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Do you ever find yourself asking, God how do I behave in such a way that will bring glory and honor to you? God, how do I behave that will encourage and strengthen those who I worship within my church congregation? God, is my behavior conformed to your truths and not my own? I know I ask these questions quite often. The second chapter of Titus gives us a list of godly behavior that we are to model inside our church walls and outside of those walls. Let’s walk through the first 8 verses of Titus 2 and see what these characteristics are and why we are to model them.
“But as for you, “Titus” speak the things that are fitting for sound doctrine.” In Titus chapter 1 we learned that there were those who were teaching words full of falsehood, impure words, words that lead to lawlessness, words that corrupt. In other words, they were teaching, “Unsound doctrine”. Impure words, words that are not of God lead to ungodly behavior. They are shifting, unstable and will eventually lead to ruin. Sound doctrine is stable, it is a firm foundation on which to stand. I am reminded of Christ’s words in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell_ and great was its fall. “
May we heed the words of Christ as we begin to learn what is being taught in Titus 2.
Paul begins to lay out sound teaching that Titus is to pass on to the Church. He begins with the men and works his way to the women. We can see discipleship and mentoring taught in this section of scripture.
Older men teach the younger men.
Older women teach the younger women.
As a member of the body of Christ, we have a great responsibility to those God has placed us to worship with and grow with. This responsibility includes our words, the things we speak, and the way we conduct ourselves.
Individual Growth, our spiritual service of worship.
Paul is teaching in Titus 2 the characteristics of a godly man and a godly woman. They are God’s prescribed characteristics for His people. They are learned in our quiet place with God. As believers, we are to study God’s word that we may know Him, and from His word learn how we are to conduct ourselves as His children. How encouraging it is to know He has given to us everything that we need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3 teaches, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.”
We are instructed in God’s word to be renewed in our minds.
Romans 12:1-2 teaches, “Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The renewing of our mind begins in prayer and study of God’s word. There we learn what is pleasing to Him. (Ephesians 5:11)
2 Peter 2: 4-7 teaches, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”
Modeled Characteristics of Men and Women in the Church
What do we learn from Titus 2:1-5 concerning godly characteristics? Paul lays out quit a list breaking it down as he instructs the men and then the women. He first focuses on men and then turns his attention to the women. He gives them specific instruction concerning their role.
Older Men are to be:
Temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Men lead by example and teach the younger men to live a godly life.
Older Women likewise are to be:
Reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, Sensible, pure, workers at home, kind. Be subject to your own husband. Women lead by example and teach the younger women to live a godly life.
Train Them in the way They Should Go.
The godly characteristics that are listed in this passage are to be learned and modeled by all. Paul reminds and instructs the older men and women of their responsibility to live as an example to the younger generation. The younger generation is looking to the ones that are mature that have gone before them to be their example and guidance. What we teach them is what they will model. The younger generation is the future church! Teach them sound doctrine, be an example of good deeds.
For the Honor of God’s Word
Paul gives these instructions and ends Titus 2:5 with the reason that we are to learn and teach, and model godly conduct.
Titus 2:5, “So that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Dishonored/blasphemeo; means to be spoken of slanderously. In this case, if the young women (or any of us) fail to live as Paul has instructed, the message our lives proclaim is one that slanders the reputation of the Word of God. Paul in the context of Titus 2:7 gives instruction to Titus concerning his conduct. This conduct also applies to all that are believers that are the body of Christ. What is the conduct in which Paul refers?
Titus 2: 7 teaches, “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach.”
To Shame the Opponent
Paul says in Titus 2: 7, “In all things show yourself an example.” What a high calling we have! Ephesians 4:1 teaches, “Walk in a manner worthy of your calling.” We have a high calling from God to walk well as His ambassadors, as His servants. In the context of verse 7 the reason given for being a good example is that the opponent will be put to shame, and they will have nothing bad to say. When they have nothing bad to say the Word of God is honored.
That some May be Saved
1 Peter 2:12 teaches, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evil doers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
As believers,we are a walking testimony of what the Lord has done in our lives. When an unbeliever observes our behavior he may, because of our good deeds, turn and be saved by the same grace that saved us. In this, God is glorified.
What a great responsibility we have. It can seem very overwhelming but be of good cheer! Yes! God has given us instruction, specific instruction, but He has also promised to teach and train us! Wow! How wonderful is that. He will be with us all the way!
I am so grateful God has all this under control. How about you?
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