Titus 2 (ESV)
Teach Sound Doctrine
Many churches today focus more on the form of their worship—music styles, lighting, and building designs—than they do on the content of the faith they mean to proclaim. And while the form of a church’s worship is vital to reaching its community for Christ, without a firm base of sound doctrine, the church will lay its foundation in shifting and sinking sand. Make doctrine a priority in your own life, as well as encouraging it in your churches. Nothing is more significant than a solid foundation in Christ. Nothing is more motivational than grace to live a life of good deeds.
I like how the New Living Translation puts it: promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Of course it is necessary and vitally important that we have correct biblical beliefs. But the other side of that coin is that our behavior properly displays those beliefs. Our actions are to reflect the light of Christ. So the question: What needs to be changed in my life, so I practice what I preach?
The older women must teach and train the younger. Sometimes it would seem that the only gift experience gives to some is that of pouring cold water on the plans and dreams of others. It is a Christian duty ever to use experience to guide and encourage, and not to daunt and discourage.
6Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering,
Guzik says: Pilfering. This type of offense was so common in the ancient world that sometimes the words servant and thief were used interchangeably. It was assumed that servants would steal from their masters in these small ways.
but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
There are few passages in the New Testament which so vividly set out the moral power of the Incarnation as this does. Its whole stress is the miracle of moral change which Jesus Christ can work.
This miracle is repeatedly here expressed in the most interesting and significant way. Isaiah once exhorted his people: ‘Cease to do evil; learn to do good’ (Isaiah 1:16, 17). First, there is the negative side of goodness, the giving up of that which is evil and the liberation from that which is low; second, there is its positive side, the acquisition of the shining virtues which mark the Christian life.
First, there is the renunciation of all godlessness and worldly desires. What did Paul mean by worldly desires? Chrysostom said that worldly things are things which do not pass over with us into heaven but are dissolved together with this present world. A man is very short-sighted if he sets all his heart and expends all his labour on things which he must leave behind when he quits this world. But an even simpler interpretation of worldly desires is that they are for things we could not show to God. It is only Christ who can make not only our outward life but also our inward heart fit for God to see.
That was the negative side of the moral power of the Incarnation; now comes the positive side. Jesus Christ makes us able to live with the prudence which has everything under perfect control, and which allows no passion or desire more than its proper place; with the justice which enables us to give both to God and to men that which is their due; with the reverence which makes us live in the awareness that this world is nothing other than the temple of God.
The dynamic of this new life is the expectation of the coming of Jesus Christ. When a royal visit is expected, everything is cleansed and decorated, and made fit for the royal eye to see. The Christian is the man who is always prepared for the coming of the King of kings.
15Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
HERE is “O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High.” It is an old hymn, from the Latin, 15th century. The text has a wide scope, taking in all of Jesus’ incarnate life: his birth (st. 1); identification with human affairs (st. 2); daily ministry (st. 3); crucifixion (st. 4); resurrection, ascension, and gift of the Spirit (st. 5); the final stanza is a doxology (st. 6). Thus the text summarizes Christ’s life in the same manner as the Apostles’ Creed. A striking feature is the text’s emphasis on the fact that Jesus accomplished all of this “for us”; “for us” occurs at least a dozen times! The redemptive work of Christ is very personally, very corporately applied.
1 O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
beyond all thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake!
2 For us baptized, for us he bore
his holy fast and hungered sore;
for us temptation sharp he knew,
for us the tempter overthrew.
3 For us he prayed; for us he taught;
for us his daily works he wrought:
by words and signs and actions thus
still seeking not himself, but us.
4 For us to evil power betrayed,
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
he bore the shameful cross and death;
for us gave up his dying breath.
5 For us he rose from death again;
for us he went on high to reign;
for us he sent his Spirit here
to guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.
6 All glory to our Lord and God
for love so deep, so high, so broad —
the Trinity, whom we adore
forever and forevermore.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.