Sermon: The Promise

The Promise
Titus 1:2-3
December 11, 2022

In 1974 George Roy Hill was awarded the Oscar for Best Director for The Sting, a film that starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Later that year, Hill received this letter from a 17-year-old aspiring actor:

Dear Mr. Hill,

Seeing that I am very close, dear, good, and long-lasting friends with your nephews Kit and Timothy, and your niece Kate, and that I have seen your fantastically entertaining and award-winning film ‘The Sting,’ starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford and enjoyed it very much, it is all together fitting and proper that you should ‘discover’ me.

Now, right away I know what you are thinking (‘who is this kid?’), and I can understand your apprehensions. I am a nobody. No one outside of Skyline High School has heard of me, but I figure if I change my name to Clark Cable, or Humphrey Bogart, some people will recognize me. My looks are not stunning. I am not built like a Greek God, and I can’t even grow a mustache, but I figure if people will pay to see certain films… they will pay to see me.

Let’s work out the details of my discovery. We can do it the way Lana Turner was discovered, me sitting on a soda shop stool, you walk in and notice me, and — BANGO — I’m a star. Or perhaps we could meet on a bus somewhere and we casually strike up a conversation and become good friends, I come to you weeks later asking for a job. During the last few weeks you have actually been working on a script for me and — Bango! — I am a star. Or maybe we can do it this way. I stumble into your office one day and beg for a job. To get rid of me, you give me a stand-in part in your next film. While shooting the film, the star breaks his leg in the dressing room and, because you are behind schedule already, you arbitrarily place me in his part and — BANGO — I am a star.

All of these plans are fine with me, or we could do it any way you would like, it makes no difference to me! But let’s get one thing straight, Mr. Hill, I [just want to be] a hometown, American boy who has hit the big-time, owns a Porsche, and calls Robert Redford ‘Bob’.…

Respectfully submitted,
Your Pal Forever,
Thomas J. Hanks

That’s confidence!

Or maybe a little over-confidence.  Nothing like what Hanks desired is quite so certain.  We don’t have to live long to know that life is filled with unfulfilled dreams and promises, and too many disappointments.

The Christmas season may prove to bring disappointments as well — reminders of sorrow, grief, and loss as well as expectations that aren’t met, and if you are a child, gifts that don’t show up under the tree.

But Christmas also is a reminder of God’s provision for His people.  You know the story of the birth of Christ well.  You’ve read it dozens (hundreds?) of times, and likely heard dozens (or more) sermons on the topic.  This year, I want to remind you of the themes of the Christmas story from passages that you might not consider part of the Christmas story — but they are saturated with the account of Christ’s advent, and they are filled with hope for the believer.  These three Sundays, we will be in the book of Titus, and our attention will be on the promise of Christ’s coming, the appearance of Christ, and the fulfillment of Christ’s coming.

This morning, as we look at the opening verses of Titus 1, we will discover that,

Every believer’s salvation is secured by God.

Our salvation is not just sure because we know that Christ came and Christ died and rose again.  Our salvation hope was certain when the promise of Christ’s coming was made.

In this passage we find three reasons why the hope of our salvation is sure:

Context (v. 1)

  1. Our Hope is Sure Because God Made a Promise (1:2)
  2. Our Hope is Sure Because God Revealed it in His Word (1:3a)
  3. Our Hope is Sure Because God Entrusted it to be Preached (1:3b)

Download the rest of this sermon on Titus 1:2-3.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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