Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #268 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Titus 2 today and our focus is on What is Sound Doctrine + Why Did Jesus Come, Redux. + Bonus: Where is the Skull of Titus now?! We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Titus, like Timothy is one of Paul’s younger apostolic charges, and had quite a few adventures with Paul, travelling with him and Barnabas to Jerusalem, as well as serving as a peace-maker in Corinth, travelling in ministry to Dalmatia, and finally, being left by Paul on the island of Crete, to establish leadership in new churches there. Two interesting facts about Titus: he apparently was NOT circumcised (according to Galatians 2:3), and his skull – yes, his skull – was taken from Crete at some point, and kept in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy for a while, before being returned to Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, in 1966, where it, and by it I mean Titus’ skull – is kept in a silver relic box now. And no, I didn’t make that up, and I am not 100% sure it is the real Titus’ skull either.
Ok, enough funny business. What is sound doctrine? Paul is going to tell us at the very beginning of this chapter, and the answer might surprise you:
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
What accords, or agrees with sound doctrine Paul? I tell you what – let’s go ahead and read the whole chapter, because it turns out a lot of things do.
Okay – that’s a lot of commands. A few weeks ago, we talked about whether the Bible was sexist or not because it sometimes gives commands to women. Here we see commands to women, commands to young men, old men, servants, and older women. Some of these commands are different to each group, and some are quite similar.
Older man are to be sober-minded and dignified. They are to be sound in the faith and in love and in steadfastness, and they are to be self-controlled. Younger men have only one command, in this particular chapter, and that is to be self-controlled. Does this mean men struggle with self-control? That’s a good question, but the answer may not matter – I don’t think every command in the Bible is written to counter a particular weakness. Paul writing to older men to be steadfast doesn’t necessarily mean that older men in particular struggle with being resolute and unwavering – I think it simply means that older men MUST be resolute and unwavering. Older women are to be reverent, and are not to slander or be slaves to much wine. Does this mean that older women struggle with drinking a lot? I guess if that is the case, it also means that elders and deacons struggle with drinking too much, because Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4 that elders and deacons can’t drink too much. And, for the record, I don’t think drinking too much is a particular struggle of older women, elders and deacons – these commands mean that older women, elders and deacons are not to drink too much- a command that is repeated for everybody elsewhere in the Bible.
Younger women are to be taught to love their husbands (which might sound sexist until you remember that Paul tells husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church in Ephesians 5) Wives are also taught to be submissive to their husbands, which reminds me again that husbands are commanded to sacrificially love their wives like Christ loved the church. Sacrifice and submission – two equally difficult commands. Bondservants are commanded to not steal from their bosses and to not be argumentative, and I take it that such a command can also include those who work for companies and have leaders over them, which is almost all of us, really.
Why all these commands, Paul? what’s the big deal?? And he answers that question in vss. 11-12:
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Older men are to be steadfast and sober minded because God’s grace has come in the person of Jesus, and He will return. Wives love their husbands for the same reason. Servants serve their bosses well for the same reason. Older women are to avoid slander for the same reason and younger men – you guessed it- younger men are to be self controlled because Jesus has come and He is returning again. This informs our behavior. It informs how we work in the workplace. It informs how we live in our families and extended families. The coming of Jesus and His second coming has multiple practical ramifications on how we live our lives in every sphere of influence. And note how practical these commands are- we must live a certain way if we are in Christ, and that way impacts our home life, our work life and our leisure life. Why? Because Jesus came, and He is coming again. By the way, Paul – why did Jesus come? And he gives us a great answer:
the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14
Glorious Jesus came to give himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness. What does redeem mean? It means to regain possession of something in exchange for a payment. Jesus was the payment, and He reclaimed us for the Kingdom of God at the cost of His broken body and His spilled precious blood. He came not only to purchase/redeem us, but also to purify us – to make us holy (this is why we have many practical commands here on our behavior – holy people live a set apart and different way from the world. Holy doesn’t mean religious – it means separate.) Not only did He come to redeem us and purify us, but He also came to make us pumped and excited about doing good works and helping people. Why do we do that? Paul gives an answer in vs. 10 when he is talking about the behavior of bond-servants:
so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. Titus 2:10
Our behavior, character, actions, fruit, words – all of these things are like decorations or adornments on the truth that we are to be proclaiming – that truth being that Jesus came to give Himself for us to redeem us and purify us and to make us want to do good for all people.
Bible Memory verses for the month of September: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17
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