Difficult Neighbors

Difficult Neighbors

Sermon Notes

Neighboring Well – We are asking you to open up your life to other people, so you can look for opportunities to share God’s love.

Here is what we know about the island of Crete (where Titus was a pastor):

  • Greek word for liar (“kretizo”) – to be or act like a Cretan
  • Many of the men on the island had served as mercenary soldiers
  • The cities were unsafe and full of corrupt leaders
  • There was violent tribal infighting among the various cities
  • Sexual promiscuity was rampant (marriage was declining)

Instead of focusing on the of bad press on the island of Crete, Paul chose to see the beautiful potential.

  • Saw not just problems, but potential
  • Stepped out in faith, not in fear
  • Refused to focus on the worst and started seeing the best

1. Try to follow the law perfectly even though the leaders and the laws are imperfectTitus 3:1, Prov. 24:21 Rom. 13:1

God is in control of those who are in control over us.

2. Be ready for every good deedTitus 3:1b

3. Be moved by the gospel, not goofiness Titus 3:4-9

Shun these things: Foolish controversies, genealogies, arguments, quarrels

Why? They are unprofitable and useless.

Application

  • Follow the law
  • Be kind to all
  • Avoid silly arguments and pitfalls

Discussion Questions

MAIN TEXT

Titus 3:1-9, Romans 13:1

TALK IT OUT

  1. In this week’s message, we learned that the island of Crete, where Titus pastored, was a pretty challenging neighborhood. The people had a reputation for being dishonest, the cities were unsafe, the leaders were corrupt and sexual promiscuity was rampant. Name two difficult neighborhoods you are familiar with. What makes them challenging?
  2. Read Titus 3:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:4. According to these passages, why do people live apart from God? Now read Mark 6:34, Titus 3:1-2 and 2 Timothy 2:25-26. According to these passages, how should believers respond to the condition unbelievers are in?
  3. It’s tempting to come up with excuses – even ones that sound spiritual – for not loving our neighbors. Name some excuses that you have heard or maybe even used yourself. Why aren’t these valid?
  4. Read Titus 3:9 and 2 Timothy 2:23. Whenever disagreements occur, it’s easy to allow them to escalate into full-blown arguments. What do these verses say we should do when we find ourselves in these types of situations? Why? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
  5. Read Colossians 3:12-13, 2 Timothy 2:24 and Titus 3:8. Rather than being argumentative with unbelievers, what position do these passages teach us to take as believers? Why?

LIVE IT OUT

  • What tends to be your go-to excuse for not loving your neighbors? Name one thing you will do to push past that this week.
  • Think of a time when you were significantly impacted by someone’s act of kindness. Why did it mean so much to you? Take a few moments to ask God to show you someone who could be impacted by an act of kindness from you this week.