Summary: The distinguishing marks of a Healthy Church regarding 1) Older Men (Titus 2:2), 2) Older Women (Titus 2:3–4a), 3) Young Women (Titus 2:4b–5), and 4) Young Men (Titus 2:6–8).

Titus 2:1-8. But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (ESV)

Manufactures, distributors, shippers and consumers are all realizing the effects of present product disruptions. Supply chain disruptions have affected the manufacturing and distribution of almost everything. People are warning of shortages of goods, and we see it in the delay in receiving orders and increased costs all around us. When supply chain disruptions are almost universal, it is foolish to think that almost everyone will not be affected. It would be selfish to only look to the here and now and not concern ourselves with solving broader problems. Like a leak in the far end of a boat, it is foolish to think that the problem will not eventually reach us.

As Christians who interact with the world, it is all too easy to get an immediate, consumer mentality even when thinking about the things of ministry. “The Character of a Healthy Church” is one where people of all age groups need to stop thinking as consumers and having their individual needs met, and each person start thinking as ministers, to take personal responsibility to solve problems and look for opportunities to serve. A church needs both the old and the young, and they should minister to one another. The grace of God enables us to bridge the generation gap in the church. One way to do this is for all members, young and old, to live up the standards that God has set for our lives (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 264). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.).

In Titus 2, the subject changes from pastors to congregations, from leadership to laity. The entire chapter deals with the evangelistic impact of a spiritually healthy congregation and gives direct, practical instruction about how believers are to live for the purpose of showing sinners the power and joy of salvation. What is true of individual believers is, of course, also true of the church as a body. A church that is grounded in spiritual truth and protected from spiritual falsehood is to be spiritually healthy and productive through the way in which its members live. The fruit of right doctrine is righteous living.

The opening works in verse 1 “But as for you” indicates a transition by contrast between the false teachers in the churches, who, although they professed to know God, denied Him by their unholy living and were therefore “detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16). Those men had been tested and found to be useless, even dangerous. The pronoun You is intended to emphasize that Titus belongs to a very different category from the trouble-makers. It is hardly correct to claim, as many scholars do, that the writer merely denounces heresy, for in this case he clearly believes that truth is the best antidote to error (Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 212–213). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).

Titus therefore was commissioned by Paul, and by extension all believers, to challenge their false teaching and false living and to teach/speak what accords/the things which are fitting for sound doctrine, in order to strengthen the testimony of the churches for the gospel of salvation. This teaching translates a present imperative of laleo, which refers to ordinary conversation. The present tense carries the idea of continuity and persistence, and the imperative makes the verb a command. Titus, and the elders he appointed (1:5), were commanded to teach/speak about right living as well as right doctrine. They were not to deviate, capitulate, or be intimidated. They were to be as aggressive in their teaching of sound doctrine and its corresponding godly lifestyle as the false teachers in the Cretan churches were in their unsound doctrine and its consequent ungodly lifestyle. Sound translates a participle form of the verb hugiaino, which has the basic meaning of “being well and healthy” and is the term from which we derive “hygiene.” The Elders are to give regular and careful pastoral instruction about practical Christian living and about the godly attitudes and actions that result from believing and obeying divine truth. They were to live lives that properly reflected their salvation from sin and were a worthy affirmation of the transforming power of their Savior. The gospel and its implications must be articulated. It is important to note that the apostle is not here focusing on the teaching and preaching of sound doctrine itself, as he does in 1:9. He is rather focusing on practical instruction about what accords with/the things which are fitting for, that is, based on and appropriate to, the sound doctrine that already has been taught. Prepo (what accords with/fitting) carries the basic meaning of “being prominent or conspicuous” and came to be used of a distinguishing characteristic. It represents that which is fitting, appropriate, proper, seemly. Truth requires certain behaviors that reflect and are appropriate to it (cf. Eph. 5:3). (Utley, R. J. (2000). Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey: I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy (Vol. Volume 9, p. 106). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International).

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