Feb 5, 2023, Titus 2:6-8

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MEN OF GOD. Titus 2:6-8. 02/05/23. # 5.

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

1. Young men in a church = key role in spiritual vitality of the church

                a. Young men are the providers of their homes and the main supporters of the church

                                a1. Unlike calling on mature women to mentor young women, Paul speaks directly to the young men

                                a2. II Timothy 2:1-10 Timothy was instructed to teach faithful so they may mentor others

                b. Whereas the older men are leaders, the younger men are the central figures in doing the work of the church (evangelism, teaching, leading, administering, finances, etc.)

2. The qualities exhibited by godly young men

                a. Paul tells Titus to exhort (parakalei, to call out) young men (urge, admonish, beseech…) to exemplify Christ in their walk

                                a1. Believers need to be models of holiness and integrity

                                a2. Must be aware always of testimony

                b. The qualities of a young man are similar to those of leaders, older men, and women:

                                a1. Sober-minded (lit., “save the mind”) – reasonable, sound in judgment, sensible, and clear-minded (the quality of clear thinking and wisdom)

                                                b1. Many young men are foolish

                                                b2. It does not take advanced age to have common sense and restraint

                                a2. To be an example or pattern of good works (pattern, tupon, means to strike an impression or make an imprint) – to set an image as to what should be done (good works = wholesome acts)

                                a3. Teaching integrity (by example, acts, and words, being undefiled of mind, spirit, intent, attitude, that others might safely learn and follow your example) – integrity literally means uncorrupted

                                a4. Reverent – lit., dignified, serious, wholesome, honest, and decent

                                a5. Incorruptible – lit., without guile, deceit, or impurity (sincere)

                                a6. Sound speech which cannot be blamed – lit., healthy talk that cannot be criticized or spoken against (no one can lay a charge against you for gossip, wrath, slander, profanity…)

3. Integrity that stands examination

                a. Our purity should be such that no legitimate accusation can be made against us

                                a1. Jezebel paid lewd men to lie about Naboth to have him killed and land stolen

                                a2. Enemies used false testimony to charge Jesus with a crime

                                a3. Festus and Agrippa could find nothing wrong to indict Paul

                b. Our words, honesty, acts, motivations, andresponses in trials should be above reproach

                c. I Peter 4:12-19 no matter what trials or circumstances, the man of God is faithful and holy

                d. Leaders, men, and women are to be righteous

Key verse: 2 Timothy 2:1-10

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Jan 29, 2023. Titus 2:1-5

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THE MEN & WOMEN OF GOD. Titus 2:1-5. 01/29/2023. #4.

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

1. The preacher’s task

                a. Just like with Timothy, Titus is told to teach sound doctrine (lit., healthy teaching)

                b. 3 levels of sound doctrine: what is true about God, what to believe, and how to act

                c. Receiving good doctrine should produce both moral and worthy behavior

                d. Without application, teaching is a hollow academic exercise of little value (James 2)

2. The older men

                a. Older men = mature (not just elderly, but beyond youth and inexperience)

                b. Mature believers are to lead the way for younger ones, as examples, guides, and mentors

                c. 3 unbiblical patterns in the modern church:

                                a1. Emphasis on youth and new ideas

                                a2. Emphasis on classes, seminars, and celebrity Christians

                                a3. De-emphasis on experience and mentors

                d. The list of qualities for the mature men is daunting:

                                a1. Sober = temperate in all things (not only by not being drunk, but by vigilance and wisdom)

                                a2. Reverent = honorable, respectable (a believer should have a reputation for decency)

                                a3. Temperate = rational, sensible, reasonable

                                a4. Sound of faith = spiritually healthy belief and trust

                                a5. Love = self-sacrificing grace and charity

                                a6. Patience = “to remain under” (not quick to take offense or be frustration)

                e. These qualities are not just leadership traits, but for all believers

3. Godly women

                a. Addresses the older women (mature)

                b. The different traits for the women speak to the different types of temptations and challenges between the genders

                c. List of traits are similar to deacons in a sense:

                                a1. Reverent behavior = a holy demeanor or character (not profane or irreverent)

                                a2. Not slanderers = from diaboulus (diabolical; the “devil” comes from this word) = to malign, gossip, impugn (the temptation to gossip and ruin other people’s reputation is a function of sinful pride and jealousy)

                                a3. Not a drunkard

                                a4. Teachers of good things (there is a mentoring obligation of mature believers to teach younger ones in the faith)

                d. Notice the mentoring requirement of mature women to teach younger ones and for it to be heeded

                                a1. Teach to love their husbands (phileo – to have affection for husbands and not be bitter)

                                a2. To have affection for their children (not allow frustration to block fondness)

                e. Teach young women to be discreet (temperate, self-controlled), chaste (pure, sexually clean)

                f. To be keepers of the home = this does not mean that women cannot work outside the home, for the Proverbs 31 woman did so, but it means her main responsibility is running the household

                g. Goodness, and obedience to husband (submitting to his authority and leadership as unto Lord – Ephesians 5)

                h. Maintain a godly testimony and teach younger women to do the same (GAL. 5:16-26)

Key verse: Galatians 5:16-26

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Jan 22, 2023. Titus 1:15-16

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MANGLED MEN. Titus 1:15-16. 01/22/2023. #3.

15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

1. The pure and the impure

                a. Paul states a great principle that leads to understanding without total comprehension

                                a1. Believers see no reason why there are those who hate for the sake of hating, kill for the thrill of killing, or wrathful without cause

                                a2. There are people who are angry as a principle, bitter as a way of life, and mean for meanness sake

                b. Hatred, abuse, and callousness are conditions of a fallen world with no reason, objective, or explanation

                c. To the pure all things are pure

                                a1. “Pure” = our word catharsis (cleansing)

                                a2. To believers, everything has a righteous purpose and will bring God glory

                d. Even the wicked are storing up judgment for themselves through which God’s holiness is manifested

                e. Only the believer can wonder at God’s vast creation, marvel at his varied imagination, rejoice at his beneficent provisions, and awe at his grace to us

                f. What the believer finds marvelous, the unbeliever finds mundane and ordinary (ex., flight)

                g. To the defiled (stained, polluted, despoiled), every this is defiled (food, relationships, creation…)

                                a1. Nothing is sacred to the haters of God

                                a2. Atheists and hedonists mock the holy, defile the sacred, and hate the righteous

2. The fabric of folly

                a. Paul states that even the minds and consciences of unbelievers are defiled

                                a1. There is no logic in the hatred of God

                                a2. Hatred of the one who creates and saves men is self-destroying and irrational

                b. God gave men minds in which to reason

                                a1. There is no scenario whereby hating God is reasonable

                                a2. They train their minds to love evil (John 3:19) and hate that which is good (Jude)

                c. 4 conditions of conscience

                                a1. THE GOOD CONSCIENCE – knows what is right and wrong (1 Peter 3:15-21)

                                a2. THE SEARED CONSCIENCE – a conscience damaged by continual sin (II Samuel 12)

                                a3. THE DULL CONSCIENCE – a cons. that is no longer responsive to the warnings and promptings of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:18)

                                a4. THE EVIL CONSCIENCE – a cons. that is at ease in doing evil, but uneasy about doing what is right (Is. 5:20)

                d. The defiled conscience is an evil cons.

                e. Ironically, these profess to know God

                                a1. Radical Jews who claim to be close to God (as Paul did as a persecutor of church)

                                a2. Many cults, radical Muslims, radical Hindus, and others murder in the name of God

                f. The most dangerous men are radical religionists

3. Disallowed

                a. Paul describes the defiled unbeliever with 3 terms:

                                a1. Denies God (rejects God) – they invent idols of their own design (Romans 1:18-25)

                                a2. Abominable (detestable, disgraceful) –  do all manner of evil works

                                a3. Disobedient (refusing to submit) – they reject godly ways and refuse to obey God

                b. These are disqualified (disallowed)

                                a1. To invent a different God than the one of the Bible is not to worship God at all

                                a2. No one can enter heaven on his own terms

                c. The world is full of dishonorable rebels

Key verse: Romans 1:18-25

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Jan 15, 2023. Titus 1:10-14

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CONTENTIOUS WITNESS. Titus 1:10-14. 01/15/2023. #02.

10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

1. Battle for the Gospel

                a. What Paul says here seems to contrast with what he told Timothy about a gentle witness

                b. The gracious humble witness is the norm, but there are times that a stronger witness is necessary against evil men trying to destroy the Gospel witness

                c. 3 basic recipients of the Gospel witness:

                                a1. The SEEKER – one who is honestly open to truth and wants to know what is right

                                a2. The SKEPTIC – one who either has his own belief system and in not likely to change or is doubtful that anyone can know the truth with certainty

                                a3. The SCORNER – adamantly opposed to the Gospel (mocks, opposes, and attacks)

                d. Normally, one backs away from the scorner and moves on to others

                                a1. If the scorner seeks to destroy a witness then confrontation is often necessary

                                a2. The battle for the Gospel is often contentious against the destroyer

                e. To the SEEKER we CONVINCE; to the SKEPTIC we CALCULATE (using evidence); to the SCORNER we CONTEND

2. Battling radical Jews

                a. The main opposition were radical Jews

                                a1. Paul admonishes Titus to stand firm against the angst of these Jews

                                a2. A difficult assignment for a Gentile convert

                b. 3 typical types of antagonists:

                                a1. The RADICAL RELIGIOUSIST – promoting his religion by seeking to destroy all other viewpoints (may be a philosophy like humanism or hedonism being promoted)

                                a2. The PRIDEFUL EGOTIST – this is the know-it-all self-promoting man who thinks that is intellect and ideas are the sum of wisdom

                                a3. THE HATEFUL ATHEIST – a man full of evil, disdain, hatred, violence, and loathing of God

                c. Jesus battled the Pharisees (Matthew 23), who should have known better and Paul battled the High Priest, as well as cast out a pestering demon in Philippi

                d. Paul describes these Jews as insubordinate (refusing to submit to God, “refusing to be put under”), vain talkers (empty speakers, words without meaning), and deceivers (beguilers, liars, crafty frauds)

3. To bring to an end

                a. Paul states that these deceivers must be stopped (shut their mouths) – must be Spirit led to do this

                                a1. They subvert families, teaching lies and perversions to gain a following

                                a2. Their motivation =  gain $ from scamming

                b. Paul states that the Cretans were typically liars, evil, lazy, and gluttonous as one of their prophets said

                                a1. They were quick to believe Jewish fables and myths that leads away from the truth

                                a2. Today, the cults teach superstitions, fables and stories of fake miracles, legends, folklore, spirit world powers, and special charms

                c. All superstitious idolatry is evil and of the devil

                d. Titus is told to rebuke them sharply

                                a1. Ephesians 5:5-14 – there is a responsibility of believers to expose and oppose evil

                                a2. Battling evil is rescuing tricked victims

                e. A gentle witness is best, but contending for faith is at times necessary to save the weak (Ephesians 6)

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:5-14

5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

Jan 8, 2023. Titus 1:1-9

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GODLY ELDERS. Titus 1:1-9. 01/08/2023. #1.

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and [a]the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of [b]dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a [c]bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

1. Titus, faithful servant of the Lord

                a. Titus = not mentioned in Acts, but thirteen times in the New Testament

                b. Apparently, Titus worked with Paul in Ephesus

                c. A faithful worker and the example that Paul used of an uncircumcised Gentile Christian (Galatians 2)

                d. Titus was used on several missions: he went with Paul to Jerusalem for the Council (Galatians 2), to Corinth to correct error (I Corinthians 2), to Dalmatia (II Timothy 4:10) and to Crete

                e. “My son in the faith” probably refers to the fact that Paul had led Titus to faith in Antioch

                f. Paul had worked briefly with Titus in Crete and then left Titus there to organize the churches

2. Paul’s calling card

                a. Paul identifies himself with three terms:

                                a1. A bondservant (slave) of God => committed to obey God in all things

                                a2. An Apostle of Jesus Christ => one sent to share the Gospel of Christ, to draw all men to the Savior

                                a3. A preacher of the Word of God => committed to him for evangelism and discipleship

                b. Paul spends extra time to define his role

                                a1. His apostleship is according to faith in common with all the elect (chosen) of God

                                a2. For the purpose of godliness

                c. Faith has a purpose

                                a1. Hope of eternal life (reward of faith)

                                a2. Since God can’t lie, the hope is real

                                a3. Truth of election predates creation

3. Titus’s task

                a. Titus was to appoint elders to direct the churches

                                a1. Not an enviable task since the churches were knew and Cretans were often lazy

                                a2. The standard for eldership is very high

                b. An elder’s family must be in order

                                a1. Husband of one wife

                                                b1. Romans 7:1-4 married for life

                                                b2. Not “one wife at a time”

                                a2. Faithful children (believing children, following the Lord) – I Timothy 3:1-7

                c. An elder must be moral

                                a1. Blameless (lit., “not called against”) = someone unable to be accused of wrong doing or evil intent

                                a2. Not a drunkard or addicted to alcohol

                                a3. Not rebellious or insubordinate to God or legitimate authority

                                a4. A good steward (household manager) of God (doing all things for his glory and will)

                                a5. Not self-willed (prideful stubborn)

                                                b1. A prideful dominating man is not elder material

                                                b2. Not insisting on his own way

                                a6. Not quick-tempered (wrathful)

                                a7. Not a violent man (a brawler)

                                a8. Not greedy or covetousness

                                                b1. Not seeking ill-gotten gain

                                                b2. Not a lover of money

                d. An elder must be a good example: hospitable to all people, loving goodness, prudent (living wisely and properly), just (doing right), holy (set apart from sin and world unto God), holding onto Words of faith

                e. Task: to able to teach believers and defend the faith

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 3:1-71 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.