Corporate Prayer and Fasting: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Theme: Godly and Healthy Christian Living For the Sake of the Gospel & for Public Witness
Scriptural Passage for Meditation:Titus 2:1-10)
What is the meaning of the phrase “sound doctrine?”
- A body of Christian beliefs
- Sets of Christian practices
- Godly Christian behavior
- “Practical instruction about the things which are fitting for, that is, based on and appropriate to, the sound doctrine that already has been taught.”—John MacArthur, Titus, p.70
4 Major Points
- Biblical Discipleship fosters godly living (vv.2, 12, 14)
- Spiritual mentoring promotes strong biblical masculinity and manhood (vv.2, 6-7)
- Spiritual mentoring encourages a Christ-centered biblical feminism and womanhood (vv. 3-5)
- Submission to the Word of God is a true mark of Christian discipleship (vv.1, 5, 8, 10)
The big idea in this passage is to live christianly and godly in this contemporary culture. The most effective plan for evangelism and to win lost people for Christ is to live a godly live that is conformed to sound biblical doctrine, which will draw non-followers of Jesus to God. How do you practice and live your faith. If we teach the Gospel and live the Gospel, people’s lives will be changed in our neighborhood, community, and the country we call the United States of America.
In this passage, Paul provides ethical instructions and exhortations to five various groups of people in the Cretan Church, with the goal to establish the right and godly behavior pleasing to God (vv.1-10) and to influence the Cretan culture through the embodied Gospel in Christian life. Here are they:
- Exhortation to Older men (v. 2)
- Exhortation to Older women (v.3)
- Exhortation to young women (vv.4-5)
- Exhortation to young men (vv. 6-8)
- Exhortation to slaves (vv. 9-10)
This text deals with the theological basis for a healthy and godly Christian living for the sake of the Gospel and for public witness of the Gospel. The first groups of these individuals are separated by age and sex, while the fifth group in the Church is distinguished by its social status/position in society and in the church. At this point, we should be asking this important question: what is the common exhortation to all the five groups?
- These five groups of individuals are Church people, Cretan Christians and followers of Jesus Christ.
- All of them are cared to live a life of godliness and transformed life according to sound doctrine (v.1) and the grace of God.
- They are called to submit to principles of godliness at homes, work, and wherever they may be. The call to godliness is the call to discipleship and following Jesus.
- They are responsible to safeguard the reputation of the Gospel and to live, practice and embody the Gospel.
- Believers are called to live godly and in a respectable way in society to counter false accusations to Christianity (vv. 8-10) so that all people would have access to the gospel of God and its principles to which believes live.”
- Christians need to know that the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, provides salvation to all people and forgiveness for their sins (vv.11-12)
Finally, we are going to share Paul’s exhortation to each one of the groups named above.
Exhortation to Older men (v. 2)
- “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”
***These three are the cardinal virtues of the Christian life: faith toward God, love toward all people, and perseverance to the end.
Exhortation to Older women (v.3)
- “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good.”
Exhortation to young women (vv.4-5)
- “Train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
***younger Christian wives need to demonstrate seven qualities:
- Love their husband; Love their children; 3. To exercise self-controlled; 4. To be sexually pure (no sexual infidelity) 5. To be the queen of their homes 6. To be kind, this quality is especially related to one of God’s attributes. The Bible declares the kindness of God.
- To be submissive to their own husbands, not other men
***”The reason for their living out their faith in terms of this domestic code is for the sake of the Gospel and how it would be viewed by outsiders: so that non one will malign the word of God…Here we have the first of several clear articulations of the need for good works for the sake of nonbelievers “(Fee, New International Biblical Commentary, Titus, p. 188).
Older women should be spiritual mentors. In fact, mothers are called to teach their daughters the ways of life (Jeremiah 9:20). Young women is a reference to young wives. Wives should love their husbands unconditionally and nurture their children spiritually, intellectually, ethically, and morally. The crowning virtue of the Christian wife is to love.
Exhortation to young men (v.6)
- “Urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.”
Exhortation to slaves (vv. 9-10)
- “Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith”
Common adjectives that apply to all five groups:
- The call to be sensible (self-controlled) 2, 5, 6): older men, younger women, young men
*** “The term translated “sensible” means “self-controlled” or disciplined, one of the central Greek virtues; when applied to women, it meant “modesty” and hence indicated virtuously avoiding any connotations of sexual infidelity…”On the other hand, “The men are to be self-disciplined, and Timothy was to provide a model for them, as a good teacher should” ” (Craig Keener, The IVP Bible Background, “Titus,” p. 638).
***This is the call to be control our feelings, emotions, choices, language, our actions in public and social media. In all things, we have to glorify Christ in all things.
How’s your rhetoric in different social media venues advancing the kingdom of God in society, glorifying God in Christ, fostering love in public, & uniting the various expressions of the body of Christ?
If it is not accomplishing (or will not fulfill) any of these goals, think twice about what you intend to post online and how you interact with people on social media.
God should also be exalted and treasured in our thinking, public interactions, and our actions in the public sphere. If you’re doubtful that Christ will not be honored through your public interaction with individuals, just don’t do it.
The goal of the Christian mind is to savor Christ and exalt the Triune God in all things. Whatever you do and think and whenever you act, think, act, and do it all to the glorious fame and praise of the Triune God in the world.
- The call to submissive (vv.5, 9): young women and slaves.
- The call to be sober (temperate) (vv.2, 3)
***Finally, Titus himself is not above the Gospel, his life also to show grace that he himself is saved.
“and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (vv.7-8).
The fourfold cause clauses (“in order that” = hina in Greek) that is both evangelistic and missional, which urges us to live godly and walk in holiness in this present age:
- “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husband” (v.4)
- “so that the word of God may not be reviled (or dishonored)” (v. 5)
- “so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (v.8)
- “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (v.10)
*** Each cause clause (hina) “expresses the goal of purpose of the behavior that is encouraged. Furthermore, these hina clauses indicate the proper Christian behavior has a significant impact on pagan attitudes toward Christianity (v.5), silencing opponents by correct Christian teaching (v.8), and attracting a lost world to Christianity (v.10), thus affecting the entire missionary enterprise of the church” ( Lea & Griffin, The New American Commentary, Titus, p. 296).
*** If your lifestyle becomes a hindrance to Gospel, you need to ask God for forgiveness, repent, and change your ways.
The sevenfold to be’s:
- to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (v.2)
- to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. (v.3)
- to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands (v.5)
- to be self-controlled (v.6)
- to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity (v.7)
- Bondservantsare to be submissive to their own masters in everything;
- they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative
***: Christians are called to be godly, not worldly. Pastors are called to be godly, not worldly. Do not cretenize the Gospel; don’t cretenize your morals and ethical standards.
“11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Vv.11-15)