Grace-Energized-Women: No Slander and No Excess
Part 3 Continued from October 31st
Godly women seek to be reverent in their behavior, and are careful in all their conversations.
v. 3c “not given to much wine” (3)
Paul here focuses upon the self-controlled moderation that is to characterize women of every age in Christ's church.
Godly women are Spirit-controlled in every part of their life. They resist excess in any area of daily life. They are not slaves to any substance, to any amusement, to any fashion, or to any attitude that does not please their Master in Heaven.
Most women in the early church were formerly pagans. Drunkenness was the norm for many women in that society. Drinking was the best way to forget about the problems of being a “slave” to a pagan man who looked upon his wife as a convenience that bore him legitimate children and enhanced his reputation in the community. Because this life was all there is to a pagan, hopelessness led to drunkenness. Paul said that prior to salvation they all were “without hope and without God (Ephesians 2:12).
Coming to Christ changed everything, but old habits are hard to break. The old ways of their husbands would come back, old pains from emotional and physical abuse would resurface, and the temptation to slip back to the intemperance of slavery to wine would grow strong. Lack of physical control of any appetite points to a spiritual immaturity. Both Timothy and Titus were told to beware of women returning to their old habits in this realm of drinking.
Today “not given to much” goes far beyond merely wine. There are so many forms of alcohol never imagined in the Biblical times that can be abused, plus drugs (both acceptable and unacceptable kinds) that can be abused, tobacco that can be abused,, wonderful varieties of food that can be abused, beautiful varieties of fashionable clothing that change with every season that can be abused, housing options, exercise options, recreation options—all that can be abused and become addictions.
There is a generation of believers who have never tasted a drop of alcohol and pride themselves in that choice—while overeating with daily regularity; and both are condemned by God in Proverbs 23:19-21 side-by-side.
Because of Romans 14:15-21 and I Corinthians 8:9-13, we see that though the Bible never forbids wine drinking, our liberty is limited by the consciences of other believers and our testimony to the world. The lesson of temperance is consistency.
We must be cautious of any intemperance; and “not be given to” too much of anything, be it the use of money, the enjoyment of leisure, or the establishment of a house to live in. Whatever we do is to be tempered by the glory of God. He must be the object and focus of all we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (NKJV)
Modern society has elevated fashion almost to the point of idolatry. Clothing stores, newspaper and magazine advertising, and television commercials are like giant billboards that continually proclaim, “We covet clothes.”
Expensive, often ostentatious jewelry for both men and women is becoming more and more prevalent as a means to flaunt material prosperity and glorify self. We are continually goaded to put our bodies and apparel on parade.”
Godly women are Spirit-controlled in every part of their life. They resist excess in any area of daily life. They are not slaves to any substance, any amusement, any fashion, or any attitude that does not please their Master in Heaven.
Godly Women Seek to be Reverent in Their Behavior, Careful in All Their Conversations, and Never Enslaved to Anything but Christ
v. 3d “teachers of good things” (4)
Paul starts and ends this third verse with the same thought. Godly women show-and-tell. They live what they teach. They train others in the pattern they have learned. Their walk speaks louder than their talk. Their life is under God’s control in all areas: their tongues, their appetites, and their habits. They do not overindulge themselves, they are not overweight gluttons, they are not pleasure-hungry, they are not malicious talkers. These godly older women were noble in everything and in the way they lived life they taught by their actions what is good! Titus 2:3 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. NIV
Paul always stressed preaching and teaching what he was already living. In his instructions to Timothy he said, 1 Timothy 4:16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. NASB
Titus was to encourage these older women to develop a ministry of teaching younger women what is good. Younger women with children were to keep their primary focus at home (Titus 2:4-5), but the older women would do well to reach outside their homes and share what they had learned with those who would profit from it most.
A godly woman teaches by her life what is good in God’s sight. She carefully chooses the “better part” as Mary did over Martha. Titus two women see every area of their lives as an open book that should and does teach Christ's gracious Lordship. They can say as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. NKJV
And who is an older woman? Technically, in this passage it was a woman who was past raising her children. Some commentators even say the age of sixty, as Paul does in the widow’s list of I Timothy 5. But in reality there is no chronological age given. For every woman in this church there are some older and some younger. To those older, you are to look and see if they are an example of Christ—if they are, ask them to show you what they have learned and how they do it. For those who are younger, you are to seek to get into their lives and help them bring every area of their lives under the gracious Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Every young lady and woman in this church should have as their highest desire the goal of being first a Titus two student of some godly older-in-the-faith woman. And, the highest honor, the greatest goal in the life of every older woman in this church is to have the honor of being that older-woman-in-the-faith. If you have children, that is where you must start. If they are grown and gone, ask God to begin filling your lives with younger women into whom you can prayerfully pour the love and wisdom of Christ gleaned from His Word and by your years of walking in the Spirit!
Every godly woman has the opportunity to teach the younger generation of women in the church. This instruction is to occur in informal settings, such as one on one, small groups, or women’s Bible studies. And this instruction is both by word and example. Many young women today were not raised under a biblical family model. That’s a challenge for the older women in the church.
This sermon will be continued tomorrow November 2nd as we look at how women seek to be reverent in their behavior and careful in their conversation.
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