Zeal: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Titus 2:11

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Titus 2:11

Every Christian needs a burning, blazing, passionate love for the Lord Jesus Christ that overflows into service and worship. However, we must be careful with our zeal, so that it doesn't become misguided.

Titus 2 addresses the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of zeal, and urges us to watch out for extremism and harmful fanaticism.

First, zeal can display the grace of God.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men… that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2: 11,14).

When we truly love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will become zealous about truth and excited to do good works for the kingdom of God. This is a good and godly thing, because we are called to go “all in” with our love for Jesus.

Adrian Rogers says, “The cause of Christ has been hurt by lukewarm Christians—Sunday morning benchwarmers who claim to be on the Lord’s side, but don’t live for Him.”

However, when taken to the extreme, good things can become bad things.

If we're not careful, zeal can distort the grace of God.

Zeal that is divisive and destructive can be deadly to our churches, homes, and communities. Principles are great when used as tools to live by, rather than as weapons to hurt others.

When we obsess and debate over incidental things, we lose sight of what is fundamental. This kind of zeal is foolish, fractious, and fruitless. Extremism can also be fatal because it causes the spiritual death of many other people. When we have zeal for the wrong things, we’ll often fight the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons and the wrong energy.

Finally, there is a zeal that denies the grace of God.

Salvation comes from God alone; no matter how passionate we become, we must never lose sight of that truth. No one is so bad that he cannot be saved, and no one is so good that he need not be saved.

Apply it to your life

We cannot be moderate about our love for Jesus. Are you filled with zeal that displays the grace of God?