Summary: THE ELDERLY REFUSES TO HONOR THE WORK AND WORD OF GOD - TITUS 2:2-5 - 8/4/12
THE ELDERLY REFUSES TO HONOR THE WORK AND WORD OF GOD - TITUS 2:2-5 - 8/4/12
"2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 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
Responsibility is not always desirable to those who have to fulfill them. Sometimes it is easier to forsake one's responsibility and join the crowd while they seek to have fun. As men and women in the world and in the church gets older they sometimes shun their parental responsibilities and give in to the things that are less demanding of their attention, time, and effort. In response to their bodily function, illnesses, likes, wants, lusts, weaknesses, and desires. God has held a tight leash on the elderly in the church. In the world they are free to do as they please, so it seems. But in the body they are called by God to maintain the same standard of holiness as that of the younger Christians in the body. The sixty, seventy and eighty years old must yield to the scriptures teachings as the young married couples with children also do. The elderly must not shun or refuse God's word and God's work to say that it is only for the young to do, because they are to old to meet God's call to be responsible. Therefore, the Apostle Paul pens a letter to Titus on the Island of Crete, instructing him on how the elderly must meet the responsibilities entrusted to them by God. As the leaders of the church must also rise to the standard of character to be-come leaders in the church of God. Let's look at what Paul has written to Titus in the church on the Island of Crete, and then we will look at how Moses warned the Israelite's prior to their entering the promised land of the consequences they would suffer if they did not obey the Lord, which is similar to what Christians suffer when they disobey God and he disciplines them on account of their disobedience.
I. RESPONSIBILITY OF OLDER MEN - (TIT. 2:2) "2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance."
Paul commanded the Older men of the church to be "temperate (moderate, not excessive, self-restraint), dignified (moral and ethical), sensible (good sense and sound judgment), and sound (free from flaw, defect, or decay, solid, firm; also: stable, free from error, fallacy) in faith, love and perseverance." Why would Paul call the older men to such a high standard of living? In answer to that question I came up with these 7 answers:
1. They've already been youths who have broken and lived the opposite of these characteristics.
2. It is God's desire and requirement for those who are aged.
3. It fulfills God's call for men to be holy, sanctified and pure.
4. These are the proper characteristics of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
5. It qualifies them to become elders (leaders, overseers) in the church and faith.
6. It gives Satan and the demons no opportunity to enter into the life of the elder to mislead him into sin.
7. It provides a standard and an example for unbelievers to follow when they live this way.
God wanted the men in Paul's day to maintain a godly life and also be influential in the lives of others, so he called them to a higher standard of living through these characteristics. Many of these men may have been husbands and fathers whose example were followed by younger men, and their example set the course for the liberty of the church and the youth that followed the direction of the elders and the elder board. The author of Hebrews counseled "7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." Thus, the older men in every generation are to possess these characteristics because the younger men will "imitate their faith" and example.
If this is true, then why would someone like MacArthur do what he did to my life as an elderly man? why would he betray me and violate this command that Paul had given to Titus on the island? Even if he concluded that I was an unbeliever, that should not have stopped him from being a godly man, in the sight of God, nor stopped him from trusting God's will for my life outside of Grace. Am I not an Adam, a child of God created in God's image to do the will of God? What was wrong with me wanting to do the ministry? or wanting to continue the ministry for him when I had first made mention of it? Does not scripture teach that we are to take the gospel to all the nations? If that is the truth then Grace did not receive me right, in that the nations came to them and they rejected it. I think it's unfortunate for God to have given someone like MacArthur so much, and for him to have limited his sphere of influence by discriminating and choosing those who should, and those who could rise up to his level of service in the ministry of Christ and in the standard of holiness that God has called his church to maintain in their personal lives. MacArthur should of continued to play the role of the apostle Paul both on Grace Community Church property and off Grace Community Church property, at all times. But to do it on the property and then switch is poor leadership. Then, the character flaws that Paul warn the elderly avoid will be displayed outside of the fellowship, and at some point will affect the lives of those in the fellowship when they cannot hold it in anymore.