But as for you...
Titus 2 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 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.
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.
Today’s text begins saying: But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. That the text begins saying but as for you, calls us to look back at the end of the previous chapter which says: To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. Many today profess to know God, but do their deeds confirm or deny their profession. Our culture and our society has blurred and even eliminated the lines between purity and what is detestable. It should not be that way though for those who know God. Those who have been purified by Christ, should be pure in all things. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus continues though saying: “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” James 2:19 says: You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. Our deeds, whether they are good or we continue in evil, reveal whether we know of God or believe in Christ His Son. If, like demons, we continue in evil deeds, then like them, we too should shudder.
Returning to today’s text: But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. It is not that being older makes a person more righteous or even more temperate, dignified, sensible. Being older does at least though require perseverance. To get older one has to go through some things. James 1:2-4 says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Those who are older have faced trials of many kinds. In Matthew 24:9-13 Jesus says: “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” We are saved enduring and persevering with the Lord. We become mature in Christ and our faith is increased. Our increased faith, our believing in Him then also results in our being more temperate, dignified and sensible as we are restored to the image and likeness of God. Romans 8:28-29 says: We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. God causes all that we persevere through to work for our good, to conform us to the image of Christ, His Son.
The text says: The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 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. God’s grace not only brings salvation, it also brings instruction and redemption, not only from past sins, but it instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires; to live righteously and godly in this present age. We cannot claim the grace of God for sin, if we deny its instruction to live righteously. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Jesus gave Himself not only to forgive our sins, but also to free us from the power of sin; to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. I can persevere and endure whatever comes with You because You endured the cross for me. Thank You that You cause all things; all the good and all the difficult things in my life to work for my good as by Your grace You continue to instruct me; to restore and conform me to Your image. May I truly be purified by You and for You. May I always be zealous to do good. Amen.