The church must teach sound doctrine. The Day of Pentecost where we are told that those who were added to the church on that day “… continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). These were the identification marks of the early church: the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. It really doesn’t matter how high the steeple may be or how nice the building looks, it is the message that is going out from the pulpit which will tell you whether the church is really a church, organized as Paul understood it and as the Word of God declares it.
In the first chapter we found that the elders whom Titus was to ordain were to be able to do two things: to exhort and to refute or confute the heretics. It is important not to spend your entire ministry refuting everybody. There are some men who have what I would call a negative ministry—all they do is attack the enemies of the gospel. That is important, but I believe we all need a balanced ministry. An elder should be able to exhort from the Word of God as well as be able to answer a heretic. In this second chapter Paul’s emphasis will be upon the teaching of the Word of God.
McGee, J. Vernon.
Chapter 2 verse 1. “Sound doctrine” means the apostles’ doctrine. The number one thing of importance to the early church was the apostles’ doctrine. “Sound” also means “healthy” Paul uses this expression 9 times in his pastoral epistles, 5 times in Titus. Always in the sense that the Truth produces spiritual well being. Not only to please God and have an effective witness to unbelievers, God’s people must know the truth that leads to spiritual health.
verse 2. Paul used this term to refer to himself in the book of Philemon 9 when he was over the age of 60. They are to be sound in their love and in patience. They are to be “sober,” that is, very vigilant, very serious. They should be men who are respected and self–controlled. The older men are to be sensible and spiritually healthy.
verse 3. Aged women would be those past child rearing years or past the age of 60 (1 Tim. 5: 3-10). “In behavior as becometh holiness”—the aged women are to be reverent in their behavior. “Not false accusers,” that is, not gossips, and “not given to much wine,” or not drunkards. “Teachers of good things.” What are good things? Things that please God. The older women are to teach the younger women, by example and instruction.
verse 4-5. Teach or admonish the young women. By their own example of Godliness. This gives the older women the right and the credibility to instruct the younger women in the church. The older women must possess the virtues in order to teach. Love their husbands. This is unconditional love, based on God’s will. The wife loves her husband as obedience to the Lord. Discreet or temperate in eating and drinking, so the word is rendered in ( Titus 2:2 ) or to be sober both in body and mind; or to be wise and prudent in the whole of their conduct, both at home and when out and about. Chaste means untouched or undefiled. Having their love pure and singular their own husband. “Keepers at home” means they are to be workers at home. A wife’s first responsibility is in her home. The home is a serious responsibility to the wife and to care for children in the home. It is not something to be taken lightly. The biggest and most important business in the world is the making of a home. “Good” means kindly. “Obedient to their own husbands.” The idea of obedience here is that the women should respond to their husbands. Paul uses the same Greek word in Romans 8:7 where it is translated “subject.” He says there, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. Paul’s thought is that the natural man cannot respond to God; he cannot obey God; he has no way to respond to God. Now the wife is to respond to her husband; he is the aggressor, and she is to respond to him.
Dr. McGee. “A great, big, brawny fellow once came to see me in my office, and he said, “I want you to talk to my wife and tell her to obey me!” I told him I would do nothing of the kind, and he asked me why. I said, “When’s the last time you told your wife that you loved her?” He couldn’t remember and said, “What has that got to do with it?” I told him, “That has everything in the world to do with it! Until you tell her that you love her, I don’t see why she should respond to you. Didn’t you tell her you loved her when you were courting? Well, just keep that up. The thing to do is to just keep up the courtship. You keep telling her that you love her, and she will respond to you a great deal better than she has been.” The wife is to respond to the love of her husband.”
verse 6. Who is to teach the young men? Titus is to instruct the young dudes. Males 12 and older.
verse. 7. Paul says to Titus, “You be a pattern, an example, for the other young men.” “In doctrine shewing uncorruptness.” “Uncorruptness” has the idea of incorruptness—that is, in his teaching he is to show his complete faith in the Word of God and appreciate the seriousness of the matters with which he is dealing.
verse 8. What he is saying here is, that, your conversation should reflect your faith in God. The fact that you are a child of the living God.
verse 9. “Exhort servants”—Paul turns his attention to another group. In the early church there were many slaves. In fact, 90 percent of the names on the walls of the catacombs are those of slaves or ex–slaves. The gospel met a great need for this class of people in that day.
“To be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things.” The idea behind obedience is that they should respond to their masters, be interested in them and in their work. Anyone, especially those in Christian work, should put their heart into their job or else get out of it. If you work for a Christian organization, you do it because you want to work for it. I hope you get a good living out of it, but that is not the point. Christian work is to be done with the heart as well as with the head and hands. “Not answering again,” not talking back to your employer.
verse 10. “Not purloining” means not stealing. “Not purloining” means you should not be a thief. “But shewing all good fidelity”—showing faithfulness. “That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” The Greek word for “adorn” is the same word from which we got our English word cosmetics. “Adorn the doctrine of God”—in other words, if you are sound in the faith, you should be wearing the appropriate cosmetics. Speak with kindness, smile more. Live your faith as you walk through this world.
Now Paul interrupts these admonitions to put a doctrinal foundation under the lives of these people. He states the gospel, and he states it in three time zones—the past, the present, and the future. The grace of God is in three time zones. We see that in the next three verses: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared” (v. 11)—that’s the past time zone; “teaching us” (v. 12)—that’s the present time zone of grace; and “looking for that blessed hope” (v. 13)—that is the future time zone.
verse 11. Paul says to the Cretans, “I want to put under you the doctrine of the grace of God because you need a solid foundation.” The grace of God is the way God saves us. A great preacher, Dr. Dodd, in Shreveport, Louisiana, say, “My pulpit is a place for good news; my study is the place for good advice.” The gospel is not good advice—it is good news. It is even more than that; it is the power of God unto salvation. Paul is enjoining Titus to demand of the Cretans that they live lives that adorn the gospel, for it is the power of God. There is absolutely no excuse for any Christian to live a life of defeat and failure—“for the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” “Hath appeared” means it shines forth—it is the epiphany. What the Lord Jesus did for us when He came is the gospel, the good news. He died for us, and He rose again. God doesn’t save us by His love, and He doesn’t save us by His mercy. Ephesians tells us: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8, italics mine).
verse 12. Instructing us – All those who do not reject it. That, having renounced ungodliness – Whatever is contrary to the fear and love of God. And worldly desires – Which are opposite to sobriety and righteousness. We should live soberly – In all purity and holiness. Sobriety, in the scripture sense, is rather the whole temper of a man, than a single virtue in him. It comprehends all that is opposite to the drowsiness of sin, the foolishness of ignorance, the unholiness of disorderly passions. Sobriety is no less than all the powers of the soul being consistently and constantly awake, duly governed by heavenly guidance. And righteously – Doing to all as we would they should do to us. And godly – As those who are consecrated to God both in heart and life.
verse 13. “Looking for that blessed hope”—this is the next event in the program of God: Christ is coming to take His church out of this world.
“The glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” This reveals that Paul taught the deity of Christ; he speaks of the great God who is our Savior, and who is He? He is Jesus Christ.
verse 14. He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us. He paid a price for us that He might redeem us “from all iniquity.” He paid that price with His blood. “And purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” “A peculiar people” would be better translated “a people for His possession.” A special people, special because we are redeemed, saved. It is true that God wants you to live for Him and wants you to do good works, but He will have to redeem you first. Good works are the product , not the means, of salvation.
verse 15. Paul says to Titus, “You are a young man. Don’t let them despise you because of the life you live.” Speak, exhort, and rebuke are 3 verbs that identify the need for proclamation, application and correction by the Word of God. “Authority” to command the people in the spiritual realm comes only from God’s word. “Let no man despise thee.” Rebellion against the truth has to be dealt with. Paul told Timothy the same thing in 1 Tim. 4:12.