Thursday, July 7, 2016
GATHER 2016 IGATPURI | Island Lessons Part 4 Titus - Steve Oliver
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TITUS PART 4
There are 4 things I’d like to get through in this session. I’d like everyone to take a sheet of paper and sit quietly before God and write out what Jesus has entrusted to you. What has He put into your hand so that when you leave from here you leave with your mandate, command, commission from Jesus. This is a symbol to remind you of what God has given you.
In our quest to build good churches to raise up Titus’ to impact our communities, we should not forget the preaching of the gospel of Jesus. In all that we do we mustn’t forget to preach the gospel. I was reminded of this while I was preparing the gospel. When last did I lead someone to Christ? I am always with church leaders. When last did I have the privilege of seeing someone being born again. Paul paints this picture of this glorious gospel and then he says I want you to insist on these things.
As we go from here I want to encourage you to personally lead people to Christ and grow our churches to salvation.
Ps 132 – He clothed the priests with Salvation. At Gateway I spoke that this is the gospel of Jesus. Seven people got saved – lives no longer in sin and shame. I know it does not end there but starts there
About 1995 Simon Petit was leading Jubilee Church in Cape town and Lex Loizedes joined him. He is an evangelist and want people to be saved. He calculated that they had only a hand full of people saved in the last few months. That is shameful for a church of 800. That means we have not trained the church well. They then transformed the church so that everybody’s lifestyle became the message. As Elders they asked the people to forgive him. Sometimes the desire for a mature churches stops us from reaching out. So in everything they did they always has the gospel. At the end of the year 349 got saved.
In Gateway 2014 we were facing the same thing. We were growing fast but not born out of ourselves – coming from overseas but not seeing people saved. You can’t go out in that nation and preach. So our messages always had the gospel. But by May we led 49 people to the Lord. I want to ask you today what is in your heart for your church in faith? We need to build well, We have Titus’ - young men and women raised up, our work amongst the poor to flourish . But we must see the gospel flourish.
It’s not about the number but the desire for people to know Jesus Christ. We want to see people saved and added.
3:9 – This is key for us in the age of the internet where are people have access to all sort of things. There is this big preacher giving a new revelation about the End Times with Brexit as a part of this. The problem is we want to be God. We want to know, control our futures. We don’t want to submit our lives to someone else’s authority. And so controversy is born.
Paul is saying Titus stay true to the Word. In Crete there were all sorts of people peddling stuff. Be discerning what you are listening to. Just because they gather a big crowd does not mean what they are saying is right.
3:10 the enemy big tactic is to divide us. In the dessert Satan tried to divide the Trinity. He will put people in our midst who will be divisive. We need to give good godly leadership. Every culture handles it differently. In Africa where there are differences they will take a gun and shoot the people. The culture is violent.
I’ve noticed in USA if there is some division you slander the person on the net. In the UK it happens but not as much. In India I’ve learnt you are quite dramatic!! Your movies are always about division – the tears!! The trouble is we let that come into the church when we face hardship. So Paul is teaching Titus how to handle this.
Here is my view on how to handle division in the church. Our culture mustn’t determine how we respond but we should be Biblical.
Always believe every single person can be won for Christ. In hardship everyone can win – this is the gospel. We are all victorious. Go in with the attitude that we want to win this.
Never pre judge. Think right thoughts about the person. They might be in your church by an act of God to shape your leadership gift. God put that stone in your shoe. You learn to walk differently. Ask what can I learn from this situation.
Recently I was looking at the Last Supper. I saw it’s the final night he is going to be betrayed. The one who is going to betray him is known to him. You are having your final meal- you are seeing your friends in that context for the last time. And you have one person who will betray you. Where would you put him? He was on Jesus left hand side – a place of honor, where Jesus would lean on him.
A commentator Kent R Hughes – Says right up until the last moment Jesus was reaching out to Judas to show him a better way. My question is that our experience in the church?
Bring warning by opening truth - Matt 18 The Bible teaches us how to handle these things.
Keep reaching out with truth until they reject it. You seek them out. Jesus went and looked for Peter Then you have to release them. Keep believing until the final moment.
Bless them as they go. In handling someone who is divisive let them know that they are precious to God. They are not the enemy. They are blood bought. Bring to their attention why what they are doing is causing hindrance.
Never write emails about these things. NEVER. Discern whether there is rejection or insecurity or a demonic response. Keep reaching out to meet them. How many time? Seventy times seven. If there is no response release them. I am accepting that you are working in team. When this happens bring it to the attention of the church not to shame the person but to disciple the church.
Last year in Gateway we went through a difficult situation. We handle it like this. We took it to the church. Our numbers went up by 10%. No one should leave the body without an explanation. It’s a body.
Keep believing in people.
Lastly. If you are here and you are a divisive person, please build up the body. Division comes out of pride, selfishness and sin.
Titus had been left to finish a task but he was not left alone. So even though Paul left, Paul is sending Artemus and Tychitus. Tychitus carried the same letters to Colosse. So this guy had proved faithful because some of Paul’s letter did not reach the churches.
When God calls us to do things, when we send people out we should back them up by sending people to encourage them
There is another lesson I want us to learn. “Come to me.” i.e Its time to lay down the work that you are doing esp. when its fruitful. It can give you your identity. It is the work of our labor and sacrifice. It’s difficult to lay down. What[b1] ever you are doing hold it lightly. When we don’t do this we plateau and stop growing.
In Africa they cut a pumpkin a small hole – for a Baboon to put his hand in. When they do this they can’t; let go and then this is how they get caught. Some leaders are like that. They can’t let go.
Paul calls Titus. This is Paul at his relational best. Give and you will receive. Be ready to release. Be faithful with your part of the building and trust that Jesus will truly builds his church.
One of the major reasons why Churches don’t grow is because they don’t release.
I end with this – Grace and peace be upon you all.