviors are the result of being changed.
  • For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
  • God has prepared a life for us and we live in obedience to those works as a result of having our allegiances changed
  • One of the worst things we can do is want people to do good without having received new life from Christ.
  • It’s why we see Paul urging Titus to insist on teaching the truths of the gospel and the new birth to people and that will lead them to being devoted to good works.
  • It’s like duct-taping apples onto a grape vine. Hoping that the vine will morph into an apple tree.
  • APP: Have you seen change in your life? How can you thank God for this work in your life?

 

  1. Upholding my RESPONSIBILITY. (Titus 3:1-2. C/R: Acts 2:22-23; Romans 14:12; Galatians 6:5; Philippians 2:12-13)
  • Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:1-2 (NLT)
  • Paul is sharing with Titus that part of the responsibility of believers is to be good citizens in the country that they reside.
  • Paul mentions this in part because believers would know that living under the Spirit would bring them into conflict with living as citizens of a foreign kingdom. But whenever possible to come under the authority of human government.
  • They must always be ready to do what is good, rather than standing isolated from what is happening in the culture around them. Ready to contribute and influence people for the common good.
  • Again, we should note that we are seeing attitudes and not just as behaviors as standards of good.
  • What is God’s responsibility and what is mine?
  • Scripture doesn’t resolve this tension for us. It is both.
  • Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.Philippians 2:12b (NLT)
  • Our responsibility – work hard, obedience to God and the manner in which we obey reverence and fear.
  • This is our responsibility.
  • For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13 (NLT)
  • God’s Sovereignty – working, giving us the desire and the ability to do it.
  • Do your children do what they say because of their efforts or because of your training and provision? Both.
  • Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians as being Christ’s ambassadors. We are not citizens of America, we are foreigners.
  • I have more in common with a woman from the Middle East who is a Christian than someone who is not a follower of Christ in Greenville, SC.
  • How does your job change, your family change if you can view yourself as an ambassador of Christ where He has placed you?
  • Would you use the same words? Would you put more effort into your work? Be more honest in your dealings with others? Be more patient or considerate of your employees needs?
  • APP: What has God given you responsibility for in your place, time, and based on your gifts and strengths? Are you following what God has given you to do in all areas of your life?
  • APP: What responsibilities has God given to you that change in the light of living as an ambassador of Christ?


  1. Underscoring the GRACE of God (Titus 2:10. C/R: Matthew 5:16; James 1:27; 1 Peter 2:9,12)
  • Our works are the same. They do not make us a Christian or change our standing with God, but they do set us apart from the world.
  • When we do these God-honoring; good works, people are inclined to the message of the Grace of God.
  • ...but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. Titus 2:10 (NLT)
  • ESV uses the word “adorn” which I feel makes a bit more sense in understanding that God has prepared lovely things for us to do and those things that God prepares for us makes Him seem lovely to others.
  • God could do this without our help or assistance. He chooses to select us as partners in sharing His love with the world.
  • “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16 (NLT)
  • Our works are to serve as a pointer to God and His grace shown towards us.
  • Our lights are meant to shine in darkness.
  • Even if our circumstances change, even if we are blamed or accused of wrongdoing, Scripture teaches us that our behavior towards those outside of the faith matters, especially when our circumstances place us in negative situations.
  • Do you believe that God could put you into a situation where you are seen as the wrongdoer, costing you your job, your reputation, and relationships in order to use you as an example of faith?
  • Do we view success/comfort or our testimony of God’s goodness as the ultimate aim of our life?
  • If we view our lives as a living sacrifice, not only will our actions be different, but so will our goals, our dreams, and our feeling of doing a job well done.
  • Some scenarios: Honesty or Promotion? Discipleship or your family or travel? Investment for retirement or investment for eternity?
  • Living the good life of God does not mean living the comfortable life of American materialism. They are not the same.
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