Matt Magee - August 23, 2020
Don't Be Defiled By Division
Scripture References: Titus 3:9-11
From Series: "Steady as She Goes"
Steady as She Goes is a nautical term—a navigational instruction a captain would give the helmsman of a ship. When a ship in the open sea encountered rough waters caused by crosscurrents and wind gusts, there would often be no visible markers for navigation. So, eyeing a compass and the ship’s trajectory, the helmsman would guide the ship steadily in the right direction until they reached the shore. The Church lives in the open sea of life, where visible markers for direction are difficult, if not impossible, to find. We sense the crosscurrents of culture and sometimes totter as gusts of wind from false teachers and naysayers attack the Bride of Christ. False doctrinal waves abound, trying to toss her away from biblical conviction and methodology. Titus was a young pastor—and pastor to pastors—who struggled as he faced the challenge of bringing order to disordered and ill-motivated churches on the mountainous island of Crete. Written by the Apostle Paul, this letter (epistle) was penned to encourage a qualified, but young, pastor facing opposition both inside and outside the church. Paul exhorts his deeply loved ministry companion with wisdom for establishing leaders who rightly understand the relationship between Christian faith and practice. His brevity and repetition focus his message on raising up and equipping leaders to give instruction in sound doctrine for every age and stage in life since the grace of God must transform the lives of those it impacts. The dominant call is for older men and women to walk circumspectly and disciple younger men and women respectively to pursue living self-controlled and obedient lives in response to God’s grace. Every Christian at Oak Grove is to be impacted by this message, leading to grace-centered unity inside the church resulting in good works visible to and profitable for those outside our church family—the very ones with whom we are to cultivate healthy relationships. Jesus is the Captain of this ship He calls the Church—the Bride of Christ—and the Bible is our compass. We keep an eye on the compass, ever aware of our previous path and current direction, as we navigate to true north while we wait for the shore of eternity to break through on the horizon when we will see the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, and our faith will become sight! What a day that will be! And what hope-filled motivation that brings for godly living—leading and maturing by discipling biblically!