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Titus 2 - Continue in Sound Doctrine

INTRODUCTION: Paul provides very practical direction for Titus in this second chapter, that he might be able to minister to the members of the congregations he served, recognizing their various stations in the general community. It is not just the leaders in a local church who need to live out a respectable life, but all of the members of the body of Christ, for the sake of the gospel. Everything done in the church should be built upon sound doctrine.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the World English Bible [WEB].

A - Paul first draws attention to the older men and women in the church

Titus 2 "1 But say the things which fit sound doctrine, 2 that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, and in patience: 3 and that older women likewise be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; 4 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that God's word may not be blasphemed."

COMMENTS: Paul tells Titus to use sound doctrine to direct the older men and women in the church toward behavior that is becoming for believers. This also is to be transferred subsequently by them to those who are younger, that there may be a climate of example and encouragement within the church body for healthy spiritual growth from one generation to the next. It should be noted that the older women especially have an important role in teaching the younger women. Sound doctrine embodied in the way we daily live is crucial so we will not be worshipping in vain.

Jesus spoke about vain worship.
Matthew 15 "7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 'These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.'"

And the Lord passed on the true teaching of sound doctrine to his apostles.

Acts 2 "38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself." 40 With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation!" 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer."

The teaching of Christ Jesus, and subsequently of his apostles, is recorded for us in scripture to be the firm foundation of faith and practice for the church. Paul wrote this in another letter,
Ephesians 4 "14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ; 16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love."

And Paul wrote this,
2 Timothy 3 "16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Having the local church characterized by personal qualities consistent with scripture is most important so there will be no legitimate basis for God's word to be blasphemed. In other words, the word of God should not be brought into disgrace, disrespected, slandered, or made to appear contemptible, by the poor conduct or speech of those who are in the church. When the Jews had degenerated to living contrary to God's commands so there was little distinction between them and those who openly worshiped idols, God withdrew his blessings and let them reap what they had sown.

There was however, still a remnant of believers faithful to the LORD as expressed in,
Psalm 74 "10 How long, God, shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme your name forever?"/br /> With scriptures like that, Paul had a firm basis in the history of God's people for his appeal to the church to be on their guard against their own failure to keep sound doctrine in the forefront of all they do, that God's name be not blasphemed.

B - Integrity in teaching

Titus 2 "6 Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober minded; 7 in all things showing yourself an example of good works; in your teaching showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can't be condemned; that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us."

COMMENTS: Paul wanted Titus as a church leader to also give personal attention to the young men in the assemblies, urging them to be sober-minded. He reminds Titus that his own conduct will be an important part of instruction in all things if he shows himself to be an example of good works. Titus must also show integrity in his teaching, seriousness, incorruptibility, and soundness of speech that can't be condemned. By this he will be able to silence those who speak from opposing views to the truth, and they will be shamed as they will have no basis to contradict his sound teaching.

C - Instructions for servants

Titus 2 "9 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters, and to be well-pleasing in all things; not contradicting; 10 not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all things."

COMMENTS: Even though servants may share a common faith with their masters, they still owe respect and submission to the authority of those who provide for them a means of livelihood, so they "may adorn the doctrine of God." Regardless of the position in society that a Christian may hold, their conduct in various relationships has the potential to bring honor to God and our Savior, who is the master of all people. Servants may be elder men or women, and thus they also have the responsibilities outlined earlier for that general group of believers. If servants have unbelieving masters, as Peter made clear, they are still to be subject to their master's authority.

1 Peter 2 "Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked."

Paul had written the following to the Corinthians concerning a person's place in society.
1 Corinthians 7 "20 Let each man stay in that calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called being a bondservant? Don't let that bother you, but if you get an opportunity to become free, use it. 22 For he who was called in the Lord being a bondservant is the Lord's free man. Likewise he who was called being free is Christ's bondservant. 23 You were bought with a price. Don't become bondservants of men. 24 Brothers, let each man, in whatever condition he was called, stay in that condition with God."

And Paul said this in
Galatians 3 "26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to promise."

The important factor for each individual is to be in the will of God, and to avoid bringing any reproach to the word of God by their own conduct.

D - Christ is the grace of God

Titus 2 "11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ; 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works."

COMMENTS: Paul now returns to the cornerstone of our faith as he speaks of Christ Jesus who physically appeared as the grace of God to bring salvation from sin. Jesus gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. So, the Lord's instruction left for us is that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Because of that first coming of our Lord to take away our sin, we have a sure hope of incomparable value that cannot be equaled by seeking that which is available only in our physical lives apart from God. When our great God and savior Christ Jesus comes in his glory, we will be his people in his kingdom for eternity.

Paul wrote to Gentile believers at Ephesus in the following passage to explain their great benefit of being equal with Christians of Jewish heritage.
Ephesians 2 "19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, 20 being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit."

E - Speak with authority

Titus 2 "15 Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise you."

COMMENTS: Paul urges Titus to speak in a manner that will advise his hearers by strong argument, and in a way that will check or repress faults that should not be found in believers. The immediately preceding sentences of his letter are essential elements of that sound doctrine about the foundation in the Lord for Christian. Titus is not to be hindered by those who might despise him for his teaching for he is to speak with the authority of God's word. If his deportment follows the characteristics set forth for believers and he is careful to use sound doctrine, then those who oppose what he is saying will actually be despising the word of God.

--- Reflections in prayer ---

My Lord and Savior, what a challenge this chapter has presented to me to be very careful to study your word to embed sound doctrine into my conscious and into my subliminal thought processes. I want it to become a trained reflex in my attitudes before those who observe, and toward others in direct interactions, arising from the change in heart that your word has produced. What a list Paul has provided as a guide to review my walk with you Lord: temperate, sensible, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, and in patience. Having an example of good works, showing integrity whenever I might presume to teach: keeping in mind seriousness, incorruptibility, 8 and soundness of speech that can't be condemned. May I keep the desire to preserve and promote your honor and glory as uppermost in all my conduct. I want to remind myself that you Lord Jesus appeared as the grace of God to instruct me, and all other believers, that we are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, ant to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world as we look for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. You willingly gave yourself to redeem believers from all sin and to purify us to be a people of your possession who are zealous for good works. With love and adoration, may I yield myself to your Holy Spirit to be your obedient servant ever mindful to show my faith through good works. Amen.

Published 20 April 2012