Titus 2 Expository sermon
“Ashland A/G: A Stamp Collection”
Introduction: last week I talked about unfinished work needing to be done and we talked about who Titus was and what he was up against.
He was a Greek who was brought up in heathenism. He most likely was saved in the preaching and missionary work of Paul. Paul speaks of Titus very affectionately. In Titus 1:4 he is called "a true son in our common faith:" Paul also refers to Him in 2 Cor. as his brother. He is esteemed by Paul who trusts Titus to handle even the toughest assignments.
Paul receives word from Titus that the letter of 1 Cor., along with Paul’s authority had been well received by the Corinthians. Paul then sends Titus back to Corinth bearing the letter that we know as 2 Cor. Sometime after that, Paul and Titus once again are together, Paul leaves Titus on the island of Crete to as Paul states, "that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you."
Titus was a man who did what was asked of him and had to fight against the same things that we do now in a culture very much like our own. A society were the main goal was to acquire wealth, to fulfill whatever lust you might have. A society were ones word meant very little, what mattered was how much stuff you had. A society were moral were disregarded in search for wealth and material gain. What I really want to stress today is how he was to reach these people-remember from Titus 1:10-14 that there where people who where directly opposed to Titus preaching sound doctrine because they, being so culturally inclined, wanted to make personal profit from teaching false doctrine and twisted truths. The way that he was to battle against these enemies was to be an example of what a good Christian should be and to broaden his attack in this manner he needs to do it on a wider scale, this is one of the many reasons for his need to appoint elders, so that they would be such a visual standard to measure against that those who disputed sound doctrine would be ashamed. Chapter two of Titus gives specific advice to Christians to aid them in this-remember-this is something that is still badly needed in our culture today. (re-read Titus 2:2-10) I am going to come back to cover verse 1 in a few minutes. It starts off with the word “but” and is thus tied to the previous passage, so we will look at that as a whole in a little bit.
I. Advice to church members about XN living.
a. Men-should be temperate (sober and vigilant), worthy of respect (of good character), self-controlled, sound or wholesome and healthy in three cardinal virtues;
i. Faith toward god
ii. Love towards all
iii. Endurance until the end
b. Women-should be reverent (a word that is used in a specialized sense to mean literally “acting like a priestess,” they must not be slanderous or diabolical (the root of this word is diabolos and translates literally as Satan-the one who accusses or tells lies,) older women should not be addicted to wine (in the first century the culture –like our own –prompted people to be heavy drinkers) instead their lifestyle should be characterized by teaching what is good, they should love their husbands and children (ask my wife-this is often hard), they should be self controlled and modest, keepers at home (Paul said it not me!-that’s a sermon for another time,) good, obedient, and not speaking evil
c. Youth-Paul exhorts both young men and women to be self-controlled.they should follow the example of the elders (this means you elders should be walking correctly), have integrity (webster’s dictionary defines this as: Purity; genuine, unadulterated, unimpaired state,) seriousness that inspires respect (there is a time for fun and a time for being real), have soundness of speech (know what you are talking about and be ready with an answer)
d. Servants-the term given here for slave is doulos; a slave literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency.
i. Doulos (I leave it in this term and you can then apply it in a parent-child relationship, boss-employee relationship, or whatnot,) are instructed to be subject to their masters. This subjection has a reflexive voice in the greek and thus carries a connotation that they should “subject themselves” to their master, not just be subject because you have to be.
ii. Doulos are instructed to be pleasant, obliging, not talking back, not stealing. The apostle says that doulos should demonstrate trustworthiness so that they are a witness to others. This attitude should be something that they can decorate the Word of God with, by this I mean that it should be the first thing people see, that you want to show it off, and that it is appealing to others. Think of a young lady who just got an engagement ring and it’s got a nice big rock on it-she wants to show that piece off; that is what is implied here.
Why should we be living our lives like this? It is because we are like T-shirts. When you go to the store and buy a T-shirt it is because you intend to use it. You don’t just hang it with your other clothes in your closet and look at it from time to time. If you don’t use your t-shirts your tendency is to give them away to others or garage sale them. When Christ purchased us it was because he intended to use us.
II. Available enablement and the reason for a pattern
a. Specific advice to Titus from verse 1
i. Titus 2:1 begins with the word “but” which ties it to the preceding passage and calls into light the affore mentioned conflict with the rebellious people in 1:10-14. Here Titus is urged to speak the truth or to speak “sound doctrine” the term used by Paul here is hugiainō and means literally to have sound health, that is, be well -this can show that those promoting this false doctrine are really spreading a sickness. Promoting sound doctrine, then is like preventative medicine. In promoting this sound doctrine by “healthy speaking,” he will both mentor followers and train them to become pure leaders for the future, and he will model how to silence the impure. The impure will be so shamed that they will cease their actions, when the impure rebels ministry is compared in light of Titus’ pure ministry their evil motives will be so revealed that they will stop their evil actions for fear of this being put to shame. (titus 2:8)
b. Being a good example is our empirical evidence of who God is and what he is like. Empirical means something that can be observed with the senses: it can be seen and touched or heard etc. It is mainly a scientific term or used in philosophy and logic arguments-but our God often defies logic the way that man sees it in our limited understanding.
A college student was in a philosophy class which had a discussion about God’s existence. The professor presented the following logic:
"Has anyone in this class heard God?" Nobody spoke. "Has anyone in this class touched God?" Again, nobody spoke. "Has anyone in this class seen God?" When nobody spoke for the third time, he simply stated, "Then there is no God."
One student thought for a second, and then asked for permission to reply. Curious to hear this bold student’s response, the professor granted it, and the student stood up and asked the following questions of his classmates:
"Has anyone in this class heard our professor’s brain?" Silence. "Has anyone in this class touched our professor’s brain?" Absolute silence. "Has anyone in this class seen our professor’s brain?" When nobody in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, "Then, according to our professor’s logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!"
(...The student received an "A" in the class.)
c. I mentioned earlier how the impure will be so shamed that they will cease their evil actions, lets look at Titus 2:7,8 more closely- specifically the term “Pattern” We need people following sound doctrine and be acting like XNs (or being a good pattern for others to follow) so that sinners can easily recognize the things in their life that they need to change (this is used by the holy spirit to aid in his convicting work on non-believers); this is why we have a list of advice that we can use to model our lives with so that we can be a standard to be measured against. In seeing how true and godly XNs act, sinners are attracted to Christianity.
The Greek word for Pattern is tupos
From G5180; a die (as struck), that is, (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy a shape, that is, a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically a sampler (“type”), that is, a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): - en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.—Strongs Greek Lexicon
“Lets go back to my T-shirt analogy.” (T-shirt pattern illustration here) take a piece of tissue paper and draw a t-shirt on it as if it was a pattern someone might cut out and sew together. Pin it to some fabric. Have this done before the service. On the dashed lines making up the cut marks write down some of the specific examples that Paul writes for us such as “Patience, sincerity, integrity, husband-loving, soberness, etc.” have a couple of older people who are known for being sewers or seamstresses come and hold a corner each as you demonstrate how you would not want to make an imitation of a t-shirt. If you do not do these things correctly (as listed on the cut lines) your imitation of Christ will not turn out accurately either and you will look like a major goof when you wear your new shirt around.
i. We can see a strong meaning in the greek text here. We should literally be a model or replica, but of whom? Of Christ (Christian is a term meaning Little Christ or imitator of Christ-the one who was the perfect example of how we should act.
ii. When I think of being a statue in the greek culture I would think of Paul’s missionary trip where he saw all of the idol makers selling small die-cast statues of a fertility goddess. I think of a metal statue like the statue of liberty-something concrete and built to stand against the elements that come against it-something that not only stands for something, but will stand for generations or longer with recorded history. Or even think about being a parent. Your child will imitate you as they grow up before they begin to blaze their own path (though sometimes this even is imitation.)
iii. Are we that stamped image here at Ashland First A/G? I know that some of us here really are stamps and that’s why I titled my message the way I did.
III. Authority with this enablement
a. Verses 2:11-14 give us a reminder about our enablement to stand and keep the things given to us with Paul’s specific advice.
b. Verse 11 begins with the word “for” which is Paul’s relating this next passage with the previous list of advice for XN living. He is, in essence, telling us why we should be doing these things. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all.” The verb meaning has appeared is usually meant “to appear suddenly upon the scene and is usually used in the sense of divine or supernatural aide or intervention.” The tense that the term is used in is aorist and gives the sense of a once-and-for-all-time act of God’s grace. It was done and is finished. The purpose of this grace is listed in verse 14 as intended to rescue us from all wickedness and to cleanse us and set us apart for himself and for us to be eager to do what is good.
c. Having laid down the theological foundation now, the apostle Paul reaffirms in verse 15 that Titus is to teach these instructions and follow them. All teaching is useless unless the teacher’s example confirm his word.
i. The three verbs in verse 15 are in the durative imperative case.
ii. Titus, then, is to keep on addressing these issues; he is to be continually encouraging the faithful; and persistently reprimanding the wayward.
Paul writes elsewhere (Philippians 4:9), “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice”.
When we claim to follow Jesus, the world takes notice - whether we like it or not. We may not feel we are witnessing, but for many people we’re the only view of Jesus they will ever see and the only words of Jesus they will ever hear. We may not realize it, but the way we live cries out: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
Do we want others to put into practice what they see in us? Would our example cause others to be drawn closer to God or to drift further away? Do we follow Jesus’ command to love one another, so that: "By this all men will know you are My disciples" (John 13:35). This is a huge responsibility and one we must not assume is only for the "Super-Christian."
It’s like this: A man had an "I Love Jesus" sticker on his car. One day, as he sped in and out of traffic, he realized his driving was not setting a good Christian example. He solved this "problem" by removing the sticker. Rather than modify an area of his life, he removed his public identification with Jesus.
We cannot remove the "I Love Jesus" stickers from our life. The world is watching and we must be bold enough to stand and accept the accountability. We need men and women of strength and character - Brothers and Sisters who love one another and love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! I urge you to be among those who commit to live a life that brings glory and honor to God in ALL you do. Others are following. Let’s be bold and direct them to Christ as we set the example.