Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19

Monday, January 25, 2010

Right living in the church

Titus 2:1-15

1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Believers must be grounded in the truths of the Scripture, then they will not be swayed by false teachers, tragic circumstances, or emotion.  Learn the Word, apply biblical principles to your life and do what you learn.

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Women who were new Christians were to learn how to have harmony in the home by watching older women who had been Christians for some time.  We have the same need today.  Younger wives and mothers should learn to live in a Christian manner - loving their husbands and caring for their children - through observing exemplary women of God.  If you are of an age or position where people look up to you, can you be confident that your example is motivating younger believers to live in a way that honors God?

6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
7 In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

In ancient Greek society, the role of the husband/father was not viewed as a nurturing role, but merely a functional one.  Many young men today have been raised where father neglected his responsibilities to his wife and children.  The few husbands who are good examples of Christian living in their families are extremely important role models for young men who need to see how it is done more than to be told how to do it. 

If you want someone to act a certain way, be sure that you live that way yourself.  Then you will earn the right to be heard.

9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
10 Not  purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. 
*purloining - pilfering

Slavery was common in Paul's day.  Paul did not condemn slavery in any of his letters, but he advised slaves and masters to be loving and responsible in their conduct (see also Ephesians 6:5-9)
The standards set by Paul apply to any employee/employer relationship.  Emmployees should always do their best work and be trustworthy, not just when the employer is watching.  Businesses in the United States lose millions of dollars a year to employee theft and time-wasting.  If all Christian employees followed Paul's advice, what a transformation it would make. 

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorioius appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesusu Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 

The power to live the Christian life comes from Jesus Christ.  Because Christ died and rescued us from sin, we are free according to God's will and to do good.  Then we will look forward to his wonderful return with eager expectation and hope.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee.

Paul told Titus to teach the Scriptures as well as to live them.  We must also teach, encourage, and correct others when necessary.  Although good teaching occurs in classrooms and small groups, much of the teaching Paul refers to must be done in the 'classroom' of personal and family relationships. 

Of course verses 4-5 hit the hardest with me.  I tend to fail in this alot!  Am I setting a good example to my daughter?  This is something I must pray about continually.  It is not easy whatsoever! 

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