Titus 1-2

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You must teach what is clearly healthy teaching. Teach the older men to always be thoughtful, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and healthy in faith, in love and in patience. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach by setting a good example. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be responsible with matters in the home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will criticize the word of God.

"Dear Titus ..."

Why did Paul Write?

What will become of the church on Crete? Who will lead them?

Sound Doctrine = Healthy Teaching.

What is the function of elders? Character and virtues are listed, but why are these mentioned? Consider the function and role of elders/bishops/shepherds – they teach us how to live. It is incarnational.

I remember my Grandma Curtis ...

These people were teachers, but also lessons. Older men and women who modeled healthy, godly teaching for the younger men and women they knew.

Living Curriculum:
- Paul’s advice to Timothy on Crete: Forget the debates, don’t get anxious and worried.
- Don’t suppose that you have to have better, snappier curriculum than your opponents. Develop a living curriculum!

  1. Older men who model the healthy teaching
  2. Older women who model the healthy teaching and are not given to vices that create stereotypes.
  3. These will mold and shape the generation of younger men and women.
  4. You also, set a good example for them all, but especially the younger men.
  5. Everyone, even the household servant, ought to live out the grace of God in healthy, holy ways – and the Way of God will be catch people’s attention

Grace for All Ages, Genders, Classes:
- Why? Why do it like this? Wouldn’t it be better to develop a formula for salvation? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to create a code of behavior? [It’s interesting that one of the earliest extra-biblical documents, the Didache, is not canonized]
- We are not called to be rule-keepers. We are called “to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age.” (2:12)
- Lists of rules can change from generation to generation. They change with styles and cultures. They are not absolute. Smoking has been taboo in the south, but you say not a word against it in Kentucky churches! As a teen I heard sermons and lessons against dancing, but these lessons were written for a generation before me. Lessons spoke of “what dancing led to” – and I often pointed out that there’s no more “leading to.” My generation skipped dancing and started with “the what it leads to.”
- Rules and lessons can become outdated or inappropriate in some circumstances – but self-control, righteousness, and godliness are always appropriate!
- Why? Because they spring from the transforming message of the gospel of Christ. His sacrifice and his expected return (Read 2:11-14)
- Whether we are young or not so young, whether we are men or women, whether we are rich and independent or poor and indebted. No exceptions! All of us are called to demonstrate the power of God to change lives in ways that fit our role and situation.
- That takes more than rules it takes character. And the gospel of Grace, the healthy teaching, produces healthy lives.

Who’s the Living Lesson that you remember. Who’s the Living Lesson you see?

  1. Look at them and ask, how does the grace of God makes them “zealous for good works?”
    - Older men, older women – don’t retire from faith! Serve us!
    - Younger women, learn from the older women – learn to love your family!
    - Younger men, let’s be wise, let’s start living for more than just looking forward to cashing in our investments!
  2. Then ask, how does it train me to be like them. How can I follow them as they follow Christ?
  3. Let God shape you into a living lesson for this present age.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 10 January 2010

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