Titus 2:2-10, “2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. 9 Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.”
Here we see different relational groups; older and younger men, older and younger women, and bondslaves, which would be equivalent, not of American Slavery, but of our career.
Lets talk about the vision for older men, because verse 2 is casting a vision for older men to live such beautiful, godly, consistent lives that younger men are thinking, “I want to be like that one day.”
Lets talk about older women, because verse 3 is casting a vision for older women to live such beautiful, godly, consistent lives that their lives are catalytic to younger women, and again that can start at any age.
In verse 3 we see God’s Word calling older women to gracious toward others, and not give themselves over to gossip and drunkenness.
If you want a quick tip on how to repel friends then give your life over to a critical spirit, drunkenness and gossip, and watch how fast people flee from your presence.
The vision for younger women might make us a little uncomfortable in verse 5, “Younger women are to love their husband, love their children, workers at home, being subject to their own husbands”, and it can make us feel a little uncomfortable in 2020 context of feminism, but stay with me.
- First, the economic center in the first century would have been the home, so the phrase “workers at home” doesn’t mean cook, clean, and make babies. Proverbs 31 describes a godly woman as realtor, “buying fields and planting vineyards” but in our culture today the pursuit of a career has been elevated to such great heights that loving your husband, children, and your home is almost looked down on like a stumbling block to be avoided. That’s wrong. God’s Word says, “Yes, make money, but loving your husband is godly, raising children is noble, inviting people into your home is beautiful” and the idea of submission isn’t about inequality, but unity.
- Second, it is in the Trinity that we see Jesus submit to the Father, but not because of inequality, but unity. In a farming community you would absolutely want to see the family working in unity, going in the same direction, and were not agricultural today, but you still want to see husbands and wives moving as one unit.
Lets talk about the bondservant, because of course American slavery and racism of any kind is wrong, but verses 9-10 is casting a vision for us to work in such a way that we build up beautiful and godly relationships even in the workplace.
Of course, we aren’t trying to pilfer from our employer, which means to steal, we aren’t trying to cut corners, we aren’t trying to argue with our boss to prove them wrong, but instead we work as though unto the Lord, so that when we walk through the door people say, “Thank God they showed up today!”
Titus 2:11-15, “11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
Who’s appeared? The grace of God. His name is Jesus!
Now, some of us hear the word grace and we think grace means, “I get to punch people in the face and God forgives me” but look at how grace is described in verse 12.
The grace of God has appeared, Jesus, to instruct us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, which means God’s grace empowers us and enables us to build up those relationships around us and live out a life that rightly reflects our faith in Jesus, and it isn’t something that happens one day, but Jesus brings power into our lives the moment we meet Him.
Did you see that at the end of verse 12? When do we live out these godly lives? Is it when we get to heaven? Is it when we die? Is it when we turn 13, or 16 or 21 or 30? No, we are instructed to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age! This is the comfort of His grace!
This is the gospel! Jesus lived out a perfect life, and then by grace through faith Jesus gives us His perfect life, and still by grace through faith in Jesus we are empowered and enabled us to live out His call on our lives.
Do we get distracted? Sure, but He who is in us is greater than our failures, so He calls out, “but as for you, speak the things that build up the people around you.”