The Church’s Generations (Titus 2:1-14)

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Football season is among us…

  • A coach aims to get team inspired about winning and how to achieve with right game plans.
  • A coach aims to get each player to know their specific position and role.
    • Children’s Teams the players wander out of position bc the all hoard the ball or they are bored and creating their own focus (players in outfield, soccer crowds, basketball).

In his letters, Paul is like the coach teaching players to know and fulfill their position and to follow the game plan of glorifying God and making disciples.

In Crete, there were competing voices (1:10-16) to distract and divide the churches. Paul coaches Titus to teach “sound doctrine.”

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EXAMINE           Titus 2                         The Church’s Generations                        Spiritual Champions Sunday

Every family needs a foundation.

Paul contrasts false teachers with faithful Christianity for Titus to teach “sound doctrine.” Sound (ὑγιαίνω = healthy, proper working order). Teaching sound doctrine was not abstract but had definitive applications for the way a person lived. Sound doctrine tells us not just who God is but who we are and to whom we belong.

As we’ve identified a theme in Titus was the “good works” (6x) of Christianity (1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14). So, Paul instructs sound doctrine for 5 groups of people in the church: older men (v. 2), older women (v. 3), younger women (vv. 4-5), young men (v. 6), with Titus as an example (vv. 7-8), and slaves (vv. 9-10).

Many people base their life on principles…

  • Chase your dreams… reach for the stars… be all you can be… be kind…
    While we can understand the goal of excellence in academics, athletics, and a moral ethic. However, these principles are subjective to the variety of personal or religious standards of each culture. One’s preference for what is right may differ from another’s desires, and when those worldviews collide there becomes the push for either “tolerance,” “compromise,” or, making a truth claim where one is right and the other is wrong. History is the proof with events like the Crusades, Holocaust, Racism, and the like. The reason we have laws, military and police, and the reason we lock our doors is because deep down inside we know we cannot support moral relativism and the world needs a foundation.

The view of Christianity is to give persons a foundation for their life.

  • Jesus says “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Many churches, drift toward mission complexity rather than gospel centrality.

  • Our foundation must always be Christ and word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
  • Are you a Christian, trusting in Jesus Christ and growing in faith? If so, have you followed in baptism and church membership? Don’t treat casually Christ’s bride for whom He died.
  • Make commitment to participate in Bible Group more than 50% of Sundays. Seriously, get off the fence.

 

Every family needs a framework.

Paul gives instruction for men & women in the church, along with servant workers. Paul’s aim is “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10). Adorn (κοσμέω = cosmetics / to decorate and beautify, make orderly or attractive). The idea is that the lives of Christian persons and families are the first sight of the gospel of Jesus. Frames can enhance or impair the visual content of a picture. Likewise, our behaviors are the frame of our beliefs on display to non-believers.

Every person needs a framework to live out their faith convictions. Paul’s exhortation is for each member of the family to have requirements and roles to fulfill.

  • Training of younger men/women seems more informal in the home more than formal classroom teaching. One of the practical applications of training the younger is for the older to spend meal times in each other’s homes. The church is meant to be a real community and extended family teaching through life on life discipleship.

Frameworks for the family:

  • Older men should be sober-minded (clear-headed), dignified (worthy of respect), self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and endurance (Titus 2:2).
    • Who is “older”? Anyone over 43… yes, I’m 42 so I’m only nearing old… seriously, the idea is maturity. A person can be mature but young, or old and immature. Let’s emphasize maturity more than agism.
      • Bob Hope said, “You know you’re old when the candles cost more than the cake.”
      • The older we get the more we should become archaeologists – appreciating the aged.
      • FB Aging App was trendy bc our interest and hopefulness to get there.
      • And once you get old, you know: “Getting old isn’t for sissies.”
    • A temptation for some older men is to reach last season of life and coast physically, relationally, spiritually. Coasting produces complacency, which produces cynicism – the stereotype of old-fat-cranky-men. Instead,
      Paul is exhorting you to stay in the game and keep growing toward maturity. While Paul gives a list, an essential mark of maturity is outward-oriented – not being self-centered, but considerate and generous toward others. Paul’s aim is for the older men to be a model to and mentor the younger men.
    • Bible Examples: Abraham, Moses, Caleb. Lev 19:32; Job 12:12; Ps 71:17; 92:12
    • It’s no accident Paul starts instruction to Titus with the older crowd… they are crucial to any church. If the church is going to succeed in growing godly generations then it will be in large part because of the faithfulness of the older members in our congregations; in fact, there may be a certain responsibility they bare more so than the younger.
      • Paul told Timothy to not rebuke older men harshly but encourage them as a father; treat relationally (1Tim 5:1).
    • Sound in faith (love Jesus & know Bible), sound in love (kind & generous, especially toward the weak or those who cannot repay), sound in endurance (wise patience, not hasty).> Older men – Paul’s find your Titus/Timothy.
  • Older women must be reverent (holy, sacred – priest-like), not slanderers (διάβολος = devilish, accuse falsely, condemn unfairly) or drunkards, and they must teach younger women to be faithful/loving wives and mothers, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive (Titus 2:3–5).
    • Again, “older women…” never ask women age. Reminds me of a senior lady in hospital talking to nurse…
      Nurse: How old are you, Mrs. Jones?
      Mrs Jones: None of your business.
      Nurse: But the hospital must know your age for our records.
      Mrs Jones: Well, first multiply twenty-five by two, then add ten. Got that?
      Nurse: Yes, 60.
      Jones: Alright, now subtract thirty times two, and what do you get?
      Nurse: 0?
      Mrs Jones: Yes, that’s exactly the percent chance of me telling you my age.
      Thank you, Mrs. Jones!
    • Paul’s admonition to older women is to not be hardened by life’s difficulties. Women live in a world often dominated by men and can get towards middle/end of life and become a bit too colorful or cavalier in their language and treatment of people. They lose their filters and their excuse is, “Well this is how God made me and if you don’t like it you don’t have to be around me.” Paul is reminding women to guard their hearts as the wellspring of life and not become polluted by worldly attitudes; be reverent.
    • Slanderers – watch your tongue.
      • Satan is a slanderer night and day; therefore, we are doing the devil’s dirty work when we are offering unconstructive criticism, unnecessary gossip, fault finding and record keeping of wrongs. You are perhaps never more devilish when you speak harshly to spouse, hostile to children, and callously toward in-laws or to any created in the image of God (cf James 3:9-12). And God has designed family life as the primary environment for our sanctification, with our words carrying great weight as barometers of our progress. How are you doing?
      • Our temporary attitudes can result in words that are permanently painful.
        Before you speak, ask: how long will this matter?
      • Learn to speak better than what and to how you are spoken.
      • A mouth problem is really a heart problem (cf. Luke 6:45). Intake of Bible = outpour of grace.
    • Loving wife – more than just warm feelings and hot romance; love includes patience and perseverance when he leaves before breakfast and comes home after dinner; love includes compassion and being constructive with your gifts and strengths in the home (some women are domestically incline while others have talents that thrive in other ways – be a blessing). Ultimately, love is like Jesus offering grace when its least deserved. Godly love is difficult, which is why the older women with more life experience need to train the younger women who can easily get frustrated and tempted to forsake her marital vows.
    • Faithful motherworking/busy at home – doesn’t mean inferiority, nor does it mean women cannot have a career outside of home (Prov 31). Let me be clear: a woman’s primary calling and source of contentment is not caring for men and kid messes, or cooking and cleaning – only the gospel of Christ grants ultimate fulfillment. Yet, there is a fulfillment that also comes through cultivating family, and women can be lured into seeking satisfaction in the wrong motivation. When your motivated by career accomplishments more than spiritual legacy then you have the wrong aim; you can often tell the difference through the relational vitality within the family. Are there substantial quarrels and conflict more than contentment and cheer? Do you loathe or love coming home at the end of the day? Children are benefitted and blessed growing up in a home learning how to love by observing their parent’s choices. In sum, God has given mothers a particular assignment in the home to raise children with fathers having accountability before God. So, if a mother is not fulfilling her role, it’s the father who is at fault because he hasn’t ordered and nurtured a positive and productive household.> Older women – see and support your sisters.
  • Younger men should be self-controlled (level headed, sober / think like a soldier with actions saving/harming others); model good works (τύπος ἔργον – young men’s works take energy & time, which becomes impressionable model for others); show integrity; dignity, sound speech; – so opponents have nothing (beyond blame) evil (worthless) to say about us (Titus 2:6-8).
    • One of the apologetics of Christianity is passionate men who work hard, live holy, and love generously.
  • > Dreams & desires are not enough, life takes discipline… (1Cor 9:24-27; 1Tim 4:7 train for godliness).
  • > Find your lane, stay the course, and finish the race. Many people change education majors/jobs/spouses/ministry service/churches and they near the end of their race lonely and little reward to show. Those who stay the course and learn to navigate hurdles and hindrances are the ones who have a lasting impact and great legacy.
  • Bondservants (slaves and workers; slavery was not ordained, advocated, or required in Scripture, but regulated in its circumstantial practices – see my notes on Eph 6[1]) are to be submissive to their masters in everything, they are to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:9-10).
    • Submission implies serving well in work and words. We serve our masters/employers with productive actions and polite attitudes.
  • > View your job as working for the Lord and as another arena and agency to further God’s kingdom
    (Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24).

Every family needs a forever focus.
All of these actions are done with the empowerment of God’s grace and the eternal perspective of the blessed hope of Christ’s return (Titus 2:11-13).

  • Paul Tripp “Without forever in the center of our thinking, our picture of life is like a jigsaw puzzle missing a central piece. You will simply not have an accurate view of the picture without the piece of the puzzle entitled ‘forever.’”
  • Our aim is to hear from Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant… enter the joy of your master”
    (Mat 25:21)
    .
  • C. S. Lewis, “If you read history you will find those who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world.” 

    > Don’t think perfection but progression; life is not DO but DONE in grace of God. Have you received Him?

APPLY/THINK

> Be an “extra” somewhere.

  • Being an extra somewhere means people are not relying on you to do all the work but you still get to participate and have joy in making a difference somewhere.
  • Sometimes we get drained from serving because we are not self-feeding. We need to be an extra where we can just “be” more than “do.”

> Be an “essential” to someone.

  • Everyone needs someone.
    • Obviously, we believe we all need God and the grace of Jesus.
    • Jesus gives us orders (not option) to make disciples. #WhosYour1 #High5
  • Every church member is a minister – you are vital and SPBC cannot afford to have spectators on the sidelines. Further, one of the ways you exercise being essential is through giving not just your time & talents, but your financial treasures.
    • Jesus is looking for what you have in your hand; little is much when God is our master.
    • “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24


7 Emphasis @SPBC

  1. Preaching: Revelation is up next in sermons. FYI: Ephesians in Bible Groups.
  2. Prayer: Starting October – Last Sunday/First Priority we gather as #HouseOfPrayer.
  3. Leadership Development: A) Restructuring for Elders & Deacons. B) Developing Ministry Staff.
  4. Groups: A) Sunday AM transformational discipleship teaching. B) 2Gather missional families.
  5. Outreach Local: A) Cultivating connections in SP community. B) Week of SENT SP
  6. Place: Inviting campus more than existing but attracting (recreation).
  7. Party: We will not be like forgetful Israel but we will remember God and celebrate His goodness to us for 60 years of faithfulness (May 1-3, 2020).

[1] https://growinggodlygenerations.com/2019/03/03/cherish-work-ephesians-65-9/

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