BUT AS FOR YOU
WHICH ARE FITTING FOR SOUND
DOCTRINE: su lalei (2PPAM) de a prepei (3SPAI) te hugiainouse (PAPFSD) didaskalia:
(Titus 2:11, Titus 2:12, Titus 2:14; Titus 1:9; Titus 3:8; 1Ti 1:10; 6:3; 2Ti 1:13)
must tell them the sort of character which should spring from sound
BUT [as for]
you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine
[the character and right living that identify true Christians].",
But you must
teach what agrees with sound doctrine" (TEV)
It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy
But let your words be in agreement with true and right teaching" (BBE),
But as for
you, you must speak in a manner that befits wholesome teaching"
You must speak things that make the true teaching attractive" (ICB)
But (de) - always pause to
terms of contrast.
(su) is a pronoun used intensively in this verse. But YOU in
contradistinction to those just mentioned.
Titus, and the elders he appointed (1:5), were commanded
to speak about right living as well as right doctrine. They were not to
deviate, capitulate, or be intimidated. Speak with your
life as as the following verses explain.
(2980) (laleo) is the Greek verb meaning to make a sound and
then to utter words.
Vincent says that laleo is "used
of speaking, in contrast with or as a breaking of silence, voluntary or
imposed. Thus the dumb man, after he was healed, spake (Mt 9:33
"And after the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the
multitudes marveled, saying (lego), "Nothing like this was ever
seen in Israel.") and Zacharias, when his tongue was loosed,
began to speak (Lk 1:64
"And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began
to speak in praise of God") The use of the word
laleo ...contemplates the fact rather than the substance of speech.
Hence it is used of God (Heb 1:1), the point being, not what God said, but the fact that
he spake to men. On the contrary, lego refers
to the matter of speech. The verb originally means to pick out, and
hence to use words selected as appropriate expressions of thought, and
to put such words together in orderly discourse." (Vincent, M. R.
Word studies in the New Testament).
Kenneth Wuest adds that "Laleo
(was) used originally just of sounds like the chatter of birds, the
prattling of children, (but was also used) of the most serious kind of
speech. It takes note of the sound and the manner of speaking. One
thinks of the words in the song In the Garden; “He speaks, and the sound
of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.”
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
example Wuest notes that when Jesus healed a deaf man who had
difficultly speaking the multitude "were utterly astonished, saying (lego), “He has done all things well. He makes even
the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak (laleo).”
Wuest explains that in this verse laleo
is used to emphasize "not the matter, but the fact of
speech. The crowd was not interested in what the man was saying, but in
the fact that he was able to express himself articulately."
Robertson says that laleo
contrasts with the other NT word for speak (lego) in that laleo is "rather an onomatopoetic word (laleo >
la-la) with some emphasis on the sound and manner of speaking. The word
is common in the vernacular papyri examples of social intercourse."
(Word Pictures in the New Testament)
In a similarly instructive use of laleo Luke records that after the Holy Spirit had come
upon the believers at Pentecost "they were all filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak (laleo) with other tongues, as the
Spirit was giving them utterance." (Acts 2:4)
Trench commenting on the use of laleo in
this verse writes that "it is not what those in an ecstatic condition
utter, but the fact of this new utterance itself, and quite irrespective
of the matter of it, to which the sacred narrators would call our
Trench goes on to explain that if laleo
refers to "the fact of uttering articulated speech (as) the
prominent notion, in lego it is the words uttered, and that these
correspond to reasonable thoughts within the breast of the utterer. Thus
while the parrot or talking automaton (referring to the image of the
antichrist "And there was given to him to give breath to the image of
the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak
(laleo) and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to
be killed." Rev 13:15) may be said, though even
they not without a certain impropriety, laleo, seeing they
produce sounds imitative of human speech and in poetry, though by a
still stronger figure, laleo may be ascribed to grasshoppers
(Theocritus, Idyl. v. 34) and to pipes and flutes (Idyl. xx. 28,
29); yet inasmuch as there is nothing behind these sounds, they could
never be (described as lego) for in lego
lies the (idea of) ennoia, (relates to thought, especially to
development of a perspective that provides insight and shapes attitude
and actions) or thought of the mind (ennoia is used in Heb. 4:12), as the correlative to
the words on the lips, and as the necessary condition of them."
(See note on
laleo (Strong's #2980) Say, Speak
lego (Strong's #3004) Tell, Talk (lalia [Strong's #2981] (Speech, Talk
logos [Strong's #3056]) Word))
Paul uses laleo in
present imperative charging Timothy to continually speak
truth that is fitting and becoming to sound doctrine.
Sound doctrine or Truth requires certain behaviors that reflect and are
appropriate to it.1Ti 2:10; Eph 5:3 It is important to note that the
apostle is not here focusing on the teaching and preaching of sound
doctrine itself, as he does in Titus 1:9 (note). He is rather focusing on practical
instruction about the things which are fitting for, that is, based on
and appropriate to, the sound doctrine that already has been taught.
(prepo) has the basic meaning of being prominent or conspicuous
and came to be used of a distinguishing characteristic. Thus the
"distinguishing characteristic" of Titus (and all believers) should be a
lifestyle that is consistent with sound doctrine. The
= their speech was to continually be fitting. This association between
truth and behavior was emphasized by Paul in the opening verse where he
wrote that it is
knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness" (NIV, see note
In the last section of the first chapter Paul had just described those
whose lives were not in keeping with their "profession".
from hugiés = sound, healthy and root of English
hygiene = making sick folk whole) means that which
is wholesome and so that which gives health. In context refers "sound
doctrine" refers to that teaching which gives spiritual
health to the inner man and it implies that false doctrine produces
spiritual disease and debilitation and ultimately death eternally!
The contrast is "persuasive
arguments" and ''empty deception'' in
(see notes on
Colossians 2:8) -- the result is that
Colossian believers were "deluded" & ''taken captive'' and ceased as a
functioning body in Colossae!
tense) participle form of verb hugiaino = “continually being well and
Paul uses a form of this word 9
the pastoral epistles, 5 times in Titus, and always in relation
to personal righteousness and spiritual well-being, repeatedly
sound doctrine (1Ti 1:10;
2Ti 4:3-note, Titus 1:9-note) is the
foundation for and gives rise to sound faith and sound
speaking (1Ti 6:3;
1:13-note;Titus 2:2-note; Titus 2:8-
The only weapon against Satan’s lies is God’s truth. “Thus saith the
Lord!” is the end of every argument.
What "things" are "fitting for sound doctrine" in context? Right
living! "Sound doctrine" is teaching that promotes spiritual health,
and requires conduct consistent with the teaching professed.
morally disordered life is diseased and stands in need of treatment by "sound
doctrine". A life based on the teaching of "sound doctrine"
is wholesome, clean and healthy. Correct
doctrine should produce correct behavior. This verse could be translated
"The things which belong to healthy doctrine".
has no "additives", like "the pure (unadulterated, without
deceit) milk of the word" that produces growth "in
respect to salvation". (1Pe 2:2-note)
We are dealing with a "body"
(the body of Christ) and just as viruses and bacteria when allowed to
incubate and germinate can produce devastating results on the
physical body, seeds of false doctrine that germinate can wreak havoc on the spiritual
health of the body of Christ,
individually and corporately.
Calvin comments that Paul "deals more in exhortations, because those intent on useless questions
needed chiefly to be recalled to the study of a holy, moral life; for
nothing so effectually allays men's wandering curiosity, as the being
brought to recognize those duties in which they ought to exercise
didasko from dáo = to know or teach) is either
the act of teaching or the thing taught and in this use denotes doctrine
or what is taught.
Doctrine is from Latin doctrina in
turn from doceo = to teach.
Didaskalia - 21x in 21v - Matt
15:9; Mark 7:7; Rom 12:7; 15:4; Eph 4:14; Col 2:22; 1 Tim 1:10; 4:1, 6,
13, 16; 5:17; 6:1, 3; 2 Tim 3:10, 16; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10
The term doctrine in
Scripture "is broader than a simple reference to information passed
on from one person to another or from one generation to the next.
Christianity is a religion founded on a message of good news rooted in
the significance of the life of Jesus Christ. In Scripture, then,
doctrine refers to the entire body of essential theological truths
that define and describe that message (1Ti 1:10; 4:16; 6:3; Titus 1:9).
The message includes historical facts, such as those regarding the
events of the life of Jesus Christ (1Cor 11:23). But it is deeper than
biographical facts alone. As J. Gresham Machen pointed out years ago,
Jesus’ death is an integral historical fact but it is not doctrine.
Jesus’ death for sins (1Cor 15:3) is doctrine. (Sound) Doctrine, then, is scriptural
teaching on theological truths." (parenthesis added) (Elwell,
W. A., & Elwell, W. A. The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
online - an excellent resource)
Doctrine - Holman Bible Dictionary
Doctrine - International Standard
Doctrine - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
Doctrine - The Topical Concordance
Doctrines - Nave's Topical Bible
Doctrine - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT
Not all doctrine is good for Jesus
addressing the hypocritical Pharisees and teachers quoted Isaiah's
prophecy (Isa 29:13)
in which God said to Israel that
"IN VAIN (uselessly) DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING (didache) AS
DOCTRINES (didaskalia) THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'" (Mt 15:19)
Paul gave a similar warning to the church at Colossae
noting that commands like "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"
(which all refer to things destined
to perish with the using)-- in accordance with the commandments and
teachings of men? (Col 2:22-note)
The hypocrisy of ancient and
contemporary Israel consisted of making a show of commitment to God
while at the same time giving human tradition precedence over God’s
Doctrine is critically important for here we see
that Jesus condemned their entire worship of God which was founded on
unsound, unhealthy doctrine. Jesus' message gives a powerful
warning to every church in every generation.
important! When the precepts of men are taught as if they were the
doctrines of God, man’s wisdom is elevated above God’s-which is the very
root of all sin. It was Satan’s inducing Eve to trust her own wisdom
above God’s that led to the Fall and to every subsequent sin and evil in
the world. It follows that every believer must "examine everything
carefully; hold fast to that which is good (and) abstain from every form
of evil" (1Th 5 :21, 22-note),
paying careful heed to all that is taught in their local church. Are the
praise choruses doctrinally sound or do they simply sound good and make
us "feel good"?
Warren Wiersbe observes that "Far too many songs not only teach no
doctrine, but many even teach false doctrines. A singer has no more
right to sing a lie than a teacher has to teach a lie. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Are the pulpit messages from
the heart of God or are they geared to tickle the ears? Do the video
series the church uses in Sunday School actually use Scripture as the
foundational doctrine or do they only give token acquiescence to the
Word of Truth? Is their emphasis on God's psychology and His Words of
Life or is the emphasis on humanistic psychology?
Don't be judgmental
but at least be willing to examine what is being sung, preached and
taught in your church against the plumbline of Biblically sound
doctrine. The vitally and integrity of the church of Jesus
Christ depends on a continual "intravenous infusion" of sound
Paul emphasizes the danger of
false doctrine to the Ephesian church writing that as the result of
sound teaching and equipping of the saints they would be built up,
attaining unity, knowledge of Christ and spiritual maturity and
would "no longer to be children,
tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine (didaskalia),
by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming." (Eph
You can mark it down -- If you are
not anchored in sound doctrine based solely on the Word of Truth, you
will be vulnerable to counterfeit truth. Spiritual leaders of the church
must uncompromisingly minister the Word of Truth, sound doctrine, to the
saints in the church so the saints can minister this life giving Word in
a world dead it trespasses and sins. Does this description accurately
describe your church?
Havner had a timely word for the modern church when he remarked that "Every Christian is
commissioned, for every Christian is a missionary. It has been said that
the Gospel is not merely something to come to church to hear but
something to go from the church to tell—and we are all appointed to tell
it. It has also been said, ‘Christianity began as a company of lay
witnesses; it has become a professional pulpitism, financed by lay
spectators!’ Nowadays we hire a church staff to do ‘full-time Christian
work,’ and we sit in church on Sunday to watch them do it. Every
Christian is meant to be in full-time Christian service ... There is
indeed a special ministry of pastors, teachers and evangelists—but for
what? ... For the perfecting of the saints for their ministry."
This is sound doctrine!
Paul warns that "the Spirit
explicitly (distinctly and expressly) says that in later
times (began at the Christ first coming and continues to His
glorious return, cf He 1:2-note;
1Peter 1:20-note) some will fall
away from (aphistemi stand away from source of the Greek
noun apostasia - defection) the faith, paying attention
(not just listening but continually paying close attention to, assenting
to and finally clinging) to deceitful (deluding,
seducing) spirits and doctrines
(didaskalia) of demons (not doctrines about demons but
inspired by them)." (1Ti 4:1)
False doctrine is not simply aberrant
human teaching. Deceiving spirits, serving Satan, the deceiver and
father of lies, are the invisible forces behind the latter-day departure
from the faith. To sit under the teaching of doctrine that is not sound
but which contradicts the truth of Scripture is to be taught by demons,
and to put one’s very mind and soul in both temporal and eternal
jeopardy. The ultimate aim of the demonic doctrine is to bring men and
women to follow Satan, by devious, rather than open, means, using false
teaching promulgated by means of the hypocrisy of liars.
Paul explains to Timothy that in
warning the saints about errors that were to come (context = 1Ti 4:1, 2,
3, 4, 5) he would "be a good
servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished (continually being
reared on, trained) on the words of the faith and of the sound
doctrine (didaskalia) which (he had)
been following. (1Ti 4:6)
Paul like a good coach in sports continually emphasized the "basics",
here reminding us that continual feeding on the doctrine
of Scripture is essential to the spiritual health of all Christians but
especially of spiritual leaders. Only by reading the Word, studying it,
memorizing it, meditating on it, and mastering its contents in real life
can a pastor fulfill his mandate.
John MacArthur comments on the "nourishing"
effect of sound doctrine writing that ""This quality is basic to
excellence in ministry, but is sadly lacking in the church today. Much
contemporary preaching is weak and produces weak churches because it
reflects a lack of biblical knowledge, and a minimal commitment to the
study of Scripture. For many pastors, study is an unwelcome intrusion
into their schedule. It interrupts the routine of administrative tasks
and meetings with which they occupy themselves. They study only enough
to make a sermon, not to feed their own hearts and think deeply and
carefully on divine truth. The result is impotent sermons that fall on
hard hearts and have little impact."
John: 1Timothy Moody Press)
In the same chapter of first Timothy,
Paul again exhorted his young disciple Timothy writing that
I come, (continually, as your habitual practice) give
(careful, close) attention (constantly absorbed in,
continually devoted) to the public reading of Scripture, to
teaching (didaskalia)" (1Ti 4:13)
Ministering the Word was not
something Timothy was to do after he had done other things but was to be
the most important thing he did. Timothy was to make sure the churches
church leaders read the Scriptures in the meetings of the church, that
exhortation including explanation and application (cf, expositional
preaching), should continue to accompany the reading of the Word and
that there be systematic instruction in the doctrines of the faith.
"This is the basis of Christian belief.
“Experience” is quick and easily gotten, but doctrine takes time
and a great deal of effort. Yet doctrinally weak believers are immature
believers and the pastor who does not give attention to doctrine does
not exhibit a love for his people." (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
For the fourth time in chapter four
Paul wraps up his charge to Timothy commanding him to
imperative -continually keep paying attention) to yourself (note the order) and to your teaching (didaskalia);
(make it your habit to continually stay by the side of, "stick to them
and see them through" King adds that “Stickability is an essential
quality for effective leadership.”) persevere in these things
(those things noted in the preceding paragraph directly above);
for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for
those who hear you. (1Ti 4:16)
Paul's emphasis here is on the This emphasizes the importance of the
personal life in any servant of Christ. If his life is wrong, he might
be orthodox in doctrine, but it is of no avail.
comments that "No matter how straight a person may be in his
doctrine or how effective he may be in his teaching, if there is a
flaw in his inner or outer life, it will ruin him. This is where many
ministers have failed tragically. While he is watching over others, the
pastor must keep an eye on himself.”
A. W. Pink has well said
that "Service becomes a snare and an evil
if it be allowed to crowd out worship and the cultivation of one’s own
"salvation" Paul refers to is not a reference to justification by works
but to sanctification (see discussion of
of Salvation), the Christian’s daily walk of faith. Timothy
proved faithful to practice what he Paul had called him to do, Paul
noting that he had "followed my teaching (didaskalia)."
One of the best known uses of didaskalia is found in 2 Timothy Paul declaring that
Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (beneficial,
yielding good return) for teaching, (didaskalia) for reproof, for
correction, for training in righteousness." (2Ti 3:16-note)
Wiersbe's succinct summarizes this verse as
"profitable for doctrine
(what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction
(how to get right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay
right). A Christian who studies the Bible and applies what he learns
will grow in holiness and avoid many pitfalls in this world. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Doctrine is indispensable to
Christianity. Christianity does not exist without it. Paul warns Timothy
to focus on preaching the Word for
"the time will come when they will not
endure (hold themselves firm against) sound doctrine (didaskalia); but wanting to have their ears tickled
(by pleasing and
comfortable "doctrine"), they will accumulate (in piles) for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires
(who will tell them what they want to hear)."
Paul warned that the day would come
when men would make themselves the measure of who and what doctrine
would be acceptable.
In Titus Paul gives as one of the key
requirements for any man who would be an overseer of the church as a man
holding fast (continually strongly clinging or
adhering to) the faithful (trustworthy, reliable)
word which is in accordance with the teaching (didaskalia) that he may
be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who
contradict. (Titus 1:9 - note)
The word used to exhort and refute must be based on doctrine which is
not diluted, deleted or distorted. The "teaching" in this
context refers to the the spiritually healthful doctrines taught by the
Lord Jesus and the apostles and which have been preserved for us in the
Paul tells Timothy to
Let the elders who rule well be
considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at
preaching and teaching. (didaskalia) (1Ti 5:17)
Work here refers "to work to the point of fatigue or
exhaustion. It does not stress the amount of work, but rather the
effort. A man’s reward from God is proportional to the excellence of his
ministry and the effort he puts into it. Excellence combined with
diligence mark a man worthy of the highest honor."
John: 1Timothy Moody Press)
Paul writes to the Roman church
reminding them that "whatever was written in earlier times
was written for our instruction (didaskalia), that through perseverance
and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Ro 15:4-note)
Referring to the Old Testament, Paul emphasizes its importance as "didaskalia"
for it contains invaluable doctrine for all ages. And so as we encounter
temptations, tribulations, troubles, etc, the Old Testament teaches us
to be steadfast, and imparts comfort to our soul. Then instead of
sinking under the waves, we are sustained by the hope that the Lord will
see us through. The Old Testament truths provide motivation for us to
"hang in there" and be encouraged in the midst of the storm as we seek
to remain faithful to do God’s will. The Old Testament Scriptures give
us hope because in them we see God’s approval of those Old Testament
saints who persevered faithfully in spite of opposition and frustration.
As J Vernon McGee so aptly puts it "You won’t find any hope in the
daily newspaper. You won’t find any hope in modern literature. Look at
any field and see if you can find any hope. There is none whatsoever. It
is dark and dismal when you look out at this world today. My friend, the
only place you can find real hope is in the Word of God." (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Here in Titus 2:1 as well as in his
first epistle to Timothy, Paul clearly associates proper belief (sound
doctrine) with right behavior, writing to bond slaves: "Let all
who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of
all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine (didaskalia)
may not be spoken against." (1Ti 6:1).
The respected Lutheran commentator, R. C. H. Lenski
writes "If a Christian slave dishonored
his master in any way by disobedience, by acting disrespectfully, by
speaking shamefully of his master, the worst consequence would not be
the beating he would receive but the curses he would cause his master to
hurl at this miserable slave’s God, his religion, and the teaching he
had embraced: “So that is what this new religion teaches its
converts!” Instead of bringing honor to the true God and the gospel of
his high and holy Name, as every Christian should be anxious to do, this
slave would bring about the very opposite, to the devil’s delight." (The Interpretation of St. Paul’s
Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus,
and to Philemon: Augsburg, 1964, p694–95)
The history of the early
church reveals that Christian slaves generally commanded a higher price
on the slave market than unbelievers. If a master knew that a certain
slave on the auction block was a Christian, he would generally be
willing to pay more for that slave, since he knew that the slave would
serve him faithfully and well. This is high tribute to the Christian
faith and the soundness of the doctrine that is according to the
glorious gospel! If you were put on the "slave market" so
to speak would you "command a higher price?"
Are my actions
before my family, in school and at the workplace giving clear testimony
to the reality of Christ in me the hope of glory and His power to live
as more than a conqueror?
Paul shows the clear connection
between sound doctrine and one conduct writing that "If anyone
advocates a different doctrine (heterodidaskaleo), and
does not agree with sound (health giving) words, those of
our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine (didaskalia)
conforming to (and leading to) godliness." (1Ti 6:3)
I like the NLT paraphrase which explains that "the sound, wholesome teachings
of the Lord Jesus Christ...are the foundation for a godly life."
Note that what you believe does influence how you behave! Be sure you
are "eating" healthy spiritual food, the pure milk of God's Word if you
desire to be spiritually healthy and vigorous. Doctrine
not based on Scripture will always result in an unholy life. Instead of
godliness, false teachers will be marked by sin.
Steven Cole - We live in a
culture that has gone crazy after beauty. You can’t stand in line at the
grocery store without being bombarded with beautiful male and female
faces and bodies on the covers of different magazines. If your body
isn’t so beautiful, magazines and ads promise sure-fire ways to lose
weight or get into shape or camouflage with cosmetics the things you
While there is nothing wrong with taking reasonable measures to make
yourself attractive, we need to keep in mind that physical beauty
quickly fades. Many years ago, I worked as a bellman at the swanky Drake
Hotel in Chicago. There was a wealthy elderly woman who lived in the
hotel. Every day she would cake on about 10 pounds of makeup, come
downstairs and strut through the lobby. She thought that she was showing
off her great beauty, but all of the hotel staff would snicker at her
delusion. She was well past her prime and she needed to face reality!
But while our bodies inevitably lose their youthful beauty as we grow
older, there is another kind of beauty that grows better with age. The
good news is that this kind of beauty is available to every person, not
just to those who have been endowed with the genes for good looks. I’m
talking about the beauty of a person who develops godliness in his or
her life. God intends for each of us to develop Christlike character and
conduct that displays His beauty to this lost and misdirected world.
The church is called both the body and the bride of Christ. The church
should be developing as the beautiful body, corporately displaying the
splendor of our Savior. As His bride, He is committed to presenting us
(Eph. 5:27), “having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she
would be holy and blameless.” Instead of growing more wrinkled over
time, the church grows less wrinkled! In Titus 2:1-10, Paul tells Titus
The church should develop into a beautiful body
so as to attract others to our Savior.
The theme of the church’s witness to the world is mentioned in Titus
2:5, “so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” It is mentioned
again in Titus 2:8, where Paul tells Titus that his speech must be
beyond reproach, “so that the opponent will be put to shame, having
nothing bad to say about us.” He mentions it again in Titus 2:10, where
he is concerned that slaves “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in
every respect.” In other words, their lives should beautify the gospel
and point people to their Savior.
How does the church develop into this kind of beautiful body that points
people to Christ? In a nutshell, through sound doctrine, which Paul
mentions in Titus 2:1, 7, and 10. All godly living must be built on the
sound doctrine of God’s Word, which reproves, corrects, and trains us in
righteousness, equipping us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Then Paul focuses on five groups in the church: older men (Titus 2:2);
older women (Titus 2:3); younger women (Titus 2:4-5); younger men, with
special application to Titus (Titus 2:6-8); and, slaves (Titus 2:9-10).
For sake of time, we will consider Titus 2:1-5 this week and Titus
2:6-10 next week. Before we look at the various groups, I want to make
some general observations about these verses.
*There are legitimate age and gender distinctions in the church. Paul
has different counsel for different ages of men and women, and he does
not lump everyone into the same category. Radical feminism, which has
infiltrated the church, argues that there are no gender distinctions in
the body of Christ. While it is true that there are no distinctions
regarding salvation (Gal. 3:28 in context), many Scriptures show that
there are distinct roles for men and women in the church and in the
home. Men are to be the loving leaders in both spheres. Women are to be
subject to their own husbands (Titus 2:5; also, Eph. 5:22-23; Col. 3:18;
1 Pet. 3:1-6).
It should not need to be said, but if God created you as a male, you
should not seek a sex-change operation to become a female (or vice
versa). Men should be masculine and women should be feminine. God
designed the sexes to complement one another. There should not be any
competition between the sexes. Men should affirm the value of women and
women should affirm the God-given role and strengths of men.
Also, we are to relate to different ages and genders in appropriate
ways. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Paul says, “Do not sharply rebuke an older
man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as
brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters,
in all purity.”
*There is to be interaction, not complete separation, between the
various ages in the church and family. The church is the family of God,
and in the family there are all ages for the benefit of the entire
family. The older have wisdom and experience to impart to the younger.
The younger have idealism, energy, and enthusiasm that can encourage the
older. Yes, having the older and younger together, whether in the church
or at home, can create tension. But God’s design is that we learn to
live harmoniously and learn from one another.
This is one reason why I refuse to have a “traditional” service for
those who want to sing hymns to organ accompaniment and another
contemporary service for those who want to sing modern songs with
guitars and drums. The younger people need to learn some of the hymns
and the older people need to learn some of the newer songs. While it is
fine to have a class for young couples or a separate social event for
the seniors, we need to work at getting to know one another across age
About three years into the pastorate, I had several families in the
church that were new in the faith. Many had gone through divorces before
they were saved, so they needed to know how to live as Christian
families. I began a Sunday morning series on the Christian home. But a
few weeks into the series, all of the older people in the church stopped
coming. They complained that the series did not relate to their needs.
The elders pressured me to cut the series short so that the older people
would come back. But I refused to cater to what I viewed as selfishness.
I said, “They should be having the younger families over after church,
developing relationships and reinforcing the things that I am teaching.
If they can’t get their focus off of themselves and onto the needs of
these young families, let them go.” Most of them never came back. Our
text clearly shows that the older believers should be imparting
principles of practical Christian living to younger believers. There
should be interaction, not separation, between the various ages.
*There are different opportunities and different weaknesses and
temptations at different stages in life. Younger people often have more
energy and enthusiasm to devote to ministry, but if they have young
families and busy careers, they don’t have much time. After your kids
are out of the nest, you have more time, but less energy. You have to
gear your life to the particular phase that you are in.
I do not regret at all that when my kids were younger, I was often
unavailable for church ministry in the evenings because I was at home
playing with and reading to my children. I can’t recover those few
precious years. Some pastors neglect their families for the sake of the
ministry, and they lose their families. Some couples neglect their
marriage during the child-rearing years and when the nest empties, their
marriage is in trouble. These temptations are geared to these different
phases of life.
The retirement years present other temptations. It encourages me to see
retired people resisting the temptation to live for themselves by going
on mission trips and serving in ways that they could not when they had
to work full time. Each stage in life has unique opportunities and
With those general observations, let’s zero in on our text under the
overall theme of God developing the beauty of godliness in us so as to
attract others to the Savior.
1. Sound doctrine is the foundation for godly living (Titus 2:1).
“But as for you” contrasts Titus with the false teachers that Paul has
just described (Titus 1:10-16). Paul said that these men were
rebellious, empty talkers and deceivers, who were upsetting whole
families for the sake of sordid gain (Titus 1:10-11). They were teaching
Jewish myths and the commandments of men, rather than the truth of God’s
Word (Titus 1:14). Such speculative, unbiblical teaching does not lead
to godliness and good deeds (see Titus 1:15-16).
By contrast, Titus was to speak the things that are fitting (or proper)
for sound doctrine. “Speak” refers not only to formal teaching, but also
to everyday conversation. “Sound” doctrine means teaching that produces
spiritual health and growth. Paul uses this word nine times in the
Pastoral Epistles, including five times in Titus (Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1, 2,
8; see also 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3). Whereas Titus 1:9
focused on the teaching of sound doctrine and the refutation of error,
the focus of Titus 2:1 is more on the practical application of sound
Paul always wed sound doctrine with the practical Christian living that
flows out of it. To have doctrine without practice is dead orthodoxy. To
have practice without the foundation of sound doctrine is just human
moralism. Knowing who God is and who we are, and knowing God’s way of
salvation as taught in the Bible, provide the proper basis for holy
living. For example, if the truth of God’s omnipresence and omniscience
grips your life, it will affect how you relate to your family in
private, because you know that God sees everything. Sound doctrine is
very practical. (Lesson
6- Developing a Beautiful Body – Part 1 Titus 2:1-5 - Bible.org)