*A Mentoring and Modeling Men’s Ministry (Titus 2:6-8)*
/Preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church on August 3, 2008/
Edward Guest has written the following which I think expresses the feelings of many and touches on one of the messages of Titus 2 well.
It’s called “Sermons We See”
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.
Now, I hope you still stick around to hear this sermon today, because we all need to hear preaching whether we’d rather or not.
But what is touched on here is something that is also touched on in the far more important Word of God in Titus 2: how you live your life outside these walls during the week not only is supposed to be a living sermon if you profess Christ, it /is /a sermon whether you realize it or not.
And for the majority of people in our community and in your workplaces and neighborhoods, your life is the only sermon they will get this week.
It’s either a good sermon or a bad one, but they’re watching.
The message delivered here /verbally/ at church is also delivered /visually/ by you during the week to others.
Both verbal and visual are necessary, and Titus 2 teaches us they need to be consistent.
*Titus 2:1-8 (NASB95) 1 **But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.**
**2 **Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.**
**3 **Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,** **4 **so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,** **5 **/to be /**sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.**
**6 **Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;** **7 **in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, /with /purity in doctrine, dignified,** **8 **sound /in /speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.** *
Will Houghton was a preacher who later became the president of Moody Bible Institute during the 1940s.
Unknowingly, his life would have a dramatic impact on an agnostic who was contemplating suicide.
Before taking his life, the skeptic decided that if he could find a minister who lived his faith he would listen to him.
So he hired a private detective to watch Will Houghton.
When the investigator’s report came back, it revealed that this preacher’s life was above reproach; he was for real.
The agnostic went to Houghton’s church, accepted Christ, and later sent his daughter to Moody Bible Institute.
It’s no wonder the book of Titus begins with how a church is put in order, starting with the character of a godly leader who is above reproach.
But it’s not only church leaders who must live that way, and it is not only pastors who the world watches to see if they are for real.
Co-workers, neighbors, unsaved family are watching *you*.
Titus 2:7 says: “in all things show *yourself* to be an *example* of good deeds, /with /purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound /in /speech which is *beyond reproach*, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”
Titus 2 has been referred to as ‘“The Christian Character in Action” - the Christian life for older men and women, for younger men and women, for slaves, and for good citizens [today our focus will be verses 6-8].
And concluding the passage [v.
11-14] is ‘one of the most truly beautiful and succinct summaries of Christian doctrine anywhere to be found in Paul’s writings.
This chapter is [called] one of the gems of the entire New Testament.’
In the past two weeks we looked at the essential ministry of older men and older women in the body of Christ mentoring and modeling for younger believers how to live godly lives.
As we saw last week, there is an essential ministry of marriage, motherhood, and making home the priority, which older or mature moms in the faith are to encourage or admonish or train into the younger ladies.
Now in verses 6-8 the focus shifts to younger men, but it’s not for guys only – they are examples that all are to model and follow.
*Their Mentoring (v.
*Their Modeling (v.
*Their Motive (v.
*/First their Mentoring/*
6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;
The word “likewise” connects this verse with what comes before and what we studied last week.
In the same way that mature and godly women are to encourage or admonish or train life-on-life the younger women of their priorities in Titus 2:4-5, young men need the same by godly men in their life, as Proverbs 27:17 says “like iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
We all need it.
This is not a passive process.
It must be urged (v.
6), or “exhorted” as some of your Bibles may say.
The Greek word /parakaleo /comes from two words that literally mean “to come alongside” and “to call” – in other words, /to call to action as you come beside him as a friend, as a brother in the Lord/.
It’s a stronger word than their word for “ask” – this word is translated in other verses as “entreat” or “implore” or “plead” or even “beg” (old English “beseech” 43x in KJV).
It’s the picture of someone in earnest pleading for your attention, “I beg of you, please, will you do it?”
It includes nuances of encouraging and even comforting, and a related word is used as a title for the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.
As Spirit-filled believers we are to come alongside to admonish each other, by truth in love.
Kenneth Wuest writes that our manner ‘should not be a domineering, high-handed, demanding one, but a humble, loving, kindly, exhorting one.
The heart will respond to loving, kind treatment where it will rebel against the opposite.’
Look at verse 6 again – the young men must be exhorted to be “sensible” or “sober-minded” (NKJV, KJV) or “self-controlled” (ESV, NIV).
The word has each of those nuances and Paul has used various forms of this word already in urging this quality:
- in Titus 1:8 for the overseers who lead the church.
- then in Titus 2:2 Paul exhorts the same of older men
- verse 4 uses the verb form of this for older women
- verse 5 begins with this word for the younger women
- then verse 6 “likewise urge the younger men to be …”
This is a vital trait for every person in the church – to be sensible or sober in our thinking, as reflected by self-controlled living.
The word entails self-restraint, self-discipline, self-mastery so that your life is not controlled by other forces or sins.
You take your thoughts captive, you do not let your passions and emotions rule, which young people naturally do.
You seek to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness as Paul told young Timothy to do, and that includes spiritual duties (prayer, reading Word regularly, loving and serving others, etc.).
You need to be a God-centered person in your thinking, as Solomon said in the end of Ecclesiastes “Remember your Creator *in the days of your youth*” and he then tells us how: “Fear God and keep His commandments.”
Proverbs 4:23 says to a young man, you must above all guard our hearts for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
It’s from the heart that flows out sinful actions and speech as Jesus taught.
It’s not enough to keep up the outward duties and disciplines (those are a good start), we must fight the battle within -- our thought life and desires.
This is a word all of us need, but it’s especially important for older believers to continually exhort and instill this in young believers they know (the language is a present-tense ongoing command in the grammar).
The habits you develop as a young person usually become lifelong habits and become harder and harder to break.
Verse 6 could be paraphrased “Keep on urging the young men to behave carefully, taking life seriously, with God-centered fear.”
*WHAT AGE DOES “YOUNGER MAN” REFER TO?*
In Jewish vocabulary and tradition, you became a young man at age 12, and that word was used in the culture of the time also beyond the teen years into twenties and thirties.
There’s some discussion as to what age transitioned younger to older - usually in 40s or 50s - but as we discussed before, the terms can be relative and here maturity is included, not merely a magic number.
And of course these truths should be instilled as early as possible in our day where young people are exposed to things even earlier.
Ryle has written a booklet /Thoughts for Young Men**/
Reasons for Exhorting Young Men (see inside of your note sheet)