After giving instructions on how to recognize those who teach what is contrary to the gospel and how deal with their corrupted teachings, Paul then turns his attention back to Titus:
Titus 2:1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.
In direct contrast to the false teachers, Paul exhorts Titus to present teachings that line up with the gospel message that Christ alone has paid the price for our sins. No matter how high we pile up good works, we cannot pay back our wrongs. However, after we place our faith in Christ, when we trust him and his payment…we are no longer held guilty in the eyes of God. This “not guilty” verdict isn’t an isolated chapter in our lives; instead it bleeds over into every part of who we are and how we live.
After accepting Christ as Savior and becoming “not guilty”, the Cretan believers needed help in figuring out “What’s next?”. We often have similar questions. Thankfully, Paul gave Titus some topics to go over with the new Cretan believers. No doubt they found them challenging, and I bet we will too.
Christian Living literature sells quite well. It seems that everyone is asking “What’s next?” and that many people believe they have the answer for men, or young women, or wives, or retirees, or young parents, etc, etc, etc…every division of people groups you can imagine. Paul divided his Cretan audience into four groups: older men, older women, young women, and young men. He gave direct, tailored advice to each group. Even though each of us only fit into one of these categories, it will be beneficial to look at each one and consider why God is asking for these specific traits at this specific point in our lives.
Titus 2:2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith in love and in endurance.
Each of these characteristics look toward the highest level of maturity. Older men will not reach this level of maturity by accident, either. By default, men will grow increasingly self-centered as we grow older, so these traits are to be reinforced and taught to the older men.
So how does an older man keep from becoming increasingly selfish?
The second half of the verse is key – to be sound in the faith, in love, and in endurance. The Greek word for sound is the same one used in Paul’s direction to Titus for sound doctrine. A healthy faith, a healthy love, and a healthy endurance will guide an older man into clearheaded, dignified, and sensible living.
Faith, love, and endurance are kept healthy as they are related back to the sound doctrine of the gospel. In God’s salvation plan, we find a place for our faith, our greatest example of selfless love, and the ultimate model of endurance.
If you fit the category of an older man, look to Christ to keep your faith, love and endurance healthy. These should be your aim as you live out your relationship with Jesus.
If you don’t fit the category, I’m certain you know someone who does. Will you pray for them today? Ask God to give them the desire to be sound in the faith, in love, and in endurance.