Titus 2 & 3: Life’s Instruction Manual
Today we’re going to study Titus, chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 1 told us how church leaders are supposed to behave, and so now chapters 2 and 3 tells us how all Christians should behave. You know, the Bible is sometimes referred to as ‘Life’s Instruction Manual’, and the book of Titus, in particular, lives up to that moniker; because it really does read like an instruction manual for Christian living. Now let’s start with chapter 2, verses 1-10…
“1 But speake thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, graue, temperate, sound in faith, in charitie, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise that they be in behauiour as becommeth holinesse, not false accusers, not giuen to much wine, teachers of good things,
4 That they may teach the young women to bee sober, to loue their husbands, to loue their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God bee not blasphemed.
6 Yong men likewise exhort, to bee sober minded.
7 In all things shewing thy selfe a patterne of good workes: in doctrine shewing vncorruptnesse, grauity, sinceritie,
8 Sound speech that cannot be condemned, that hee that is of the contrarie part, may bee ashamed, hauing no euill thing to say of you.
9 Exhort seruants to be obedient vnto their own masters, and to please them well in all things, not answering againe:
10 Not purloyning, but shewing all good fidelitie, that they may adorne the doctrine of God our Sauiour in all things.”
Take note that, in verse 1, Paul prefaces this passage on practical living by calling it, quote, “sound doctrine”; Paul says, “… speake thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, graue, temperate, “ etc. And so sound doctrine isn’t just about academia and theology; sound doctrine is also about practical living; if you’re living the right way, you’re exercising sound doctrine.
Also of note is the first category of people that Paul addresses: “the aged men.” Aged, or older, or elder men are spoken of first because aged men are supposed to take the positions of leadership within the Church. The elder men, in the church, are supposed to be like spiritual fathers to the younger believers. 1 Timothy 5, 1 thru 2 says, “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters …” So all of us, in the Church, are supposed to be like family; and the younger believers are supposed to respect and obey the elder believers, just like a younger person should respect and obey his own parents. In 1 Thessalonians 2:11, Paul said, “… wee exhorted and comforted, and charged euery one of you, (as a father doeth his children,).” So the older men of the church are supposed to exhort and comfort and charge the younger church members, like a father both exhorts and comforts his own children.
And understanding that it’s the elder men who are supposed to lead the church, gives us insight into Titus 1:5, where Paul told Titus to, “ordaine Elders in euery citie”; see, Paul was telling Titus to ordain men from among the elders, from among the natural church leaders; Paul was saying to choose some of the elder men, the ones that were doing a good job as leaders, and to ordain those elder men as the bishops.
When you do a KJV word study on the term, “elder,” you’ll see that it’s talking about older men. For example, Job 15:10 reads: “With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.” So, in that verse, the words “aged” and “elder” are used interchangeably; making it clear that the term “elder” means “aged.”
Now sometimes the word “elder” just means “older man,” or “aged,” like in Job 15:10; but sometimes the word “elder” means “an older man who’s also a leader.” In 1 Peter 5 you can see this dual meaning of the term “elder,” as it’s used there to refer to men who are both aged, and also church leaders. In 1 Peter 5:1 and 2 Peter says, “The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an Elder … Feede the flocke of God which is among you, taking the ouersight thereof …” So, there, Peter’s using the term “elder” to refer to church leaders. But then in the same passage, in verse 5, Peter says, “Likewise ye yonger, submit your selues vnto the elder …” So in verse 5 the term “elder” is just referring to older men, and the older men are contrasted with the younger… The term “elder” always refers to someone who is older, and then it sometimes also refers to older men who are leaders.
And it’s important to understand that the biblical term “elder” always means “older,” because some people deny it- some people deny that elder means older. The Mormons, for instance, will call teenage missionaries, “elders.” And so that’s a misuse of the word: an elder is an elder man, an older man, he can’t be a teenager… And, the thing is, even some Baptists will ordain a man who’s in his 20’s, or in his 30’s as the elder, or as an elder of the church. But that’s wrong: a young man can’t be an elder; a young man, by definition, can’t be an older man. It just doesn’t work that way. Young men are not supposed to be ordained as the official leader of a church; probably because they still have some growing up to do…
That false teacher that I mentioned in my previous sermon, the one who teaches a limited atonement, Steven Anderson, well he claimed to be the elder of his church when he was just 23 years old. And I think that’s a big reason why he fell into so much false doctrine: he was ordained way too young, he’s like unripe fruit. And that’s why we need to follow the biblical mandate and only choose elder men to be ordained as bishops.
Another thing that us Baptists will sometimes do, in order to justify ordaining young men as bishops, is we’ll try to spiritualize the meaning of the word “elder”; we’ll say that an “elder” is just someone who’s “been saved a long time”; and so, by that definition, a 20-year-old man could be an “elder” if he’s been saved since he was a child… But clearly that’s not an honest definition of the word “elder”- in fact, that’s using the word of God deceitfully.
In our small church, we’re blessed to have several elder, grey-haired men. And I think those of us who are my age, mid-forties, are probably at the beginning stages of being an elder man; I mean, we’re definitely not young men anymore. And so what the book of Titus has to say to elder men is very applicable to us; let’s look, again, at Titus 2:2…
And that verse says, “That the aged men be sober, graue, temperate, sound in faith, in charitie, in patience.” So we’re to be, first of all, sober. Sober primarily means sober-minded, which is how the term is used a few verses later, in Titus 2:6, where it says: “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” So “sober” means “sober-minded,” primarily; which means that we should see things the way they really are; we need to see things clearly, soberly… Romans 12:3 says that a believer should not think of himself, quote: “… more highly then hee ought to thinke, but to thinke soberly, according as God hath dealt to euery man the measure of faith”… Now the biblical term “sober,” of course, may include the modern sense of the word, which is: not being drunk; but, primarily, the biblical term “sober” means “sober-minded”; seeing things the way they really are.
And elder men are also supposed to be grave, according to Titus 2:2. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t ever tell a joke, or that we shouldn’t be joyful (the Bible commands all Christians to be joyful, right?); but, while being joyful, we should also be grave; we should be serious; life in the flesh is a serious business; there’s a lot at stake here: the souls of men are at stake all around us; and eternal rewards are at stake for us believers. This life of faith is a grave, serious business; we’re not here to just play around and have fun.
And elder men are also supposed to be temperate, according to Titus 2:2; that means under control, not giving one’s self over to worldly things; 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “And euery man that striueth for the masterie, is temperate in all things: Now they doe it to obtaine a corruptible crowne, but we an incorruptible.” The analogy there is that of a studious man who doesn’t give himself over to every desire, but is temperate and focuses his time and energy on getting his PhD, or whatever… And that’s how us elder Christians are supposed to behave: temperately; focusing our time and energy on the things of God, and not getting drawn away by the things of this world.
Us elder men are also supposed to be, “… sound in faith, in charitie, in patience.” And that’s part of being temperate: instead of giving ourselves over to worldly things, we should give ourselves over to faith, and give ourselves over to charity, which means brotherly love, and we should also be patient.
And all these characteristics that us elder men are supposed to have, are also given, elsewhere in the Bible, as characteristics that all believers of all ages should have. All believers are supposed to excel in being sober-minded, and excel in faith, and excel in brotherly love. We’re all supposed to be like that; but, especially, us elder men, because we’re supposed to lead the way for everyone else.
Next, Titus 2:3, tells us how elder women are supposed to behave; it says, quote: “The aged women likewise that they be in behauiour as becommeth holinesse, not false accusers, not giuen to much wine, teachers of good things.”
So the elder women, in the church, are supposed to be holy, they’re supposed to behave as becometh holiness; which means they’re not supposed to be false accusers, or given to much wine, but, rather, they should be teachers of good things.
The first example, that’s given here, of a holy woman is a woman who doesn’t falsely accuse people of stuff. So living holy means that you watch what you say; Jesus told us that we’ll be judged by our words, and that we’ll give an account for every idle word that we speak. So us believers, and the elder women, in particular, shouldn’t falsely accuse, which is what gossiping is basically about, right?
And it also says that elder women, like the rest of us, should not be given to much wine. If you’re drunk, you’re not being holy. Now when it says don’t be given to much wine, it’s understood that you can have some wine… you just can’t have too much of it; Ephesians 5:18 says that drunkenness is excess; so it’s a sin to have an excess of wine, but it’s not a sin to just have one glass, or whatever.
Another thing it says, indirectly, about elder women, is that they should be leaders in the church; leaders in the sense that it says aged women should be, quote: “teachers of good things”; and a teacher is a position of authority, it’s a position of leadership; but women are not supposed to teach men; Paul said, “… I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to vsurpe authoritie ouer the man …” (1 Tim 2:12). Women are, however, supposed to teach other women. Titus 2:3-5 says that women should be, quote: “…teachers of good things, that they may teach the young women to bee sober, to loue their husbands, to loue their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God bee not blasphemed.”
So older women are supposed to teach the younger women to be sober, and to love their husbands and children, and to be discreet and chaste.
Discretion and chastity, these are the things that make a young woman beautiful, in the eyes of the Lord. In the KJV, the word “discretion” is almost always used with the words “knowledge” or “wisdom”; so a young woman with discretion is a young woman who has and exercises biblical knowledge; and, again, that’s what makes a woman beautiful in the eyes of the Lord; and, conversely, a woman without biblical knowledge, without discretion is ugly on the inside, even if she happens to be beautiful on the outside; Proverbs 11:22 says: “As a iewell of golde in a swines snowt; so is a faire woman which is without discretion.”
Aside from being discreet, Titus says that young women should be chaste; being chaste carries the idea of spiritual and physical purity; Paul said to the Corinthians: “…I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2).
The book of Titus also says that young women should be keepers at home, and obedient to their own husbands. So, generally speaking, young women are supposed to get married. And they’re supposed to get married in the Lord; Paul, again, said to the Corinthians that a woman may marry “whom she will,” but “only in the Lord” (1 Cor 7:39). That means that a Christian women should only marry a man who’s a believer.
And, once married, she should be obedient to her own husband. You know, the world tries to portray marriage as a trap for young women; the world tries to portray marriage as stifling a young woman’s freedom. The Women’s Lib Movement says that women should be independent of men, and that they should pursue a career, either before marriage, or instead of marriage… But that’s the opposite of what the Bible teaches young women to do. The Bible says that young women should be keepers at home, and obedient to their own husbands. So you young women, and you girls who will one day become young women, don’t get enticed by this world; don’t get tricked into spending your youth pursuing a career. God commands you, and God designed you to be a wife and a mother.
You know, in 1 Timothy 2, that passage where it talks about how women are not supposed to teach men, it also says something very interesting there about motherhood. Look at 1 Timothy 2, starting at verse 12…
“12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to vsurpe authoritie ouer the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eue:
14 And Adam was not deceiued, but the woman being deceiued was in the transgression:
[and here’s the interesting part,] 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saued in child-bearing, if they continue in faith and charitie, and holinesse, with sobrietie.”
So that passage is saying that women are not to serve the Lord by teaching men, or by having authority over men, because women are more apt to being deceived than men are. But it says that women, quote: “shall be saved in child-bearing”; and that means that a woman’s mission in life is, quote, “saved” through child-bearing; she can’t serve the Lord by teaching men, but she can serve the Lord by teaching children, and by raising children to become men and women of God. So a woman’s purpose in life, her mission in life is saved, redeemed by raising a family, and by teaching her children to serve the Lord… You see, men are the leaders, but women raise the men that become the leaders. And so, in that sense, we’re all interdependent on one other; we all have our different, but equally important roles from God.
Next, Titus 2:6 thru 8 tells young men, in particular, how they are supposed to behave; and those verses read…
“6 Yong men likewise exhort, to bee sober minded.
7 In all things shewing thy selfe a patterne of good workes: in doctrine shewing vncorruptnesse, grauity, sinceritie,
8 Sound speech that cannot be condemned, that hee that is of the contrarie part, may bee ashamed, hauing no euill thing to say of you.”
Ok, so just like the elder men and women, the young men are supposed to be sober-minded; as we noted before, much of these instructions on how specific age groups are supposed to behave, actually apply to all believers of all ages. But young Christian men, in particular, are instructed to show themselves, quote: “a patterne of good workes.” Young men, you are supposed to funnel your vitality and funnel your youthful energy into doing good works. It’s like when Paul told Timothy to, quote: “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the beleeuers, in word, in conuersation, in charitie, in spirit, in faith, in puritie” (1 Tim 4:12).
So you young men need to decide how you’re going to spend your youth. The world will try to entice you with a lot of different things to waste your youth on. But, if you get tricked into spending your time, primarily, on pleasure and fun then, in the blink of an eye, your youth will be over, and you’ll have wasted it on worthless things.
In order for you to spend your youth pleasing God, and growing into a great man of God, you’ve got to make a conscious effort to go against the world, and to follow the Bible instead. The Bible says to redeem the time because the days are evil. That means that if you just go with the flow, you will end up wasting your youth; because this world is evil, the days are evil, the flow is evil; so, in order to serve God, you need to go against the flow.
An evangelist is the 3rd highest position in the church, according to Ephesians 4:11, a higher position than even pastors and teachers. And when Timothy was still just a young man, he actually made it to the position of evangelist. And one of the reasons Timothy could become an evangelist at a young age was because he studied the Bible when he was a child. Paul said to Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:14-15: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whome thou hast learned them. And that from a childe thou hast knowen the holy Scriptures …”
Young men… you two (point at them) young men; you have been blessed to grow up in a Christian home, with a father who’s a pastor. Use your resources wisely; spend your youth learning the Bible. When you leave this house to start your own family, you should know all 66 books of the Bible well. You shouldn’t start your deep, biblical studies when you start your family; you should start your studies now, so that you’ll be well-versed when it’s time for you take on the role of a father.
You can accomplish great things for God, and also earn more heavenly rewards, if you spend more of your youth studying the Bible, than you spend it on playing games… But, if you spend most of your youth just playing games, you will regret it when you become a man, you’ll regret it by the time you’re my age.
Back to Titus 2:7… where it also tells you young men to strive to have uncorrupt doctrine. Now there’s a lot of corrupt doctrine out there, even among us Independent Baptists; and, as the word “corrupt” implies, bad doctrine is a corrupter of your whole life; bad doctrine infects everything that you do; which is why Pastor Yaghtin and I are often refuting corrupt doctrines in our sermons. So you young men need to strive to have uncorrupt doctrine by studying the word of God diligently, which will enable you to identify false doctrine and reprove false teachers.
Now Titus 2:8 also tells young men to have, quote: “Sound speech that cannot be condemned, that hee that is of the contrarie part, may bee ashamed, hauing no euill thing to say of you.” So that verse tells us that the world will try to condemn you by what you say, the world will try to condemn your speech; so be careful of your words; the world will judge both you, and judge Christ by the words that you speak. One trap that young Baptist men sometimes fall into is trying to be too hard; there’s a false perception out there that Baptists are supposed to be mean, cold, yelling, condemning preachers. But that’s not true, and this false perception has led a lot of young Christian men astray; a lot of young Baptists are characterized by meanness, instead of being characterized by love, like we’re supposed to be. And, if you’re a mean and cold-hearted Christian, it gives occasion for the world to blaspheme the word of God… So don’t fall into that trap, young men. Don’t call unbelievers names; and don’t be disrespectful to other believers that have different doctrines than you; instead, be gentle unto all men, and be especially respectful to older men; as the Bible tells you to be.
Back to Titus 2; in verses 9 and 10 it tells servants, or, in our culture, employees how to behave; it says, quote: “Exhort seruants to be obedient vnto their own masters, and to please them well in all things, not answering againe: not purloyning, but shewing all good fidelitie, that they may adorne the doctrine of God our Sauiour in all things.” So servants, or employees are to serve their bosses as if they were serving Christ. This is a simple concept, although, granted, it’s not always an easy concept to obey. Still, Ephesians 6:5 says, “Seruants, bee obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with feare and trembling, in singlenesse of your heart, as vnto Christ.”
Of course, doing your job unto the Lord would mean that you don’t talk back to your boss, and that you don’t steal from your boss, or from your company; and that’s what Titus 2:9 means when it says, “not answering againe”; that means don’t talk back to your boss; and when 2:10 says “not purloyning,” it means don’t steal; that’s the only time the word, “purloyn” is found in the Bible, I had to look up the etymology of the word to find out that it meant ”stealing,” but that definition makes sense in context; “not purloyning, but shewing all good fidelitie”; so Christian employees shouldn’t steal, but rather show all good fidelity, that is, show yourself faithful to your boss, because you represent Christ.
And there’s a very important concept in the last part of Titus 2:10, where it says that servants shouldn’t steal in order that, quote: “they may adorne the doctrine of God our Sauiour in all things.” Like we discussed earlier, as Christians, our works, whether they be good or bad, determine how the world sees Christ, and how the world sees the gospel. As Titus 2:10 puts it: our works, quote: “adorne the doctrine of God.”
And the importance of doing good works has been, sadly, de-emphasized in the Church today. This de-emphasis of good works, among us Christians, is, I believe, a reaction to the cults, like Catholicism and Mormonism, who teach a false, works-based gospel. And, unfortunately, even some Protestants and Baptists teach a false, works-based gospel. And so, in reaction to all this false teaching, teaching that tries to say works salvific, in reaction to this, there’s been an unfortunate de-emphasis on the importance of doing good works among us believers. I mean, of course we don’t have to do good works to get saved, or to stay saved, or anything like that. But there are still many reasons why we should do good works.
When you examine Paul’s writings, you see that he often follows up his faith-alone gospel presentation, with an immediate statement on how important it is to do good works. So he preaches that salvation is not by works, but that it’s, nevertheless, important to do good works. For example, in Ephesians 2, verses 8 through 10, Paul gives perhaps his strongest statement on how salvation’s by faith, and not by works; but then Paul immediately follows up that statement by saying that we are saved for the purpose of doing good works…
Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: “For by grace are ye saued, through faith, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God: not of workes, lest any man should boast. [And here’s that follow-up statement:] For wee are his workemanship, created in Christ Iesus vnto good workes, which God hath before ordeined, that we should walke in them”; so, again, Paul says that we’re not saved by works, but then he says, immediately afterwards, that we’re saved unto good works; meaning, we’re saved in order to do good works.
And you can see this same pattern of ideas here in the book Titus. In Titus 3, verse 5, Paul says that we’re not saved by works; he says, quote: “Not by workes of righteousnesse which wee haue done, but according to his mercy he saued vs …” But then, in verse 8, Paul talks about the importance of doing good works; verse 8 reads: “This is a faithfull saying, and these things I will that thou affirme constantly, that they which haue beleeued in God, might be carefull to maintaine good works …”; so, again, Paul says that salvation is not by works, but then he follows that up by emphasizing the importance of doing good works.
And admonishing Christians to do good works is one of the themes of the book of Titus, especially here in the latter half of the book. Consider all the following statements about the importance of works, from the book of Titus… Chapter 2, verse 7 says: “In all things shewing thy selfe a patterne of good workes”; and chapter 2, verse 14 says that Christ might, quote: “purifie vnto himselfe a peculiar people, zealous of good workes”; and chapter 3, verse 1 says: “… be ready to euery good worke”; and, again, chapter 3, verse 8 says: “… they which haue beleeued in God, might be carefull to maintaine good works …”; and chapter 3, verse 14 says: “And let ours also learne to maintaine good workes …” So Paul was hammering home the idea of, and the importance of us Christians doing good works.
And why are good works so important? Well, as Titus 3:8 says“… be carefull to maintaine good works: these things are good and profitable vnto men”; so doing good works is good and profitable unto men. In other words, as we talked about earlier, it’s by doing good works that we’re able to show other people our faith; are good works are good and profitable to other people. Because, think about it: without good works, how is anyone going to really know that we’re Christians? How can we evangelize the world if we don’t have good works to back up our gospel presentation?
So the book of Titus is full of commands, exhorting us to do good works. And, also, the book of Titus tells us how to find the motivation to do the good works that we’re supposed to do; look at Titus 2, verses 11 to 13…
“11 For the grace of God that bringeth saluatiō, hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching vs that denying vngodlinesse and worldly lusts we should liue soberly, righteously and godly in this present world,”
So stop there a sec; ok, verse 11 talks about how Jesus appeared, the first time, to bring us salvation; and then verse 12 says that, when Jesus appeared, that first time, he also taught us to live godly, or, in other words, he taught us to do good works… And then, next, it’s verse 13 that gives us the motivation for doing good works; and verse 13 reads:
13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sauiour Iesus Christ,”
So it’s the Blessed Hope of the Second Coming of Christ that’s supposed to motivate us to do good works; it says we’re to liue soberly, righteously and godly looking for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing, or reappearing of Christ… So we get motivated to do good works when we’re looking forward to the return of Christ; we get motivated to do good works when we focus on the return of Christ.
Remember, we saw this same concept at the beginning of the book of Titus, in chapter 1, verses 1 and 2, where Paul said: “… the acknowledging of the trueth which is after godlinesse, in hope of eternall life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” So there, too, Paul called living godly, or doing good works, the, quote: “hope of eternal life”; so it’s that hope of eternal life, the hope of Jesus fulfilling his promise of redeeming our bodies, that motivates us to live godly now, and to do good works, for Jesus, now.
See, what we hope in, for the future, ends up shaping the way that we live now, in the present; what we’re hoping in, for the future, determines our actions now. If we’re always thinking about and hoping for rewards in this life only, then that’s going to influence our actions; and everything that we do will be about getting rewards for this life… But, if we take our hope out of this life, and, instead, focus on our future life with Jesus, and put our hope in that time, and on earning eternal rewards for heaven; then our actions will become more and more about preparing for the future- for that day when we meet Jesus face to face… I mean, think about it: which is more valuable? temporary rewards, or eternal rewards? Eternal rewards are way more valuable, right?
Jesus said, “Lay not vp for your selues treasures vpon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where theeues breake thorow, and steale. But lay vp for your selues treasures in heauen, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, & where theeues doe not breake thorow, nor steale. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:19-21).
Jesus was teaching the hope principle there; he was saying that if our hope is in this life, then our heart will be in this life, and we’ll work for temporal treasures. But, if our hope is in the next life, in heaven, then our heart will also be in heaven, and we’ll work to store up treasures for that future in heaven.
And so, Christian, if you’re having trouble doing the good works that you know you’re supposed to do, start focusing more on Jesus’ return. Put your hope on that day, the day when he promises to reward you for all the good works that you do for him now.
Alright, next, look at Titus, chapter 3, starting at verse 1…
“1 Put them in minde to bee subiect to Principalities & Powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to euery good worke,
2 To speake euill of no man, to bee no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekenesse vnto all men.”
So these verses are continuing the thought at the end of chapter 2, about how we should be doing good works; and here we see that good works are defined as speaking evil of no man, and as being gentle and meek towards all men. So, in other words, doing good works can be defined as loving your neighbor; doing good works is simply being good to others, being kind to them; good works can be defined as loving your neighbor with your actions.
And the opposite of doing good works is hating people with your actions. Titus 3:2’s example of bad works is speaking evil of people, and/or brawling with them.
And Paul gives more examples of bad works in verse 3, where he says: “For we our selues also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceiued, seruing diuers lusts and pleasures, liuing in malice and enuy, hatefull, and hating one another.” So doing bad works is living in malice and envy, and being hateful and hating one another… If good works can be summed up as loving people, then bad works can be summed up as hating people… And we all used to be that way, you and I used to be that way, before we got saved; we used to hate one another; but now, as Christians, we’ve got to stop that; as Christians, we’ve got to love one another; and we’ve got to be kind and gentle to all people. That’s how Jesus taught us to live.
And Jesus not only taught us, with his words, to be kind and loving, but he also showed us, with his actions, how to be kind and loving; after Titus 3:3 says that we used to be hateful towards one other, Titus 3:4 says, quote: “But after that the kindnesse and loue of God our Sauiour toward man appeared”; so that’s saying that we used to be full of hate, but then Jesus appeared, and gave himself for our sins; and Titus 3:4 refers to Jesus dying for our sins as, quote: “the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man”… so that act of God coming to earth, as a man, and sacrificing himself to save us- that act defined love; and that act also defined how we’re now supposed to live, as Christians: we’re supposed to live with Jesus’ same, self-sacrificial love for others.
And isn’t it cool how Paul calls Jesus’ death and resurrection, the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man? That’s such a cool way to put it… What’s the perfect picture of the kindness and love of God?… It’s Jesus on the Cross. It’s sacrificing yourself for others.
And so, when it comes down to it, everything that was written in this epistle was Paul telling Titus what Titus should teach other people. And now, starting at chapter 3, verse 9, Paul gives Titus some final thoughts in regards to being a teacher. Paul says, quote:
“9 But auoyd foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striuings about the lawe; for they are vnprofitable and vaine.
10 A man that is an heretike, after the first and second admonition, reiect:
11 Knowing that hee that is such, is subuerted, and sinneth, being condemned of himselfe.”
So, when you’re trying to teach biblical truths to people, keep it practical, keep it real; and don’t start debating with them about foolish questions, or about following the law; you see, some people are just unteachable, and instead of listening to you, they’re going to try and lead you down some rabbit trail; they’ll strive against you and debate with you over things that just aren’t profitable to anyone.
So Paul warns us not to get ‘rabbit-trailed’ by unrepentant heretics. Paul said that if someone is a heretic, we should admonish them once or twice, but then, if they’re still won’t listen, we’ve gotta just let them go- we’ve gotta reject them; a man that is an heretike, after the first and second admonition, reiect… Some people just don’t want to know the truth, and so, when we run in to such people, we should admonish them, and then move on.
I met this Christian brother once who was telling me about his neighbor, who’s a Mormon; and this Christian brother told me that he’d been working on his Mormon neighbor for over 40 years, sharing the gospel with him repeatedly and trying to get him saved. And this brother told me that even though his neighbor had rejected the gospel for 40 years, he hadn’t given up on his neighbor yet; the brother said that he’d continue preaching to him… And, Ok yeah, this brother’s heart was in the right place: he wanted his neighbor to get saved; but here’s the thing: the Bible says there’s a time when we have to say, enough is enough. See, we have a limited amount of time, we have limited amount of resources, and we need to use our time and our resources wisely; and so one or two admonitions, per heretic, is enough. Make them clear admonitions. Make them detailed admonitions. But don’t give 40 years of your precious time preaching to the same heretic, who continually rejects the gospel. Spread your preaching around a bit. Take some risks and try to reach some new people.
Alright, so the book of Titus was all about doing good works, and teaching others to do good works. And I think the second to last verse, chapter 3, verse 14, sums up the epistle well, when it says: “And let ours also learne to maintaine good workes for necessarie vses, that they be not vnfruitfull.” Here we see the analogy of a tree and it’s fruit. We are the tree, and our works are our fruit. If we get caught up in the cares of this world, we’re going to be a fruitless tree; and a fruit tree, without fruit, is pretty much worthless… But, if we heed the lessons of this book, then we will bear fruit, we’ll have good works, and we’ll be used by God to help build his Church… Let’s pray…