Sermon Notes & References

Discipling Priorities (1)

Titus 2:1-6

September 23, 2018

A.  Background

      1.  The Location

      2.  The People

B.  For the Pastor-Teacher

      1.  Prerequisites

      2.  Reminder (2:1)

C.  For the Church

      1.  Mature Men (2:2)

      2.  Mature Women (2:3) 1

      3.  Younger Women (2:4-5) 2

      4.  Younger Men (2:6)

D.  Application

      1.  Having a Saved Mind 3

      2.  A Sure Word


1 Titus 2:1-6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Discipling Priorities (1)

 

A. Background

    1. The Location

        a. for any who may have missed being with us

        b. Paul had left Titus on the island of Crete – a land of 100 cities

        c. possibly in a trip they made between Paul’s first defence in Rome

        d. in a period of temporary release

        e. and his final imprisonment in the Roman dungeon and martyrdom

 

    2. The People

        a. were not given a high character by Paul or even their own poet

        b. but there was a church on the island, located in many of those cities

        c. probably arising from Jews from Crete present when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost with 3,000 converted

        d. Titus’ work was to appoint elders for those congregations

        e. and assign to them their priority task to their churches: guiding the church of Jesus Christ to act like their Lord; sanctification

        f.  as well as correct anything that was amiss in any of them

        g. so Paul now gives some directions to Titus for this latter work

 

B. For the Pastor-Teacher

    1. Prerequisites

        a. he had given Titus the qualifications for elders in chapter 1

        b. we discussed how that an elder might fill various roles

            (A)    that of ‘ruler’, or perhaps better, ‘leader

            (B)    or that of ‘bishop’, which literally means ‘overseer or watchman

            (C)   or that of ‘pastor’, which literally means ‘shepherd’, the one who tends and feeds the flock, God’s people with spiritual nourishment

            (D)   and frequently, more than one of these roles

        c. so Titus himself had to fill those qualifications of an elder for his mission

        d. but also, by God’s calling he was God’s gift to those churches

        e. so Paul gives him a

 

    2. Reminder (2:1)

        a. “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

        b. if you read Titus 1:13-16, describing the nature of the Cretan people, and, unfortunately, it seems in God’s people in their churches

        c. you discover the counter-example of this encouragement – people opposed to sound doctrine

        d. we shalll come to this further when we come to verse 7 next week

        e. but for now, let us just note Paul’s enjoinder

            (A)    speak things consistent with sound doctrine

            (B)    in this context, ‘sound’ conveys the idea of ‘healthy’

            (C)   such teaching is healthy; life-giving; life-sustaining

            (D)   sound doctrine is the antidote to the poisonous ideas of the world

        f.  and was to be the medicine for the spiritual ills of Christ’s church

 

C. For the Church

    1. Those Addressed

        a. of both genders, of all ages, of all stations in life – we will defer looking at the last item until the part 2 of ‘Discipling Priorities’

        b. the heterogenous nature of a thriving church is described here

        c. God’s brining unity out of diversity

        d. consider the changes in a particular congregation over time

            (A)    immutable

                 (1)    the glorification of God

                 (2)    the adherence to the Holy Scriptures

            (B)    mutable

                 (1)    pastors and other leaders

                 (2)    order of service

                 (3)    building

                 (4)    music – choirs, instruments (cf David & temple choir, band)

 

    2. Mature Men (2:2)

        a. “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.”

        b. temperate, dignified, sensible – “wide” words, of broad application:

            (A)    temperate

                 (1)    in both secular & biblical Greek, primarily meaning sobriety with respect to the use of alcohol, not given to wine 

                 (2)    a concern in a that culture

                 (3)    also around the Mediterranean where, then and now, poor water sanitation made wine safer as a drink

                 (4)    but the temptation to excess a very real danger

                 (5)    so temperate also implied being wary, vigilant, alert

            (B)    dignified or grave

                 (1)    some of the pictures of the Puritans look as though they took this to excess, as though they could never smile

                 (2)    certainly it meant to be serious; but about serious matters

                 (3)    act in a fashion worthy of respect – the opposite of frivolous

            (C)   sensible or sober

                 (1)    literally “saved minded”

                 (2)    salvation should & will transform the Christian’s thinking

                 (3)    the Christian’s actions, his or her world view, now recognises the spiritual conflict between God and powers of darkness

        c. sound – here carries with it not the idea of noise, nor even steadiness as in ‘a sound structure’, but health and healthiness

            (A)    in three areas

            (B)    in the faith – which we should emphasise is not just what we believe – e.g., our statement of faith – but our trust relationship with God; it is that particular faith whereby we take hold of our Saviour

            (C)   in the love – i.e., the particular agape love, that is to characterise those who are disciple of Christ, indeed.

            (D)   in the perseverance – blessed is the one who endures to the end; there are some who start along the way, like the parable of the seed and the soils, but somewhere along the way they stop moving

            (E)    and this is for those who as old in the flesh, suffering infirmities of the flesh, yet by the grace of God, spiritually healthy

 

    3. Mature Women (2:3)

        a. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,”

        b. reverent in their behaviour

            (A)    their outward deportment, bearing: ‘how they carry themselves’

            (B)    to be as suitable to a person in a sacred place

            (C)   an aspect of the church – the people, not the building – being God’s holy temple

            (D)   a notable contrast with Jewish practice in synagogues (but contrast Hannah, Anna & women bringing offering to the tabernacle)

        c. their character

            (A)    not malicious gossips

                 (1)    that is, not slanderers; not diabalous – not devils!

                 (2)    aging can deny a woman of many of the privileges of her gender that she enjoyed earlier

                 (3)    so she may compensate for this loss by tearing down others who still retain those privileges, and trying to appear still young

            (B)    Peter had a word on this subject: “3 And let not your adornment be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

        d. their responsibility

            (A)    teaching what is good

                 (1)    by word and by example

                 (2)    teaching the things that are noble, fine, spiritually beautiful

                 (3)    in Peter’s word, the ‘gentle and quiet spirit

            (B)    especially as given in the next verses in respect to …

 

    4. Younger Women (2:4-5)

        a. “4 that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”

        b. their domestic duty of love (not eros nor agape )

            (A)    to husband – husband likers – fond

            (B)    to children – children likers

            (C)   familial love – the enjoyment of special relationships in the family, finding satisfaction & fulfilment in them; in discovering another person, of the differences that bring excitement, humour, wonder

        c. their character

            (A)    that word sensible or sober, again: saved minded

            (B)    chaste and pure – now as in the Roman world when infidelity was the norm and a joke; an affair a reason to brag

            (C)   keepers or workers at home

                 (1)    the word ‘homemaker’ seems to have gone out of fashion

                 (2)    I believe that many a woman has set out to have a fulfilling life – being in business, active in the community, clubs, politics – only to realise sadly that she has missed the best opportunity – that of being the woman her Father God would have her be

        d. their purposeful submission

            (A)    especially if their husband is unsaved: “1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

 

    5. Younger Men (2:6)

        a. “Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;”

        b. again the word “saved-minded”

        c. why so short?

            (A)    perhaps it takes longer for men, than women, where they will grow up to the point of listening to advice from others

            (B)    Mark Twain’s comment: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

            (C)   but that word “likewise” implies that they are to pay attention to all of the instruction that was addressed to the other groups

            (D)   well, when we look at the next verses, part 2 of “Discipling Priorities” we shall see that Titus is to have a further message which will be particularly focussed on them.

 

D. Application

    1. Having a Saved Mind

        a. did you note the teaching that comprised sound doctrine here?

            (A)    not the various matters which we find in our statement of faith

            (B)    of God, of salvation, of the second Coming, etc., important as they be (and we shall come to these later)

            (C)   but the healthy, Christian living that honours the gospel, and prepares a person to understand such truths in practice

        b. we noted that word ‘sober or sensible’ a number of times

            (A)    and commented upon its being ‘saved minded’

            (B)    the renewing of the mind that comes with the Holy Spirit’s work

            (C)   as encouraged in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

        c. it is His washing away the ideas, the culture, the values of this world

            (A)    that prepares our minds for this change so that

            (B)    “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5

            (C)   1 Corinthians 2:16 “but we have the mind of Christ

            (D)   becomes true in us

        d. such truth makes what Titus is told to teach to be a …

 

    2. A Sure Word

        a. at the end of this chapter Paul sums up how Titus should teach these things: “These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Titus 2:15)

        b. these things are important to the gospel of Christ

            (A)    they are true

            (B)    they should be taught as an important part of discipling

            (C)   by the mature Christian to those young in the faith

            (D)   for they give evidence to the reality of salvation


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

       NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

       JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

       UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

       WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth

 

Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:

 

       Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

       Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

       Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

       JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

       Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

       RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson