Summary: Having warned of false teaching, Paul revealed the great benefit and result of sound, biblical teaching - it would serve to build and sustain Christian character within the body of Christ.

The Behavior of Believers

Titus 2: 1-10

Following Paul’s instruction for Titus in regard to dealing with false teachers, he offered a strong admonition to remain faithful to sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 – But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine. Such faithfulness to sound doctrine would have a two-fold benefit: 1) It would reveal truth in the face of false teaching, helping to keep false teachers subdued. 2) It would enlighten and equip believers to remain faithful to the Lord and committed to truth. We cannot minimize the need for sound, biblical teaching in the home and the church. Many of the problems we face in our day have resulted from a lack of biblical instruction.

Through sound, biblical teaching, Titus would provide instruction for those within the church about upright, godly living. His teaching would shape their behavior and enhance their influence within the communities they served. As believers grew and matured in the faith, they too would serve to disciple and influence younger believers in the faith. Paul provided a list of desirable characteristics for those within the church. As we discuss these characteristics and their continued relevance, I want to consider: The Behavior of Believers.

I. The Senior Men (2) – That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. Paul urged Titus to teach sound doctrine in order to produce these characteristics within the aged, senior men among the church. They needed to be:

Sober – temperate and moderate. It is the opposite of over-indulgence in anything such as eating, drinking, recreation, or whatever.

Grave – serious, honorable, worthy, reverent, noble. It has to do with seriousness of purpose and life. It is the opposite of being flippant and shallow, non-purposeful and uncommitted. Elderly men are to be men of such strong purpose and behavior that they inspire reverence and awe.

Temperate – sober-minded, self-controlled, disciplined, able to curb desires and emotions. Elderly men are to have minds that are sound, sensible, and chaste—minds that have complete control over all sensual desires. (i)

Sound in Faith – The senior men were to be strong and healthy in the faith and in the Word of God. Their lives were to be shaped by their faith in Christ and the Word.

Sound in Love – Like their strength in faith, they were expected to be strong in love for the Lord, the church, and the unsaved. We need men strong in love today!

Sound in Patience – Finally they were to be strong in patience. This reveals the need for committed endurance, not easily abandoning the work of ministry. In the face of disappointment and perceived failure, they were expected to press on in the faith. Their commitment to the Lord was to be driven by their love and devotion to Him rather than outside circumstances.

II. The Senior Women (3) – The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things. Along with the senior men, Paul also desired the senior ladies to possess specific characteristics that revealed their relationship with Christ and commitment to Him. Sound teaching would promote these characteristics as well. Paul desired them to possess:

Behavior consistent with Holiness – reverent, devout, different and set apart in purity of behavior and thought. They were to live and move about in a spirit of holiness and be focused upon sacred things.

Not False Teachers – They were not to be slanderers, talebearers, gossipers, a person who goes about talking about others, stirring up mischief and disturbance.

Not given to much Wine – not be a drunkard; not sit around drinking all the time.

Teachers of good Things – this refers to ministry in the home. Elderly women are to live such godly lives that they teach by their very example and testimony within the home. (ii) Paul will reveal the great need for this characteristic in regard to their responsibility of teaching the younger women as well. This is much needed in our day. The aged, wise, senior saints need to take the time to invest in the lives of young, immature believers; and the young believers would be wise to receive all the godly counsel and wisdom they can.

III. The Young Women (4-5) – Through the counsel and discipleship of senior women, the young women are able to possess and portray these needed characteristics. They are to be:

Sober – temperate and moderate. It is the opposite of over-indulgence in anything such as eating, drinking, recreation, or whatever.

Loving to their Husbands – (phileo) actually stresses affection, care, tenderness, warmth, and feelings. The young wife is to have affection for her husband.

Loving to their Children – Like her husband, she is to love and care for the children God has blessed her with.

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