Maintaining a Balanced Life in an Obsessive-Compulsive World
God has placed a "Help Wanted" ad online in His Word. He wants to enlist a special group of older and younger men to be highly useful to Him. These godly men, along with their counterparts among the older and younger women, will be highly compensated with eternal, unfading, personalized reward accounts in Heaven. That summarizes our portion of Scripture in Titus 2:1-8 today.
As we begin to examine the first quality in the lives of men highly useful to God, remember that we are looking at the exact, literal Greek words that the Spirit of God guided the Apostle Paul to write. God's Word teaches a doctrine of inspiration that declares that the Bible was "verbally" inspired. That means every "word" in the Scriptures God gave to us, was fully guided, superintended, and engineered by the Spirit of God.
Our God has laid down a specific curriculum made up of 24 very powerful, very clear, and very understandable words. In verse 2 we are examining the first word God uses to describe these godly, highly useful, and greatly compensated men.
In the five key translations of God's Word, that are most helpful and useful in bringing God's Word into English, this word is rendered as:
Titus 2:2 "that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;" NKJV
- "Sober" as this Greek word nephalious is rendered in the KJV and NKJV;
- "Sober-minded" is the way that the ESV renders it; and
- "Temperate" is the rendering you find in both the NIV and the NAS.
This word is defined in Greek language dictionaries as: "to be sober, circumspect; to abstain from wine (keep sober), to be discreet, to be sober-minded, to watch, and to stay un-intoxicated".
Practically applied, we can say that the word we will study today means:
To be un-intoxicated by any substance or pleasure; and to never get "controlled by" or addicted to any comfort, convenience, security, work, sports, amusements, or wealth. Which means a surrendered man with a godly, sober mind, maintains a balanced life in an obsessive-compulsive world.
This first quality, that God wants taught, is not coincidental. God is very purposeful. Each of these qualities impacts all the rest of the person's life. Our God knows what we each need cultivated in our lives to be useful to His plan. So within each of the four groups that make up ALL believers, God has specific and chosen qualities which were sent by God in a specific order.
What is the primary spiritual quality God wants cultivated by each group of people within His church?
- Older men are to first pursue the balanced life, unintoxicated by work, sports, money, convenience, security or amusements in an extremely obsessive culture.
- Older women have as their primary goal, the reverent life, behaving as a representative for our Holy God in an extremely unholy culture.
- Younger women must be pointed to first seek a self-sacrificing love in contrast to an extremely self-centered culture.
- Younger men need deep encouragement to above everything else, be living a restrained life in an extremely lust-filled, unrestrained culture.
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