A Worship Guide for July 12
We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you worship at home if you are not able to join with us.
Call to Worship
 I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
Lord, we want to give thanks with our whole heart. We come to sing your praise. We give thanks to you for your steadfast love and faithfulness. And in this time we want to exalt your name and your word as you have exalted them above all things. Thank you for your Son Jesus Christ whose blood cleanses us from all impurity, so that we are able to approach you. Thank you for your Spirit who gives life to our dead hearts so that we even want to approach you. And thank you for accepting us into your eternal family as your beloved children. May you be honored in our worship. Amen.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
Dear Lord, we come to you as ones who were in darkness, as ones in need of rescue, as ones who were weak. We come to you as ones who are darkened by sin, as ones daily in need of being made whole, as ones needing refuge from all manner of storms. We come to you this day during this small amount of time to turn our gazes corporately upon you, to consider your beauty and to inquire of you in this place, to have you teach us your ways and lead us on level paths. We want to look upon your goodness together among the living, to wait for you together, to let our hearts take courage together.
Lord hear our prayer.
As we gather before you, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed. Our thoughts have both wandered aimlessly and been intentioned directly toward various idolatries. Our words have been flippantly uttered and also carefully chosen in unedifying and destructive directions. Our deeds have gone undone and also been organized toward selfish gains. We know that our sorrow over these efforts is insufficient to rectify them, to heal relationships, and to assuage your holy anger against such. Yes, we are sorry, and we want to have right sorrow that we have transgressed against you, a holy God. Grant us repentance, that we may turn from darkness to light once again, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ.
For the followng considerations and concerns, we ask Father for your listening ear and ready hand:
For our church staff, we intercede on their behalf. Be gracious in all concerns in the lives of Tom, Marci, Nik, Suzi, Daniel, Lauren, Bryan, Jon and Jeremy. Grand each of them joy in the work you have prepared for them to do, and give them strength, hope, and trust in your sufficiency. As well, bless the upcoming transitions with beneficial times of encouragement, reflection, sending, and receiving.
For our fellow believers here in Raleigh that make up the Church of the Apostles, grand that they grow in faith, unity, and coporate discipline. For their interim senior pastor, Art Going, may he be faithful in prayer and in the study of your word, and boldly proclaim and interpret the good news in the context of their church body.
For the people group known as the Hui in China, we ask that by your Spirit they would come to worship you as Lord and Creator. We know that the visible means of reaching these people has lessened in the past few years, but we trust in your sufficiency to work through invisible means to bring about from them people who reverently fear and adore you.
For the local work of Refugee Hope Partners, we ask that you sovereignly bring to them refugees whom they can serve through various Bible studies, homework help sessions, and ELS programs. Bless the organization with the necessary staff members, volunteers, and church partnerships to carry out the work. As well, please provide donors desirous of using earthly resources for sustaining and growing the work of the ministry.
Finally, we rejoice that you have chosen to carry on your work through the church and the preaching of your word, that our missionary friend can be here to fulfill that calling our presence. We rejoice that you have sustained them in the past few years, that you have formed them by your Spirit through their endeavors, and ask that you would yield a clarity of thought and communication through him that would be sufficient for our body on this day.
For yours is the majesty, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Read the Bible
Titus 2:1–10,  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.  Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,  and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.  Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,  not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. (ESV)
Listen to the Sermon
The sermon is available for listening HERE. (Due to security reasons, the sermon will not be available on video.)
Summary: What do sound doctrine and godly behavior inside the church have to do with God expanding his Kingdom among those currently outside the church? At first glance we might be tempted to think "not much." But our text for this week runs completely contrary to this initial assumption. In Titus 2:1-10 we see Paul charging Titus to "teach what is in accord with sound doctrine" and then specifying what this means for different cross-sections of the young, Cretan church. It becomes clear that Paul wants them to live pure and holy lives in the midst of their wicked culture so that outsiders will be attracted to their gospel-centered lifestyle and enter into the church themselves through repentance and faith. Paul consistently emphasized how the sound doctrine and corresponding godly behavior of the church was a key part of Great Commission expansion. And this is just as true today here in Raleigh in the 21st century as it was in Crete in the 1st century. May God give us the grace to see and act upon the connection between our own personal and corporate holiness and the spread of His gospel to those around us who are far from God.
Review and Apply
Is there a distinction between what accords with sound doctrine and sound doctrine itself (vs.1)? If so, what is it?
According to your current life station and gender, place yourself into one or several of the corresponding categories mentioned here in these verses (older men,. older women, younger women. younger men, church leader/teacher i.e. Titus, servants). Which corresponding behaviors seem easiest to walk out? Which ones seem the most difficult?
What does it mean for the younger women to be working at home and submissive to their own husbands (vs. 5)?
How can we put ourselves in a position to let fellow believers urge or rebuke us towards self-control, purity, good works, etc (vs. 6)?
How can we make sure that as we adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (vs. 10) by our behavior that this is noticeable to those outside of the church?