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Delivered By
Pastor Ed Dinkins
Delivered On
July 19, 2015
Central Passage
Titus 3:1-11, 14
Third Sunday Service

Excerpt -Commentary: Instruction to Live As Good Citizens in The World by J. Hampton Keathley III

      "The practical outworking of obedience would include things like paying taxes, being orderly in behavior, displaying honesty in business, and in general, obeying the laws of the land. But submission to government and being a good citizen does not stop with just obedience. It should also include being “ready (hetoimos, “ready, prepared”) for every good work.” Because of the context, this clause should not be limited to good works in the Christian community, but understood as broadening the believer’s responsibility in the world around him as an influence for good in the community. It would certainly include civic responsibility, but should not be limited to that in view of the context that follows (vs. 2).

     These verses 1-8 have dealt with the believer’s testimony in the world, a world that is divided politically, economically, religiously, culturally, racially, and domestically. In this fragmented world, God has called us to manifest His love through the gift of His Son in a way that not only brings people to a saving knowledge of Christ, but that demonstrates the power of the cross to bring people together in loving relationships. In his book, Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t, Erwin Lutzer has a chapter that points to the cross as a power for reconciliation. His comments in a couple of paragraphs form a fitting close to the believer’s responsibility to manifest the power of the cross as God’s means of not only reconciliation with Him, but of reconciliation with one another.

     In such a world, many relationships are either brief, high-intensity encounters which quickly burn themselves out, or casual interactions that do not fill the human desire for love and a lasting connection. Americans are, for the most part, a lonely lot, seeking to fill the void with the latest gadgets or entertainment venues. Deep relationships characterized by loyalty and commitment are few in number and little is done to encourage them. Thus our desires are unmet, and as a nation we keep turning to those solutions that only inflame greater unmet desires.

     To where do we turn?

     The church is called to model wholesome, caring relationships in a culture that no longer believes that such friendships are possible. Our calling is to eschew that part of our culture that is fueled by a radical individualism that selfishly seeks one’s own “good” at the expense of one’s neighbor. We have to prove that deep and loyal friendships can exist among those who otherwise have racial, cultural, and economic differences. In other words, we are to model oneness for which Christ prayed. It is at this very point that we should be most unlike the world.







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