Sunday, August 26, 2018

August 26, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Overseers Who Recognize Friend and Foe | Titus 1:10-16


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August 26, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Overseers Who Recognize Friend and Foe | Titus 1:10-16

Overseers Who Recognize Friend and Foe
Titus 1:10-16

We observed in verse 5-9 that the overseers must be of high character in for the protection of themselves, their families and the church. Paul then goes on to describe the highest working characteristic of an oversee. This feature of the overseer’s life is the ability to first, personally know and embrace the message of Christ: “hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught.” The second trait is the ability to teach, encourage and correct those who are under their care:“encourage others by sound doctrine.” And third classification of people are those who oppose the Gospel. The overseers must be ready to identify the enemies of the Gospel and stand against them forcefully. As Paul states: “refute those who oppose it.” In today's text will go on to describe in full detail these enemies of the cross. How we must wonder what the Church of Christ might be like today had these words been held to throughout the centuries.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Looking for the Light | Titus 1:5


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July 22, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Looking for the Light | Titus 1:5

Looking for the Light
Titus 1:5

In this verse, Paul launches into the first purpose of his letter – instruction to Titus for choosing elders and teachers for the new church plants in Crete. As before, we will see that Paul is not going to give Titus a detailed commentary of who are these persons are or what each of the qualifications he presents mean. He is reminding Titus of what to look for in leaders and teachers using this short summary or outline. This is expressly because Titus is well aware of the qualifications for leadership having confronted and taught leaders in Corinth in Paul’s absence there. Today, we will try and discover what Titus might be looking for in the life of leaders and teachers in Crete: the light of Christ in their lives.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Three | Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope | Titus 1:1-4


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July 15, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Three | Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water: Part Three - Truth, Godliness and a Blessed Hope
Titus 1:1-4

Paul concludes his opening salutation to Titus with the instructive words of truth, godliness and the promise of eternal life. Though he does not go into the detail that he did in his earlier letter to Timothy, Paul presents an outline for his co-laborer Titus. This shows us two very important points: 1st. Titus is an older man than Timothy (possibly closer to Paul’s age) and that was already a seasoned minister of the word and pastoral ministry. 2nd As a result, Paul is giving Titus, within his salutation, an outline of the truths that Titus must focus upon as he interviews and places men and women in oversight and teaching position in the churches in Crete. In Timothy’s case, Paul’s correspondence was a tool to authorize Timothy in his task of correcting elders that Paul had already placed in Ephesus and give him a detailed description of actions and teachings to present. In Titus’ case, Paul’s correspondence was tool to instruct him to set in place overseers and elders in Crete and give him an outline of doctrinal truths, the details of which were already farmiliar to him. These bulltet points were ones which Titus was both familiar with and able to present. The letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus find a new emphasis for us today. Timothy and Titus accomplished their instructions in their militaries. They are in heaven today. Today, by the ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these letters are written to us today. Let us take them up and bring sound doctrine for correction and sound action for developing the church. These letter are now ours to read and follow.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Two | The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect | Titus 1:1-4


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July 8, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part Two | The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water: Part Two
The Faith and Knowledge of God’s Elect
Titus 1:1-4

There is not a great deal of information about the life of Titus. We first see a glimpse of his early life in the letter to the Galatians where Paul mentions that he took Titus with him to Jerusalem during his second visit to discuss the vision God had given him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. He was Greek and a Gentile. It was not uncommon for Greeks to travel all over the Roman world. This is perhaps the key to why Titus was a convert of Paul’s preaching in Antioch. This is stated in v.4 “To Titus, my true son in our common faith.” However, this conversion did not likely take place until after Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas. He may have been one of Paul’s early converts in Antioch, later joining him in ministry. Though he was a convert of Paul, he was likely not a young man when came to Christ. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions Titus on several occasions as the one who took the letter to the church there and worked on-site to counsel, build up and teach the church. In this sermon we will look in detail at Paul’s guidance to Titus to build up God’s elect in their faith and knowledge of God.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4


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July 1, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Into the Deep Water: Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4

Into the Deep Water
Part One | A Servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ | Titus 1:1-4
Titus 1:1-4

Paul opens his letter to Titus using precise language about himself and the faith. The letter is written to urge Titus to organize the leadership structure of the churches in Crete and to encourage them to teach sound doctrine. Doctrine embraced and taught by mature and godly leadership is at the heart of his message. He is not sending Titus a few lightweight, simple instructions on how to be an effective pastor. Titus himself had already attained that status. He cut his ministry teeth working with the Church in Corinth - no easy task. Now he is focused on setting up a leadership structure and building up those who have very likely grown cold in their faith, because they have become idle regarding Christ’s teaching. Paul laid a foundation, but he now presses the church through Titus to move beyond their initial experience of coming into the faith and go on to experience the faith itself. Most of us know that the more detailed and difficult teachings of the faith cause people to become amazed. These doctrines can also cause people to become disturbed. Yet these teachings of Christ lead into the deep waters of the Christian faith. This opening greeting reveals where Paul is heading in the letter - into the deep water. Patience! Courage!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23


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June 24, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Supremacy of Christ | Colossians 1:15-23

Supremacy of Christ
Colossians 1:15-23

The text today is one of the greatest Christological presentations found in the Scriptures. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit is clearly visible in these lines as both the words and the literary form bring forth the beauty and magnificence of Christ. As Psalm 65:8 so beautifully states: “The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Surely David envisioned praise for the person and work of Christ. The prophet Jeremiah also stated: “This is what the Lord says: You say about this place, It is a desolate waste, without people or animals. Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever! For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord” (Jer.33:10, 11). May the magnificent words of Colossians take wing and form a living song in our hearts today of the Supremacy of Christ!

Sunday, June 10, 2018