Titus 3 reminds us that we ourselves were once foolish, slaves, hating one another. Do we ever see ourselves in that light? We will never love the gospel enough until we see ourselves as great sinners. And thankfully there is the next verse – he saved us – not because of our works, but according to his own mercy.
First, the context of Titus. Titus 1: Titus’ culture looked much like ours: Titus 1.10ff. God has a solution: the gospel. How does that gospel get into the culture? How does the light penetrate the darkness? God has raised up the church, the redeemed.
Paul is talking to a young man who was called to lead the local church: be above reproach, teach in accordance with sound doctrine. In Titus 2, Paul calls all believers are to do the same thing. Our lives are to be above reproach, different from the world, transformed from the inside out from the power of the gospel, they are to be distinctive. The gospel is supposed to make a difference in our lives. Sadly, this is often not the case. Paul insists that they way to transform a lost culture is to live out the truths of the Word. This is why Paul tells Titus to preach sound doctrine.
Paul gives declaratives to each demographic in life: what constitutes older women? Every woman is an older woman to someone – and we should all be aspiring to this position. We see the life and the legacy of this woman. Our lives are to be above reproach. We need to be reverent in behavior – exhibit behavior for those who are holy. We are not slanders nor slaves to much wine. This above reproach-ness affects every area of our lives. One area is slaves to much wine: (not only specifically to wine, but also to an indulgent lifestyle). God wants to change every bit about me – that includes not living my life for myself.
Their legacy: to train the young women. We cannot train others what we have not learned ourselves. We will not be effective teaching what others have not seen lived out in our lives. We need to teach out of brokenness. We need to take the younger women into our lives: let them see how the Lord of the Gospel is daily changing our lives. We are to pass on the baton of faith for the glory of Jesus.
This teaching takes place in the context of community. Life on life. Teach what is good and so train the younger women. If you have had truth poured into you, then you are to turn around and pour it out into the lives of younger women. (This role is not reserved for the Kay Arthurs, Beth Moores, and Anne Lotzes.) We have the curriculum spelled out for us in Titus 2.3ff. 7 radical, swimming-against-the- culture-lessons. It is God’s way. This is how life is to work.
What is not on this list: prayer, Bible reading, personal devotional life, evangelism. These are important but they are not on the “must” list. Career and doing ministry are not on this list. We need to focus on this list. We see the importance of the home on this list. The norm for most women is to be wives and mothers – this is the primary sphere where most live out the gospel. We also see the priority of love: the love of Christ. We can’t claim to love God if we don’t love our husbands or our children. It doesn’t matter what the other women in the church see in you – it matters what your family sees in you. If we don’t know how to love our husbands and children – we can learn.
Our lives are supposed to be counter-culture. Culture is characterized by pride, gluttony, rebellion, hatred, impurity, etc. That is what this world is like. Can they see a difference in us?
We need to live above reproach.
We need to be intentional about passing on the faith.
We need to be reverent in behavior.
We speak words that build up.
We are not slaves to much wine. We do not live for our flesh.
We are to love our husbands and value the permanence of marriage.
We are to love our children.
We are to be self-controlled. (a sophron state of mind)
We are to be pure.
We are to love our home – be homemakers.
We are to be kind and other-centered.
We are to have a submissive heart attitude.
How well does your life, does my life, reflect the grace of God – a woman who has been transformed and redeemed by the Blood of Christ. Our culture is so absent of the items in the above list. I want to be defined by the things on this list – even while single. I want to love my home. I want to be kind and gracious to people in my speech. I want to have a submissive spirit to the godly, male authority in my life in the relationships with my pastors, my boss, and my father. I want to be pure in every area of my life. I do not want to indulge.
So that the world will have nothing negative to say about me.
So that that the Word of God will not be misaligned.
So that I might adorn the gospel – that the focus would not be on me.
By the power of the Gospel. (Titus 2.11)