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Preaching With Authority


"15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you."
Good Morning My Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so very grateful for our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we are so thankful that you are all with us today.

I would like to encourage you to visit our Prayer Wall, not only to pray for our brothers and sisters in their time of need, but to also add any prayers or concerns that you may have as well. We are all called to pray with and for one another, in keeping with the commands of our Lord.

Following our Lord God and Savior in Jesus Christ leads to the outworking of God's grace. Salvation is possible because Christ's death was an offering, payment for the penalty of sin, that was made for those who could not make it themselves. Jesus gave Himself for us. In other words, He acted on our behalf, as our substitute. Jesus stepped in and suffered the punishment as payment for our sins.

There are two reasons are given for our redemption. The first, was we are purchased out of lawlessness. Lawlessness is that assertion of our self-will, our disobedience, in defiance of God's standard that is the essence of sin. This extraction from the sphere of rebellion and self-will, is the  preparation necessary for the work of sanctification. 
Secondly, is Christ's redemptive work on the cross. The sinless Son of God,  was lifted up on the cross, died, as payment for our sins. Redeem means to set free by the payment of a ransom; ransom is to purchase release from the captivity of sin by paying cost, which is death.. Christ has ransomed us, the prisoners from the influence of sin, freeing us to serve God.
When the founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton, died, he left his family a fortune that made them, collectively, the second wealthiest family in the world. However, if Sam Walton had an heir who rejected his inheritance, no one would force that person to accept it. Though the  provision would have already been made, the heir would have had to accept it to receive the benefit from it. 
More than 2,000 years ago, on a rough and rugged cross, at a place just outside Jerusalem, called Golgotha, or Calvary, God the Father allowed His "only begotten Son" to become the sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus. Christ's sufferings on Calvary, are far more than the excruciating pain of crucifixion or body-racking thirst,, we often associate with His crucifixion. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the corner stone of the arch of salvation.  
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father, Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this incredible assembly of believers, that You have hand picked, and gathered together with us today.Thank You  for the work, that You have done in each one of us, help us that we would apply to impact the lives of those around and revealed to us by You. Ensnared by the enemy, we pray that You would forgive our enemies Lord, as the world doesn’t know the difference. Enable us to boldly proclaim Your truth, with authority, in order that the hearts that have You prepared would receive the good news. May it all be for Your glory and for Christ's sake.
In His name we pray

Today's Message: Preaching With Authority

The Apostle Paul instructs Titus, in verses 15, to teach the Scriptures in order to encourage and correct others. To speak, exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Paul's thought again turns to reminding Titus of his duty in relation to the doctrine just laid out in verses 1-14. However, first he must conversationally talk about Scriptures as part of his everyday speech.

The following two verbs encourage and reprove, reveal to us the main thrust of Paul's communication. Urge can also mean to encourage and exhort. In other words, it means to build up. Rebuke is corrective and is designed to get believer, who has gone astray, back on the right track.

Since Scripture an authoritative, Paul tells Titus not to allow anyone disregard these instructions. These were not merely helpful suggestions but divine commands. God has given His called out servants the right to speak His commands with His Authority. Those placed in authority need to be insistent and persistent in encouraging and rebuking according to God's commands. I believe that the Christian leaders of our day, must keep in mind that authority and exemplary behavior are in inseparable! In spite of all the troubles that are occurring in the church today, there are still good things going on inside the assemblies of God. 

It appears as though Paul wrote this letter during the autumn months. As Paul plans his next move, he wanted for Titus to join him at Nicopolis for the winter. Paul would send someone to take Titus' place in Crete. False teachers are certainly nothing new to Christianity. Though many of them have been exposed, there are still people continue to hang on their every word. Titus was instrumental in the organization of the church in Crete and Paul left him there to get things in order.

You will remember, that in Titus 1:10-16, Paul described the false teachers as "For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed."

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it was vital that the truth was to be proclaimed. The answer for false teaching precisely the same today... we must boldly preach the truth, with the authority of  Scripture!

Open with me your Bible to the second chapter of Titus, today, as we conclude our study of this tremendous portion of God's Word, we will be looking at verse 15. I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds. Listen for the Spirit of our Lord. Titus 2:15.

"These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you."

The goal of Christian living is to please the Father. And, the bi-product of this kind of living is that it will silence the opponents of Christ and Christianity. True Christian living is in direct contrast to the lives and actions of false teachers. We must first know what God expects of His children in order to identify those who are an those who are not truly in the faith. Thankfully< God, through His Word shows the older men, younger men, older women and younger women what He expects from each of us and these truths must be taught!

Being a witness is simply pointing people to the Savior. This requires being a vocal witness... as in telling people what He has done for you. But this also requires being a visible witness... this means that your life and actions point people to Him as well. To sum things up, you must walk the walk before people will be willing to listen to you talk the talk!

Paul wanted Titus to teach those in Crete the importance of being a witness of Christ. I believe, this is one of the issues plaguing the churches today, people still need to be taught the importance of being witnesses for Christ.

Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are clothed with His righteousness. One of the problems in the church at Crete was that the Judaizers were teaching that salvation required physical circumcision as well as adherence to Mosaic Law. But in all reality, there is no ritual, ceremony or work can ever produce salvation. Salvation is a gift, given by a gracious and merciful God.

John 15:16 says "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you."

We have been called and chosen for the same purpose. We have been called and commissioned to "make disciples". Jesus says that bearing fruit is not a temporary success. The fruit of our labor will remain throughout eternity. Those in the church today need to be taught the truth that we cannot work to earn our salvation, but we do good works as a result of our salvation.

I believe that there are several truths that must be taught in the church today. First, we must teach the truth concerning Christian Living. Second, we must teach the truth concerning submitting to authority. Third, we mus"t teach the truth concerning being a witness for Jesus Christ. Fourth, we must teach the truth concerning the Second Coming of Christ. Lastly, we must teach the truth concerning the sacrifice of Jesus.

In verse 15, Paul tells Titus  "These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you."

The man of God can speak with all authority,not on his own authority, but because of the Authority of "the great God and Savior Jesus Christ". Speaking the truth is rarely popular but it is always necessary. So, Paul encourages Titus not let anyone discourage him, by questioning his authority. In other words, Paul is telling Titus, to preach the gospel in all Truth, and they will have to respect you. According to what we read here in Chapter 2, Titus would have to live what he preached, in order to gain the respect of the hearers.

There is no shortage of misinformation , or false teachers in Christianity today. There are many who are spreading lies and heresy. Therefore, we must lean on the holy, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word Of God. In Titus 2:15, Paul gives the answer to an age of rebellion, in one of the clearest and strongest statements in Scripture about the spiritual authority of men, whom God calls to minister His Word and shepherd His people. 

The word "speaks points to the pastor’s responsibility to preach, announce, reveal, and disclose, with the intent of making clear God’s truth so that those who hear may understand. Careful and faithful biblical preaching gives them knowledge of that truth. Having given a list of instructions for different people in the church, Paul lays down the theological basis for godly living. He argues that God’s salvific work intends more than salvation, that integral to the salvation is the recognition that the free gift of grace comes with a cost, that of obedience. To separate salvation from ensuing obedience was at the core of the opponents’ knowledge, foreign to the Pastoral epistles, Paul as he makes abundantly clear in Romans chapter 6

The message that Titus was to proclaim with authority is summarized in the phrase with which the verse begins, "these things," which refers  to what Paul has previously mentioned so far in this chapter regarding holy living and the precious gospel, which he summarized in the phrase "the things which are fitting for sound doctrine, in verse 1."  It was these divine truths that Titus was to speak as he ministered in the churches on Crete. The present imperatives imply that Titus is busy accomplishing this very thing and ask him to stay on track 

Titus must never grow slack in his duty, he must continue to do what he has already been doing all along. He must constantly talk about this glorious life of sanctification as an offering presented to God for his wonderful grace in Christ. Now, Paul instructs Titus to do this with all authority. The word authority is the Greek word "epitagēs," which refers to a command. As long as a pastor remains faithful to God’s Word, he has the awesome privilege of ministering with God-given authority.

As a footnote, when the minister of God faithfully proclaims the Word, those who reject his teaching, are reject God’s truth, therefore they held  accountable for their rejection as if the Lord had spoken the truth Himself. It is in that way, and only in that way, that a pastor is able to speak with spiritual authority. It is also in that way that he is commanded to speak with spiritual authority. The gospel must not be presented as a personal opinion, or an option to be accepted or rejected by its hearers, as they may please. The minister’s authority rests solely in the nature of his message; he is not raised above the truth but the truth is above him!

The church today is plagued by authority. There are some who go well beyond the boundaries of scripture in order to dictate in discretionary matters. Some claim to have power and authority over sickness, disease and the demonic. Another common mistaken authority is intellectualism, the notion that if you hold a degree, title or office, you automatically have the authority to command people’s lives. The most tragic, and likely the most common in our day, is the authority "I think," or "Its my opinion." Allow me to be very clear here, opinion, feeling and emotion cannot discern Word of God. They have relevance to the truth. There is no reliability or authority in mere experience. 

 However, it is quite common today, for people to believe something is true simply because they "feel" it is true or because they have some experience that leads them to conclude that it is true. Most often, this is done with utter disregard for careful biblical study and interpretation, while whimsically mishandling the truth and thereby forfeit "true" spiritual authority.

Proverbs 14:11-16 says "The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief. The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his. The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless."

One of the greatest temptations facing today's pastor, is to tell people what they want to hear, to "tickle the ears, as Paul wrote in . Of course, I believe that we all know, that I will never be accused that. The presumption that if we tone down the message, just a bit, tell people what they want to hear, tell more stories, teaching nothing but affirmation, tell a few jokes and entertain them, then we can attract a larger congregation and ultimately, more people will participate. The clear result however is to lull people to moral sleep and the end thereof is death.

I know that we have covered some of the points in today's message in previous messages, however, they are no less pertinent and likely even more relevant today. 

In Closing..

In our culture today, grace is taken to mean imperatives can be ignored. Forgiveness is taken to mean it does not matter what we do. So many of today's of Christians, pastors included, have lost the grammatical meaning of the imperative. It is rather a strange dialect today. The imperative mood is said to be the mood of the legalistic, task-oriented, judgmental, non relational fanatic.  

For those of you who may not understand what the imperative mood is, the imperative is a structure used to give an order or command. Typically, we find the imperative structure in two forms, affirmative and negative. The imperative mood is used in both the affirmative and negative form as well. Affirmative imperatives are used to motivate or force someone to do something while negative  imperatives are used to prevent someone from doing something. 

The biblical imperatives are being ignored by the modern church, due to the lack of proper teaching and instruction from pulpits. We tend to hear a great deal about how God loves us and that we are saved by grace and not the law. That we are forgiven of our sin. While all of that that is very true. However, it is also true that Jesus said that in John 14:15 to love Him is to obey His commandments. Obviously, this was imperative, because He repeated this command in verse 21, and again in verse 24. 

Are not the biblical imperatives given in God's Word imperative to loving God? The gospel is indeed good news, yes, however, I am compelled to teach you that it includes imperatives. Just ask the rich young ruler, whom Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give to the poor. Ask Peter, whom the Lord told him to forgive not seven times but seventy times seven! 

The writer of Hebrews in chapter 4 verse 12 says "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Allow me to tell you, that it requires great boldness and courage, to be a leader and especially a preacher. If, as pastors, we are not prepared to do and say the difficult imperatives, the unpopular things, we will become servants of the people, and not servants of God. Lovers of the people, not lovers of God. As much as I love all of you, and I do, Christ is first and foremost in my life. My commitment is to serving Him and pleasing Him, even at the expense of offending others. What continues to drive me, is my love for God and His Word. I am consumed with the Word of God and caring for the flock, for which I held accountable to God. I love being a pastor. I cannot imagine doing anything else, other than that which God has ordained me to do.

I believe that for a teacher of the Word of God, to simply omit the imperatives of the Word, is to failure to love, honor, obey and please God! I believe that whole heartedly. However, our faithfulness often means loneliness.I am grateful, that I have not experienced this personally. I have known several faithful teachers of the Word who have been rejected for teaching the truth to those who want not to hear it, those who are seeking affirmation for their sin.

Allow me to remind you that the great reformer Martin Luther sacrificed his security when he nailed ninety-five imperatives to a church door in Wittenberg. It was not the world that most threatened him, but was the church.

God's Word is more than what we claim, God's Word makes its claim upon us. God's Word makes its claim upon us. God's grace is ruling grace. 

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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