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In this message, we will only focus on the one group: the older men, but each group has their own sphere of life in which they are involved. Each has their own temptations and challenges. Paul’s exhortations will help each group focus on how to do well despite these challenges. Let’s now look at the first of these groups: the older men.
Paul’s emphasis in 2:1 is the same as before. When he tells Titus to ‘speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine,’ we might think he is talking about those doctrines of ‘what we believe.’ He is but in a different way as has already been explained. Paul is speaking of those things which affect our lives. Believing the truth will build moral character in a person. There is no way to think that the truth will cause one not to believe.
This includes those who profess to know the truth but don’t live by it. They really don’t believe it.
If you wonder how this applies to all those here that are not older men, say over thirty, think like this. If you are married to a man, pray that this man would be like this. If you are a young woman looking forward to marrying, start shaping your expectations after this list. Cross off the rich, handsome and good family name and add on the qualifications mentioned here. They are important.
On the other hand, if you are a younger man, a boy, start dreaming of how you can be a godly man full of good deeds. You do not want to be, as it says in 1:16, worthless for any good deed. Of course, if you are not a very young man any more, you might get a bit honest and see yourself in this category. God has a personal message for you.
So let us sit back and think a bit, “What kind of men should our church be filled with?”
Great men are found few are far. We would think that those who are dressed with ties are those great men, but this is far from the truth. Great men, those that are shaped by the Gospel truths, are those that live for principles beyond themselves. This is the problem of those that were mentioned in the previous section. If what you believe does not shape what you believe, then you should consider yourself as a nonbeliever.
If you have a secret life, consider your soul reserved for hell.
s the problem of our generation as, “We’ve forgotten how to act like grownups. Read this quote,
We turned blue jeans and T-shirts into the generational uniform. We stopped remembering the names of world political leaders and started remembering the names of movie stars' ex-boyfriends. We stopped participating in fraternal service organizations and started playing video games. We Boomers identified so strongly with being 'the younger generation' that now, paunchy and gray, we're bewildered. We have no idea how to be the older generation. We'll just have to go on being a cranky, creaky appendix to the younger one. (First Things 8-9/2005).
I always find it thoroughly amusing when I see my little children dressed up in adult clothes. That is something to laugh at. But when we say that we are followers of Christ but the clothes, the lives we wear, do not match, is there not something fundamentally wrong with our claim to know Christ?
Without purpose in life, there is no direction. People no longer find fulfillment by being who they should be, for they do not know who they are, but by living for the moment. Instead of asking, “What has God called me to do this day?” They ask themselves, “What do I feel like doing?”
We don’t really know these teachers that we hear. We can’t see their lives. Their broadcast studio is far away. Now we have examined, the standards of an elder in chapter 1. But we noted, that though the elders must live according to this standard, everyone is responsible to live out these lives. We see this expanded here in chapter 2. Paul will discuss instructions for four groups of people: older men, older women, young women, young men and then slaves. Today, we will focus on the first category, the one for elderly men.
Christ preached the kingdom of God. He clearly spoke about how our lives need to be shaped by who God was and what He wanted. Otherwise, your faith is useless. You might adhere intellectually to this and that doctrine, but it does not impact your life. For example, a man might call himself a Christian, but if he is not faithful to his wife, then Christ calls him an adulterer. And we know adulterers will not enter the kingdom of heaven. In the end, if we find the fruit of our lives does not match with the glorious gospel of Christ, then we should repent from our wicked ways.
Do you remember Christ’s purpose of saving? Paul sums it up in Titus 2:11-14,
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).
There are two purposes as said in verse 14: (1) Redemption from every lawless deed and (2) Purifying for Himself a people for His own possession. Many of talk about getting forgiveness of sins. That is the first point. But we need also to speak of the later, the purifying of our lives.So let us now turn to think about these men. Next =>
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988