Titus 2:1 (a)

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.

Titus 2:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: Titus 2:6 

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible.” – Titus 2:6  

Paul is writing this letter directly to Titus, a gentile and disciple of his whom he led to Christ.  He was called into the ministry and worked closely with Paul, accompanying him with Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem.  Paul begins by telling Titus to speak and teach the truth.  “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”  Titus 2:1. He was to instruct older men and women to be reverent in their behavior and not to be harsh in their speech nor enslaved to wine.  They we to be sensible and kind so that the word of God would not be dishonored.

Then Paul instructs Titus about the younger men.  “Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;” Titus 2:6. They are to be prudent in all things, taking control of their passions and desires.  This was an important lesson because, as gentiles, this was not the norm with either younger males or females.  And the idea was to show everyone how they could be an example of living life as they should.   They were to display a life of good deeds and purity.  He was to show them, via his own life, how they were to exhibit themselves.  This was essential to show the reality of how Titus’ ways were good and should be followed.  Paul goes on to say, “sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:8. Anything we say should be beyond reproach so that we will not be ashamed before those who we are training.  Thus, they will have nothing bad to say about us.  In so doing, they will have no reason to speak of any hypocrisy in us.

 Now, I am going to make this inclusive to all.  It is absolutely important that we, as Christians, teach sound doctrine to all we have the opportunity to instruct.  However, it is as important that our lives also instruct them, through being an example of the ways of righteousness.  We cannot say one thing and do another.  It is the sensible thing to do, as Paul lays out in our focus verse.  What we preach should be sound doctrine, that which the scriptures truly say, not what we want it to say.  And in teaching, we should show how it is to be lived out.  If we teach that our speech should be pure, then we should avoid speaking harshly or with filthy words and nasty meanings.  I have heard people who preach in church or teach in bible classes, and yet tell dirty jokes or use sexually explicit connotations.  This is essentially saying that these are acceptable as long as we are not preaching or teaching.  What does this tell the students or disciples?

James in his letter says the following.  “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25.  James here is saying if we only listen to the word but do not live it out, we are simply deceiving ourselves.  This is, of course a dangerous position to be in.  However, it is worse if we only teach the word and do not live it out, for then we are possibly leading others astray.  Note this warning.  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42. And I can say with much certainty this would not be a good thing.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.