You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.
Titus 2:1 (NIV)
Read: Titus 2:1-15
Consider: In Paul’s letter to Titus he encourages him to teach sound doctrine. At a time when heresies were creeping in to the early church, Paul wanted to make sure that Titus didn’t stray from the truth of the gospel message.
Paul also wants to make sure that Titus doesn’t concentrate his teaching on one age group in the church. Paul knew that no matter what age a person is, they still need instruction. Titus is therefore told in the subsequent verses of chapter 2 to teach, train or encourage the:
- older men (2:2);
- older women (2:3);
- younger women (2:4-5);
- younger men (2:6).
No-one is exempt due to their age. Paul knew that physical age does not automatically carry with it spiritual maturity. More important is how old the person is ‘in Christ’. Of course a person could have been a Christian a long time and not grown in their faith, but if they seek to get closer to God in prayer and take time to read and study the Bible, then they should be maturing. The main thing is that there is no end point, when as a Christian we can know it all (perhaps only in heaven when all will be revealed to us).
Interestingly Paul does not specifically define what sound doctrine is in this letter. What he does do is to encourage Titus to teach, train and encourage the church members things about putting their faith into action. The things he mention in verses 2-10 are very practical issues.
When reading Titus 2, I was wondering how many of our churches teach or train their members how to be Christians in the everyday things of life. It is almost as if we concentrate on the ‘big’ issues of doctrine, yet forget the practical everyday stuff. There is almost an assumption that as Christians we will know how to behave just because we are Christians. We wouldn’t presume a child knows everything about life, just because they have been born. Likewise we shouldn’t presume a person knows everything about putting their faith into action, just because they have been re-born.
Let me leave you with some of Paul’s words from Titus 2:
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 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 (Titus 2:11-14).
Pray: Father, help us to see that everyone (young and old) needs sound teaching, training and encouragement. May we be receptive to the teaching of others, as well as being prepared to teach those around us. Help us to be encouragers, offering encouragement to our fellow-believers. Amen
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