By Mickey D. Brackin
Senior Pastor, Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg
Focal Passage: Titus 2:1-15
In today’s focal passage (Titus 2:1-15), Paul presents a level of godly expectations, not only for church leaders but for all believers. According to Charles Ray, “The goal of his instructions was for believers to be above reproach (v. 5), to preempt opponents from having reasons to accuse believers (v. 8), and to make the gospel inviting to the world (v. 10).”
Paul begins chapter two with a contrasting exhortation for Titus (v. 1) “but as for you.” The words that Paul continues to write in chapter two are in direct contrast to the words of Titus 1:16. Paul instructs Titus to be different.
His life is to be a life of integrity both in doctrine and practice. Found throughout chapter two is a balanced blending of doctrines taught and actions lived.
Titus was to be a constant and consistent agent of the sound proclamation of truth as well as a living example of the very truth he proclaimed.
John MacArthur states, “The Bible never divorces doctrine from duty, truth from behavior. What is true of individual believers is, of course, also true of the church as a body. A church that is grounded in spiritual truth and protected from spiritual falsehood is to be spiritually healthy and productive through the way in which its members live. The fruit of right doctrine is right living.”
Paul in verse two addresses “the older men” (“presbutes”). These older men should possess certain virtues and characters consistent with the truth of sound doctrine. Older women are to live and display godly virtues as witnesses of the truth. The older women are to teach and instruct the younger women by their actions, lives and words (vv. 3-5).
No doubt we see the importance of wise godly mentors in the lives of younger believers. We also see the importance of the younger men and women understanding the wealth of wisdom and knowledge that can be afforded by observing and learning from the older saints. In the words of baseball Hall of Famer and part-time philosopher, Yogi Berra, “You can observe a lot by watching.”
Warren Wiersbe wrote with wisdom, “A church needs both the old and the young, and they minister to one another. The grace of God enables us to bridge the generation gap in the church. One way to do this is for all members, young and old, to live up to the standards that God has set for our lives.”
Paul concludes chapter two by connecting verses one through 10 with verses 11 through 15 with the conjunction “for.” At the heart of these verses we find the theme of God’s grace. Daniel Akin states, “It is grace, God’s amazing grace that teaches us to live this way (v. 12). It not only saves, it also transforms. God’s grace teaches us how to live.” Believers are to live with integrity, consistent in doctrine and practice. B&R — Brackin is senior pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg.