Verse of the Day Devotion: Titus 2:1
“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” – Titus 2:1
Paul here in verse one tells Titus to speak the things which become sound doctrine. The idea laid out here, in chapter one, is seen by many as ‘Household Codes’, which comes from the German ‘Haustafeln’, a word used by scholars to designate certain biblical texts that outline the duties and responsibilities associated with the proper or ideal management of private affairs. Paul here in Chapter two is laying out the duties that he knew were necessary for Christian growth and maturity. He tells Titus he must teach a sacred doctrine; he must proclaim the truth and illustrate that truth. The people must not only be well instructed, but they must be holy in their lives. Principle and practice must go hand in hand.
And what are these necessary teachings? For older men, “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.” Titus 2:2. They must live lives of observable respectability. The implication is of a dignified lifestyle that is free from overindulgence and foolish behavior in general. As Paul’s use of common terms suggests, this lifestyle should be readily recognizable. Christianity does have a mystical element to it, but its manifestation should show the reality of our Christian life. They should display this faith in purity and love and should be followed no matter what it may bring upon them.
For older women, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5. They were to, like the older men, live with respectable behavior which amounts to reverence. This means avoiding ‘slanderous talk and drunkenness’ while teaching what is good. This was to illustrate to the young women what a responsible and acceptable life was all about. In this they were to encourage them to love their husbands and children while doing all that was necessary in their homes. In this they would show they respected their husbands through submission to them, as well as showing their love to God and His people. And it is important to understand that Paul’s concept of ‘submission’ contained notions of mutuality of respect and love and thus clearly transcended the secular notion.
Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech, which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:6-8. He instructs the young men to be sensible and Godly in their actions and words. They were to be an example to good works, showing a visible expression of their genuine faith. In his conduct Titus is thus to be the antithesis of the false teachers, who were described in the previous chapter. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Titus 1:16.
Paul was encouraging Titus to speak in the way our focus verse declares. “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1. And he was also encouraging him to teach these truths to all he came across. And I believe these words also apply to all of us today. If we truly love God with all our hearts and desire to serve Him in all our ways then these are what we are called to do, both in what we teach and the way we live. We cannot convince anyone these are truths if we ourselves do not believe and do them. Therefore, let us be the light in this world, sharing the truth, teaching the truth, and living the truth. These things are necessary to help unbelievers become believers and join us in our work for Jesus.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.