Father, I long to better understand the roles You’ve given me. I want to be a model of good works in all respects. Help me daily conform more and more into Your likeness so that in everything I do and say Your doctrine will be made more beautiful. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Titus 2
In the first chapter of Titus, Paul emphasized the importance of elders/overseers in the church, while listing the skills and character traits those in that role should have. Titus 2 shows that this godly character in the church directly reflects upon the Word of God. Paul then broadened the scope to include standards for everyone in the church. So, if you felt Titus 1 didn’t apply to you, then today you’ll reconsider.
Titus 2 Paul first addressed Titus himself and said what he taught must reflect sound doctrine. He told Titus what to expect from older men and older women, as well as what to expect from younger men and younger women. Paul made it explicitly clear that, although the high expectations for character in Titus 1 were referring to elders, God has set expectations high for everyone in the church. The character of the believer should “in all respects” be a model of good works.
We read that godly character has direct implications on how the Word of God is received. We should seek to live lives that are holy and blameless so the Word of God will not be reviled. We should try to make sure everything we do presents both the Word of God and the doctrine of God as beautiful.
Therefore, older men are to be sound in faith and self-controlled, while older women are to be reverent, teaching and training younger women to love their husbands and children. Older men should urge younger men to also be self-controlled. In the body of Christ there should be an intermingling of teaching, such that sound doctrine is not taught just from the elder/pastor/overseer but from all members of the body of Christ as they encourage each other to live godly lives fit for good works.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
- How do you think Titus felt when he read that he, a young church planter, was to give strong instruction to the older men and women in the church? Paul knew it wouldn’t be easy, yet he told Titus to “declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
- Are there times when you know you should speak up but don’t? If so, this could be an indication you don’t fully understand the importance of this mandate. Pray to God for strength with this.
- Ask yourself, “Do those who spend time with me see the gospel and the Word of God as more beautiful because of the way my character reflects Christ?” What can you do this week to make the Word of God and the doctrine of God more beautiful to someone new? This week, find one person with whom you cross paths and intentionally be a reflection of God’s glory to him or her.
- Continue to take opportunities when introducing yourself to someone to include something that identifies you as a follower of Jesus. Keep track of those who seem open to conversations about the gospel. [Making Disciples]