Titus: Expectations for All (Titus 2:1-8)
· Paul wrote this epistle, it seems, after his first imprisonment in Rome that is recorded at the end of the book of Acts.
· To Titus, one of the representatives/messengers of the Apostle Paul to the churches Paul worked with. He may have been an evangelist like Timothy was since there seems to be similarities in their missions and teachings, but we are not ever told if Titus was an evangelist directly as we are with Timothy (also mentioned in , ; )
· There seems to be two main reasons for Paul writing this epistle
CH 1 – DEAL WITH FALSE TEACHING
· First, Titus was to appoint elders to deal with the false teaching that was in Crete, which is the main idea of chapter 1. We have already studied the qualifications of elders while we were going through 1 Timothy, so I will not revisit the qualifications now. We are told here that the main reason that Titus was sent to Crete was so that he could appoint elders in every city on the island. This implies that there are multiple churches on the island of Crete at the time that Paul wanted Titus to work among and encourage.
· These churches were lacking at this point in that they did not yet have elders appointed. These churches needed qualified men to shepherd the flock and to teach the flock sound doctrine. This was especially important at this time because it seems that many of the same false teachings that Timothy was dealing with in Ephesus had come to Crete also.
· In verses 10-16, Paul describes these false teachers who were rebellious men of the circumcision (Jewish false teachers) who were teaching manmade doctrines and Jewish myths that were disturbing the faith of many. So they needed to be silenced and rebuked for their teachings, and for their denial of God that their sinful lives showed.
CH 2 – ENCOURAGE ALL TO DO GOOD WORKS
· The second theme in this epistle, which begins in ch2 is one of good works. Titus is given instructions throughout the rest of this epistle to encourage the brethren in Crete to be different than the culture around them in Crete. As we see in 1:12, Cretans were not known to be honest, good, and hard-working people.
· So Paul encourages Titus in 2:1, to first, be different than the false teachers by teaching the truth. He needs to teach sound, healthy doctrine that can help God’s people to live godly in the present age. I don’t think we often think about the idea of “sound doctrine” the way that Paul uses the phrase. We ask whether a church may be sound in the sense of whether they worship right or whether or not they use their collection or their building for the right things… This is not how Paul uses the phrase. A church, or rather the individuals in a church are “sound” whenever they are applying sound doctrine to their lives and living in a way that is different to the world around them. We see the idea in this chapter of adorning the doctrine and living and speaking in a way that the doctrine is not reviled… You can have the right worship and use your collection and building in ways that please God and still be a group that is unsound because the individual Christians are not living right.
· So Titus is encouraged here to make sure he teaches sound, healthy doctrine so God’s people can apply it to their lives and be changed by it. Paul gives specific examples of this sound doctrine in verses 2-10 of this chapter, followed by the theological teaching/reasoning behind it in verses 11-14.
· Paul gives teaching in 2:1-8 to many groups in the churches, showing that there are expectations to all who are Christians to live lives contrary to the culture. The four groups that Paul gives instructions for are:
o Older men
o Older women
o Younger women
o Younger men
OLDER MEN (v2)
· Titus is instructed to teach these things to the older men:
o “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.”
· I don’t remember if I made this point when talking about elders or widows, but the phrase used here for older men was used in some ancient documents to refer to people in their 50s and 60s. At least in regards to older widows, we do see in the text in that being over 60 made you an older widow… So let’s think of these instructions with that kind of mindset… Paul is more than likely talking to those who are in their 50s-60s and those who are older…
· It would be from these men that Titus would be appointing elders. If a man does not meet these requirements, he surely would not meet the qualifications for an elder. Many of the attributes here are the same as in the qualifications of elders – temperance, respectable, soundness in the faith…
· They need to be those who can look at as stable in the faith; well grounded. They are models of Christian maturity in showing love and dealing with trials. Their faith has been tested time and again. They have come through the fire and can tell others how they did it. The rest of the congregation should be able to look at older men in the group and respect them because they are men of character.
OLDER WOMEN (vs3-5)
· Titus is instructed to teach these things to the older women:
o “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to…”
· They are to have respectable, reverent behavior before God and man, especially in how they talk. Paul mentions not being slanderers here. Slander and gossip is a Satan-like way of talking… The same word is used elsewhere in reference to Satan being one who slanders. Older women may have on the island of Crete, as elsewhere, found themselves with a lot of time on their hands, and because they had less things to occupy their time, they were given over to talk. And that talk became gossip, criticism, fault finding, slander. Slander does not show the reverent and respectable demeanor that Paul wants older women to show.
· Paul also mentions not being enslaved to wine here… It may have been the case that the use of alcohol was a problem in Crete, even among those who were older women. So Paul says here not to get addicted to the stuff.
· And they are to be teachers - “teaching what is good.” They need to be leading and teaching the younger wives and mothers.... And he is not talking to the elders here and telling them to organize women’s Bible classes… He is talking to individual older women (50s & 60’s or above) here. Titus was to command the older women to step up to do this work - to disciple the younger wives and mothers.
· It is interesting here in this passage that Titus is to give the instruction to the older men and women and the younger men, but Paul instructs the OLDER WOMEN to be the ones who step up and take the younger women under their wings… teach them and disciple them. And it makes sense for two reasons…
o Who are the ones best equipped to teach women what it means and looks like to be a godly wife and mother? Those who have done the work!
o And there may also be something in this instruction to Titus that older women do this teaching so that Titus himself is not put into situations with the younger sisters that could lead to temptation sexually…
YOUNGER WOMEN (vs4-5)
· The older women are to teach these things to the younger women:
o “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.”
· Paul gives some very specific things that younger women need to learn from the older women. Some things deal with her character, such as being self-controlled, pure, and kind. And the other instructions deal with her work in the home.
· Let’s focus on, for a moment, their conduct in the home. Paul says that they need taught to love their husbands and children. The “love” that Paul is talking about is not “agape” love, but ‘phileo’ love in the Greek. He is talking about showing an affectionate kind of love toward one’s husband and children. This is something that needs taught to younger women, because our culture teaches them that if they “fall out of love,” they should not feel shackled in their relationship and just divorce and find someone that can make them happy. These are lies from Satan… Younger women need trained and taught by the older women how to show affection to their husbands and to submit to them… and also how to show affection to their children so that they can help to counteract what the culture is throwing at them. When a young woman “falls out of love” and loses the affection she has for her husband and wants to leave him, there is sin that needs repented of and training/teaching that needs done. She is not showing the proper affection to her husband OR her children in her dong this. And women of God need to step up and do what they can to encourage and teach their younger sisters.
· Paul also talks about the woman’s work in the home… If there is anything in our culture that is being attacked more viciously than any other, it is this matter of the role of young women in the home... It is something that is looked down on if a wife and mother wants to be a home-maker/stay-at-home mom. Even if she wants to focus on her work at home serving her family and just have a part-time job, our society sees that as limiting her freedom… But whatever society says, God still shows us that the primary responsibilities of the woman are in the home. Paul says that the younger women need taught to be “homemakers/workers at home.” A woman’s job or career cannot interfere with the primary responsibility that the Lord gives her in the home. If it does, she is not being sound in the faith. She would be putting her job/career above doing God’s will.
· Paul says that all of these things are to be taught to the younger women so that God’s word is not dishonored…
YOUNGER MEN (vs6-7)
· Titus is instructed to teach these things to the younger men:
o “Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, 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.”
· Urge… (encourage) the younger men to be self-controlled. The word here is the same word Paul uses in his instructions for the older men (sensible/temperate) and the younger women (discreet/self-controlled). It is also in the qualifications of elders (). This is an instruction that is desired of you no matter how old you are as a Christian. The idea in the word used in these verses is that a disciple of Jesus Christ is one who is not rash… They are not led by their emotions, but by the Spirit and His teachings.
· This passage then, in verse 7, turns to focus on Titus, implying that he was in this category of being a younger man. He needed, as a younger man, to show the younger men what these attributes look like. He is to show them and teach them these things. It is good for Titus to be teaching sound doctrine. But he needs to show sound doctrine also!
· And what he is to show them in his teaching and example is to be active in good works and to seek in teaching God’s word to be respectable, sincere, and a man of integrity. His words need to be helpful to others.
· Youth is no excuse for loose conduct or careless speech. On the contrary, young men are encouraged to set the pattern for all Christians (cf. ). This may be because the younger one is, the more likely they may be careless in what they say or think less about the consequences of what they may say or do. It may be that Paul is setting this high standard to counteract the natural tendencies that younger people have.
· Based on the instructions that Titus was to give here, where do you stand in the category that you fall into? Based on these teachings, are you a sound, healthy Christian?