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God’s Plan For Your Life


God's Plan For Your Life

Christ’s church was born into a sin-warped, sin-darkened world of mixed-up marriages, sin-scarred lives, and confused families. But 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 small group discipleship times to learn how to behave correctly.
These new believers needed coaching, training, modeling, and encouragement 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.
And that is the vital ministry that 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.
The building blocks of Christ’s church are Spirit-filled men and women whose lives are given daily as obedient servants of God.
God wants men and women that will mentor, nurture, and coach godly living for His church. These individuals believe that God has called them to touch one life at a time for His glory.


Welcome to week 43. We’re in Titus chapter 2, we’re looking at what probably is the most powerful lesson of all of our small group lessons that we do, that’s God’s recovery program. What I mean by that, we were all born sinners by nature, by our choices and by God’s divine decree. We are unable to please or serve God as we are. What is God’s solution? God is a savior. He wants to save us, forgive us, and make us useful. That’s what sanctification is. In fact, I wrote that sanctification is being useful to God. Plus, it helps us have the best life possible. It helps us have the best marriage that’s possible. It helps us to have the best family, and the best ministry, and the best way to be doing our work, and everything else in life; by being sanctified, by being useful to God.

Titus 2, which we’re going to look at today. I’m going to do this lesson sitting down at this table, as if I was sitting across from you. I do read some of the comments, not all of them, there are too many. Today I saw two comments. One from someone, somewhere in Scandinavia and another one from someone in England. They said, I got my coffee. I’m sitting across the table. I’ve got my Bible. I’ve got my notebook. I’m ready. I thought, that’s how I think. I think like you’re right there. We’re going to look at Titus 2. I’m going to show you the only curriculum for discipling every person in the Church. As I show you my Bible what you’ll see is, God says Titus, through the Apostle Paul inspiring him, Titus, write to the older and younger men and the older and younger women. Older men, older women, younger women, younger men. Those are the four groups. Older men, older women, younger women, younger men.

What I always ask when I’m sitting in my small group, who else could be in the Church than women and men, older and younger. It’s the only place where, in one small space of eight verses, every group in the Church is addressed by God, through Paul, in the book of Titus. Unbelievable. Roman culture… you might think, yeah, Paul sent Titus to this vibrant men’s study group or this unbelievable flourishing women’s ministry. No. What we’re going to see is, Roman culture, the Roman world in the second half of the 1st century is totally on display at Crete. Crete was a Roman province that was just beating with the heartbeat of Rome.

What were they like? This is what Titus 1 tells us. They were “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” That’s Titus 1. What does that mean? The people that God told Paul to send Titus to minister to had total untrustworthiness. They were always liars. They had total out of control lives. They were like brute beasts, like wild animals. They were living totally in pursuit of their appetites. The Bible words are lazy gluttons. Living, as Paul said to the Philippians, whose god is their stomach. Whatever they want is what they live for. Look at this, sounds like life in America and the developed world these days. People are lying and living like animals and living for their desires. It’s just the same mission field that Paul sent Titus to, that God is sending you and me to.

Let me get down here to the table and I’m going to sit across the table from you. What you need is your Bible. This is my Bible. All of you that ask regularly, what kind of a Bible is that? Look down in the description of this video later and you’ll see a link to it. You can actually look at a picture of it. You need your notebook. Again, down in the links there’s a picture of what kind of notebook I use. You’ll need it throughout this week. I’m just introducing Titus 2, but you’re starting today, for this whole week, going through this passage. I encourage you to use your MacArthur study Bible to read the scripture of Titus chapter 2. The Bible, that’s the top part of each page. Let me get to Titus 2 here. Then, read all those footnotes that are at the bottom. When you open to Titus chapter 2, and it would’ve helped if I’d have put a marker in here, this is a very long passage. Titus, all of this is introductory in the MacArthur Study Bible, the background notes, the title, the background, then the outline is on this page. Then over here, this portion is the scripture. This portion is the footnotes. This is what I’d told you, those footnotes, and there are 25,000 of them, are like going to seminary going for a theological education. If you read the scripture, tie it to the footnotes, and then follow the little notes. Some of the notes say, look at the table in the back where these topics are or it’ll say look at this, money’s weights and measurements, or it will take you to an Old Testament or New Testament passage. That is what makes this like a theological education. Reading the MacArthur Study Bible is like going to Bible school or seminary for a year. It’s so powerful and life changing. Then, also down in the description, I tell you about a theology; systematic theology that helps you in understanding the sanctification terms or justification or imputation or whatever theological term.

Here we go, let’s go through the slides. If you look down, I can’t help but tell you, Bonnie and I were able to be right here. About six weeks ago we were teaching a two month segment in Greece for quite a few weeks. Then, in Italy for a few more weeks. This happens to be, you’re looking right at, the Church of Titus. The Byzantine Church of Titus. That’s Christian Roman Empire after Constantine in 313 AD. This is the pulpit right there of the Church of Titus in the ancient Roman city. I’ll write it for you, because a lot of you look stuff up, I know, on Google. Gortyn. G. O. R. T. Y. N. or Gortys on some maps. This is the church that’s built over the site where Titus is buried after he was martyred, after he pastored in this area when Paul sent him here.

We’re on week 43, we’re doing Titus 2. Here’s what we’re studying. God’s recovery program is sanctification. Remember, we’re on a yearlong journey of understanding, applying God’s word. We’re in the 43rd week of that journey. We’re looking at this special chapter of Paul’s three chapter pastoral epistle to Titus. I already said this on the whiteboard, this is God’s curriculum for every person in the church. Some of you regularly ask how do you get to that playlist? Right there, is what’s in the description of this video, the YouTube playlist that has all 43 of these week studies, all the previous ones and this one. Plus, I give you some bonus material, longer studies, on some of the key topics; like angels, and prophecy, and the birth of Christ, and biblical fasting, all different ones of the Old Testament law and Moses, and everything. I call those a, b, c… Last week we had lesson 42, we had lesson 42a. That’s what you’ll find right down here at this playlist. The purpose of it, never forget, I want you to understand the word of God. Which is the biblical, theological division called hermeneutics, how to interpret the Bible properly. Many people do that, but you know what? Most people don’t do. This is why the Church around the world is so weak. We don’t apply it, so that’s one of our big emphases.

How do we do that? We survey the whole Bible. How do we do that? Out of the 1,189 chapters I’ve picked 52 that are the greatest. What I mean by that is, they are the ones that summarize all of the major doctrines, all of the attributes of God, all of the key devotional elements for our lives. When we cover those 52 chapters or passages, we use the devotional method. That’s writing a title, like I did back here behind me on the whiteboard. Finding all the lessons, which I’ll type out and show you in just a minute in my journal, and the truths, and the doctrines. You just write those in your own words. Then, look at this, you write an application prayer in what you want God to do in your life to change us by His truth. I’ll actually show you, and read to you, and pray my prayer.

Let’s jump in the book of Titus. This is the book of Titus. If I could summarize the whole book not just chapter 2 it would be, live as reflections of Christ. Look up here on the board with me. What Paul sent Titus to do is, to go and invade Crete and train all the people that he could in Crete, how to live as reflections of Christ. What do I mean by that?

I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell you again. There was this Lady that was living the wild party life in Great Britain. Drugs and alcohol and immorality and everything else. She finally wore herself out. She was well past middle aged and starting to not look like she was part of the party circuit. She was getting a little old, so she was getting discouraged. She was sitting on The Tube, the London subway. She took her smartphone out and she typed into Google, hope. Guess what? Google offered up in her search results, a video from one of our series called the Season of Hope. In fact, we’re running it right now. I call it doses of hope as we are coming into this Christmas season. She couldn’t believe she watched that little six minute clip, which was me giving the Gospel at the end of a concert, about how to live in hope in a dark and hopeless world. This is what she said, she sent me a note. She said, I was sitting there with my earbuds in, watching that video. She said, God got ahold of my heart, convicted me of my sin, the way I’d been living, my hopelessness and darkness. She said, when you said to bow your head, she said, I just instinctively did that. Right there on the subway. She said, I wonder what the people sitting around me thought. Probably nothing, because everybody acts crazy nowadays and nobody pays attention to anybody. She said, I bowed my head. Then you said, if you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ raise your hand right now, like you’re reaching out to Him, right where you are. She said, on the London Tube speeding between stations, I raised my hand to God. She said, in my heart I just cried out to Him and said, I believe You. I know I’m a sinner. I know that Christ died in my place. I know that You’re my only hope, saved me. She said, I’m writing to you because that was six months ago. She said, my life has totally changed. I am a completely different person. She said, I’m not in the party scene anymore. I’m not endlessly going to concerts, and bars, and picking up, or trying to be picked up. She said, everything is changing. She said, I’m studying the scriptures in your small group.

Did you know, life in America, the developed world today, is just like the Roman culture? We’re surrounded by people that are lying because they’re covering up, and hiding, and trying to look good, and they’re out of control. They’re being driven by their appetites. They’re just pursuing their appetites. That’s a description of where we are. That’s why this study is so important, because God has put you and me right into wherever we live to reflect Jesus Christ. That’s what I hope you get out of this lesson, that it is not just an academic exercise to learn more about Titus, and the book of Titus, and sanctification, and the 1st century, and Bible study methods but how to, look back at the slide, the book of Titus is how to live as a reflection of Christ into a very dark and needy world.

The first chapter is specifically to the elder, shepherd, pastors of the assembly and they were to be explaining God’s expectations. In the second chapter are the expectations of God, His curriculum for every saint. We’re supposed to display or reflect Christ. That’s what doctrine’s about. Then, the third chapter of Titus, we’re only covering the second but I want you to know the whole book, is God’s plan for life on Earth. We’re supposed to reflect the good works. Remember, Jesus went around doing good works. I’ll show you. In fact, look over at my Bible, I marked them. If you see, starting right here in Titus chapter 1 and starting in verse 16, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good works.” God is looking at our works, what comes out of our life. I circle works and works. This is the negative, now look at this. Titus 2:7, “In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of,” what’s that? “Good works.” “Zealous for good works,” that’s verse 14. Look at chapter 3, verse 1. In every good work, “be ready.” Look down at chapter 3, verse 8. “Maintain good works.” Look at verse 14. “Let our people also learn to maintain good works.” Do you see what the Lord is interested in?

Look back at the slides. Live as reflections of Christ. How do we reflect Christ? We live reflecting His good works. We should be the model worker, the model husband or wife or child, the model person that is a citizen of any country on Earth, we should reflect Christ’s good works. Anybody that’s a Christian should be reflecting that winsomeness of Christ.

That was the book of Titus. Let’s talk about the person of Titus. Remember the pastoral epistles 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus were written to people. Titus was one of Paul’s trusted representatives. One of his most trusted workers. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas. We read about that in Galatians 2 and Acts 15, as they’re at the Jerusalem council. Then he was sent on a restoration mission to Corinth. Do you remember when we studied a few weeks back Corinth? That was Paul’s biggest project. Paul wrote more chapters to Corinth (29 chapters) and more books (he wrote 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians). Then from Corinth, he wrote Romans, and Titus, and 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Six of the New Testament books are attached to Corinth and more chapters written directly to them than any other church. It’s unbelievable. That was Paul’s biggest project. Why? Because they really needed sanctification.

Titus took his severely worded letter confronting their sins, if you remember. They had this sinning member that was worse than the pagans. Then he, Titus, was given instructions to enforce at Corinth, so he went as Paul’s representative to Corinth. Then he leaves Corinth to meet Paul up in Macedonia. Whenever we say Macedonia that’s either up in Thessalonica, Philippi or Berea, those three churches that Paul established in Macedonia, which is Northern Greece. In 2 Corinthians 2, we read about that in chapter 7. Then, here’s how we bump into Titus. Paul left him to establish the church, in Crete. That’s what’s going on.

What was the task for Titus? What kind of people can God transform? Do you remember, this is what I showed you from Titus chapter 1:12-13. “One of them,” that was a Cretan, “a prophet of their own, said,” this is a quotation from Epimenedes. “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” While we were teaching in Crete we actually went to Epimenedes’ hometown, he lived by the palace which we call Naxos on Crete. It’s near Heraklion. In 600 BC, this guy named Epimenedes lived in Crete and wrote that the Cretan culture was liars, evil beast, and lazy gluttons. Paul quotes that 600 years later and says, hey, Epimenedes had it right. These people are totally untrustworthy, totally out of control, totally in pursuit of their appetites. They’re always liars, always brute beast, always lazy gluttons. Look what verse 13 says, “Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” This word sound is hygiainō, it means healthy. Healthy in the faith. Healthy in biblical doctrine.

Titus’ mission was to reach people that had total untrustworthiness, total out of control living, totally were pursuing their appetites. As Paul exactly said, “always liars, evil beast, lazy gluttons”, quoting Epimenedes.

Where was Paul when he wrote that? Do you remember? Paul was in Corinth writing the epistle to those in Crete where he had sent Titus. Isn’t that interesting? When you see it on the map, remember a few weeks back when we were over here in Galatia. Remember we were here? Do you remember when we were doing spiritual warfare in the book of Ephesians? Do you remember when Paul was at the Jerusalem council in Act 15? He’s headed to be under the law court of Nero in Rome. This is the New Testament world. He spent so much time in Corinth and Cenchrea, Act 17 in Athens, and all of this up here is Macedonia. It’s amazing to see, but Paul wrote to Titus from Corinth to Crete.

Roman Crete in century 1 was a world of sin scarred lives. You can’t live the way Titus 1:12-13 says without getting scarred. Messed up marriages. Not at all knowing, understanding, or living what God planned for marriage. Which of course produces confused families, which has family members who have sin scarred lives, who end up having a messed up marriage, and they confuse another generation. That was the kind of vicious cycle that was going on in Roman Crete century 1 and might I add, today.

Again, remember Paul wrote 13 epistles. From Corinth he wrote 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Romans and Titus. He’s writing Titus here, near the end of his ministry. He wrote to Timothy when he was up in Macedonia. He’s gotten down to Corinth after he was released from prison between 62 and 64 AD. He’s going to get back in prison and write 2 Timothy.

I want you to enjoy a quick visit to Roman Crete. What I’ve done is this is a video that I took when we were teaching on the island of Crete as part of our lessons when we were teaching and serving. Bonnie and I are full-time missionaries. We teach in Bible institutes, and we teach in all different settings. Some in seminaries, and some in churches, but mostly classes like this, remote education through training centers. While we were in Greece, look at this.

(Video from Crete starts.) I don’t know if there can be a more thrilling place. After years, decades, of teaching on Titus 2 to walk around these archeological remains of the Church of Titus. A vivid reminder that the Gospel of Jesus Christ took root 2,000 years ago, right here in Crete. Right here in Gortyn, capital of the Roman Crete province. Right here, this huge church from the 6th century reminds us that Christianity flourished here for eight centuries, until the Cyrenians came and swept through, and drove out the Christians. This is a place, a Memorial that the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Titus declares in chapter 1, sends the grace of God as Titus chapter 2 says, so that we can live as Titus 3:5 says, that new life that Jesus Christ gives us. What a blessing to be here and to be reminded of the power of God unto salvation and the grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness. (Video from Crete ends.)

I better not go on that, because I would talk too long, but it was a thrill to be in what is the largest archeological ruins in all of Greece. It is the two square miles. This church right here that you see is right in the center of two square miles of Roman ruins. This was a vast city of over a 100,000 people in Roman times, in the time of Paul, and in the time he commissioned Titus to plant churches and to serve the Lord there.

God’s recovery program is always sanctification. John 17:17 says in Jesus’ prayer Jesus said, “sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” The truth of God’s word is the sanctifying power that God uses to, look over there, do you remember? Sanctification makes us useful to God and gives us the best life, the best marriage, the best family, the best ministry, the best way to be useful to God on Earth. It’s not just for me, look, it’s for every person in the Church. Older and younger men, older and younger women. That’s everybody. That’s what God wants. Back to the slides. That’s God’s recovery program, sanctification by God’s truth. Sanctify them through thy truth. It says, makes us useful to God.

The best life is a sanctified life. The best marriage is a sanctified marriage. The best family is a sanctified family, the best ministry is a ministry that’s sanctified by the word of God. I always say this, if you’re looking for a passage to study in depth that can change your life, here it is. If you want a special passage to memorize and meditate upon that can transform your thinking and life’s direction, here it is. It’s this curriculum. If you want to go through life confident that you’re doing exactly what God wants you to do each day, here it is. It’s the pathway of usefulness to God because Titus 2’s curriculum is for everyone in Christ’s Church. The older men, the older women, the younger women, the younger men. That’s what we’re going to look at as we walk through each of these verses.

The curriculum that God sent in this chapter we’re going to study has 12 specific character qualities for godly men, and 12 for godly women. If you want to be God’s godly man, He tells you how. If you want to be God’s godly woman, He tells you how. Lives transformed by sanctification. It’s the theme of everything that Paul did. In fact, for just a minute, if you look at Paul’s ministry, Paul in Acts 9-28 was God’s ambassador. Look what he did. He was saved here, then God starts the sanctification work by training him in Arabia. Jesus met with him. Then, he sends Him home to his home church to get trained. Then, he goes to Antioch where his training continues. Paul is sanctified by what we would call discipleship.

Then, he takes off and starts teaching that sanctification. He does so on his first missionary journey going from his home church in Antioch, around through here and back down to Jerusalem. On his second missionary journey he goes from Jerusalem up through Asia Minor, through Greece, back to Asia Minor, and then back to Jerusalem. On his third missionary journey he leaves from his home church in Antioch, goes through Asia Minor, goes over here, cuts down through Greece. He really liked it there, sailed back through Ephesus and goes to Jerusalem. He’s captured, put in prison right here in Caesarea, and he sails, sails, sails. In that journey to his trial before Nero, he goes to Crete. That’s where this whole epistle starts.

Where we find him is right here, he’s in his imprisonment after sailing through Crete and he dispatches, somewhere while he’s in Rome, Titus to go and plant churches. Then, after he is released from this imprisonment and goes to Corinth, he writes this. What we call a pastoral epistle to Titus.

If you were to summarize all of Paul’s life and ministry, there are six powerful lessons Paul learned as God sanctified him. He didn’t just teach sanctification, he lived it during his life in ministry and all of his struggles. Look what God wanted him to learn. He wanted him to learn to wait and study all he could. God kept him for three years in Arabia to learn His theology. He had to wait longer because seven years was the time that he was in his home church. Then he had to go for three more years to be personally discipled by Barnabas. Study all. You can wait for God’s timing, growth takes time. Listen to a Barnabas because everyone needs discipleship. Paul had to learn that. I’m sure he was just chomping at the bit to get out there and reach the world, but God says you need 3, 7, 13 + years. Altogether about 14 years, Paul was trained. He does all those missionary journeys in 10 years. Run the race because God can do so much in short order. He spent 10 years on the mission field. Look at this, learn contentment because God can use us anywhere.

Just for a minute, look up. I just got a note from someone. I get a lot of notes like this, but this one touched my heart this morning. This man said, I’m 62 years old. My family tells me I’m starting into dementia. He said, I’m really having trouble remembering things and everything else. He said, I decided that I was going to get into this study as long as I have my mind left to do this study. This man, the 62 year old man, he lives down in the South of the United States. He says, I’ve started writing everything down in my journal, so I don’t forget what I’ve learned. He said, I’ve started marking in my Bible, so I don’t forget what I learned. This is what he said, I am going to joyfully serve the Lord in this area of my life until I can’t remember anything. Wow, that really impacted me. Today is Sunday. Bonnie and I were getting ready to go to church and fellowship with all the believers. Before all that I read that note. As I sat there, at church this morning, I looked around. I looked around because there are several people that are quite elderly. You talk to them and it’s like they don’t quite remember who you are. I thought, this fellow is just like so many in America these days, that’s just on the onset of slowly losing all of our abilities we used to have. He said, I’m going to use my last days to serve the Lord. Do you know what most people do? They get depressed or they go on this wild journey to do everything they’ve always wanted to do and enjoy everything. You know what? This man, this 62 year old man said, I’m going to spend my last lap getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ and His word better than I’ve ever known. I’m going to find all the truths I can for God to change my life and sanctify me. Then, I’m going to share it with other people. Look back at the slide, learn contentment because God can use us anywhere. Think of Paul’s 10 years in prison. In fact, Dementia and Alzheimer’s is like being in prison. Do you know what Paul was? Content, as that prison and his martyrdom was on the horizon. He says, God can use me to my last breath. I want Him to use me anywhere. Here’s the last lesson, love Jesus more than everything because no one’s indispensable. We’re going to lose our ministry, and our friends, and even our abilities, and our cognition, and everything else, but what we’ll never lose is the one we love supremely the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here’s my journal. I typed it out for you. It’s week 43, Titus 2. The curriculum. I’ve already told you that. Christ’s Church was born into a sin warped, sin darkened world of mixed up marriages, sin scarred lives, and confused families. Here’s the key. Men and women who were gloriously saved did not automatically become great wives and mothers, or great husbands and fathers. When they came to Christ, they were forgiven. God graciously forgave them of everything. They needed to become godly wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, but they needed something else. They needed worship services… that’s why the local church is so important, that taught them… that’s why the preaching of the word is so important, to believe correctly. Look at this, they needed small group discipleship times to learn how to behave correctly. Did you know, a lot of people believe correctly, but they haven’t quite learned how to behave correctly.

How do you learn that? These new believers needed coaching, true 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 them to loving marriages and families. That was the vital ministry, which is captured in our chapter, Titus 2. This is what Titus 2 is about. Christ’s Church used coaches in godly living. The whole second chapter is about how to pour your life into others. Christ’s Church grew into the potent force for changing the world in 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. The building blocks of Christ’s Church are Spirit filled men and women whose lives are given daily as obedient servants of God. God wants men and women that will mentor, nurture, and coach godly living for His Church. These individuals believe that God called them to touch one life at a time for His glory.

Pause with me and look up. Do you realize that you don’t need to spend, let’s see how many years of my life? I went into school at age six. In K-six, I was a slow, I didn’t go to K-4 or k-5. I didn’t get to K until I was six. I did not graduate until 1999. I was in school from 1962 to 1999. Did you know that I’m a slow learner? I was in school for 37 years. I was enrolled in some form of school, all of grade school, then high school, then I went into community college, then I went into the university, then I went into graduate school, after graduate school I went into my doctoral work where for 10 years I was commuting to a satellite location of Dallas Seminary to get my doctorate, until 1999. I was enrolled every semester from 1962 to 1999 in some form of continuing or initial education. You know what? I had a lot of training and I meet people all the time. They would come up to me at conferences or at church. This week at church, someone walked up. They looked at me and they looked at me, and they looked at Bonnie. They walked over to her and said, he’s on YouTube and you’re the one that records him on YouTube. I watched those every day. You know what they think? They think you need to go to school for 37 years to serve the Lord. No. Do you know the only thing we need to do to serve the Lord? Get saved, surrender the Holy Spirit, allow Him to transform our life as we read His word and obey it. Then, find someone that we say, hey, can I share with you what I’m finding in God’s word and how God is changing my life?

Look back at the slide. That’s exactly what was going on since the 1st century Titus 2 men and women have practical discipleship. They model and nurture other saints. They tell them, mentor and nurture, and coach them how to obey the Bible.

Let’s go through the lessons I found in Titus 2:1-2. Look in your Bible and look over here in my Bible. See the first two verses of Titus 2? “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” Look back over here at my slides. Titus was to teach the godly older men to pursue six spiritual goals. I just read them to you.

Next slide, here they are. Sober. That’s what the King James, New King James says. Sober minded, English Standard. Temperate, New American, NIV. By the way, those are my favorite translations of the Bible. There are many, there are dozens, those are my favorite. Notice they’re all similar. Sober, sober minded, temperate. This is what I call that, to apply that when I disciple people. I say sober. That Greek word right there in Titus 2:1 means to maintain a balanced life. Why? Because we live in obsessive compulsive world.

Secondly, be sober, be reverent. That means get serious about God. Why? We’re living in a world that’s amused. Do you remember what everybody spent their check on during COVID from the government? Bigger TVs and games. That’s what the newspaper, in Bloomberg said. That it was a fantastic, amazing amount of purchasing of amusements with our $600 checks we got from the government.

Thirdly, temperate. What does that mean? To live wisely. Why? Because the world around us is living foolishly. Sound in faith. By the way, this is the goal for every man. Older men should be there, every man should have that as their goal. To be sober, reverent, temperate, and sound in faith. What does sound in faith mean? It means to guard a healthy mind. Remember I told you that healthy doctrine, healthy mind, hygiainō. How to be healthy, why? We live in a sick world and it’s not just COVID. COVID isn’t the worst thing. It’s the S.I.N. virus that’s the worst. How do you escape the debilitating effects of being in a sick world? By keeping your mind healthy. How do you do that? By being sound in faith? That’s what the whole book of Titus is about.

Sound in love, staying tender hearted. Why? Because we live in a cruel world and everybody’s getting calloused and hardened to all the suffering and all the needs. If you watch the news or watch any of the video clips of what’s going on, all the riots and everything else around the world and America. All the murders and the trials and everything else, we’re living in a cruel world. If we’re not careful, we get cynical and sarcastic. God said, no. I can keep you tender hearted.

Finally, sound in patience, or endurance as the New International says, or steadfastness as the English Standard says, or perseverance as the New American says. What does that mean? God wants us to finish hopefully. Older men, God says, should be the most hope filled people you know. Why? Because we’re living in a despairing world. That reminds me of that guy that wrote me and said, I’ve got dementia. He said, I’m not going to despair. I’m going to finish hopefully I’m going to finish hopefully by being in the word and by sharing the word.

You say that was so fast, how do I remember it? Do you see this right here? That is an enlargement of a little tiny pocket size, credit card size, card that I have for you. You can download it right here at our Facebook page, in the photo section. Our Facebook page is called 52 Greatest Chapters of the Bible. That link, by the way, is down in the description. I know it’s very hard to type all those and you’ll see more of these in other slides, all the things like that are down in the description. This is what it says, Titus 2 older men be sober, be reverent, be temperate, sound in faith, sound in love. This little pocket size guide, you can carry with you and read this passage and say, God, I want you to help me maintain a balanced life and get serious about you. To live wisely and guard my mind to be healthy. To stay tender and finish hopefully.

Secondly, this is what I wrote in my journal. Titus, secondly, was to teach older women to pursue five spiritual goals and here they are. What does that look like? Here’s the same chart. It says, be reverent in behavior, live holy in an unholy world. Not slanderers, is the scripture, speak gracefully in a graceless world. It should be, when we talk people stop and look at us and say, or think, you’re different, the way you talk. When a waitress makes a mistake, when a workman doesn’t do the work the way you paid him for, when someone you manage, or your boss disappoints you, speak with grace seasoned with salt like Colossians says. Not given to much wine, disciplining your appetites. Teachers of good things, modeling godliness. Every older woman should be living holy, speaking gracefully, disciplining her appetites, modeling godliness, and look at this… this is the highest goal of every woman in the Church, to become one who invests in others in a detached world. What’s that? Admonishing. Pouring your life. Finding someone you can share the word of God with. Be an influence in their life. Again, on Facebook, there’s one of these little cards for older women. The goal of every woman should be to be reverent, not slanders, not given to much wine, teacher of good things, and admonishing. You say, what does that mean? Live holy, speak gracefully, discipline your appetite, model godliness, and invest in others. Did you know, churches would have a lot more people serving if all the older women and older men decided they were going to do what God says His expectations are for them.

Here’s the third thing I wrote in my journal that I typed out for you. Titus was to see the younger women were taught to pursue seven spiritual goals. These are hard goals. Let me go through the chart, I’ll just read them to you. This is what the Bible says, godly younger women were to first and highest first priority, love their husbands. Second, love their children. Third, to be discreet. Fourth, chaste. Fifth, homemakers. Sixth, good. Seventh, obedient to their own husbands that the word of God may not be blasphemed. What does that mean? To love their husbands is to have self-sacrificing love in a selfish world. By the way, look up and I’ll share this, I’ll say it and I can say it because my wonderful wife Bonnie has modeled this for me, all of our 38 plus years that we’ve been married. God says that godly younger women are to be trained by an older woman, how to be lovers of their husbands. The word in Greek is philandros. That’s one word, philandros. It’s two parts phil-, which is the Greek biblical word for close friendship. Remember Jesus said to Peter, Peter, are you even my friend? Are you phileō? Are you my trusted, close, bonded together with me, friend? That’s phil. Philadelphia, city of brotherly love. Do you know what the highest, number one priority for every younger woman in the Church was to be? That Titus was to train the godly older women to mentor and teach the younger women to be best friends with their husbands. Do you know what makes for an amazing best life, and marriage, and family, and ministry on Earth? Like my little note over there is? For wives to be taught that men need close friends.

You know what happens? Most younger women are best friends with their mom and their sisters and their kids. They’re married, and their husband has all these needs and everything, but they’re best friends with the ones they talk to, and spend time with, and pursue all day long. Then their husband comes home, and they are a wife. I know I’m oversimplifying, and I know I’m making some of you feel bad. God’s model that transformed the ancient world that, that changed that Cretan culture, that culture of Rome, that you see on the board. What God did is, He had a group of godly men start living the way they were supposed to live and godly older women start living the way they were supposed to live. They both went to the younger. The godly older men said, you need to start acting like what we’re going to see in a moment. Then, the godly older women went to those younger women and said, don’t waste your life trying to have the prettiest house, and the prettiest complexion, and the prettiest everything. Why don’t you have as your number one priority, and look back at this slide, to be your husband’s best friend. To do that you have to have self-sacrificing love. Then, love your children. Learn how to nurture in a loveless world. Not like one person said, don’t be an Instagram mom where you’re just trying to take pictures of them, but you actually nurture them to have inward beauty. To be discreet, that means focus on God in a foolish world. To be chaste, which means pursue modesty in an immodest world. To be a homemaker, pursue homemaking in a hostile world. In other words, make a place your husband loves to come home to because he’s your best friend. You do everything you can to make that home a place that encourages him. Then, to be good. Pursue kindness in a harsh world. To have a biblical marriage which is pursuing biblical submission, do you remember two weeks ago in Ephesians we talked about that, in a rebellious world. Again, that’s right on the card you can get, here on Facebook. The Titus 2 younger women love their husbands, their children, discreet, and all those applications.

Then, we go to my fourth lesson I found in Titus 2:6 in my journal. Encourage younger men to pursue six spiritual goals here. They are to be sober minded. By the way, this is the one that’s in all for the lists the godly younger and older men, godly younger and older women. All have the same Greek word. Sober mindedness, it’s to live a restrained life in an unrestrained world. Show yourself an example, people following Christ in a Christless world. You know what that means? If someone watches you, they should see you’re going a different direction. That’s what showing yourself to be a pattern, or an example means. Or a model. Thirdly, in doctrine showing integrity. Believing right so I behave right. You should really get that doctrine down, that’s God’s expectations. Committing to it reverence or gravity, seriousness, dignity, or dignified, all different translations of that Greek word, which all mean the same thing. Staying focused on God in a world of distractions. I don’t even need to talk about the distractions. That’s why everybody spent their stimulus check on amusements, we are distracted. Incorruptibility. By the way, that word is in the Western Manuscript and all the earliest church fathers preached on it. It’s not really in the newer versions, the ESV, the NIV and the NIS, but we do find it in the ancient ones. This is what it means, and it’s fascinating. Keeping an incorruptible life in a decaying world. In other words, don’t secretly be bringing into your life things that decay your soul. For young men that’s images, and thoughts, and daydreaming, and fantasizing about immoral things. That’s what decays your soul. That’s what the world is decaying over. Keeping an incorruptible life. That’s why that godly older man comes along and says, are you doing what Job says? Not looking on a young lady and lusting after her, are you letting your eyes be under God’s control in your mind? Then finally, the sixth one is sound speech. Speaking God’s word in a Godless world. Again, that is on a little card that you can get on Facebook. All six of the elements, all six of the applications. That’s my challenge to you.

The fifth thing I found is Titus was encouraged. Titus 2:9 says slaves, which literally was the worker class of the 1st century. Which basically is about 90% of us. 99% if you read financial things, the 1% runs the other 99% of us. We’re supposed to be obedient, well pleasing, not answering back, pilfering, showing fidelity, and adoring the doctrine of God in our work. You want to serve God? Be a Titus 2:9-10 worker. Finally, look over here at my Bible. This, starting in verse 11 of Titus 2 is my very favorite part of Titus 2. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.” Grace that saves us, teaches us to say no to sin. Why? So we can live the way God wants us to live, “soberly.” That’s the word that’s in all four of the groups, this sober word. “Righteously,” that means God’s way. Godly reflecting God “in the present age.” Remember, the whole book’s about reflecting Christ. How do we do it? We look for “the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior,” that’s verse 13. “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us.” “And purify […] for good works.” Look how chapter 2 ends. Paul said to Titus, “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

Back to the slides. The hallmarks of a saved by grace person is they learn to deny ungodliness. They learn to deny lusts. They live soberly. They live righteously. They live godly. They look for Christ’s return. They’re zealous for good works. Those are actually six spiritual signs of a healthy believer.

How did I apply this chapter? I’ll pray this as you look at the words. After reading this and this morning in the dark, thinking about sharing it with you at the Bible study, early this morning I prayed; Lord, I want to live out Your plan for my life. Your plan is reflected in Your curriculum. It’s captured right here in Titus 2. I can’t do this on my own, so help me see Your grace. Teach me each day what is ungodly. I want to deny any ungodliness a place in my life. I want to deny being squashed into the world and its lusts. Rather, I want to live today zealous, as Your zealous servant in this world. Thank you for buying me as Your own. I love You my Lord and my Savior. Amen.

That leads us to two final challenges. You should find someone whom you can share your findings with. Share your application prayer. Pray for us. My wonderful wife joins me. We just got back from two months in Europe. In the new year, we’re gearing up depending on Omicron, how widely this new COVID variant goes, but we’re going to go. We’re scheduled to teach all the way across the Pacific Rim, as well as conferences here and there, as full-time equipping missionaries.

Before we go, let me say this. I would encourage you to spend this week in Titus 2. Each day say, Lord, I want to see that curriculum that You wrote. I want to experience Your recovery program. I want to see You sanctify me. Whoever you are, you might be an older man or a younger man, or an older woman or younger woman. You were born just like I was, with a sin scarred life. When I grew up my parents had a messed up marriage. It was very confusing for us kids. Either I could use that as an excuse for the rest of my life and say, I’m going to be like my parents were or I can say, God, I want you to sanctify me. I want to be useful to You. I want You by Your Spirit, through Your word to help my life be sanctified, my marriage be sanctified, my family, and my ministry be sanctified. Why? Because we’re living in a culture, just like the Roman world.

The best thing you can do, many people want to be activists and they want to overturn the wicked laws of our country, wherever they are, or fight against the repression of all these COVID restrictions, you know what would be a better investment of your spiritual energy? Saying God, Your recovery program is sanctification. There’s only one curriculum for discipling every person in the Church. I want You to transform me. I want to find some other people to pour my life into. That is a better investment of your life strength than fighting against every new rule and regulation that the American government, or Western Europe, or Australia with all their regulations, and New Zealand is closing the country. I’m hearing this and Christians are saying, what should we do? My answer is this week’s lesson. You should become the most godly reflection of Jesus Christ possible.

If you’re on lockdown, then start an online Bible study. I have a friend in Northern England they’ve been locked down more than they’ve been unlocked. Do you know what he said has been the greatest time of his life? He has been WhatsApping this group of about 40 or 50. They share scriptures. He prays for every one of them every day. He said, it’s the most powerful time in his life in ministry. Why? Because God’s plan for us is to submit to our governments, even when they’re repressive. Only disobey when they directly tell us to do something God has said is sin.

The reason I’m saying that is there’s a lot of misplaced spiritual energies that are not being focused on reading, understanding, and applying the word of God. They’re being focused on posting and memeing and everything else you can do to stand against this current issue. That’s why so many are going to be deceived as the Anti-Christ rises because they never received a love of the truth. If you love the truth, get in the truth. Let the truth transform your life. Then, start pouring your life into others, that’s what Jesus left us to do.

That’s Titus 2. That’s my challenge to you this week as you spend the week walking through this great chapter. Next week, we’re going to be looking at the incredible truths of Hebrews chapter 10, but until then spend this whole week in Titus 2. God bless you. See you next time.



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