Sermon Christmas Day 2011

 

Being Taught by Grace

 

Titus 2:11-15

 

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people (the Abrahamic promise), training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

 

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

 

INDICATIVE

 

“Epiphania”– made its advent appearance- 1st Advent of Christ

 

“bringing salvation for all people” (the Abrahamic promise)

 

IMPERATIVE

 

“Paideia” lexical studies>>

 

the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose commands and admonitions, reproof and punishment)

 

It also includes the training and care of the body and whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions. instruction which aims at increasing virtue chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

 

Leads to: Imitation of Christ-

 

what is He, the perfect man, like?

 

training us (up to maturity) to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled upright, and godly lives in the present age, redeemed from lawlessness (doing our own thing) NO RULES

 

Example: We are offended from earliest years of life—denied our wishes, “NO, NO” enforced by a spanking, to being underappreciated, denied, crossed, as adults.

 

Our first impulse when offended is retributive justice—Payback! Get Even!–We are taught rather to imitate God’s covenant faithfulness by paying the price to forgive others- sacrificial justice. That’s what Jesus did!!!!!

 

Tim Keller: somebody pays—always

 

“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing 2nd ADVENT of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

 

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. These things are to be taught!

 

Sully….an illustration of the pilot of US Airways 1549

 

On January 15, 2009, Sullenberger was pilot in command of an Airbus A320 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. The flight was designated as US Airways Flight 1549 as well as United Airlines Flight 1919.[26] Shortly after taking off, Sullenberger reported to air traffic control that the plane had hit a large flock of birds, disabling both engines.[27] Several passengers saw the left engine on fire.[28] Sullenberger discussed with air traffic control the possibilities of either returning to LaGuardia airport or attempting to land at the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. However, Sullenberger quickly decided that neither was feasible, and determined that ditching in the Hudson River was the only option for everyone’s survival.[29] Sullenberger told the passengers to “brace for impact”, then piloted the plane to a smooth ditching in the river at about 3:31 P.M.[30] All passengers and crew members survived.[30] He later said, “It was very quiet as we worked, my co-pilot and I. We were a team. But to have zero thrust coming out of those engines was shocking—the silence.”[31] Sullenberger walked the unflooded part of the passenger cabin twice to make sure everyone had evacuated before retrieving the plane’s maintenance logbook and being the last to evacuate the aircraft.[11][32]

 

Sullenberger, described by friends as “shy and reticent”,[33] has been noted for his poise and calm demeanor during the crisis. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for example, dubbed him, “Captain Cool”.[34] However, Sullenberger acknowledged that he had suffered some symptoms of posttraumatic stress for the first couple of weeks following the crash, including sleeplessness and flashbacks, though this condition had improved by the time of his late February 2009 interview with People magazine.[35] In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, he was quoted as saying that the moments before the crash were “the worst sickening, pit-of-your-stomach, falling-through-the-floor feeling” that he had ever experienced.[36] Speaking with news anchor Katie Couric, Sullenberger said, “One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years, I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience: education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”[37]

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

Likewise we are to be making regular deposits into the “bank” of character development in Christ so that when the time of testing comes we will be ready to make a faithful “large withdrawal.”

 

“In Christ” we are pleasing to God—that is bedrock INDICATIVE—By Faith

 

At the Second Advent appearing, we will please God….and we will be rewarded by God because we will reflect God’s nature—-God loves his own nature, attributes, character which he has been teaching us, beginning with grace and moving toward the imitation of Christ.

 

He loves to see them formed in us! ….To look like God. IMPERATIVE!

 

That’s what his grace teaches us!

 

Let us submit to the IMPERATIVE “paidaia” training of God’s INDICATIVE “epiphania” grace in Christ.     Amen.