1. In teaching sound doctrine, what should older men be taught? Why are these instructions especially appropriate for older men? (Think about the nature of older men.) (2:1-2)
2. What should older women be taught? What does this tell us about the temptations of older women? How can they become useful Bible teachers?
3. How many times is the phrase "what is good" repeated in chapters 2 and 3? What do you think this means?
4. How should younger women please God and bring honor to his word? What should Titus teach younger men? Why? How can younger men become Bible teachers too? (6) How can the young man Titus teach all these people? Read verses 7-8.
5. How can even slaves become fruitful Bible teachers? (Read verses 9-10) [Why do you think Paul does not speak out against the institution of slavery?]
6. Read verses 11-15. What is the source of our salvation? What does this grace teach us about how to live in this present age? What is Jesus' purpose for his people? What does it mean to be "eager to do good"? Why must we share the gospel with others?
7. Read 3:1-2. What must be the attitude of God's people toward rules and authorities? Toward all men? What is the good that we must be ready to do?
8. How did Paul characterize our past lives? How would you characterize yours? (3:3) How did God our Savior come and help us--and why? How did he change our miserable lives? (4-7)
9. What new hope did he give us? (7) What should we who are saved by his grace now do? What does it mean to devote ourselves to doing what is good? (8)
10. Read verses 9-15. Why should all kinds of divisiveness be avoided? How does rebirth enable God's people to live productive lives? (13,14,5-8) What is a productive life? What do these chapters reveal about the importance of everyone being a Bible teacher?
"...while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
In Chapter 1 we learned that we must hold firmly to the trustworthy message--the gospel--and teach sound doctrine--the gospel--to others and keep away members of the circumcision group, magic artists who teach Jewish myths. To Paul, it was necessary to teach the Bible wholeheartedly and to keep away heresies and to straighten the order of the church. And next, what Titus had to do was to ordain elders in many churches. Today, we are going to study chapters 2 and 3 at the same time. When we read chapters 2 and 3 many times, we learn Paul's main point of instruction. It is to raise many Bible teachers.
First, you must teach older men sound doctrine (1-2). Paul instructs Titus to teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love and in endurance. In short, Paul instructs Titus to teach the older men sound doctrine in addition to many godly virtues of Christianity. Usually old men have fixed ideas and fixed habits which cannot be changed unless they die. There was a young servant of God who wanted to change the course of history of his country by changing the spiritual conditions of the people. So as to say to change his people from the enslavement of a dependent spirit to world conquest with the gospel of Jesus, so he engaged in campus mission. There was an old man who was an elder of the church whose ideas and habits were firmly fixed. He was the father of the young servant of God. There was a conflict between father and son. The father wanted his son to be like a church minister. His son wanted his father to join in the world mission work and make a pledge for world mission offering. But the father had a fixed idea that he should offer his tithe to the church, not for campus evangelism and world mission. Every month the father came to his son who was a campus shepherd and said, "What do you teach to students?" The son replied, "I teach the Bible to students." The father asked, "Do you teach students, 'Honor your parents'?" The son was usually speechless, and felt condemned in the controversy of not properly supporting his father. This continued every month for fifteen years. In the fifteenth year, the son pleaded with his father, "Father, if you will make a pledge for the world mission offering to UBF, then I will pay you back ten times." But the father never listened to his son. This story tells us that usually old men are very stubborn. They have fixed ideas and never change. But Paul charged Titus to teach the older men to be temperate and worthy of respect, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance, in the hope that old men also might be well-disciplined until they grew up to be Bible teachers.
Second, the older women. Look at verse 3. "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good." Old women usually talk endlessly and they are addicted to wine because they do not find any other joy in the world. The older women are much harder to teach than the older men. But Paul charges Titus to teach them what is good. The phrase "what is good" is repeated six times in chapters 2 and 3 (2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14). When we read these passages carefully we learn that "what is good" implies Bible teaching. To Paul, what is good is precisely to teach the Bible. Paul hoped that the older people would grow up to be sound in faith and teach the Bible. Especially, Paul wanted older women to be raised as Bible teachers in the hope that they could train the younger women to be nice wives and mothers, so that ultimately they would be able to teach the Bible (3-5). Paul's hope in old men and old women stemmed from his absolute faith in Jesus Christ. Paul's faith is truly funny and at the same time, it reveals the Commander in Chief of world mission. It is the strategy of full-fledged spiritual warfare.
As we know well, women are next to men in the creation order. Without women nothing can happen in the Christian community. When we look back we can see how God worked in his church through faithful women. We can see them from Jesus' earthly messianic ministry, in the Acts of the Apostles, in the age of the Fathers, in the lives of Christians in the monasteries to modern times. The role of the women in the church, especially the prayers of women in the church, contributed to maintaining the church of God. When we pray for God to revive Chicago UBF from 500 American attendants at the 3 p.m. worship service, to 1,000 attendants, next, from 1,000 to 10,000 attendants, we need the prayers of women. If women are not prayerful and supportive of God's work, their husbands are also influenced to be idle and carefree. Where there is a saint, there is a mother of the saint. Where there is a revival, there are the prayers of women. As long as younger women are good wives and good mothers and earnest prayer servants, and especially wonderful Bible teachers, God can change the nation. Paul prays that Titus may raise women not as gossipers but as excellent Bible teachers.
Third, young men must be Bible teachers. Usually young men are very curious about rebelliousness and sinful human freedom. They want to experience something in their youth that is forbidden. One bad experience leads to another. As a result, they become like the Gerasene demoniac. The other day one young man said, "Don't try to study the Bible with me, I'm a Satan worshiper." But Paul had a hope in the young men. Paul instructed Titus to show them integrity and seriousness in his Bible teaching until rebellious young people can be influenced by their Bible teachers' spiritual life of faith. Suppose young people are rebellious and selfish and randomly we despair in them and ignore them, what will happen? The world will not get better. It will get worse and worse. What can we do with the rebellious young people? We must show them an example through our spiritual life.
Fourth, slaves must be fully trusted, until they are recognized as Bible teachers. According to the Bible principle, there should not be slaves in the world. But in Paul's time there were 10 times more slaves than ordinary people. The Roman Empire could not be maintained without the bone-crushing labor of slaves. Paul knew that to keep slaves was wrong, but he did not mention the betterment of the slave conditions. Instead, Paul encouraged slaves to overcome their situation by being good. At that time, slaves were slaves. They worked hard before the eyes of their masters, but as soon as the master disappeared, they sat down and sorrowed about themselves. There was no happiness or motivation in the life of a slave. But Paul encourages slaves to be very good slaves, until they could please their masters. Paul encouraged them not to talk back, even if they were mistreated, in the hope that they would be fully trusted and be fully recognized as Bible teachers. Paul instructed Titus to have hope in God in any situation, and overcome the situation so that the work of evangelism might progress day by day through the entire body of Christ.
One servant of God gave seven young missionaries English training in the hope of raising them as excellent Bible teachers. The English training was intensive. It continued from 6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight every Tuesday for five years. Two of them use their precious training for the sake of the gospel. But five of them use such precious training to increase their future life security. To train somebody is harder than to be trained, and nobody can train somebody else. Only God can train someone, as God trained Moses.
We must train everybody and anybody to be Bible teachers. Christian discipline is mainly focused on growing one's Christian integrity. Next is to train as one who can teach the Bible. This applies to all Christians. Why do we invite such an intensive training to our personal lives? It is because we remember the grace of God. Look at verse 11. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." This verse tells us that the grace of God is that God himself renounced his glory and power, and the honor of the kingdom of God. He humbled himself and lived among us for a while to save men from their sins. His appearing on this earth is remarkable grace. John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." God came to this world in a human form and taught the word of God. He taught us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (11-13). Look at verse 14. "...who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." This is the reason we teach the word of God. Since we received the grace of God, we must share it with others.
Fifth, remind the people to be subject to rulers. We are living in a contract society. No one wants to be subject to rulers and authorities in their hearts, even if they are only subjected officially. However, no slave wants to be obedient in his heart to his master. But Christian leaders should not slander anyone. They should be peaceful and considerate and show true humanity toward all mankind. In reality, this part cannot be practiced in human societies. All men are basically very proud and arrogant. They seem to be obedient and ready to do something for their superiors, but this is only pretense. What they really do is outgrow their superiors who are in authority. Julius Caesar believed that Brutus was his only loyal subject. So he gave him all his trust. Then, one night Brutus stabbed Caesar to death. At that moment Caesar breathed his last, saying, "Is it you, Brutus?" Caesar could not believe his eyes, that Brutus stabbed him to death. We can hardly find a man of true humanity or a man of true humbleness.
We can also learn true humanity and true humbleness by looking back at our past lives. At one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But our Lord Jesus Christ saved us from our wickedness. He freed us from dishonor living under Satan's rule (4-6). In his great mercy, God saved us from our sins through his Son's death and credited our faith as righteousness and gave us new birth. In the past, whatever we did, we did something we really did not want to do. Before conversion, St. Paul was a prisoner of the law of sin at work within his members. He screamed, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Ro 7:24) Paul looked gorgeous outwardly. But his inner life was tragic because he was under Satan's rule. But he was saved by the precious blood of Jesus. Likewise, through our Lord's shedding his blood, we received rebirth from Jesus.
What does rebirth mean? In the past, we wanted to do good but we always did what was evil, against our real wishes. In the past, we wanted to study hard, then sinful desire arose in our hearts. We could not study hard; rather we went somewhere we should not go and wasted time. There are many beautiful girls in the world. Because of our sin-stained blood, we saw beautiful girls as weird, and sin-smelling girls as most beautiful. In the past, we liked heavily painted girls rather than girls who radiate with natural beauty. In the past, we wanted to be great men, but what we did was too petty to talk about. It was because sin-stained blood circulated in us. We grieve over yellow journalism and over excessively immoral and murderous movies on T.V. We blame T.V. stations. But in reality, so many people want to watch immoral and murderous movies that T.V. stations air such terrible movies.
Sixth, the importance of rebirth. New birth means the change of our inner person and of our value system. An old man cleaned the house. He even cleaned his roof once a month. He valued his house most. He lived with the joy of despising people who live sacrificial lives. Likewise, people of the world love the things of the world which are perishing, spoiling and fading away. But after rebirth we experience a drastic change. In the past, we wanted to see as many movies as possible. Now, we long to see our Lord Jesus face to face. In the past, we really wanted to enjoy an easygoing way of life. But after rebirth we want to participate in the suffering of Jesus Christ joyfully. We value one-to-one Bible study with students more than anything else. After rebirth we hope that God will increase the number of Bible teachers in this country. First, five hundred; next, one thousand; finally, ten thousand, and spread them all over the country, and change the ungodly atmosphere of this country. We cannot change ourselves, but when we believe in Jesus, God can change us one by one, by the Holy Spirit.
In this passage we learn that we must raise up any kind of person as a Bible teacher. It is the best work we can do for our King Jesus. It is also the best way to glorify God.