Teach and Model Godliness
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 to 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 mature 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 needed worship services that taught them to believe correctly, and then they needed mature 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 two.
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 two 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 two 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:
- Sound in faith,
- [Sound in] love,
- [Sound in] patience;
v. 3 the older women likewise, that they be
- Reverent in behavior,
- Not slanderers,
- Not given to much wine,
- Teachers of good things— v. 4
- That they admonish
the young women
- To love their husbands,
- To love their children, v. 5
- To be discreet,
- Obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
v. 6 likewise exhort the young men
- To be sober-minded, v. 7
- In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;
- In doctrine showing integrity,
- Incorruptibility, v. 8
- 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—
This sermon will continue tomorrow as we look at “The Twelve Characteristics of Women Highly Useful to God”.
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