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Teach Sound Doctrine

Teach Sound Doctrine – Titus 2:1-15

the wayWelcome to Church everyone as we continue our three week series through Paul’s Epistle to Titus. Today we are focusing on chapter two which speaks about how we as Christians are to behave in accordance with our belief in Christ.

Paul mentions six categories of people according to age, gender and occupation. He encourages the older men to be dignified and mature, the older women to be reverent and teachers of the young, the younger women to seek to be good wives and mothers, the young men to exercise self-control, for Titus to be a good teacher and model of the Christian faith, for slaves to be conscientious and honest and for all to renounce evil and to live godly, upright and disciplined lives in this present age.

Now whilst at least some of these instructions may sound a bit archaic to our modern ears (e.g. to slaves), Paul was encouraging the Churches throughout Crete, with Titus as their minister, to be both culturally sensitive when necessary, so as not to give an impression to the surrounding society that would inhibit the spread of the gospel, and yet, countercultural when the sway of that society was contrary to the Faith.

Even though we live in a different culture than that of ancient Crete, we also should be conscious of living out our faith in ways which are culturally sensitive when required and countercultural when necessary, as we too wrestle with the tension of living between the times of Christ’s first and Second coming, the cross and the consummation, the whole ‘now and the not yet’ of the Kingdom of God dynamic, as the passage points out.

We are not to separate ourselves entirely from the world around us as a kind of impenetrable holy huddle, to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, for we are to be in the world but not of it, indeed, we are to be the salt of the earth. Yet we are to make sure that we are not so influenced by the world that the Faith becomes diluted, causing the essence of the Gospel to be obscured.

What this passage is saying is that how we live our lives as Christians in the here and the now matters. So, as Paul encouraged the Christians in Crete to do, may we live out our faith, ‘so that in every way, we will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive’ (v. 10 NIV), to those who do not yet know Him.

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Titus 2

2But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine.2Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.

3 Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behaviour, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good,4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,5to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.7Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity,8and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.

9 Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to answer back,10not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Saviour.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,*12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly,13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour,* Jesus Christ.14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

15 Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority.* Let no one look down on you.