"THE EPISTLE TO TITUS" Profitable And Unprofitable (3:8-11) INTRODUCTION 1. Toward the end of his epistle to Titus, Paul gives him several exhortations... a. Things for Titus to affirm - Tit 3:8 b. Things for Titus to avoid - Tit 3:9-11 2. In doing so, Paul describes things that are... a. Profitable and good - cf. Tit 3:8 b. Unprofitable and useless - cf. Tit 3:9 [In this lesson, we shall examine what Paul describes as profitable and unprofitable, beginning with...] I. WHAT IS PROFITABLE A. CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS... 1. Something Paul wanted Titus to affirm constantly - Tit 3:8 2. Something which Paul himself did, while writing Titus
- Ti 2:7,14; 3:1,14 -- Are we careful to maintain good works? B. THE ROLE OF GOOD WORKS... 1. We should not misunderstand the purpose of good works a. They are not done to buy or earn our way into heaven b. God saves us by His grace, not by our works - Ep 2:8-9; Ti 3:4-7 c. Yet we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works! - Ep 2:10; Tit 2:14 2. Why then are we to do good works? a. They bring glory to God! - Mt 5:16; 1Pe 2:11-12 b. They can prepare unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel - 1Pe 2:12; 3:1-2 c. They demonstrate the living nature of our faith - Jm 2:14-17 d. They are necessary if we are to be like Jesus - cf. Lk 6:46 with Ac 10:38 e. They are good and profitable to men - Tit 3:8 -- Do we understand the role of good works in our lives? C. GOOD WORKS WE CAN DO... 1. Good works that are spiritual in nature a. Telling others of God's grace - 1Pe 2:9-10 b. Encouraging other Christians - He 3:12-13 c. Restoring weak brethren - Ga 6:1-2; Jm 5:19-20 2. Good works that are physical in nature a. Jesus did not limit His good works to things spiritual - Lk 7:22 b. Nor did He expect His disciples to so limit their good works - cf. Mt 10:7-8; 25:34-40 c. Just as some may be gifted in talent and opportunities to teach, so others are gifted to in areas of physical service - cf. Ro 12:3-8 d. Women can be especially fruitful in this area - e.g., Ac 9: 36-39 -- What kind of good works are we doing? [Good works are certainly profitable, and should be a major focus in our service to God as disciples of Christ. On the other hand, there are things we should diligently avoid. So let us now consider...] II. WHAT IS UNPROFITABLE A. ENGAGING IN FOOLISH DISPUTES... 1. Involving genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law - Tit 3:9a 2. Such are described as unprofitable and useless - Tit 3:9b -- Could we be guilty of engaging in such foolish disputes? B. THE HARM OF FOOLISH DISPUTES... 1. They leads to divisiveness, and those who refuse to repent of such are to be rejected after the first and second admonition - Tit 3:10 2. For such become warped, sinful, and self-condemned - Tit 3:11 3. Paul warned Timothy repeatedly against such "word battles" a. They cause disputes rather than godly edification - 1Ti 1: 3-4 b. They create envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions - 1 Ti 6:3-5 c. They have caused some to stray from the faith - 1Ti 6:20-21 d. They lead to the ruin of the hearers - 2Ti 2:14 e. They increase to more ungodliness - 2Ti 2:16 f. Their effect spreads like cancer, and overthrow the faith of some - 2Ti 2:17-18 g. They generate strife - 2Ti 2:23 -- Can we not see the grave danger of foolish disputes? C. ALTERNATIVES TO FOOLISH DISPUTES... 1. Godly edification that produces love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith - cf. 1Ti 1:4-6 2. Wholesome words, such as the words of our Lord, and doctrine which accords to godliness - cf. 1Ti 6:3 3. Correcting those in opposition with gentleness, patience, and humility - cf. 2Ti 2:24-26 a. Disagreeing without being disagreeable b. Contending for the faith without being contentious -- Will we engage in godly edification with godly character instead of foolish disputes? CONCLUSION 1. Paul's words in our text relate especially to Titus' role as an evangelist... a. Charged with setting in order the things that are lacking - Tit 1:5 b. Charged with speaking things that are proper for sound doctrine - Tit 2:1 -- Preachers do well to take Paul's words to heart as they carry out their ministry 2. But Paul's words should not be heeded only by evangelists... a. All Christians should see the value of good works, and be diligent in them b. All Christians should see the harm of foolish disputes, and seek to avoid them -- Every disciple of Christ does well to take Paul's words to heart as they follow Jesus May we all be careful to maintain good works, and to avoid foolish disputes...!