Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:”
When considering whether a church has the qualities necessary for individual growth, or if it is grounded in sound doctrine one need only seek the blueprint for Truth—the Word of God.
Doctrine taught in a church should be founded in God’s Truth but also able to extend into everyday life. If a church doesn’t teach good doctrine their practice will usually reveal the shallowness of what they teach, and becomes a mockery of God’s name.
The leadership within a church should represent the principles and tenets by which a church is founded upon. If leadership is good, they will show forth the goodness of God in their conduct and teaching. The Spirit of God is active in a good church and God is at work within the ministry of a people lead by the Spirit of God while leading people toward Jesus.
I once heard a pastor teach on the tenets of good leadership. The book of Titus reveals the elements of godly leadership, principles I recognize need to be exhibited in my own life and not only to the pastors.
When considering the church as a whole, how do you think Jesus views His church?
Revelation 5:9-10 “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
When I look into the Word of God, I don’t see a distinction in regards to the charge God made for godliness and the need to exemplify holiness of conduct. Many times people will place more scrutiny upon leaders since the requirements for someone to be in that position is made clear but when it comes to a relationship with God, the qualities of godliness are encouraged and commanded for all people.
The call to be salt and light is a commission to all God’s people, the instructions for godly living are meant for anyone who identifies with Jesus.
In a world that is trying desperately to emasculate men, now is as important as ever to stand up and be the men God has called them to be.
Where are the men who stand on God’s principles, who recognize their position in the family and lead? Where are the men who pray and mentor others in godliness and purity? Where are the leaders who exemplify honor, who stand on godly principles, and model Christ to the world?
You can be that man—it only takes a commitment to accept the role God has called you to and walk in His strength.
Titus 2:1-2 “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;”
To be a man of God requires an understanding of what it takes to carry the baton of godly masculinity. Sound doctrine has been revealed by God to any willing to hear. The elements of honor are found among those who choose to be separate from this world.
When considering the encouragement to Titus, we can look to ourselves and see how we fare?
Remaining Sober–some will interpret this as sober-minded which is to be clear headed, not influenced by substances that will cloud your thinking or dominate your life, but temperance is a word often used in this setting that indicates an avoidance of extremes. Alcohol certainly fits this criteria and everything else that is prevalent in a society that inhibits a man’s ability to think clearly. With the advent of medical marijuana and subsequent recreational usage at an all time high in our society, the charge to be temprant is more relevant now than ever before. A little alcohol doesn’t impair, nor do certain drugs that have a beneficial effect, where people drop the ball is when they can’t moderate the usage.
Being found Reverent–to be reverent is to show deep or solemn respect. 1 Timothy 3:8 “Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,” Men of God revere holiness. If the walk doesn’t match up with the talk, the talk is not believable. I am continually challenged by this charge against me and a majority of my prayer life is in listening and responding to the Spirit directing me in this way. If I can’t live out my conviction then it becomes nothing more than that, a continual reprimand that never corrects. No one is expected to be perfect in life, the striving is toward a perfection and that requires humility.
Remaining Temperate–self control is an attribute that is highly revered in society. Everyone knows how difficult self control is to maintain and to those who have mastered it, there is a high level of respect. This quality of temperance extends to every reach of life, from the tongue to the mind, self-control is not easily achieved, it requires a concerted effort and determination that must be tamed with a view to neglecting the flesh. The flesh continually cries out to be satisfied and for those who have learned to master this element of life, it is to these godly men revere.
Sound in Faith–an uncorrupted view of God’s Word is to understand the principles of God’s Word without human interference. I don’t think the expectation is that a man understands all the mysteries of the depth of the knowledge of God. The principles of God are manifold and yet the core principle of salvation, sanctification, and truth have not been hidden but are made obvious to all who seek them.
Sound in Love–love that is pure looks like Jesus. Jesus embodied every aspect of sound love that we might exemplify it in our lives.
James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before the God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their tribulation; to keep oneself unstained from the world.“
What consideration should be given to those who lack power or prestige? Is it to raise oneself up into a position of honor? Jesus did the opposite, He lowered Himself down when He left a position of glory and honor and walked in humility.
Whether it’s an orphan who needs protection or a widow that is grieving, godly men must learn to identify with others in their need. The more real men step up, the more paramount it is for them to remain unstained and to be separate from the world.
You will not find godly honor, respect, or spiritual nourishment from this world, it has none to give. The world only honors itself.
Who do you want to be honored by? The world now, or the Lord later?
It’s not easy to change from the image of this world into the image of God. It takes patience and perseverance.
Sound in patience–an uncorrupted understanding of God’s Word entails a knowledge of patience. Remaining patient in trials comes through a faith that has been refined by the fires of trial. Patience with others is an attribute of love. Patience in your walk is found in knowing that the Lord has always led godly men and will continue to do so until the end. Patience in knowing that God is Sovereign and regardless of all that is happening around us, this world will come under subjection to His authority and the Lord will complete what He has begun.
1 Timothy 3:4-7 “An overseer must manage his own household well and keep his children under control, with complete dignity. For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for the church of God? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same condemnation as the devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the snare of the devil.”
Men of God must break out of the mindset that if they aren’t in a particular position or “calling”, they don’t need to concern ourselves with matters of leadership.
Men are all called to be kings and priests within the Kingdom of God. They all have the same responsibility before a just and Holy God to walk in His ways.
For those who have risen above and successfully received and embraced these principles, the position of honor in representing God as a shepherd before the people is the honor that is given.
There is much more in the charge given to Titus, for older women and younger people as well, but I’ll save that for later…
Remember older men, you were mentioned first for a reason. Your place and position within the church is valuable and brings stability within the congregation of the righteous. Step up, live honorably and know your not done until the Lord says your done.
If your not as young as you used to be, strive to grow as a man in the twilight of your life. Move on in spiritual maturity and be a pillar in your church and family as you were called to be.
Regardless of your health or influence, your position within the church is of great importance.