You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
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 what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Last week we read of the messed up society which was Crete in the time of Paul’s writing this letter to Titus, and his explaining to Titus what he should be looking for in elders to lead churches in each city.
In this portion of Paul’s letter, he focuses on sound relationships to be built within the church family first with the older men and older women. A sure and steady relationship between older and younger, could only ensure that the younger would receive sound doctrine. Again, we see his focus on character, and what each group should be striving for.
Titus is to set the lead example, so other older men can also encourage the young men by living an exemplary life.
Temperate, could have meant being under control and sober (in character but also in consumption of alcohol). Sound in faith, solidly standing on the Gospel and doctrine of salvation through Christ, and following Jesus’s command to love one another. Endurance, running the race faithfully, which reminds me of Isaiah 40:31, not growing weary.
“that no one will malign the word of God.” and “those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” Have you ever noticed that when one Christian falls from grace, or is caught in some scandal, all Christians are suspect? How many times when secularists look for intolerance and hate, bring up someone like Fred Phelps and his ‘church’ and seem to lump Christians into his cult? Or even just the stupid or thoughtless things we all say or do, which can tarnish not just our own witness, but that of Christians in general- I think this is what Paul was referring to in those verses.
Summing this up, the Gospel is more palatable, and more likely to be received if one who is sharing it is kind, non argumentative, loving and gentle in character, but firm in faith and unshakable on Truth.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. That, is one of the best assurances no matter who you are or where you come from!
Have a blessed day all!