The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
July 18, 2010


1) Studies in Titus: Chapter Two (Herschel E. Patton)


Studies in Titus: Chapter Two
by Herschel E. Patton

Sound Doctrine Involves Proper Conduct  (vv. 1-6)

In these verses, Paul points to duties of people of various ages and stations in life that Titus must teach.  These duties are identified with sound doctrine (v. 1). All precepts and duties for Christians are based on truth.  Every truth one learns imposes responsibility, for each truth has its corresponding duty, and every duty the Christian has is based on the word of truth. Many learn and know truth, but this knowledge does not alter their conduct. This is the case because they fail to recognize the duty that knowledge imposes. On the other hand, some impose duties upon themselves, and others, when there is not truth (sound reason) behind them. 

Aged Men

The duties of aged men are first addressed (v. 2). The word "aged" refers to older men in the church, not necessarily "elders" who are officers in a local church, though these would be included. 

These are to be sober (temperate). People usually associate these words with abstinence from strong drink, but while this is embraced, the word here seems to go further and suggests a way of life. It suggests a man who has lived long enough to have experienced and observed that the cost of self-indulgence is extremely high and no part of true riches, so lives a life of self-restraint, avoiding excess in anything. 

To be "grave" is to be dignified, serious, worthy of respect. This does not mean that such an one goes around with a long face, never smiling or reflecting joy and happiness, but one who reflects the fact he is living in the glorious light of eternity and will soon be leaving this earthly life for the joys of heaven. He is concerned, not with carnal indulgences, but with those things that are spiritual and eternal. 

Being "sober-minded" is to be prudent, thoughtful, and self-controlled. Over many years of minding the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh, older men should be able to govern every instinct and passion so that each is in its proper place. 

Three things are mentioned in which elderly men are to be sound (strong-healthy). The first one is "faith."  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).  Abraham "being not weak in faith... staggered not at the promise of God" (Rom. 4:18-21). Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Being sound in faith is simply a matter of knowing what the Bible teaches, putting one's confidence in what it says, and acting accordingly. 

The second thing in which one is to be sound is "love." Strength here means love is the guiding principle in one's life. It leads to properly dealing with God and one another. (See 1 Cor. 13; 1 Jno. 5:3; Matt. 22:36-40.)

Thirdly, the elderly men are told to be strong (sound) in "patience," or steadfastness. (See Rom. 5:1-5; Jas. 1:2-4.) Years should temper a man so that he can bear more and more and be able to conquer life's problems without fainting. 

Aged Women

Aged women are next addressed (v. 3). Titus is told to teach them "that they be in behavior as becometh holiness" (reverent in demeanor -- ASV). They are "not to be false accusers" (slanderers), an action designed to defame or injure the reputation of another, nor to be "given (enslaved) to much wine," showing a lack of ability to overcome fleshly desires.  Older women should be apt and anxious to teach good things. This is a positive duty of elderly Christian women, though often ignored or neglected. The experience of age should ever be used to instruct and guide for it is, indeed, a tragedy for the younger to be deprived of this. There is a great need for grandmothers of faith, like Timothy had (2 Tim. 1:5), in the church for they are natural instructors of the young of both sexes. 

Younger Women

Some of the things the older women are to teach the younger are now listed (vv.  4-5). To be sober-minded is to have a well-balanced mind, or able to think straight.  Loving one's husband and children is something that can be taught and learned. Of course, this should come naturally, but such is not always the case, especially when feelings and emotions are relied upon instead of divine teaching and training. "Discreet" (KJV) is the same as "sober-minded" (ASV). "Chaste" refers to purity in heart and life. "Keepers at home" (KJV), "Workers at home" (ASV), "Homemakers" (NKJ) refer to being workers at home or guardians of the house -- active in household duties. Younger women should be taught that in thinking of a career, there is none greater than that of homemaking. There is no task, responsibility, privilege or reward greater than this. To be "good" (KJV), "kind" (ASV), is to demonstrate a gracious, benign disposition toward servants, husband, children and all. Teaching the younger women to "be obedient to their own husbands" (KJV), "in subjection to" (ASV), is something God has always required (Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3). This does not mean women are men's slaves, but that God has assigned unto man the responsibility of leadership (headship), providing, and protecting, requiring that they continually sacrifice love of self and desires for wife and family, being gentle, kind, and patient in dealing with them. If the conduct of Christians does not harmonize with sound doctrine, this word of truth will be blasphemed (spoken against). 

Young Men

The young men "likewise" (like the young women and older) must be taught the importance of being "soberminded" (sensible -- ASV). 

Be A Proper Example (vv. 7-8)

What Paul told Titus to teach others, he must demonstrate (be an example -- pattern) in his own life.  Nothing is more repulsive to God and man than hypocrisy on the part of a preacher. Such will result in the loss of both the preacher and hearers. 

The doctrine taught by Titus, according to this text, must be characterized by certain things. First, there is the matter of "uncorruptness." It must be pure, unmixed with the philosophies of men. It must be only that divinely revealed, established as truth by searching the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). False doctrine saves neither the preacher nor the hearer, but rather damns (2 Thes. 2:10-12). 

Secondly, the preacher of sound doctrine must preach it with "gravity" (reverent, dignified, and serious), and thirdly, his speech must be "sound" -- "Teaching which does not deviate from the truth" -- Thayer.  This kind of teaching cannot be justly condemned or censured. It is in contrast to the doctrines and commandments of men, born of carnal desires, corruptions, and perversions. "He that is of the contrary part" (v. 8) is actually put to shame in his unjust censure and opposition to the preacher of sound doctrine who is also pure in life, sincere, and upright in attitude. Every successful evangelist (saves self and them that hear) must be an example of soundness in his speech, life, and attitude. The same principle is true of every Christian in his relationship with the world (1 Pet. 2:11-12). 

Teach Servants To Serve As Christians (vv. 9-10)

Rather than attack and try to abolish slavery as an institution, New Testament writers relied upon the spirit of the gospel and the principles it set forth (dignity and worth of every human soul; all in Christ are brethren, and alike servants of the one heavenly Father) to moderate the harshness and inhumanity of the system and eventually destroy it. 

In harmony with this, these verses instruct servants, as with all Christians in every walk of life (1 Cor. 7:20-24; 1 Pet. 2:18) to be exemplary in conduct. As hard as it may be for a slave, who has tasted of the freedom and oneness in Christ, to accept his situation, he must be taught the importance of being in submission to his master and honestly and sincerely seek to please him as best he can. He is told not to be "answering again" (KJV), "gainsaying" (ASV), "argumentative (NASV), "answering back" (NKJ) (v. 9). He is to serve without answering back, arguing, or speaking against. Such action would be opposed to the cheerful, willing, submissive service that the gospel demands. 

"Not purloining"  KJV, ASV; "pilfering"  NASV, NKJ (v. 10) means taking what has been entrusted to one and using it for himself. Some define the word as "thieving." Certainly, this is not in harmony with the gospel, but in direct opposition. The gospel demands that a Christian show "all good fidelity" (honesty). So, if a slave, or anyone else, shows, demonstrates, or is an example of true Christianity, the enjoined and forbidden things above will be demonstrated. Otherwise, the doctrine of God our saviour would not be adorned. 

The Grace Of God Brings Salvation And Instructs (vv. 11-14)

The preceding verses emphasized conduct that adorns the doctrine of God our saviour in all things. Such conduct is possible because of the grace of God. The grace that brings salvation has appeared (been manifested) to all men, not to just a select few, but to all, regardless of race or sex, who will accept it. It involves God's scheme of redemption that was manifested with the coming of Christ, His personal ministry, selection of apostles, death, burial, resurrection for our justification, and the preaching of inspired apostles and prophets, evangelists, and dedicated saints. The gospel, God's power to save (Rom. 1:16), is the preaching of these facts that produce faith (Rom. 10:17), resulting in people's obedience (Rom. 6:17). If God had not sent His son to die for us and arranged for the revelation and teaching of His truth, man would be without hope. Our salvation, therefore, is by the grace of God. Please read the following passages which confirm this is what the grace of God is that brings salvation: Col. 1:6; Acts 11:23; 13:43; 1 Pet. 5:12; Heb. 12:15. 

The grace of God that brings salvation also "teaches" (v. 12). It teaches us that there are some things we must deny (renounce or forsake). One such thing is "ungodliness."  Thayer says this is "a want of reverence toward God." Even professed Christians, besides people of the world, often do not show proper respect for God and His word. A second thing to be denied is "worldly lusts." This is desiring things of the flesh or world which are forbidden. (1 Jno. 2:15-17; Jas. 4:4). 

The grace of God also teaches us a positive manner of life. We are to live "soberly," which means a self-controlled life. "Godly" is showing proper respect and submission to God. "Righteously" involves rightly dealing with our fellowman. These are things we are to deny and do, or be, in this "present world" -- The here and now.  Verse 12 answers the question, What is my duty here on this earth?

Verse 13 points to the reward at the end of life's day for those who have been saved by the grace of God. This will be bestowed at the appearing of the great God and our saviour Jesus Christ. The "blessed hope" of the Christian is called "our hope of glory" in Col. 1:27.  Peter wrote of "the glory that shall be revealed" (1 Pet. 5:1). See 2 Tim. 4:6-8; 2 Pet. 1:5-11. 

Christ's motive in making the supreme sacrifice for our salvation was that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and make us a special people of his own; a people who would be zealous in doing his works (v. 14).  See Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12-13. 

Paul's command to Titus to "speak, exhort, rebuke with all authority, letting no man despise thee" (v. 15) shows how important these things are to his own salvation and those who heard him.

-- Via Searching the Scriptures, October 1989, Volume 30, Number 10

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17;  John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

201 Rushing Road (at the Hampton Inn), Denham Springs, Louisiana 70726
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Take the Denham Springs exit (exit 10) off of I-12.  At the end of the exit ramp, turn north.  Go about a stone's throw to Rushing Road.  (You'll see a Starbucks, Circle K, and two other gas stations; with each on each corner.)  Turn left on Rushing Road, and go a little less than 0.3 of a mile.  Hampton Inn will be on the right.  We assemble in its meeting room, which is very close to the reception counter.  Just walk pass the check-in counter; turn right at the hall.  The first and second doors on the left lead to where we meet.