Writings on Christianity

Sound Doctrine and Sound Lives: Titus 2:1-8

Sound Doctrine and Sound Lives: A Church Planter’s Reflections on Titus 2:1-8

1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:1-8

“But as for you.” Titus was to be different from the false teachers spoken of in 1:10-16. Instead of myths and legalism, he was to teach sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is gospel-centered and in full submission to the Bible. This is what our cities and people need today. Not myths and legalism, but the wonderful news of Jesus. I think we might be tempted to rely on stories, gimmicks, and fads of others instead of teaching sound doctrine to our congregations. It is tempting to give out a bunch of rules instead of teaching the gospel and its implications for living–living out who we really are as a new creation in Christ. It’s easier to teach a bunch of moralistic rules then to teach grace-driven gospel-saturated obedience. Thus, this directive in Titus in 2:1 is well-needed for church planters like myself to obey.Church-Plant-Vertical

In 2:2-6 we see instructions for older men, older women, younger women (who are being instructed by the older women), and younger men. I’m praying that God allows us to have a diverse church with older and younger people, but at the moment we’re all young (all under 40!)—pray for diversity please. Still, these qualities in older men and women are worth striving for in our own (younger) lives. We also see here the importance of the older generation instilling wisdom to the younger. In verses 4-6 we hear how the younger women and men are to exhibit godly lives. I’ve been praying for each person in our church plant that these traits would be present in their lives. That the younger women would truly love their husbands and children (for those married and with children), and that they would be self-controlled, pure, being faithful in their homes, kind and (for those married) submissive to their spouse. I’ve been praying that the younger men would be self-controlled and not slaves to career, hobbies or led astray by sinful fleeting pleasures. Though the instructions for young men is much shorter than for younger women, I think the younger men were also to strive for the qualities of elders in 1:6-9 and to follow Titus’ example of good works in 2:7-8. As individuals in our congregation display these qualities, they point to Christ and his work in our hearts by His Spirit.

Titus is singled out to be such an example of good works with his life and teaching. With sound teaching his opponents would be put shame. This verse challenges and encourages me to seek to be good example as a church planter to our congregation, seeking to do “good works” and to show integrity, dignity and sound speech in my teaching. In our meetups we encounter individuals who mock the inspiration of Scripture and the exclusivity of Christ, but we are called to teach sound doctrine, and 2 Timothy 2:25 says we are to correct opponents with gentleness, as God may perhaps give them the gift of repentance. I pray that God would give those who are not Christians but come to our meetups this gift of repentance and faith in Christ. It’s a good reminder as I consider it, that God is the one who converts–not me or my efforts. Our job is to preach the gospel.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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