Called To Serve
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Before I became a pastor, I was in management. In those years I helped hire many people. During that time, we never hired anyone just to give them benefits. We hired them to do a job that would benefit the company. Once they were hired and began to work, they did however receive many benefits. They were provided with Health insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Holiday pay, paid vacation and several other benefits.
Each week they received a salary that enabled them to Pay their mortgage, purchase a car, put gas in it, maintain it and insure it. Because of the wages they received they could feed and clothe their children. But ultimately, they were hired to do a job.
For those who are children of God there are many benefits. We are provided with salvation and eternal life, we have a relationship with the Father, we are adopted into the family of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus, we have a home in Heaven and we have the opportunity for an abundant life while we are here on earth. These are just a few of the benefits of being a child of God.
But God did not just save you and I to keep you from Hell. He did not redeem you simply to give you a home in Heaven. Our ultimate purpose in this life is to bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. If that is true (and it is) then it is safe to say that you were CALLED TO SERVE!
If you look at the life and ministry of the Apostles, it becomes clear that Jesus had a plan for them. Yes, they received many benefits from following the Savior. But they were called, commanded and commissioned to share the Gospel for the remainder of their lives.
In our selected text we find that this was not just the case for the original 12. It is the case for everyone who is "in Christ". I would like to look at the first four verses of Paul's epistle to Titus and see that we are "Called To Serve". In this passage we see that…
1)Paul was saved to serve. 2) Titus was saved to serve 3) You & I were saved to serve.
Let's begin in verse 1 and see that:
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness.
Paul Was Called To Serve - In the church's infancy there were not many people who were feared more than a man named Saul of Tarsus. He was a devout Jew... a self-described "Pharisee of Pharisees". He spent his days persecuting Christians and seeking the complete destruction of the Church. When Stephen was stoned to death, Saul/Paul was there consenting unto his death. What Saul of Tarsus did not know was that God had chosen him for a specific task. He would soon become one of the greatest leaders & missionaries in this church that he fought so hard to destroy.
Paul's Calling - v1a Paul, a servant of God
Paul refers to Himself as a "bondservant of God". The Greek word is "doulos", meaning a slave. Paul's proclaims that his life was no longer his own. He belonged to God and his Savior Jesus Christ. How did this happen? What brought about this transformation? Well, back in Acts Chapter 9, this great persecutor had an encounter with the Savior. Saul was headed to Damascus with the intentions of bringing Christians bound back to Jerusalem in order to persecute them. There on Damascus Road, Jesus appeared to Saul and changed his life forever!
Why did Jesus confront Saul? It was not to give the churches rest from their persecution (though this was one of the results). In Acts 9:15 Jesus shares His plan with Ananias. Jesus said "(Saul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel"
Acts 9:15 (ESV)
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.
Do you see that? Paul was CALEED TO SERVE and serve He did. In fact, millions of people all over the world are still benefiting from his service. After he was called, Paul spent the remainder of his life serving Jesus Christ.
Let's examine that for a moment. Consider:
Paul's Ministry - v1b an apostle of Jesus Christ
An Apostle speaks on "one who is sent". Specifically, one who is sent by Jesus Christ. Jesus chose 12 men and entrusted them with the organization of the Church and the proclamation of the gospel. We know that Judas betrayed Christ and eventually killed himself. I believe it is evident that his position was filled by none other than the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Corinthians 15:8 Paul says that he was…
1 Corinthians 15:8
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
"one born out of due time." This means that Paul was placed into this position in a different time and in an unusual manner. After he was called Paul traveled for the remainder of his life preaching the gospel that he had tried to destroy!
The Bible tells us that he ministered in places such as…
Arabia, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tarsus, Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Syria, Macedonia, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Greece, Tyre, Caesarea, Rome and beyond.
Paul went to these areas preaching the Word, he established new churches and strengthened others. Innumerable souls came to Christ because of his ministry and many others matured in the faith as well. But Paul didn't just preach... he suffered! He was constantly arrested and imprisoned. He was beaten, stoned and eventually gave his life for the cause of Christ. He faced all of these hardships willingly. Why? Because he knew that he was CALLED TO SERVE!
Saving faith, moves us to a full knowledge of the truth, This… results in a new life of godliness. Christians are to live sanctified, holy, pure, righteous and godly lives. When the truth of the Gospel impacts us, others will see Christ in and through us.
Paul desired to see the new convert mature in the faith. His epistles teaches us, how to live in Christ. He not only planted new churches, but he longed to revisit them and help to strengthen them in the faith. This was his hearts-desire.
- As we move into verses 2 & 3 we see:
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior. 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Paul states that we can be confident and secure in Christ. How is this possible? It is possible through God's promises. God cannot lie... If He said it, THAT SETTLES IT. Paul even proclaims that the promise of eternal life was given before the world began. He was confident in God's promises. He found assurance in God's Word. The message that Paul shared was God's... not his own. Therefore, those who Paul ministered to, could have that same security in God's promises. And we can have that same assurance as well.
It is evident when you look at Paul's calling, ministry, and his desire that he was CALLED TO SERVE. It is also evident in this passage that:
II. Titus Was Called To Serve - In fact, Paul's story and Titus' was intertwined. It seems that Titus was converted as a result of Paul's ministry. Notice that:
Here Paul introduces us to the recipient of this letter. His "fellow laborer" a man named Titus. Titus was a non-Jewish convert to Christianity. Titus was what we may call a "strong man" or an "enforcer". We will see in verse 5 that Paul instructed Titus to "set things in order" in the local church. Titus was also instrumental in correcting the errors of the Corinthian church. It is evident that Paul had great confidence in him to get things done.
These two men shared a common faith. Their experience was the same. Titus may not have been a great persecutor of the church as Paul was, but he was saved the same way! He was transformed by the power of the Savior. Titus soon realized after coming to faith in Jesus that he too had been CALLED TO SERVE! His was not simply faith in word only... but in-deed and action!
Surrendering to Jesus is more than a prayer of faith. It is complete submission to the will of God. Titus surrendered himself completely to Jesus Christ. Notice that Paul uses the phrase "LORD" and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus was Titus' Lord, his ruler, his Master, Jesus was the supreme authority in his life, and he dedicated his life to serving his Lord.
Titus was with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, he was influential in reaching Gentiles with the Gospel, he was also with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus and Paul sent him to minister at Corinth for a time. At this point in his ministry, Titus was instrumental in the organization of the church in Crete. Paul left him there to "set things in order". He spent his life sharing the good news to lost man and helping to disciple new converts. Titus truly was saved to serve!
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you.
Paul & Titus were very different men with very different backgrounds. But they both came to Jesus the same way and for the same purpose. If you are born again, you were saved the same way that they were. And if you are saved you have an obligation to serve the Lord!
I would like to conclude by examining the fact that: You Were Called To Serve!!!
- Adrian Rodgers (Southern Baptist Pastor) used to say that "many church members come down the aisle of the church, get baptized, then come Sunday after Sunday and just sit, soak, and sour. God did not call you to sit, soak and sour...HE CALLED YOU TO SERVE!"
Like Paul & Titus: You Are Called To Be A Disciple…
2 Timothy 1:9
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
Consider for a moment the difference between a convert and a disciple: Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus. Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus. Converts go to church. Disciples are the church. Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it. Converts cheer from the sidelines. Disciples are in the game. Converts hear the word of God. Disciples live it. Converts follow the rules. Disciples follow Jesus. Converts are all about believing. Disciples are all about being. Converts are comfortable. Disciples make sacrifices.
We are seeing some amazing things take place in our assembly. Can you imagine how much more we could do if we have more faithful servants? Are you faithful to the Kingdom work?
If you have a position in the church, are you devoted to it? Can others depend on you to carry out your responsibilities faithfully? If you neglect your responsibilities you are not only letting the church down...You are not only letting your brothers and sisters in Christ down....You are saying to your Lord that serving Him is not as important as whatever is keeping you from doing your duty. There is a job for you to do.
You are either obeying the command of Christ, or you are living in open rebellion.
1) Paul was saved to serve
2) Titus was save to serve
3) You & I were saved to serve
God has given each and everyone of you a talent…before the beginning of time. Don’t miss out on experiencing Gods best. When you are doing something for the Lord…you are actually doing it/serving side by side with the Lord. Like I always said…when I’m up here preaching, doing Bible study, evangelizing or playing the drums, that is when I fell His presence the most. You know why??? Because I cannot do those things on my own. For those of you who know me well, you know what I mean. It has to be the Lord.
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.
Every act, word and thought will be credited by Christ. “each one will receive his/her own reward according to their labor”. When one knows and serves God, every product of his/her life will be rewarded, either in this life or in heaven. God watches over all our ways, and he has promised to perfectly reward us. All those who are “CALLED TO SERVE”.
Pastor Richard Santos
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