Titus 2: The Contrast of Self Over Divine Order

Titus 2:1-15   

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.  2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,  5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.  7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness  8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.  9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,  10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.  11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  13 while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,  14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. 

The Apostle Paul tells us that self-gain is the goal of many people. We need to recognize that this goal is for those who do not know God and those that claim to know God. He especially points out those in the Church who demand works for membership when Jesus said “deny yourself and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus does not say to follow Him to build up ourselves. 

Titus 2:10 explains why each of the groups he identifies (men, women, children, husbands, wives, slaves) must focus on denying self as a basic premise of the Gospel. Titus 2:10 shares with us that holy behavior reveals the beauty of the teaching of Christ. We must also see that our behavior speaks to what or who we worship. By our actions do we worship self? By our actions do we worship God? There is no middle ground really.

Titus 2:11 shares with us, like a slap in the face, that grace trains us. Grace teaches us NOT to sin. Most of us have the idea that grace affords us TO sin. It is worthy of highlighting here in the letter to Titus that grace says NO TO SIN. This fits with the understanding that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ frees us from slavery to sin and does not enable us to sin.

Therefore, we must embrace grace in a corrective manner. When we don’t embrace Grace in a corrective manner, we place ourselves in unhealthy relational patterns that will have a callousing effect on our heart. The most unhealthy our heart can get is hardened not to seek God.

Though our roles differ in our lives as does our gender or our relationships, our behavior generally should match the faith we profess and we should be a people of good works. We do good to follow the Redeemer. In following the Redeemer, we participate in revealing the Redeemer. In revealing the Redeemer, we draw others to Christ’s Nature as His representative.

It all starts by seeking to partake in Christ nature by denying self rather than promoting self.

BMD

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