Attention Men, Old & Young
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
I’ve often said: Whoever you are, you are somewhere in Titus chapter two. Young, Old, Male, Female. Married, Single. Whoever you are, there is instruction from God for you here in Titus chapter two. And all this instruction about character and conduct takes the reader to this great result, in verse 10: Adorning the doctrine of God.
To adorn is to make something attractive. At one level, it may be quickly argued, we cannot take anything God has given and make it more attractive. But would you consider, if we take instruction God has given and we do nothing or, if we do the opposite, the message we convey to people is, that God’s teaching is not attractive to us. If it is not attractive to us, it may not even be considered by non-Christians who know and observe us.
So let me express, that as we become more committed from the heart to Christ, following the teachings He gave, abiding in the “doctrine of God,” we demonstrate, we adorn the doctrine of God through our good responses, and through conduct and influence – we hold up God’s way through Christ as attractive.
As this works out in Titus chapter two:
1. Women who are discreet, chaste,
homemakers and obedient to their
husbands – adorning the doctrine of
God – THEY DEMONSTRATE HOW
VALUABLE THAT WAY OF LIFE IS.
2. Employees who are obedient, do
not answer back or pilfer – adorning
the doctrine of God; THEY
DEMONSTRATE HOW VALUABLE
THIS WAY OF LIFE IS.
This is sound doctrine for good living in Titus two. Whoever you are, as you make this doctrine a consistent part of who you are, you adorn the doctrine of God, demonstrating to all who know you, how valuable this way of life is.
I’m going to concentrate on …
What this passage says to Men!
Men, do you want to adorn the doctrine of God? Do you want to demonstrate through your life the value of living under God’s sound direction? Do you want the benefit to your own character? Do you want to be a better father, a better leader and example?
Titus chapter two – when applied with consistent discipline of heart – can take you there.
Verse 2: “…the older men” [should] “..be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.”
To be sober means to use the Word of God to develop a mind that is in good control, therefore a life in good control. If you let just anything into your mind – if you play around with just any set of thoughts; if you intoxicate your mind – if you don’t use your mind … that’s an absence of sobriety!
Older men should be examples of how to keep your mind under good control, how to use your mind for good purposes, how to nurture good, clear thinking. Through this sobriety that is externally apparent – you adorn the doctrine of God. This works to His glory, your benefit and the excellence of influence you exert on others.
To be reverent means – you know who God is, and you have the deepest respect for Him. This respect is seen by your friends. It is respect that causes you to worship God in spirit and truth. Respect for God creates and sustains interests in the kind of reading and studying we are doing now. It is reverence or respect that reigns in your appetites, restrains your tongue and governs your every attitude.
It is respect for God you bring to the assemblies of saints, because you had it before you got there. And you are anxious to enrich it.
“Temperate” has to do with your control of yourself, very similar to sobriety, but this has an emphasis on free from over-indulgence in general. Do you believe overindulgence may be a problem in our time? Old men should be models of moderation, with a lifestyle that is recognizable to all, of wisdom, of maturity. Free from overindulgence in general.
“Sound in faith,” has to do with your spiritual health which is the basis of sobriety and temperance. Are you a man of faith? Do you read the Bible, so you can lead people to the Bible, to teach them and help them? Do you know what you believe, and why you believe it? We need – not just men – but men of faith.
Love and patience pertains to a man’s attitude. With age – there can sometimes develop a resentment, a bitterness, a complaining spirit that is destructive. God’s men ought to be examples of what love and patience is all about in their dealings with people.
Can old men be taught? Can older men dig deeper and do better, and grow spiritually? This text answers: they can and they should, to adorn the doctrine of God. If you know men like this – give them your attention, your honor and gratitude and pray there will be more of these good men, in the next generation.
That leads me to the next part of our study.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Being “sober-minded,” turns out to be instruction for old and young men – therefore, all men. We should begin early, teaching our boys mature and clear thinking. We ought to do all we are able to do, to get the Word of God programmed, installed into the minds of boys. This includes warning them against the perils of drug and alcohol use and abuse. Making certain they understand how self-control keeps them from becoming fathers before marriage, etc.
But it takes in more than just those issues. Boys need to learn to evaluate events objectively; think of people properly and be admonished about hatred, prejudice, lewdness and any other disordered, destructive thinking patterns.
The Bible is suited to the task, but your example – parents – is critical. We need to train young men to not be overindulgent; but along with instruction, there must be the influence of example.
Young men, in verse 7: “…in all things, showing yourself to be a pattern of good works…”
We have these words and phrases which have become a part of our modern discourse: ROLE MODELS, or MENTORING. Young men – you are doing that already with boys younger than you? Are you preparing yourself to exert this good influence?
Whether you are directly aware of it or not, or, whatever your example may say, good or bad, young men – you are a role model; you are mentoring younger men, and boys. The only question is – What is the content of your example? I want to urge young men to explore this in your own self-examination, in very specific ways:
By the example of your life, What Are You Saying To People? What are you saying to people, about worship, involvement in the local church and loyalty to your family?
What does your example say, about forms of entertainment and recreation? When people read your posts on Facebook, what conclusions do they draw . . . what do they learn from you? Are you showing yourself to be a pattern – a role model – of good works?
Next, “in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility.” Young men, you cannot wait till you are old to figure out what you believe and where you stand.
Your lifestyle, your responses to God, your expression of your faith in Jesus Christ, that’s your doctrine, whether you ever occupy a pulpit or not. Your living and your speaking ought to indoctrinate and that doctrine ought to be the word of God.
“Sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
From my friend, Dee Bowman, I picked up this expression – Apologetic Living. That word “apologetic” in this context, doesn’t mean you are sorry – it means, YOU ARE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER; you are willing to stand up for God’s Word. But not just verbally or in writing – BY YOUR LIFE; so that your conduct and influence will not cause people to raise questions. It enables them to see the doctrine of God. Remember – Adorn The Doctrine Of God.
And, one more thing – it is the duty of gospel preachers to impart this instruction to old and young men. It is part of the work of teaching “what accords with sound doctrine.”
From Expository Files 21.6; June 2014