In this series of posts we have been looking at Titus 2:1-10. You can find links to the other posts in this series below.
Paul has instructed Titus to teach behavior that is consistent with the Good News of Jesus (Titus 2:1). The kind of behavior that is appropriate for believers in Jesus is a stark contrast to the behavior of false teachers and the sinful world (Titus 1:12, 16).
Paul gives Titus examples of Gospel-matching behavior for the different groups within the church. In this post we will study behavior fitting for the men in the body of Christ.
Older Men (2:2)
The grace of God is training older men to be sober. Older men, you are not to be drunkards who lose your clear-headed thinking. Instead, you are to see the world through God’s eyes through His Word. You must think clearly about the world and the church with a Christ-centered perspective (2:11-14).
You are to be worthy of respect. Older men are to be examples to the church family. The rest of the church family should be able to look up to you and imitate your faith.
Older brothers, you are to be self-controlled. Rather than being evil beasts who are driven by your passions and emotions (1:12), you are to have control over your passions.
Remember that grace is training you to do this (Titus 2:11-12). You are not acting in your own strength to turn a new leaf. This is the work of God in your life, and the enablement to do this is the blood-bought gift of Jesus (Titus 2:14). He graciously trains you through the Word and enables you by His grace.
Brothers, you are to be “sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.” In other words, you are to have a healthy trust in the Lord, a healthy love for God and His people, and a healthy endurance through trials.
Remember how this is possible: The kindness of God is training you for this (v. 11-12). It is by God’s enablement. You and I are dependent on Him to do this work in us. We labor for it, knowing the source and enabler is God. The basis of it all is the work of Jesus who has died for us and is coming again (Titus 2:11-14). This work of grace is the banner that rests over godly older men to show the world that they are under the ownership of Jesus and no longer owned by the world.
Younger Men are to be self-controlled (2:6)
Let’s keep this with the men for a moment and skip down to younger men (2:6). Younger men in the church family, what is appropriate behavior for us? Self-control. That’s it. One thing. Yet, you and I know that is a tall order. In a world that offers us the opportunity to unleash every passion and lust and sinful thing in us, we are called to be self-controlled.
We have temptations from without and evil desires within. We are commanded and urged not to let our passions control us but for us to control our passions. Rather than going to pornography and sex and self pleasure and substances and the world’s treasures, we are urged to control our passions.
We cannot do this in ourselves. We are unable to obey this command. We are weak. We know how strong temptation is.
But, brothers, please do not leave out verses 11-14 when you consider verse 6. The Lord Jesus has purchased you for Himself. He has freed you, yes, set you free from the slavery of sin and lust. You are no longer under the ownership of sin. You are no longer under the control of your passions. Jesus has freed you by His death for you, and He is training you by His grace to deny worldly passions. The power to be self-controlled is in Jesus, and we are united to Him. So we continue to look to Him by faith and heartfilled dependence to enable us to control our desires. Since Jesus Christ has died, is risen, and is ascended, you and I can control our passions through our union to Him.
A large part of the battle is believing this to be true. A large part of the battle is daily preaching this Good News to ourselves, daily affirming it, and daily embracing it as true. The greatest difficulty is believing and living in light of the Good News of Jesus Christ day-by-day. In Him we are being trained by grace to be self-controlled (2:11-12).
In the next post, we will study Gospel-matching behavior for the women of the church body.
(This post is an edited excerpt from a sermon first preached to the First Baptist Church of Ticonderoga, NY)
You can find the other posts in this series here:
Behavior that Matches the Gospel
Teaching Gospel-Matching Behavior
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.