Titus Two Women
Teaching Good and Life Models
When the Gospel of the life-changing grace of Jesus Christ entered the Roman world of the New Testament, the condition of family life was very bleak. Paganism had all but erased the plans God had left for marriage and the family.
When Christ's church entered the world sharing His grace, life was very dark. Christian marriages and homes were started in a sin-warped, sin-darkened world of mixed-up marriages, sin-scarred lives, and confused families.
Men didn’t know about their role as men in the home and church; and women didn’t understand their gender-specific roles in the home and at church.
Husbands had never heard about servant leadership, and women had never had gracious, Spirit-energized submission modeled for them by their mothers or anyone else they knew.
The grace that Titus 2:1-13 offered, empowered the believers to overcome every level of culture in the New Testament world that was completely antagonistic to the Christian home.
· First, the Old Testament Jewish culture had moved away from God’s plan for marriage and the home by expanding the divorce provisions of Deuteronomy 24 top include anything a husband didn’t like. By Christ's day divorce was commonplace and expected. Many men felt women were only an object to be used. A common prayer that has survived through the centuries contained the following words that reflected the perception of women held in those days: “God, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” Grace taught them to deny this error.
· Next, the secular Greek culture that had influenced the world before the New Testament times had decimated women. In Greek society men were allowed to have concubines and consorts and maintained wives for legitimate heirs. Culturally across the pagan world, women were considered to be little more than servants . Grace taught them to deny this error.
· Finally, the first century Roman society, built upon the Greek society, plunged the family even deeper into darkness. Divorce became widespread, and as affluence increased—family life decreased. Many women of the Roman world chose to not have children because it ruined the looks of their bodies. Grace taught them to deny this error.
So what plan did God have to penetrate such an antagonistic culture? How would God get His gospel to the furthest corners of the Roman World of Paul’s day? The plan was simple. God said His saving grace would change people from the inside out. Then His grace taught, modeled, and exhibited by Paul and Titus would produce matured believers.
Steeped in such a family-unfriendly culture, men and women who were gloriously saved did not automatically become great wives and mothers, or husbands and fathers. When they came to Christ and were forgiven, God graciously gave them everything they needed to become godly wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers. But, they needed something else. They need worship services that taught them to believe correctly, and then they needed matured believers to disciple them in how to behave correctly.
Then mature godly women would each find a younger woman in the church and spend time with her teaching her how to change her attitude, her marriage, and her family.
These new believers needed coaching, training, modeling, and encouraging in a one-on-one relationship. Godly behavior is a series of choices; and those men and women had to be nurtured in daily skills that would lead to loving marriages and families.
Modeling seems to be among the big dreams of many young ladies in our culture today. But the best and most rewarding modeling career is with God. The spiritual shape of a woman is what matters eternally, not her physical shape. And, with godly modeling the rewards last forever!
And that is the vital spiritual mentoring ministry which we find captured for us in Titus 2.
Christ's Church Used Coaches in Godly Living
Christ's church grew into the potent force for changing the world in the quiet nurturing sessions that Titus 2 men and women performed in practical discipleship. Just as important as the preaching and teaching of the doctrines of God's Word was the modeling and nurturing of individual saints through practical hands-on lessons in godly living.
For just a moment please follow along in your Bibles in Titus 2:1-8, as I again read those 12 special character traits for men and women. Then we will go back to our word-by-word look at the Titus 2 woman of God.
v.1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: v.2 that the older men be:
4. sound in faith,
5. [sound in] love,
6. [sound in] patience;
v. 3 the older women likewise, that they be
1. reverent in behavior,
2. not slanderers,
3. not given to much wine,
4. teachers of good things— v. 4
5. that they admonish
the young women
1. to love their husbands,
2. to love their children, v. 5
3. to be discreet,
7. obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
v. 6 Likewise exhort the young men
1. to be sober-minded, v. 7
2. in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;
3. in doctrine showing integrity,
5. incorruptibility, v. 8
6. sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (NKJV)
When God gets to pick the curriculum for His Church, what does He choose to be taught? He lays down--
The Twelve Characteristics of Women Highly Useful to God
Women who are highly useful to God have these characteristics. The long-term goal of their lives is geared towards being useful to God. Parents who want their children be useful for the Lord begin early on to point their children towards the high calling and great joy of being a Titus 2 woman and the Titus 2 man.
The whole goal of a Titus 2 woman is to train younger women in Biblical, simple-to-measure, Spirit-empowered, love-based living.
Paul did not call for Titus as the pastor to train all the women in these qualities God wanted them to cultivate; rather he called upon the godly older women of Christ's church. He singles out the women of faith, those who had already learned to love their husbands, learned to love their children, and learned to be reverent, godly, modest and wise—and charged them with seeking out and meeting with every younger woman in the church.
The older women are to have mastered all 12 and the younger women are trained in the last seven.
v. 3a “the older women likewise,
that they be reverent in behavior” (1) Living as a Priest for God
First the godly character of the older woman in the faith is profiled. Without a reverent lifestyle behaving like a living sacrifice, dedicated to God—none of the rest even matter. That is why Paul starts here first!
Paul first draws a word from the Roman world to capture the entire bearing of these godly role model women in Christ's church. The Greek word translated “reverent” is used only here in the Bible, and it conveys the idea of priest-like. That word for ‘acting as a representative of a god’ is the word Paul uses to describe the devout and godly character of the Titus 2 woman. Older women are to live like holy priests serving in the presence of God. Their sacred personal devotion to the Lord has slowly come to influence every aspect of their lives.
Godly older woman have simply taken Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Galatians 2:20 seriously.
Bodies presented as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, not conformed to this world, but with transformed and renewed minds,in bodies that are temples of the Holy Spirit glorifying God in your body and spirit, which are God’s; no longer living for me, but Christ living through me.
They have presented themselves to the Lord, they have begun to live life the way God asked them to live—as a walking temple of God, as a consecrated priest of God, as a living sacrifice, and as a bondservant of the Lord.
Godly women Living as a Priest for God;
v. 3b “not slanderers” (2) with Guarded Tongues
Next Paul turns the spotlight on the hardest member of the body to control, according to James--the tongue. Twice in his epistles Paul targets a woman’s habits of their speech, saying it is a spiritual qualifier or disqualifier. Though this is a universal problem we all face, Paul specifically says to women who want to serve Christ's church—guard those tongues. 1 Timothy 3:11 “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything” (NIV).
James 3:2-6 tells us that a tongue out of control, indicates a life out of control; and both can cause much destruction. James goes on to note that the source of all wickedness, especially of an uncontrolled tongue is hell; and it is Satan who is at the root of all gossip, all harmful talk, and all slander. If you are damaging the reputation and ministry of others you are a tool of the devil.
In fact the word “slanderers” here in Titus 2:3 is diabolos, the very name of Satan used of him 34 times in the New Testament. Satan has been a false accuser and so each time he incites a believer to do so they are doing Satan’s work. Satan is the ultimate source of all evil, the root of all wrong behavior; and since James says the tongue is capable of causing great evil, Satan is always close at hand.
This message will be continued on June 5, 2007. Don’t miss “Godly Titus 2 women never are to surrender their tongues to the devil.”
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