Text: Titus 2:11-12
Title: Are You Learning What Grace is Teaching?
Hellen Keller (Perkins School for the Blind - website)
"The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrast between the two lives which it connects."
- Helen Keller
Helen Adams Keller was born June 27, 1880, in the northwest Alabama city of Tuscumbia. Her father was a retired Confederate Army captain and editor of the local newspaper; her mother was an educated young woman from Memphis. When Keller was 19 months old, she was afflicted by an unknown illness, possibly scarlet fever or meningitis, which left her deaf and blind.
Keller was extremely intelligent and tried to understand her surroundings through touch, smell and taste. However, she began to realize that her family members spoke to one another with their mouths instead of using signs as she did. Feeling their moving lips, she flew into a rage when she was unable to join in the conversation. By the age of six, Keller later wrote in her autobiography, “the need of some means of communication became so urgent that these outbursts occurred daily, sometimes hourly.”
Keller enjoyed this “finger play,” but she didn't understand until the famous moment when Sullivan spelled “w-a-t-e-r” while pumping water over her hand. Keller later wrote:
"Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!" - Helen Keller
exp. What set Helen free was a teacher who wouldn't quit until Helen learned. With learning Helen Keller was set free. She was no longer fighting her teacher but loving to learn.
app. The most important day in every believer's life is the day that saving GRACE came into our lives. That same wonderful grace doesn't leave us, but begins instructing us on how to live our new life in Christ in this present world. Graces teaches us how to be set free.
11 ¶ For the grace of God
that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that.... in this present world;
For us to be truly set free, we need submit to GRACE and learn what GRACE is teaching. Are you learning from grace or resisting grace this morning?
Grace says, "...
I. You should discard....(a couple things)
ill. When you play a card game you often have a discard pile. That pile is for cards which you feel are valueless to you. Once discarded they are not to be taken back and can not be used.
exp. There are to be things that a believer ought to discard.
...teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts....
def. denying: to deny oneself, to disregard his own interests, to refuse something offered.
app. If you are invited by anyone or anything to partake of these things, you should turn them down immediately.
A. You should discard irreverence towards God.
ungodliness (in this present world)
def. ungodliness: want of reverence towards God
ill. Israel would be tempted to take up the gods of the nations which they conquered. Instead of revere for God they would revere idols.
Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
exp. If Israel substituted a false God for THE ONE TRUE GOD, they would quickly experience judgment.
app. God is against anything that cheapens our esteem for Him.
1. What about irreverent speech?
exp. Some would say that taking God's name is no big deal. That is irreverent speech about God.
Ex 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
ill. The Giant Swing - The Wild's Christian Camp - "Oh My __________" They aren't talking to Him or about Him. They are just yelling his Holy Name as an expletive.
note: Euphemisms - Gosh, Golly, Je, dang, darn, heck,
arg. Did you know that it is a difficult thing to control the tongue but God expects you to do it? James 3: 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
app. Grace is teaching us to be careful not to give in to ungodly speech. Grace can set you free if you are willing to learn.
2. What about irreverent entertainment?
quest: Should a believer watch things that are irreverent towards God?
note: Sadly - there is little about modern day comedies that ought to thrill any believer? Sin is laughed at. God is scorned. Marriage and family are made ridiculous.
ill. I remember being shocked to hear the word, "Darn" on a tv show. Now days there is much fowler and crude speech and it is just the norm.
app. When is the last time you turned off a show because it was irreverent? It was ungodly and you aren't going to allow your family to enjoy ungodly entertainment?
3. What about irreverent friends?
quest: Should a believer hang out with those who blaspheme God?
ill. King David (the man after God's own heart) would not have anything to do with someone who hated God.
Psalm 139:21-22 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
app. When is the last time you stood up for Jesus with those who hate God? Grace would teach us to deny ourselves ungodly relationships. (That is why a believer should not marry an unbeliever.) (If you are already married, Paul gives clear instruction about remaining with that unbeliever - but there will be difficulties.)
2 Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
app. Are you friends (I don't mean friendly) with people who hate Jesus? How can you be?
4. What about irreverent dress?
quest: Should a believer dress in a worldly way? Doesn't grace teach you to be modest?
ill. Our world calls undressing in public "feminism." God has a better way to promote beauty.
I Peter 3: 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
note: Men shouldn't dress in a worldly way either. - grunge, gangster, necklaces/earings etc.
app. Doesn't grace teach us how to dress in a godly reverent way?
5. What about irreverent attitudes?
quest: Should a believer refuse to submit to authority? Doesn't grace teach you to submit to authority?
ill. Our world teaches parents to obey their children. They teach women to reject the authority of their husband, etc. Why? Because our world is ungodly.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
app. We are not of this world. Grace teaches us to submit to our God given authority.
Grace says, "You should discard irreverence towards God."
B. You should discard carnal cravings .
and worldly lusts, (in this present world)
def. worldly: of or belonging to the world.
lusts: desire, craving, desire for what is forbidden
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
ill. In NYC there are a lot of street peddlers who come up to you and open a briefcase or a coat and say, "Would you like to buy a watch, sunglasses...etc" They are all fake trinkets - ie "Foakleys."
app. The world has a lot of trinkets to tempt our carnal cravings.
1. What about money lust?(That is a worldly lust.)
question: Doesn't grace teach you that God meets your needs?
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
note: Money lust says, "If I just had __________$ then I'd be happy." But, it is always craving more. "Bigger, better, badder, etc"
ill. Watching the new play toy for the super rich - personal submarines - the cheapest is half a million dollars but you also have to have a super yacht from which to launch them.
question: Do you find yourself constantly lusting after things.
Ex 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his @#!*% , nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
app. Grace hasn't asked us to be monks. But, money lust is an ungodly idol seeking to take our devotion away from God.
2. What about immoral lust? (That is a worldly lust.)
question: Doesn't grace teach you to be pure and holy?
note: The word "fornication" is in our Bible 32 times.
def. Fornication: Ellicit Sexual Intercourse: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
exp. Our world has made the word "sex" a dirty word. But, sex in marriage is a treasure that God has given to the bond between husband and wife. But, Satan would seek to pervert that desire.
Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
app. You can't flee this without guarding what you watch - guarding what you listen to, etc.
3. What about addictive lusts? (That is a worldly lust.)
question: Doesn't grace teach you that your body is God's temple?
I Corinthians 6: 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
ill. Would anyone have a problem with me bringing selling alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, legal highs, ecigarettes, etc at church this morning? Why? Because this is a sanctuary where we worship God.
app. Believer - God lives inside of you? How can you profane His sanctuary - His temple?
Grace says, "Deny worldly lusts!"
4. What about lust for power/ popularity? (Those are worldly lusts.)
question: Doesn't grace teach you humility?
Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
ill. King Saul was given a position of popularity and power. But, it went to His head and destroyed him.
I Samuel 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
ill. Many Americans are currently supporting Donald Trump. Humility is not one of the strong suits of Mr. Trump. Pride ought to be despised in a leader.
Pr 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
note: The first item in the list of things God hates in Proverbs 6L17 is "A proud look."
ill. King Nebuchadnezzar learned his lesson after eating grass like an ox for 7 years.
Da 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
app. Power and popularity are worldly lusts that have destroyed man men. Grace would teach you to be humble.
conclusion: Helen Keller was trapped until a loving teacher came and set her free.
Grace is our teacher and grace can set us free. BUT WE MUST LISTEN TO GRACE.
Grace says, "Discard irreverence towards God."
1. Irreverent speech.
2. Irreverent entertainment.
3. Irreverent friends.
4. Irreverent dress.
5. Irreverent attitudes.
Grace says, "Discard carnal cravings.
1. Money lust.
2. Immoral lust.
3. Addictive lust.
4. Lust for power/popularity.
Are you to your teacher "the grace of God which bringeth salvation" and the instruction "for this present world?"
(Continued next week....)
II. You should display...
we should live
A. ...a right mind.
soberly, (in this present world)
def. soberly: with sound mind.
B. ... a right body.
righteously, (in this present world)
def. righteously: as is right, justly, uprightly
C. ... a right heart.
and godly, (in this present world)
def. godly: piously