Faithlife Sermons

Father's, Please Step Up

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Aged Men

It’s the aged people in the congregation that provide its strength, its stability and its wisdom.
Older believers should they be in great numbers in the future in the church are going to make the church a better place, a richer place.
The maturity of godliness will be a benediction to the body of Christ.
The aging of America means the aging of the church, the aging of the church could be a great great blessing.
Older people in a fellowship do become a treasure, a tremendous blessing. They bring spiritual experience, spiritual strength, spiritual endurance, spiritual wisdom to all of us. And if in the years ahead the church has an abundance of such people, what a source of blessing.
But only if they walk in the way of righteousness.
And that’s why the instruction of Titus verses 2 and 3 in chapter 2 is so very very important.
There’s no value in being old if you’re not godly.
There’s no value in being old if you’re not a model or an example.
And so the Apostle Paul lays down some very specific characteristics that are to be manifest in the older people in the congregation.
Titus 2:1–2 KJV 1900
1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
Now “older men” is an interesting word, presbutes, it’s a word that means just that, older men.
Perhaps a good definition of it will flow out of Luke 1:18, Zacharias the father of John the Baptist had been told that he would have a son, that his wife would become pregnant and they would have a son and, of course, it would be John the Baptist. But Zacharias says,
Luke 1:18 KJV 1900
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
“How shall I know this for certain?” I mean, this seems impossible. Why? “For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” And he uses the word presbutes there which would lead us to believe that he is saying an old man is one who is unable to produce a child.
So you’re talking about an age where child production is no longer the norm. That’s what the word means. It’s talking about a man at that point in his life. And again Paul uses it to refer to himself in his sixties.
Somewhere in the 50 and over and 60 and over category this term comes into play.
The Apostle Paul was an old man by this term in his sixties and somewhere beyond 50 I think we could make this term come into play. So we’re talking about that generation of men in the life of the church.
Aged men should have much to offer within the family structure, the church structure, and life in general.
Now Paul is saying to Titus, “You must confront the older men in your congregation and you must call them to this level of spiritual living or else … the implication is … they must be so confronted.”
On the one hand we are to give RESPECT to the older generation, on the other hand, we hold them ACCOUNTABLE for their behavior and accountable for maturity and godliness.
As older men, we have so much to offer.
First of all, we are to be an

Example of Maturity

Proper Priorities

Sober - temperate. The word here literally means “not drunken.”
But metaphorically it means moderate … not indulgent … not extravagant.
The older man is a man who … who isn’t in to excess, who is generally a moderate person.
He has learned the high cost of self-indulgent living. He has learned the high cost of filling out all his pleasures, satisfying all his whims, pursuing all his dreams. And he’s now filtered through all of that and he’s left a lot of stuff along the path discarded.
When he was young it was a matter of accumulation. And as he accumulated he began to find out what really had value.
As a young man he poured energy into a lot of things, as an older man he can look back and see where that energy was wasted in so many cases.
As a young man he dreamed a thousand dreams and wanted to accomplish a thousand things and looks back only to a handful of things that had eternal value.
As an older man he has a myriad of experiences one after another, day after day, month after month, year after year and life has been moderated by those experiences.
He has found that what he thought he wanted that would give him satisfaction never did. And all the possessions and all the accumulation and all the reputation and all the achievement and all the accolades have been somehow set aside on the path of life and discarded because they had no real value.
He has come to a right value system.
Proper Priorities.
He has come to be as a related verb puts it “sober minded,” used in
1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV 1900
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Or as another related word used in 1 Peter, “sober in spirit.” In other words, he’s got his priorities down now. He knows what experiences were valuable and in many cases they were the ones he feared the most and now knows they rendered him the best fruit. They made him the man he is. In many cases what he didn’t want was what was most valuable and what he pursued with all his might was least valuable. He knows that now. He’s filtered life out.
And very often when men come to this age in life although there are certain physical things they need to perhaps increase their comfort level, they have, if they’re godly and have walked the path of righteousness, they’ve really filtered through almost everything. And they should find themselves reduced being reduced to a simpler and simpler and simpler life because they now know what things have real value. They now know what people have real value, what relationships have real value, what efforts have real value. That is absolutely crucial for them to dispense to a younger generation.
Where there is a moderate, non-indulgent, non-extravagant, sober-minded, sober-spirited knowledge of priorities through years and years of experience you have the wisdom that needs to be passed down. It’s like the father who sits with his little children and says, “I know you don’t understand why, you’ll have to trust me for this. You can’t do this, I know why you can’t do it, you don’t understand why, I’ve been there, I’ll tell you why.” And so these men are to be men who are temperate. Their lives have been reduced to the irreducible minimums of what really matters.

Proper Prospective

Grave
Secondly, they are to be grave, dignified, semnos, serious, worthy of respect, venerable.
It doesn’t mean that they’re boring, gloomy people, it must means they’re not frivolous. They’re not flippant. They’re serious in life. I mean, they’ve lived long enough to see that life is a serious thing.
They’re over the feeling of immortality and invincibility that plagues young people. And they’ve seen too much and felt too much to be trivial. They’ve buried their parents in many cases, most cases. They’ve buried their sisters and brothers. They’ve stood in hospital waiting rooms while those they love died. They’ve been waiting for the surgeon to come out and explain what happened in the cancer surgery to a life partner.
They’ve watched a child rebel. They’ve watched a child born who turned away from everything they believed in. They watched a child die of leukemia. They watched a child die of cancer. They’ve seen it all. They’ve felt it all. They have borne the burdens of their own life and family and the burdens of a myriad of other people with whom they have shared life. They’ve come to the disillusioning reality and fact that the world is not going to get any better and they couldn’t make it any better and neither can anybody else.
They’ve lived through all the anticipated utopian thoughts.
They have lived through the hopeful euphorias that said we’re going to fix everything. And they’re down on the other side of it and they know with an honesty that life is the way it is because man is the way he is and he is not going to change by himself.
Things aren’t as funny as maybe they were when he was young because life is too serious.
Now there’s a certain sense of humor that we all have. And, after all, God must have a sense of humor … I mean, just look around at who is sitting near you. And we can laugh, and that’s a gift. But at the same time, mature Christian men have reached a level of dignity where they are revered. They see life the way it really is. And if they laugh they laugh at what is laughable, not what is tragic.
And if they smile they smile because there’s something to smile about … really smile about, a sunset, a beautiful day, a beautiful scene, a precious child, love. They don’t laugh at what is tragic.

Proper Poise

Temperate
And the third thing he says about these older men is they should be characterized by what is sensible. They should be sensible.
This means they have discretion and discernment. That comes by age. They’ve experienced it all.
They’ve gone through all the experiences and they have developed a strength of mind and a depth of experience and a grip on truth and a devotion to what is right and they have learned how to control their instincts and their passions.
And that word “sensible” means they’ve got the loose ends of their life tied down, they’re under control, they have discernment, discretion. They … to borrow the same basic concept, the same root word from Paul’s statement in
Romans 12:3 KJV 1900
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
… they think so as to have sound judgment. They think soundly.
The First 3 Words deal with an Example of Maturity.
Then there are three more positive virtues that are all summed up in the final statement.
Titus 2:2 KJV 1900
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
Sound in faith, in love, in patience… sound means healthy, without weakness, without disease, without debilitation. They have strong well whole attitudes in these areas.

Example of Health

Faith

First in faith, this is wonderful. They are to be healthy in faith. They have spiritual faith that is healthy, whole, well, sound, solid.
What does that mean? That means their faith in God is unwavering.
They’ve seen enough. They’ve been through enough.
The 50, 60, 70, 80 years have shown them God and God is to be trusted, right?
They don’t doubt. They don’t question God.
They never lose their trust in God’s good intention. They never lose their confidence in God’s plan. They never lose their hope for God’s sovereignty to fulfill itself. They never accuse God of disappointing them. They never doubt the truth of Scripture. They never question the power of the Holy Spirit. They never ever question whether the gospel can save. They know, they’ve seen it.
Those who have lived through all the years and God has shown Himself and shown Himself and shown Himself and shown Himself through all of the fluctuations and struggles and all the difficulties of life, he has been there and he has proven himself and he’s an old man now and he says … I believe God. And his faith holds up the church.
He’s strong.
His faith is courageous because a life of believing has taught him to trust God. God has proven Himself faithful over the long years. In all the hospitals, at all the funerals, in all the losses and disappointments of life, God has been faithful. Through all of the sins and the temptations and trials and the repentances and the renewals, through all of the exposure to the truth and the application of the Word, it has been as God said it would be and He can be believed. And that kind of mature faith holds up the church. It gives us a faith to emulate.
James 1:3–4 KJV 1900
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Love

Secondly he says he is to be healthy in love.
He has a healthy spiritual love. Certainly he has this love toward God and toward others as well. He is a man who loves. He’s not a bitter man.
That’s the saddest thing there is in the world is to see an old man who is bitter.
Here is a man who loves. Here is a man who loves by bearing one another’s burdens and thus fulfilling the law of Christ,
Galatians 6:2 KJV 1900
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Here is a man who loves sacrificially, here is a man who loves serving.
Here is a man who has learned through the years what ought to be loved and what not to love. His love is set on things that should be loved.
He’s learned to love when love is not returned.
He’s learned to love when love is rejected.
He’s learned to love when love isn’t even deserved.
He’s learned to love and in his love to forgive and in his love to serve.
He’s learned to love patiently, kindly. His love is not jealous. His love does not brag. His love is not arrogant. It doesn’t act unbecomingly. It doesn’t seek its own. It isn’t provoked. It doesn’t take into account a wrong suffered. It never rejoices in somebody else’s sin, it rejoices with the truth. His is a love that bears all things, believes all things and hopes all things, endures all things and his love never fails.
One of the tragedies of old age is when people become unloving and bitter and selfish.
This older man that the church desperately needs is healthy in his love. He doesn’t love out of emotion, he loves out of principle. He loves because it’s right. He loves with his will not his feelings. Part of growing old is that you don’t do everything by your feelings.

Patience

And then there’s a third familiar thing. He is to be sound in patience or perseverance, endurance.
He’s been through enough trials. He’s suffered enough. He knows. He is to be a very model of patience. He has been through it all. He has the courage that is the result of that. He never loses heart in spite of disappointment, unfulfilled aspirations, physical weakness, growing loneliness.
The godly man becomes tempered like steel. His body is weaker, his spirit is stronger, he can endure to the very end. These make the gospel glory shine.
Then, Paul turns to the Younger Men
Having discussed the old men, the old women, the young women and now he comes to the young men.
This is most important to Titus because he is one of them. Very likely a little bit younger than Timothy who was probably in his upper thirties, we find Titus maybe in his early thirties. Much younger than Paul who now describes himself as the aged, he has gone past the 60 mark, somewhere in his middle sixties. But Titus is specifically a young man himself and so he has a unique contribution to make to young men that he couldn’t make to old men, nor could he make it to old women or young women since he does not understand personally the role that they uniquely play. So this is really his group.
Paul is relating to young men and what he says to young men in general in verse 6 he says to Titus in specific in verses 7 and 8 because Titus is to be the example to all young men.
This is setting a pace of spiritual character and spiritual devotion so he is called on not only to exhort them in verse 6, but to set the example for them in verses 7 and 8. All of it then relates through him to the young men.

Younger Men

Titus 2:6–8 KJV 1900
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Three aspects of responsibility become obvious here, exhortation, example and effect.
Let’s start with exhortation, verse 6,
Titus 2:6 KJV 1900
6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

Proper Thinking

Paul says to Titus, urge the young men to be sensible, to get control of themselves, he means. The word “urge” parakaleo, come alongside and exhort or encourage, a familiar New Testament word. It means to instruct, to teach, to counsel, direct, to guide, to exhort, to admonish. It’s a method of influencing through the spoken Word, is what it is, a method of influencing through the spoken Word … come along side and instruct them, to be sensible.
Now that word simply means to control themselves. It’s that same word sophroneo, we’ve looked at it a number of times. We saw it in 1:8, 2:2, 4, 5. We’ll see it again down in verse 12. That common word that simply means to develop self-mastery, self-control, balance, to get their faculties and their appetites, their longings and the desires into harness, to develop discernment and judgment.
Such exhortation, by the way, appears similarly to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22. It appears in 1 Peter 5:5. Young men must have self-control, self-mastery, balance. They must exhibit power over their appetites and their faculties. These are essential if they are to be godly.
They’ve got to control their lives. That means, parents, when you are raising your children you need to teach your children conformity to holy standards and that means you need to control them so that your control becomes their control in time.
Titus 2:7 KJV 1900
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
And then would you please notice the first three words of verse 7, they really belong at the end of verse 6. The verse numbers are not inspired, they were put in later by men and I think that there are a number of reasons why we would include that phrase at the end of verse 6 so that it reads, “Likewise urge the young men to be sober minded in all things … in all things.”

Proper Living

First of all, that means that verse 7 begins with “Show yourself” and moves to the example model, “Show yourself to be an example,” from the exhortation emphasis of verse 6. The word “yourself” then in verse 7 becomes properly emphatic and introduces a new thought.
So the phrase “in all things” fits better at the end of verse 6 and stretches this matter of mental balance and self-mastery and self-control and balanced behavior in the Christian life to an almost infinite level … in all things.
Young men, so potentially volatile, impulsive, passionate, arrogant, ambitious, inexperienced, need to become the masters of all the areas of their lives … everything needs to come under control. Paul said, “I beat my body to bring it in to submission.”
He reminded us to walk in the Spirit, Galatians 5, and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
So, Paul says you exhort young men to walk in the Spirit, to seek with all their might to harness themselves and live in spiritual balance and self-control and not to become victimized by the dangers that are lurking all around them, such as laziness, freedom, depraved culture, godless education, and just generally immature.
Having given that exhortation he then turns to the second point, example, and sets up Titus to be an example of how one lives a balanced life.
Titus 2:7 KJV 1900
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
You’ll notice in verse 7 the word “a pattern” “example” and that’s obviously the key to it.
He is now going to say to Titus, “Look, for the sake of the young men, exhort them and that is to confront them verbally but also for the sake of the young men, set an example and that is to confront them with the pattern of your life so that they can copy what you are.”
Any exhortation lacks force and impact and power without an example.
In fact, exhortation without example is that old word “hypocrisy.”
And hypocrisy never teaches people to do right, it always teaches people to do wrong.
In
Philippians 3:17 KJV 1900
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
In
1 Corinthians 4:16 KJV 1900
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
In
1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV 1900
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
There is the issue of example.
And no where is it more delineated than in 1 Timothy 4:12, you might want to look at that for a moment, a familiar verse.
1 Timothy 4:12 KJV 1900
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
, writing to another young man, Timothy, Paul says, “Don’t let anybody look down on your youthfulness.”
Don’t let anybody criticize you just because you’re young. “But rather show yourself an example,” the very same phrase he gave to Titus. But here he delineates five categories … speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. In all those areas of life you be a pattern that others can follow.
Speech … that’s your conversation, what comes out of your mouth.
Conduct … that’s your life style, the things you do, the places you go, the possessions you accumulate, every aspect of life.
Love … that’s your self-sacrificing service on behalf of others. Don’t ask them to do it unless you’re demonstrating your sacrificial life as well.
Faith … that means faithfulness, or consistency, demonstrate that you’re not a flash in the pan, you’re not a shooting star, you’re there for the long haul.
You’re not a spiritual sprinter. You’re consistent, you’re trustworthy, you’re faithful, you’re unwavering, you’re uncompromising, you’re from start to finish.
And then he adds purity, hagneia which has to do with moral sexual purity on the inside and the outside.
Be an example in all those areas, what you say, what you do, how you treat other people, your consistency and your moral purity. Be an example.
Titus 2:7 KJV 1900
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Look at this, be an example of good works (deeds) … that’s about as broad as you can get.
Good is kalos, it doesn’t mean superficial cosmetic good, it means inherent good, righteousness, nobility, moral excellence. So he says you be an example in the whole range of deeds, works, efforts that could be called righteous. You be a pattern of spiritual goodness and righteousness that shows up in every single thing you do.

General Behavior

This is referring obviously to general conduct and general behavior. Your life is to be full of good works as an example to other young men of how they’re to live. Young men, that’s to be your life. You begin to control your life when you begin to understand that God wants your life to be full of good righteous holy deeds.
Then there’s another matter presented to him, not only in this broad category of good deeds but notice what he adds in verse 7.
Titus 2:7 KJV 1900
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Specific Behavior

“ in doctrine.” What he is saying to him is this, in the matter of the teaching you be an example of … literally in the Greek … uncorruptness.
Corruptness has the idea of moral filth. It is also used in another form of a seducer or a rapist and of an abortionist in extrabiblical literature.
So it refers to a corrupt filthy immoral depraved seducer, an abortionist, the worst of behaviors.
You add the negative of that and you get uncorruptness.
So what he is saying is it’s a word that talks about behavior. It’s a word that talks about conduct. And he is saying when it comes to the teaching you live it without corruption.
So in the matter of THE teaching, the Christian teaching the doctrine, you maintain uncorrupted obedience … that’s what he’s saying. That’s what young men must do.
Young men must know the Word of God and young men must live according to it. That’s integrity.
The point is not that Titus is to speak pure doctrine, that was already told him in verse 1. He was already told to speak sound doctrine. Now he is being told to live in perfect accord with it, without defect. This also is not the exhortation section. If he was exhorting him to teach a certain way you may have found it in verse 6, here he’s talking about his example of living and he is saying maintain an example that shows uncorruptness as regards revealed truth.
Then he adds another word at the end of verse 7,
Titus 2:7 KJV 1900
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
“gravity” “dignified,” semnotes. It’s used in 1 Timothy 3:8 and 11 to speak of deacons.
It means seriousness … seriousness. He’s saying you need to be an example to young men of seriousness. Youth tends to be somewhat frivolous, wouldn’t you say? Oh particularly in our culture where we have taken entertainment to the level of a destructive disease, particularly in our culture where we live for entertainment, frivolity, trivia dominates our culture. People can be frivolous and lack the ability to think seriously. Young men are to learn to think seriously.
Does that mean you don’t laugh? No, you do laugh. God has given us laughter as a gift from Him and there are times of joy and there’s a season to laugh. But what it does mean is that you understand that things are serious and you need to be serious when you’re dealing with serious things.
I suppose the error that Paul would have in mind of young men is not that they laugh when they should laugh but that they laugh when they should cry. They should have a mature understanding of the issues of life, death, time and eternity.
Lastly,
Titus 2:8 KJV 1900
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Proper Result

And then finally the effect … to the exhortation and the example we add the effect.
Why all of this? Why are young men to live this way? Here it is, verse 8, the purpose clause, the purpose result clause, “In order that the opponent may be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us so that you can silence the critics of the faith, so that you will cause people to be shamed when they criticize Christianity.”
Boy, we’re a long way from that in this world, aren’t we? Wow, people criticize Christianity mercilessly and they don’t feel ashamed to do it.
They would feel ashamed if their criticisms were obvious lies because of the virtue of God’s people, wouldn’t they?
The opponent, that’s a singular word, any opponent, any opposer, it’s used in Acts 26:9, 1 Thessalonians 2:15 to describe someone who is hostile. In Acts 28:17 it’s used for something contrary, it’s used in the gospels in another form of winds that are contrary to the ship, keeping it from going the way it should go.
Anybody who opposes, anybody who comes against the Christian faith you need to put to shame.
What does that mean? To embarrass them, to humiliate them. To make them look stupid. To disgrace them. Not for that as an end in itself but to shame them in to repentance, to shame them in to repentance. You need to so live that the opposers of Christianity are embarrassed, humiliated, disgraced because there’s nothing bad they can legitimately say about us and so they look like fools for saying those lies that they say.
Notice the word “us,” you might have missed that. “Us,” Paul is throwing himself in there. You say, “Paul, you’re not even in Crete. How in the world is the opponent going to say anything bad about you?” Here’s his point, one Christian stands for all. Is that not true?
Titus, what you do will effect me. If you destroy the credibility of Christian faith, I go down with you. We have solidarity at that point. One Christian’s failure effects the rest. One’s reproach falls on his brother and his sister. One’s iniquity casts a shadow over the church.
The word “evil” is phaulos, it means worthless. Don’t let them say that we’re worthless. Don’t let them say that our Christianity has no value. Don’t let them speak evil against us. Silence them and not only silence them but put them to outright shame for the falseness of their accusations which is so evident because of the known testimony that you maintain. And if you don’t, if any one of you don’t, we all feel the pain.
Our testimony in this community right here in Kentucky, Benton is at stake and your life may be the issue because if you give people just cause to criticize Christianity and to say, “Well if God is a saving God I sure can’t tell it from your life,” or, “If the Word of God is so wonderful and you say you believe it, I don’t see that it’s made any change in your life,” if you as an individual are providing that kind of ground for criticism, the shadow falls on all of us and the worst of it is it falls on the Lord Himself. Young men, we have much to uphold.
In his book Healing the Masculine Soul, Gordon Dalby says,
“Men do not know who they are as men.”
They don’t know who they are. He goes on to say,
“They only know what they do, they don’t know who they are.”
We need to know who we are and we need to be who God wants us to be.
USA Today reports that men in our world are confused, frustrated, unsure of themselves as compared to men just 30 years ago. It goes on to say that we’ve been blasted by women to the point where we are now the weaker sex.
If we’re going to evangelize the world, something is going to have to change. According to
1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV 1900
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
we’re going to have to act like men and be the leaders in the church.
Are you willing to step up for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
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