6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Titus 2


The story is told of a man and an angel who were walking along together. The man was complaining about his neighbors. “I never saw such a wretched set of

people,” he said, “as are in this village. They are mean, greedy, selfish, and

careless of the needs of others. Worst of all, they are forever speaking evil of

one another.”

“Is it really so?” asked the angel.

“It is, indeed,” said the man. “Why, only look at this fellow coming toward us! I know his face, though I cannot remember his name. See his little shark-like, cruel eyes, darting here and there like a ferret’s, and the lines of hardness about his mouth! The very droop of his shoulders is mean and cringing, and he slinks along instead of walking.”

“It is very clever of you to see all this,” said the angel, “but there is one thing that you did not perceive—that is a mirror we are approaching.”

(from Illustrations of Bible Truths # 149)

You’ve got to give your best to others get the best from others.

In chapter 1, Paul advised the young minister Titus to straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5). After rending Titus to exercise his authority in appointing leaders in the church, Paul next taught the young minister Titus how to act as a young minister and how to attend to the various groups in church.

Speak Honorably to Adults

1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:1-5)

One manager with a high tech company in Chicago shared how his subordinates were always coming into his office emphasizing the high priority of one thing or another.

He would listen to them and tell each one to leave their papers on the desk. Then as they were about to walk out the door, he would say, “Don’t forget Rule Six’

A young man once said, “Rule Six yes, of course.”

Then he turned to walk out but stopped and asked, “What is rule six?”

Rule Six is as follows: “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

“Thank you sir, I’ll remember that. But what are the other rules?”

The reply was, “There are no other rules.”

In chapter 2, Paul begins with the need to speak sound doctrine. The verb “teach” (v 1) is essentially and technically “speak” in Greek, translated so by KJV, NASB, and ASV. The first teach is an imperative but the second “teach” (v 2) is missing in Greek, so the first “teach” dictates the passage till verse 5. At his young age as a rookie minister, Titus was not to act like a scholar, a sage or a superior, but to speak tenderly, truthfully and tactfully to his seniors. Speak/teach (v 1) is in the imperative mood, meaning it is obligatory and not optional, demanded and not discretional, stipulated and not secondary, firm and not flexible, insisted and not ignored. Titus should be attentive and active and not be afraid of or anxious to avoid the task at hand.

For the church to grow, she must practice “sound teaching.” The word “sound” features more prominently in Titus than any other New Testament book. What is this “sound” (“hugiaino”) doctrine or teaching (didaskalia)? Elsewhere it is translated as healthy (Luke 5:31), well (Luke 7:10) safe and sound (Luke 15:27). The word “sound” is an extension of the word “growth.” It means solid and not suspect, sure and not swaying, sensible and not sensational or sentimental hogwash. Sound teaching is the key to a strong, stable and steadfast church. A church without sound doctrine is like a chair without legs, a skater on thin ice, and a body without backbone.

What is sound doctrine like in action and how does it apply to men and women? For older men, it means to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance (v 2). How are they related? Temperate comes from the word vigilant and watchful – this is about circumstances; it appears most in Titus. Worthy of respect has to do with honor – it has to do with character. Self-control has to do the mind in Greek - control. The word “sound” reappears to qualify the words “faith, love and endurance” – to be comprehensive.

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