Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      Titus - Chapter 02 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Titus, you must teach only what is correct.
    2. Tell the older men to have self-control and to be serious and sensible. Their faith, love, and patience must never fail.
    3. Tell the older women to behave as those who love the Lord should. They must not gossip about others or be slaves of wine. They must teach what is proper,
    4. so the younger women will be loving wives and mothers.
    5. Each of the younger women must be sensible and kind, as well as a good homemaker, who puts her own husband first. Then no one can say insulting things about God's message.
    6. Tell the young men to have self-control in everything.
    7. Always set a good example for others. Be sincere and serious when you teach.
    8. Use clean language that no one can criticize. Do this, and your enemies will be too ashamed to say anything against you.
    9. Tell slaves always to please their owners by obeying them in everything. Slaves must not talk back to their owners
    10. or steal from them. They must be completely honest and trustworthy. Then everyone will show great respect for what is taught about God our Savior.
    11. God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people.
    12. He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world.
    13. We are filled with hope, as we wait for the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
    14. He gave himself to rescue us from everything that is evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.
    15. Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people. Make sure you earn everyone's respect.

Titus - Chapter 02

Entered: December 27, 2005
In chapter 2 Paul gives Titus instruction for teaching the congregation. It begins with Titus speaking "what is consistent with sound teaching." From there, the instructions address the older men and women and the younger women and men. The older men are to be self-controlled, the older women reverent, the younger women are to love their husbands and children, and the younger men are to be sensible. Next he says the slaves are to be submissive, which is the usual message he has for this group. The chapter concludes with more words for Titus. He is to lead with all authority, allowing no one to disregard him. This last instruction to "let no one disregard you" means literally to ?let no man think around you." Robertson (Robertson's Word Pictures) says "The best way for the modern minister to command respect for his ?authority? is to do thinking that will deserve it." A leader is not expected to get it right all the time, but he must avoid 'sloppy' thinking. Maybe I should say 'lazy' thinking. He needs to be a thoughtful person, not continually 'shooting from the hip' which will lead to people disregarding him.

Entered: January 27, 2012

Paul's concern in this section is behavior that is consistent with sound teaching and the gospel of God's grace. God's grace, which is made available through Jesus Christ, gives us not only hope in "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," (2:13) but has "redeem(ed) us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works." (2:14) Paul felt strongly enough about this concern that he instructed Titus to "encourage and rebuke with all authority," regarding these things, and to "Let no one disregard you." (2:15) This is sound teaching about which Titus should not be timid.

The teaching Paul instructed Titus to give the Christians in Crete was targeted to five groups: older men, older women, young women, young men, and slaves. This grouping does not suggest that different teaching applies to different Christians, but that different parts of the body of teaching need to be emphasized to these various groups due to the specific issues they face. So, older men are to "be self-controlled, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance." (2:2) Older women are to "be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine." They are also to teach the young women "to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, and submissive to their husbands." (2:3-5) Young men are simply to "be sensible about everything." (2:7) Slaves "are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back or stealing, but demonstrating utter faithfulness." (2:9-10) Besides behavior that is in the Christian's best interest, this is behavior that will not slander God's message but will "adorn" it.

Paul also had specific instructions for Titus concerning his conduct: "Set an example of good works yourself, with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us." (2:7-8) All is aimed toward a lifestyle that enriches the life of the Christian while avoiding any hindrance to other's acceptance of the gospel.