Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teach These Things

The inspired writer Paul addressed his comrade in the faith, Titus, with specific instructions to Christians of various ages, and living in various situations.  Let's look at Titus 2 and see how the instructions work.
 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.  Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  The first standard in the teachings for Titus is directed to the olden men. The things Paul mentions are all attributes which are priority to the older men. 

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  These pertain to the older women, but even expand in areas where the older women can share and teach the younger women. It is no mistake the attribute of love is mentioned to both men and women.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.  In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.  Now the young men receive their encouragement. Titus is to lead the way,  to be a good example for the younger men, and to lead with integrity. 

Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,  and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. Yes, even slaves had standards by which they were to conduct themselves. It is especially noted that slaves were to please their masters and be subject to them.

 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  This is the meat of Paul's message to Titus. After covering the various age groups, both men and women, and even slaves, Paul introduces us to the very strong truth, "God's grace which offers salvation has appeared to all people."  Regardless of who we are or how much we know, we should recognize the priority standards which are given to us.  The blessings from God are graciously given to us for our good.  All people should learn to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions.  We all need self-control. Everyone should try to be upright and godly in their living.  Like Paul says, we are eagerly waiting for the blessed hope, the return of Jesus.

When you read all the bold type in today's article, you will have read the entire chapter of Titus 2.  It was important that Paul write these things to Titus, and to us, to make everyone aware of their conduct, their goals of righteous living, and their readiness for the return of Jesus. The chapter ends with Paul saying, "These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you."  We should teach these things and live by them, too.


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