Life was designed to be lived in community.

11/07/10 Christian Behavior!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, November 8, 2010 Under: Sermon

Text: Titus 3:1-2 (KJV)

1) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

“Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.” Psalm 37:3 (HCSB)

Intro: The Civic Duties of a Believer. The thrust of this passage is not the rulers of government and their behavior; the thrust is the believer and his duty to the state. Usually the believer can do little about how the authorities in government conduct their affairs, but the believer can do a great deal about his behavior as a citizen within the state. And God is very, very clear about the believer's behavior.

Six duties of the Christian Citizen are clearly spelled out.

1st duty of the Christian Citizen:

1. He is to obey the laws: v.1 “to obey magistrates”

We are: "to be subject" and "to obey." Chaos is not God's will for the world; law and order are God's will. God wills men to live in a world of love, joy, and peace – a world of perfect law and order. Therefore, the believer is to set the example: he is to obey the rulers and the laws of his community and nation. He is to show how loving and joyful, peaceful and wonderful life can be if people will obey God and obey the civil authorities of this world.

“Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.” Romans 13:1 (HCSB)

2nd duty of the Christian Citizen:

2. He is to do good works: v.1 “to be ready to every good work”

The Christian citizen is to be ready to do every good work. He is to work and serve within his community for the good of all citizens. The word "ready" means to be willing; to be prepared; to jump and be the first to diligently serve the community. Good works does not refer only to church work; it refers to the day by day employment of people and to the volunteer and service needs of a community. Every community is filled with needs, the needs of the lonely, poor, shut in, elderly, orphaned, homeless, sick – an innumerable list of needs that cry out for community attention. It is the duty of Christian citizens to take the lead in reaching out to meet these needs. Keep in mind that a person's employment, his day to day job, is a major work that contributes to society. No matter how mundane, routine, and unimportant a person may feel his work is, it is not. It is very significant, for it contributes and helps to meet the needs of his fellow citizens and community.

“Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.” Psalm 37:3 (HCSB)

3rd duty of the Christian Citizen:

3. He is not to speak evil: v.2 “To speak evil of no man”

There is no place in a just society for citizens speaking evil against each other. Cursing, reviling, slandering, and railing at each other is not the way to help those in rebellion against God, government, and man. The way to help is to reach out with kindness; and then if kindness fails, to reach out with strong, authoritative warnings – and then back up the warning. There is never a place for evil speaking. Christian citizens are to take the lead in speaking kind and strong words, words that warn against selfish and evil behavior.

“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18 (HCSB)

4th duty of the Christian Citizen:

4. He is not to be a brawler: v.2 “to be no brawlers”

The Christian is not to be a fighting, contentious person; not to be a person who is always walking around looking for an argument or fight; not to be a person who walks around with a chip on his shoulder looking for some controversy or argument; not to be so opinionated and stubborn that everyone else is always wrong; not to be a person who is always criticizing or talking about others, stirring up trouble and disturbing feelings and causing division. The Christian citizen is to be the very opposite: meek and peaceful. This, of course, does not mean that the Christian citizen does not speak up for what is right; he does. And he is strong in his stand, refusing to give in to the license and indulgence of evil. But he seeks peace where it is possible, and he seeks to lead others to be peaceable.

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (HCSB)

5th duty of the Christian Citizen:

5. He is to be gentle: v.2 “but gentle”

We must be gentle and forbearing in dealing with citizens. The last thing that we must do is to criticize, condemn, censor, neglect, and ignore citizens. We must reach out to the people of the world with the gospel, and we must treat them with a loving gentleness. We must be gentle, having absolutely nothing to do with harshness. Too many of us are harsh and critical or neglectful and withdrawn. Too many of us are wrapped in the cloak of religion having nothing to do with reaching out to the lost. The desperate need of the hour is for us to reach out with the gospel in a spirit of love and gentleness.

“Accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must [forgive].” Colossians 3:13 (HCSB)

- Forgiving one another or forbearing one another.

6th duty of the Christian Citizen:

6. He is to be meek: v.2 “shewing all meekness unto all men.”
The Christian citizen must show meekness to all citizens.

Meekness: praotēs

The word means to be gentle, tender, humble, mild, considerate, but strongly so. Meekness has the strength to control and discipline, and it does so at the right time.

a. Meekness has a humble state of mind. But this does not mean the person is weak, cowardly, and bowing. The meek person simply loves people and loves peace; therefore, he walks humbly among men regardless of their status and circumstance in life. Associating with the poor and lowly of this earth does not bother the meek person. He desires to be a friend to all and to help all as much as possible.

b. Meekness has a strong state of mind. It looks at situations and wants justice and right to be done. It is not a weak mind that ignores and neglects evil and wrong-doing, abuse and suffering.

- If someone is suffering, meekness steps in and does what it can to help.
- If evil is being done, meekness does what it can to stop and correct it.
- If evil is running rampant and indulging itself, meekness actually strikes out in anger. However, note a crucial point: the anger is always at the right time and against the right thing.

c. Meekness has strong self-control. The meek person controls his spirit and mind. He controls the lusts of his flesh. He does not give way to ill-temper, retaliation, passion, indulgence, or license. The meek person dies to himself, to what his flesh would like to do, and he does the right thing – exactly what God wants done.

The meek man walks in a humble, tender, but strong state of mind; denies himself, giving utmost consideration to others. He shows a control and righteous anger against injustice and evil. A meek man forgets self and lives for others because of what Christ has done for him.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23) gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.’ Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB)

1) I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3) diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds [us].” Ephesians 4:1-3 (HCSB)

Christian Behavior: Is it Christ centered? Is your attitude and way of life well pleasing unto the Lord? Would the person or people that might see you in the community or family that knows you see proof of your identity with Christ? Is there a peace? What about that courtroom situation? Would there be enough evidence to convict you of your allegiance to Christ?

A Christians behavior, Christ centered being key will allow you to have no problem obeying the law, doing good works, speaking evil of no one or thing, you will not be a brawler but gentle and meek. So please take the time to look in the mirror and pray about the Christian behavior you display!

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