Men Standing Firm
Have you ever watched, “This Old House” on tv? It’s a popular home improvement show that is now in its 40th season. It’s popular because a team of experts repair older homes. In one episode, the owners were remodeling an old church into their home. When the crew went down into the basement, they found that the central beam supporting the floor joists was held up by a 1foot block of wood, sitting on a 6-inch concrete block. And by the way, the old church was in San Francisco…which sits on a major fault line and in an earthquake zone. It’s easy to see, that those who built this church, failed to build it on a solid foundation.
Our sermon series in May is called “The Church-God’s Master Plan” and I assure you that God is very interested in a solid foundation. God wants HIS church built HIS way so that it won’t be shaken by a world built on a fault line of sin. As we continue in the book of Titus, we see where Paul left Titus on the isle of Crete to strengthen a church in the midst of an evil society. Let’s stand as we read from Titus 1:10-12. “For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.””
Paul started this church in Crete and when he left he placed Titus in charge. He tells him in verse 5, “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished…” Now, how’s Titus going to do that? He’s just one man in the midst of a pagan society? Well, here’s the truth. God didn’t expect Titus to do this all by himself.
That would have been like building a house supported by a 1foot block of wood, that sits on a 6-inch concrete block…it’ll won’t hold up forever. God doesn’t intend His church to be built around 1 man or 1 pastor. Many churches may do this, but that’s not on ‘God’s Master Plan’!
Now, the rest of the verse reveals His Master Plan in building His church. Paul wrote, “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” In other words: Paul is telling Titus, “You need help.” Because the strength of any church doesn’t depend upon the man in the pulpit. It depends on the men who stand beside the man in the pulpit.
So, Paul is telling Titus to get some men to stand with him because there are people in the world that will pull the church down and destroy it. Some of those men here at JV, are the Deacons. They are an Elder/Bishop/Deacon all rolled into one. Their role is to protect this church from false teaching and stand upon and be led by God’s Word.
In the book of Judges, the 2nd chapter, says that as long as Joshua and the leaders were alive, the children of Israel followed God. But when the righteous men died, the people fell back into their evil ways. The Bible says, “And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers…” (Judges 2:19)
Now, why did that happen? Because other men among them didn’t step up. They said:
- Let the other guys do it.
- I’m just too busy.
So, when the good men died, when the moral leaders passed away…there was no one to replace them and evil took over. So men, here’s the truth. If you consider Jay Valley your church home and if these are your people, then are you ready to stand up and be involved? I’m not asking you to become a Deacon. I’m asking you to be of service in this church. Many of our men serve but there’s a need for more. All you have to do…is have a desire to be used by God.
Now, I consider myself an amateur carpenter. But I wasn’t always able to read a tape measure or operate a saw. I had a desire to be like my father and his father. So I began by doing little things in my Dad’s workshop. Like sweeping the floor, putting up tools, and straightening out nails. I must have straightened half of the bent nails in the Tarrant county. But my point is this, I wanted to be involved, so I became my father’s helper. In God’s blueprint, He needs you to be His helper, to step up and do what you can!
Now, there’s a reason God put men in leadership positions. And it has a lot to do with the differences between men and women. Godly women are essential for church growth and a wise leader will ask their opinions. But when it comes to decision making, God holds the men accountable for what happens in His church. And His Word proves it.
In Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, who was tempted to eat of the forbidden tree? It was Eve. So, shouldn’t she be blamed for the 1st sin? But in the 5th chapter of Romans, who does God blame for the sin? It was Adam…not Eve. Because God held Adam responsible for not stepping up and being a man. It was Adam who failed! He could have protected his wife, but he didn’t. When Godly men are weak then the church is weak. The truth is, men need strong women in the church and women need strong male leadership. And here at Jay Valley, we need both or we won’t have a solid foundation.
So, Paul was telling Titus that to build a strong church, he is to look for:
- Men who are willing to give themselves to God.
- Men who are willing to stand on God’s Word only.
- Men who are willing to stand up, serve, and protect God’s kingdom.
Titus couldn’t do it alone. He needed strong men to stand beside him. And that’s God’s blueprint for the foundation of strong and safe church in the midst of an evil society.
In ancient Greece, the King of Sparta once bragged about the ‘mighty walls’ of Sparta. But a visitor looked around and didn’t see any walls, so he asked, ‘where are they?’ The King pointed to the men in his mighty army and said, “There they are! Those men are the walls of Sparta!” The King was so confident in his soldiers that when Philip of Macedonia threatened: “If we capture your city, we will burn it to the ground.” That the King simply replied: “if”. The King was confidence because he saw each soldier as a brick in a mighty wall. A wall that would stand against enemy attacks.
And that’s how Jesus sees us. We are His bricks in a mighty wall that surround and protect His family. The Bible says, we are “…living stones, built up a spiritual house”. (I Peter 2:5)
This morning, are you allowing God to use you? Are you serving God and His kingdom?