Summary: Titus two is an amazing chapter on doing the word. This, says Paul, IS sound instruction.
How many teachers do we have here today? School teachers and Bible class teachers raise your hands. Actually, all of us are teachers in some way. All of us have influence and we do and say things that are instructive to others, even when we wish otherwise. Some of my best lessons on faith I learned from my children as they were growing up. I remember learning that God answers prayers for even the most insignificant things… at least, insignificant from my perspective.
Titus 2 talks a lot about teaching. The word occurs nine times in this chapter in the NIV. Actually, Paul uses a variety of words that all could be translated teach. They are instruct, admonish, encourage, urge, command, etc. But the idea is still about teaching.
Just before this, in chapter one, we heard about some people who were teaching things they ought not to teach. They were upsetting whole households and causing problems for the church. Paul says that they must be silenced! We don’t know what they were teaching, just that it was bad, and that it was causing problems that needed urgent attention.
I would invite you to listen to what constitutes good teaching or sound doctrine according to Paul here in chapter two. Notice the focus of all of this instruction… What is it? The first thing I noticed is that it has nothing to do with how we carry on our worship services. When we think of false teachers today or unsound preaching, what sort of things come to mind?
What do false teachers teach? Things that are false! Right?
Titus has been left in Crete to complete the job of establishing elders in every town. He has been given a list of character traits that are expected of anyone who might serve in that capacity and a few things these elders were expected to do. There are two major parts of the elders job: one is to teach and stand for the truth of the gospel, the other is to be an example by living according to the standards of the gospel. This includes refuting any false teacher who might spread things that are false and destructive to the church, but also being a model for others to follow in spiritual maturity and Christ likeness. This must take place both inside and outside of church assembly time. That’s what Titus shows us.
Again, what sort of things did Titus tell them to teach? Look at chapter two again. Notice the breakdown of who to teach what. What age group is Titus told to start with? Older! First, older men. What deep spiritual things is Titus told to impart to these older men? What awesome hidden truths will he share?
2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
Are you disappointed? We shouldn’t be. These things are rock solid truths that are to be taught and followed by mature Christians! How many people of our day are looking for hidden truths and failing to live by the obvious ones.
Next is older women. Listen to what Titus teaches them.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so 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, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
It is assumed that these older women will be teaching too. To whom do they give instruction? What is the core message of their instruction to these younger women? Is it false teaching to fail to teach these instructions to younger women? Is it unsound in the faith to ignore these things?
Notice that Titus is not specifically told to teach the younger women. That is a job for the older women to do. There is wisdom in this as well.
Next is instruction to young men. What is it?
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
The young men are to be self-controlled, or sober minded, or sensible. Then Titus is also to show them how to live, giving them an example to follow instead of just words to hear. Now that’s teaching! This indicates that he will be with these young men more than just “at church.” He will do good things with them and continue teaching as they do things together. This is something our Summer Service gives us a golden opportunity to do. Teachers can do more than just talk in a class. You can do good deeds with others and follow examples of leaders here. Isn’t that more like how Jesus taught his disciples? Think of their class times. The disciples didn’t come to discipleship class and sit in a room listening to Jesus talk. Oh, they listened to Jesus, but notice in the gospels that Jesus did things with them as part of his teaching.