By Mentoring Those Who are Younger

Josh Greiner September 16, 2018 Titus 2:4-8
Outline

3 principles for discipleship

  • Overview of the Book of Titus Step by Step:

o   Step One: Root our Work in Our Identity in Christ

o   Step Two: Set up Qualified Leaders

o   Step Three: Refute and Silence Divisive Persons

o   Step Four: Disciple the Flock

The goal of discipleship is to come alongside another person in order to help them become more like Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:9 - Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

Ephesians 4:13 - …until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

I. The Unique Responsibility “Older” Generation Has to Disciple

A. By setting an example

i. The Older Mea—Stable Maturity (2:2)

ii. The Older Woman—Reverent Servants (2:3-4)

B. By providing good training (2:6)

παρακαλέω – encourage/exhort/urge

i. The command in Scripture to train up is all over

Deuteronomy 11:19 - You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Matthew 28:19 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…

1 Corinthians 4:16 - Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

Ephesians 4:12 - …for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…

ii. The warnings in Scripture if the youth are not trained [c.f. Judges passages]

Judges 2:10 - All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.

C. By walking on the path of discipleship

II. To Be a Mature Christian, You Need Discipleship

A. “Youths” need it spelled out

B. You cannot do it on your own

Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

III. Discipleship Leads to God Being Glorified

2 Corinthians 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us…

A. By the church not being dishonored by your life

B. By the opponents of God being shamed and silenced

C. By pointing you back to Christ

This year our theme has been Being Careful How We Build, and we have been organizing that not only as a way of thinking through our spiritual lives, but also because we are constructing a new campus to do ministry at.

We have been working for the last few weeks in the book of Titus as we have been considering how to build by Building on a Foundation of Grace.

Whether you have been here for each sermon, or are just joining us, it is essential that you understand the flow of the book. Pastor Viars had encouraged all of us to be reading the book of Titus each week.

I’m not sure if you took him up on that offer, but if you didn’t, let me give you a little bit of encouragement to do so.   If you read the Book of Titus from the NASB there are only 909 words! That is less than some of the blogs that you are going to read or sports articles that you will consume later today!

By way of review, let’s do a quick review of what we have talked about and then where we are going!

  • Overview of the Book of Titus Step by Step:
    • Step One: Root our Work in our Identity in Christ
    • Step Two: Setup Qualified Leaders
    • Step Three: Refute and Silence Divisive Persons
    • Step Four: Disciple the Flock
  • Overview of Today’s Sermon:
    • I’m going to share a little bit of my story of how discipleship played out
    • Then I will talk about our text and how we see it call for discipleship
    • Then you will hear from Pastor Aucoin a personal testimony. He has been, over the last 12 years, the primary spiritual influencer in my life as he discipled me in a number of ways.
    • Finish out the sermon and the passage.

In the summer of 2006 I was just finishing up my sophomore year of college.  I had come to Purdue University in the hopes of being a part of the Air Force ROTC program and had done that for my first semester until some heath issues required me to step out.  I also chose Purdue because I wanted to be a part of the Fairway Christian Cooperative House. This is a house of 60 Christian guys living together under one roof. I thought it sounded amazing.

As my college experience went on a few things happened in my heart. First, dropping out of the AF ROTC program changed my entire life course. I wanted to do that, and now I needed a new path. Second, the idol that was the Fairway was unraveling more and more each day. Third, as a college student I never got formally associated or integrated into the ministry of a local church. Fourth, and most importantly, I did not take my walk with Christ seriously. Believing that I could have one foot in the camp of living like a college student at Purdue and one foot in walking the path of Christianity.

As I grew more and more miserable slipping into a deep depression I eventually decided one day that I needed to reach out for help, but I had no idea where I needed to turn. On that particular Sunday I chose to attend the Faith 11:00 service at FE since it was a later start. That day Pastor Viars was talking about his upcoming trip to Brazil and that he would be teaching Biblical Counseling principles.

After hearing him talk about it I knew that I needed Counseling and I needed it from that guy. I went home and emailed him asking for his help. He responded that day and gently reminded me that, “Hey Josh I am getting on a jet” but he pointed me to the college Pastor Brent Aucoin.

I did what most students do and I looked him up on the church website. One glance and I knew that he wasn’t for me. Look at all those degrees, he is a total nerd. I emailed Pastor Viars back and said thanks but no thanks—I’m going to try the whole pull myself up with my bootstraps thing.

He replied graciously and said they would be ready to serve whenever I was ready for help and I left it alone. A few weeks went by and I grew more and more miserable and all that changed one Sunday when low and behold Pastor Aucoin was preaching on Ps. 73—the perfect message for what I was going through. Before the message he saw me sitting in the audience and deceived to shake my hand and introduce himself.

Later that night I emailed him and the next day I was in his office receiving counseling—essentially intense discipleship. I would love to say that after 12 easy weeks I was on my way to being a pastor.

No, it took hard and faithful laboring on Brent’s part to develop in me the qualities that Scripture speaks of and there have been plenty of failures along the way. But as he has faithfully labored to make me more like Christ, it is clear that I am not who I once was.

That is the same concept that we are going to see in our passage this morning. We are going to see Paul, calling his Son in the Faith Titus to train up godly elders in the church, the disciple the members of the congregation to be faithful disclaimers and form in them Christ just like Brent did in me. 

Follow along as I read to you form Titus 2:1-8

By Mentoring Those Who are Younger: Three Principles for Discipleship.

[read]

Before we dive in, there is soft of a assumed part of this sermon that needs to be said before we go too far, and that is what is the goal of discipleship. It would be sad if we had an entire sermon about the value and importance and how to do discipleship and didn’t actually define what it is.

The Goal of Discipleship is to come alongside another person in order to help them become more like Christ.

Discipleship is the goal and the calling of the church, but what does that mean?

Christ is the perfect man. He is not only the perfect representation of the Father but he is also the perfect man—the man we were created to be. 

Our goal in life is to be pleasing to God—we see that in 2 Cor. 5:9

“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

How we become pleasing to God is by becoming like Christ in how we think, what we value, and what we do. So discipleship is all about.

Paul puts it this way in his letter to the Ephesians:

“until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).

[GOSPEL]

So that is our goal, but it is important to note that you can only do this if you first are a Christian. If you have not confessed your sinfulness to the Lord, and turned to him and sought forgiveness for your sin and placed your faith and hope in the finished work of Christ on the Cross…then this sermon will not work for you.

You can’t grow into the mature man if you are not a alive in Christ. If you are still dead in your trespasses and sin, you will not be able to change and do what it is we are talking about today.

If that is something you are interested in, if you want to hear more about how you can know, that you know, that you know that you are saved from your sin…just let us know. You can fill that out in the connection card, or come find me or one off the other pastors after the service. We will meet with you at a time and location of your choosing!

Now, for those in Christ, there is…

I.  The unique responsibility “older” generation has to disciple

First, let me start off by saying old doesn’t mean age only, it can mean that, but we are talking about maturity. It often comes with age, but it may not because of a late conversion; and age is relative J. As I have gotten older, my own perception of what “old” is keeps changing. I’m sure that you have experienced that as well.

The reality is that those who are mature in Christ, they must train up the younger generations. We simply cannot settle for keeping to ourselves those things that we have.

If we do not pour out what has been given to us, then not only with the consequences be tragic, but also the joyful fruit that comes will be totally lacking.

We see that played out first and foremost then in…

A.     By Setting an Example

When you look at our text, there is a real emphasis put on how the mature persons are called to live. First and foremost discipleship is not about teaching someone a series of principles, it is living out the Christian life in living technicolor right before the eyes of those who are watching.

We see that no more clearer in the life of our Savior. Yes, he taught his disciples with words how to live, but he literally lived out an example before them of what it meant to live a life that is pleasing to the Father.

For those who are older and mature in Christ, as you seek to help others grow to become like him, the emphasis first and foremost has to be on right living, not just on right teaching.

We see that in how Paul talks about the older man and older women.

Now next week Pastor Viars will be talking to you about verses 1-3, but for the context of our message we need to address this. When we consider what is talked about in these passages, Paul is highlighting the example and character that they need to set. And when you build down what he is saying, he is saying that the…

When the young pups look at you, here is what they need to see! Before you teach, this is what they should see coming from you.

But after they have seen that, then there has to be teaching. We see that in our passage clearly. Paul says…

B.      By Providing Good Training (2:6) παρακαλέω – encourage/exhort/urge

Titus will not be able to just model life for those he is training, the older men cannot just live a life that is righteous and hope that everything is caught. At times, and perhaps a lot of times, he will have to open his mouth and he will have to exhort, encourage, urge those who are following Christ to change.

Now this concept is not native to our passage, the reality is

Early in scripture we see this command…

““You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19)

““Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19)

Later Paul says…

“Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.” (1 Corinthians 4:16)

Of the call for pastors to train up we see that Pastor are given.

“for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (Ephesians 4:12,)

We could find more and more passages, but I think the point is clear…there is a clear call and command in scripture for discipleship to be happening.

But not only is there a clear call for it to be happening, but there are plenty of warnings to

After the children of Israel had come into the promised land and been given rest from war and from their enemies, the people turned from God.

Notice these haunting words at the beginning of the book…

“All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10,)

The reason that this happened was that the parents who did know the Lord did not make sure that they were pouring in to the next generation.

When this happened over and over again the children of Israel would turn away from God to worship of other gods. When this would happen YHVH would turn over the children of Israel to a foreign power, they would cry out, and God would deliver them. But since there was no discipleship, no training of the next generation, they cycle would repeat itself over and over.

[REVIEWà There is a unique responsibility of the Older Generation to Mentor the younger]

Then what does it look like to do this? What is their responsibility? It is by….

C.      By Walking on the Path Discipleship

What I would like to do now, as I said in my intro, is invite Pastor Aucoin up here. Brent has been, over the last 12 years, the primary person both on our staff, but as well in my personal life who has been responsible for shaping me to become like Christ.

That is sort of like saying, if you don’t like the product—complain to him

But in all seriousness, I wanted him to share today what it has been like both of the blessings as well as the challenges of walking on the path of discipleship with someone.

[INSERT BRENT AUCOIN TALKING ABOUT JOSH GREINER]

Thanks Brent for sharing.

Now if that is something you are interested in doing, then come talk with your pastors. We would love to see if you would be a good fit for disciple making around here. We have a lot of ways in which to do that. It does not always need to be in a one-on-one setting.

But hopefully as you have heard from him of not only the challenges but also the blessings, that you would be encouraged to participate in making disciples for Christ.

You might say, however, that you are not ready to make them, that is totally fine.

[TRANSITION]

Regardless if you are ready to be making them, our text is clear…

II. To be a mature Christian, you need discipleship

You may have known Christ for five years or five decades but if you have not been involved in some sort of discipleship process, you are probably only as mature as a 5 week old Christian.

Discipleship takes many forms, in fact this sermon is a form of discipleship, but it is something that we all need! If you are here and say that you do not need any form spiritual formation in your life from another person, notice that we all need help from this text.

We see it clearly explained here where…

A.     “Youths” Need it Spelled out

Did you see how our text talked…

Some of that is pretty basic at the outset, but will take a life to fulfill.

So Older Women are going to have to teach younger women what it looks like to love their husbands and their kids. That is going to be a hard journey and they will need a guide for sure.

Young Men are going to need to be told how to not be fools with their lives. They are going to want to not be caring toward their kids, loving toward their wives, they are going to want to abuse the authority that God has given to them.

And in order to help them grow to be like Christ, they are going to need someone at times to spell out…”THIS IS HOW YOU ARE TO FUNCTION!”

I needed that in my life and I need it now. You can ask me convicting questions, but sometimes, I just need someone to spell it out for me.

JOSH, DON’T DO THIS!

[TRANSITION]

Because here is the reality…

B.      You cannot do it on your own

Now this point is not directly in our text, but it is an undercurrent. The point is that if you are a younger believer, you will not be able to navigate your walk with Christ on your own. You may think because of native intelligence, or you zeal for the Lord that you do not need another person to walk along side with you in your life, but the reality is you cannot.

I would to challenge everyone who is here, especially if you are young, that you have some people in your life that are speaking truth to you.

A key verse when it comes to this idea is

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

You can’t sharpen on sword by itself—did you know that? You have to have something else, something as strong or stronger to sharpen it against.

You can’t sharpen a sword with a banana. You need something strong! The same is true in your life. If you want to be strong and sharp, you are going to need something to sharpen you—and that thing is another person.

Lastly then, if the older generation is doing it is job, and we are doing our job then…

III. Discipleship leads to God being glorified

In the beginning we said that the goal is that we become like Christ,

and that when we become like Christ God is glorified…that is how discipleship actually works. But how?

Glorified means that they have a right opinion of God. So when you think of God being glorified, what you are saying is that everyone now has the right opinion of God. They get the right opinion of God by looking at you and your life.

God gets glory (i.e. to say, the world has a right opinion of God) when I live my life in a way that is consistent with and displays who he is.

A key verse that may help you is

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; (2 Corinthians 5:20)

You are out there representing God to the world, and when you do it right, you give the world a good opinion and right opinion of who God is.

In our passage then, there are a few ways that God is glorified and the first is…

A.     By the church not being dishonored by your life (2:5)

The church is the body of Christ and the living community that is to represent him to this world. When the world sees the church, they are to see the clearest picture of him that can be shown this side of Heaven.

When we live our lives in a way that is not consistent with scripture, then the world does not have a right opinion of God.

Let’s take for example cohabitating and the idea of premarital sex to ensure that everyone is ‘compatible’

When the world sees people who claimed to be followers of Christ living that way, then the world begins to think that it is OK to do that, that the Bible doesn’t speak about this topic, or if it does it is not relevant, or authoritative.

Of course that couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. Of course the Bible has something to say about cohabiting and having sex before marriage.

It tells you not to do it!

The point that Paul and the book of Titus is trying to make is that they are calling for us to conform our living to a certain way. One of the reasons to do that is so that the church, the physical body the represents Christ as a special community to this world is not dishonored when we live in a way that is not consistent with what we proclaim and believe.

Now the reserves is true as well. When those who are opposed to Christ see how we live our lives in a righteous way, not that we are trying to earn anything, but we are living the way that our God called us to live, when they see this then God will be glorified…

B.      By the opponents of God being Shamed and Silenced.

The world has a lot of things to say against Christians. But it is not Our arguments that will show the world that Christ is risen from the grave and that he has the power to forgive sins. No it will be the character that they form and the radical lives that they live that will shame them and silence them.

Now that does not mean that if you live a life that is pleasing to God that you will automatically shame someone into converting to Christianity, or that you will silence your accusers—the reality is that may not happen until we are all standing before the thrown of God. We are not told when they will be put to shame, but all we know is that those who oppose the life that we live in pursuit of God’s standard will be one day.

Simply put, when you show radical love to others, and the world is manifesting selfishness…they will be shamed.

When the world tell you, “Live your life for yourself. Be true to you.” And you live a life of service marked by humility and conformity to Christ, they will be silenced.

When the world spins out of control and grows more and more dark, and you chose to live as a child of light, they will be put to shame.

So the choice is simple. You can live a life that is pleasing to God and will put the world to shame. Or you can live a life that is in conformity with the world and dishonor the church.

This was the balance that I did not strike in my younger years. I wanted both. I wanted one foot in each side, but it is not possible.

C.      Pointing Back to Christ

I think there are two things that we can take from this section of scripture as we consider the life of Christ. First,

  • Christ was Shamed and Bore our Shame so we would not have to.
  • Christ Was Silent as a lamb at the slaughter so that we could proclaim Him.

In our text we are trying to live a life that does not lead to the church and the word of God being dishonored. But the reason that we can even talk about that is because Christ bore our Shame on the Cross. By taking what was deserved for us, upon himself, we are then free to live for him and without the weight and guilt of our sin.

Second,

We are told that our good actions will silence our accusers, but the reality is, that before that could have happened, Christ had to be silent and suffer for us. In his being silent before his accusers, and being silenced, for a while by the grave, he was able to give us the freedom and ability to proclaim him and the grace he has shown to us.

[CONCLUSION]

Brothers and Sisters, let’s work to become like Christ as we are careful how we build on that foundation of Grace by mentoring those who are younger. Knowing that our mentoring and discipling will help us glorify God more!

Josh Greiner

BA - Political Science, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary
Th.M. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph.D. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (in progress)

Josh is married to Shana and has three children: Winston, Cecilia, and Lorelai. Josh oversees the Faith West Campus. He is an ACBC Certified counselor and teaches in Faith’s Biblical Counseling Center. He also serves as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for Faith Community Development Corporation and the Director of the Faith West Community Center. 

Read Josh Greiner's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Greiner to Faith Church.