As we have seen in our last lesson, Titus’ immediate responsibility was to appoint elders and guard the church against false teachings. The next task Titus had to do was to speak things that befit sound doctrine and this refers to teaching each group of members to cultivate spiritual virtues and fulfill their roles in the home. Paul laid out to Titus what he had to teach, why he had to teach and how to teach the believers.
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- Instruction to Teach Things that Befit Sound Doctrine — What to Teach (2:1-10)
- Teachings pertaining to older men (2:2)
- Teachings pertaining to older women (2:3)
- Teachings pertaining to young women (2:4-5)
- Teachings pertaining to young men (2:2)
- Reminder to be exemplary in conduct and speech — How to teach (I) (2:7-8)
- Teaching specific to bondservants (2:9-10)
- The Reason Why Members Have to Cultivate Good Virtues (2:11-14)— Why He Had to Teach (2:11-14)
- Encouragement to Teach with All Authority — How to teach (II) (2:2-15)
List all the ethical requirements for each group of members. If needed, explain their meaning and think of present-day applications: a. Older men; b. Older women; c. Young women; d. Young men; e. bondservants:Hide Answer
a. Older men: Sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience
b. Older women: Reverent, not slanderers, not given to much wine, able to teach younger women
c. Young women: Discreet, chaste, homemakers, good and obedient to their husbands
d. Young men: Sober-minded
e. Bondservants: Obedient to masters, well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, showing good fidelity
What are the objectives of these ethical requirements? (5,8,10)Hide Answer
1. The word of God may not be blasphemed.
2. Others have nothing evil to say of members.
3. Adorn the doctrine of God in all things.
What kind of example does Titus have to show and why?Hide Answer
Titus was to show himself to be a pattern of good works in all things; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, and sound speech (7-8).
In order to teach effectively, Titus not only has to teach by word of mouth, but he also needs to demonstrate these teachings in practical terms. By doing so he be proven to be beyond approach and put to shame those who oppose him.
How would you explain to someone the meaning of these terms? a. Sober (also translated as sensible, discreet, self-controlled; 2,5,6,12); b. Reverent (2,3);Hide Answer
a. Sober (also translated as sensible, discreet, self-controlled; 2,5,6,12):
b. Reverent (2,3):
Where else in the Bible is the topic on bondservants mentioned?Hide Answer
1Tim 6:1-2, Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:22-25, 1Pet 2:18-19.
How can we apply the teachings on bondservants to today’s context?Hide Answer
In today’s context, perhaps the closest example would be that of employees, who work for their employees in return for a pay. Although most employees today enjoy many more privileges than the bondservants of those days, employees should still apply the same principles to their work. They need to follow their employers’ or supervisors’ instructions, be able to work with others, respect management, and be honest and faithful. Doing so will bring glory to God’s name.
In what sense can our lives “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”?Hide Answer
Our godly lives can serve as living testimonies of the gospel and attract others to the faith. When others see the good example in us, it will be easier for them to accept the message we preach (cf. Jn 15:8; 1Pet 3:1).
Which of the groups mentioned in this passage do you belong to? Think about how to apply the teachings to that specific group to your own life.
How do verses 11-14 relate to the previous paragraph?Hide Answer
The word “for” in verse 11 indicates that these verses provide the reasons for the ethical requirements in the previous paragraph. The saving grace of God demands Christians to lead godly lives.
According to this paragraph, in what ways does the saving grace of God motivate us to live godly lives?Hide Answer
Paul shows us two reasons, one in the past and one in the future, that motivate godly lives: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His glorious appearing.
1. Since Christ has redeemed us from every lawless deed and purified us for Himself, we ought to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and be zealous for good works (14).
2. Since we look forward to the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (12-13).
God’s redeemed people ought to be “zealous for good works” (14). Is such zeal lacking in your life? What kind of good works should you start actively carrying out?
How is Titus supposed to teach?Hide Answer
“Exhort and rebuke with all authority” (15).
Distinguish between exhortation and rebuke.Hide Answer
“Rebuke” means convict or reproof by word of mouth for wrongdoing.
“Exhort” has a much more positive connotation. It is not done in response to wrongdoing. It means guiding and urging one to pursue a certain course of action.
A teacher of God’s word needs to have the wisdom to use both approaches appropriately and effectively.
“With all authority” (15). What is this authority based on?Hide Answer
In verses 11-14, we see that “the grace of God that brings salvation” teaches us to lead godly lives. The ethical demands do not come from Titus or Paul, but they are based on God’s saving grace.
In verse 1, Paul instructs Titus to speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine, and verse 10 tells us that the doctrine is from God our Savior. In other words, Titus’ exhortations and rebukes are to conform to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. And because they are based on the Lord’s teachings, they carry authority.