Devotional Commentary for January 28-February 3
2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
Paul was well aware that the world is inundated with countless voices jostling for attention. So he urged Titus to be more diligent in teaching the true Doctrine of the Word of God. He earnestly exhorted him to be louder, clearer, more persistent, and more courageous than the Judaizers, the corrupt Cretans and the like who were actively sabotaging the churches in Crete.
It was necessary for Titus to recognize two factors in Paul's exhortation to him. Titus needed to be aware of the problem caused by the false teachers as well as his own distinctive role in dealing with the troubling issues. Paul was not merely informing him about the troubles in the churches, but he impelled him to take proactive steps to stop the infiltration of falsehood into the church, and, to preserve, protect, and nurture the flock of the faithful.
Paul laid out Titus's role as a leader, in no uncertain terms. He urged him to openly and courageously proclaim the Truth. His teachings must be rooted in sound Doctrine. The sound teaching of a sound Doctrine is the only way to uproot and completely remove falsehood from the church. Good, solid teaching results in lives that are able to resist falsehood. A church that is founded on the true Foundation and is nurtured by the true Doctrine of the Word of God, is often comprised of families and individuals who are well-grounded, faithful, confident, and real.
2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;
Paul directed Titus to speak in general to the congregations of all of the churches in Crete as well as to individual groups within the membership. He told him to speak to the elderly and the youth of both men and women, calling them to be different and to stand out from the prevailing culture of corruption and ungodliness. Members of the congregations were to be admonished to be true people of God in faith, in practice, and in behavior.
As senior members of the churches, the elderly must be sober and self-controlled. They must be men and women of good character and must be well-grounded in the true Doctrine of God's Word. They must always use good judgment and mature discretion. They must be exemplary in faith, love, and endurance.
The older men and women of the church must be of a godly temperament, sensitive, reasonable, distinguished, and solid in faith, love, and patience. They must subject themselves to the Spirit of God so that their behavior and demeanor would be free from the dictates of their own sinful natural inclinations and from the ungodly influences of others. Instead of a condescending attitude, they must portray a caring and respectful mindset toward others. They must not be given to malice, gossip, and drunkenness.
In other words, they must live-out what they confess to believe. For this, Titus had to admonish them severely and truthfully. Then they would be able to instruct the youth in matters of faith and life by example and by sound Doctrine.
Older men can guide younger men to develop as men of faith, love, principle, honor, mature discretion, and wise discernment. Likewise, older women can teach young women to follow the same precepts so that they too would be godly in their ways. They would exhort them to love and nurture their families and respect the authority of their husbands as instituted by God.
Paul assured Titus that if he taught the Truth, then the senior generation would be able to exhort the youth to honor God's Word and subject themselves to Him. Then God's Word would not be dishonored even when it stands contrary to our natural sentiments or inclinations, and the church would not be undermined. Then the church would be strengthened from within, and the witness of Jesus Christ our Lord: would be real, practical, and evident.
Paul exhorted Titus to be diligent in his work as the bishop and the teacher of the churches in Crete. He directed him to set things in order and to be aware of the Judaizers and the corrupt Cretans who had infiltrated the community of the faithful. But he strongly urged him to be firm and persistent in speaking the Truth and in teaching sound Doctrine.
It was necessary for Titus to realize that he was not just another voice among many equals. He was not in competition with other voices seeking to win the attentions of the members of the churches in Crete. He was not just another noise among many. He was the voice of Truth. The church is the exclusive territory for the Christian, where the servant of God declares the Word of God to the faithful. No other voices should be given time or attention in the church to distort the message of the Gospel. So Titus was admonished by Paul to be compelling and uncompromising in teaching sound Truth and in proclaiming sound Doctrine.
Titus also needed to understand that he could not lead and serve the entire country all by himself. So Paul directed him to train a core of sages within each church so that they would instruct the youth in the things of God. Older men and older women would train younger men and younger women to be faithful followers of God both in practicing and in the profession of their faith privately as well as in their communal interactions. The men to be men of God and the women to be the women of God in every aspect of their lives according to the Word of God.
It is an open secret that as Christians, most of us are content with a weekly church attendance and a periodic involvement with some church activity; any activity. But we also know that Sunday sermons and midweek dinners can never sufficiently nourish our starving souls. The Truth must be spoken and heard repeatedly so that other voices would not have the occasion to sound off falsehood in the church of Jesus Christ. As ministers and Christian workers faithfully dividing the Word of Truth, those who are mature in faith must disciple the new and the weak among us so that the Judaizers and the corrupt Cretans of our times would not have the occasion to distort God's revealed Truth.
The new man in Christ cannot be nurtured into maturity unless the child of God feeds upon the Bread of life and the living Water; the Word of God. Faith will manifest itself in one's life if it exists in the heart. But, what is believed must be professed and what is professed must be confirmed. But the profession and practical confirmation of faith in God would not be real unless they are rooted in sound Doctrine and diligent obedience. The church must be strong from within by diligently meditating upon the Word of God privately as well as collectively, and by practicing its precepts so that no time and attention are given to falsehood and to corruption. The enemies of Truth will not relent from seeking to undermine sound Doctrine. Therefore, it behooves the church to be all the more diligent and conscientious in preaching the Gospel and encouraging its members to live and serve according to the dictates of sound Truth and sound Doctrine; the Word of God.