Summary: God gives men some definite instructions to aid them in their spiritual growth.
GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS TO PROMOTE SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN MEN
I. THE INTRODUCTION
God has placed an awesome responsibility upon us men. He has given us the responsibility of leading His church and our families. When He gave us His name, Father, He designated us as His primary representative in the church and in the family. We have the responsibility to lead others to walk in His paths of righteousness. We are to be the point men leading our families through this treacherous world. To accomplish our mission we must be spiritually mature and ever growing into deeper levels of Christ-likeness.
Men, what do you need to do in order to grow into spiritual maturity? How can you insure that you will continue to grow into Christ-likeness? How can you become a man who is spiritually equipped to lead his family through this treacherous world in which we live?
Paul answers those questions in our text, Titus 2:2-8. Remember Paul is writing to Titus who is on the island of Crete. Paul is giving him instructions on how to promote spiritual growth among the Christians there. Paul’s instructions are timeless truths that speak to us today as well. The same things that promoted spiritual growth in the men in Crete will promote spiritual growth in your life.
Last week, we saw the first thing you must do to insure your spiritual growth into Christ-likeness is to place yourself under qualified spiritual leadership--Paul talks about that in the first part of chapter one. The second thing you must do is shun false teachers. Paul deals with this in verses 10-16.
In chapter two, Paul moves from giving general instructions for all Christians to particular instructions for three particular groups of people—men, women, and slaves. God’s Word today is addressed to the men in our congregation. He has something in particular to say to you older men and something particular to say to us younger men. Ladies, you can sit back and enjoy this sermon. Your turn will come next week!
II. GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS TO PROMOTE SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN OLDER MEN (2)
By older men, Paul is probably referring to men whose children are grown and have left home. A man’s age is not as important here as the cultural view. The question is does the culture see him as an older man?
Old age presents particular challenges to spiritual growth. Increased age typically brings decreased energy, diminished vision and hearing, more aches and pains, and often more depression, hopelessness, and cynicism. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes we are told, "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ’I have no delight in them’; before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop" (12:1-3).
For the Christian, however, old age should be different. Old age should be associated with such things as maturity, wisdom, and patience. Like Job said, “Wisdom is with aged men, and with long life is understanding.” Job 12:12. For Christians, old age should bring greater love for God, greater love for the people of God, and greater love for the things of God. Instead of depression and despair there should be hope and joyous expectation of seeing Jesus face to face. With retirement comes more time to serve God.
We have things reversed. We think the older a person gets the less committed he should be in serving God. The truth is: the older a person get the more devoted he should be in serving God. Moses was 80 years old when God called him to lead Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.
Look at John Wesley. At the age of 83--after having traveled some 250,000 miles on horseback, preached more than 40,000 sermons, and produced some 200 books and pamphlets--John Wesley regretted that he was unable to read and write for more than 15 hours a day without his eyes becoming too tired to work. After his 86th birthday, he admitted to an increasing tendency to lie in bed until 5:30 in the morning!
Christian do not retire they get retreaded! To be that man who is going strong for God at eighty-six there are certain qualities that need to be in your life.
The first quality an older man is to have is temperance. The word in the Greek has to do with sobriety from wine. It refers to either the total abstinence from wine or at the very least a very moderate us of it. The idea seems to be that these elderly men must not be drunkards or given to drinking much alcohol. It is probably used metaphorically to refer to the older man’s life must be free from excesses. He must avoid overindulgences or extravagances. Men, look at your life. Are there any excesses there? Is temperance a quality of your life? Temperance comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to control your life. Walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and you will have self-control.