Titus 2:4-10

“Let the luster of thy life be a common school of instruction, a pattern of virtue to all” (Chrysostom)

In this lesson we look at Paul’s instructions to Titus for the teaching of older women and younger women, as well as for slaves/bondservants.

Considering the references to slaves, Charles Spurgeon speaks very strongly on what he felt Paul’s beliefs on slavery were:

“I do not think for a moment Paul believed that the practice of slavery ought to exist. He believed to the fullest extent that the great principles of Christianity would overthrow slavery anywhere, and the sooner they did so the better pleased would he be; but, for the time being, as it was the custom to have slaves, they must adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in the position in which they were.”

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Titus 2:1-4

“FEW portions of the New Testament excel this chapter. It may well form the creed, system of ethics, and text book of every Christian preacher. Does any man inquire what is the duty of a Gospel minister? Send him to the second chapter of the Epistle to Titus for a complete answer.” (Adam Clarke)

In this lesson, we look at the first few verses of Titus chapter 2 as Paul begins to lay out what types of things Titus (and overseers/pastors in general) should teach to 5 different groups of people. The first couple of groups, or roles, are the older men and older women within the church.

Now bear in mind that older does not necessarily refer to those of a specific age, but has more of a meaning of playing a role in contrast to the younger groups. It might actually be possible to fall into one or the other group depending on the make up of each of those groups. (I myself play fall into the younger category within the deacons at church, but in service at AWANAs I play an older role.)

We also begin to look at the roles of older women, and will touch on them in more detail next week.

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Titus 1:9-16

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we found the list of qualifications for elders/overseers, and in verses 10-16 we see how Paul is tying those qualifications into the issues in the churches of Crete.

We can read about the issues with certain Jewish members of the church that seemed to be emphasizing an incorrect belief that Jewish customs (like food customs) needed to be adhered to in order to be clean/pure on the inside.

“They tried to persuade them that the simple story of Jesus and the Cross was not sufficient, but that, to be really wise, they needed all the subtle stories and the long genealogies and the elaborate allegories of the Rabbis. Further, they tried to teach them that grace was not enough, but that, to be really good, they needed to take upon themselves all the rules and regulations about foods and washings which were so characteristic of Judaism.” (Barclay)

Paul writes some very strong responses to this teaching, and gives us many good insight to important subjects that are even still present and relevant.

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Titus 1:5-9

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we find the list of qualifications for elders/overseers. These are the two terms generally used in the New Testament to refer to the position in evangelical churches that is usually known as pastor.

Join us as we discuss the cultural and historical context of elders and the qualifications that Paul gives Titus in appointing them on Crete. And how those qualifications have not diminished over time, and are a good guideline for believers of all roles and callings.

I finish up with a quote from John Chrysostom, one of the great early church fathers well know for his eloquence.

He wrote strong words for fathers wishing to be in church leadership:

We should observe what care he bestows upon children. For he who cannot be the instructor of his own children, how should he be the Teacher of others? If he cannot keep in order those whom he has had with him from the beginning, whom he has brought up, and over whom he had power both by the laws, and by nature, how will he be able to benefit those without?...

But if, occupied in the pursuit of wealth, he has made his children a secondary concern, and not bestowed much care on them, even so he is unworthy. For if when nature prompted, he was so void of affection or so senseless, that he thought more of his wealth than of his children, how should he be raised to the Episcopal throne, and so great rule? For if he was unable to restrain them it is a great proof of his weakness; and if he was unconcerned, his want of affection is much to be blamed. He then that neglects his own children, how shall he take care of other men’s?

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Intro to Titus and 1:1-5

Recently I was given the opportunity to fill in teaching Sunday school Wilcrest Baptist Church. The regular Sunday school teacher, Jeff Adams, is helping to fill in preaching and has started up a very difficult semester at seminary.

So to give him a break teaching, and to have more time to focus on his studies, I will be teaching through the book of Titus over the next many weeks. I have filled in teaching numerous times before, but never more than two weeks in a row. So this will be a fun and new experience for me.

I wanted to record all of the lectures in order to share them with anyone who might be interested, and hopes that they might be useful in other ways. So for this first week I will be introducing the book of Titus, giving some background, context, and discussing who Titus is and the audience the book was written to.

To briefly sum up what was talked about:

Titus was written by Paul in about 64 A.D. to Titus and to the Christian population of Crete. it is one of the Pastoral letters, and it comes chronologically after 1 Timothy and before 2 Timothy (Paul’s last letter).

In the first four verses of Titus, the salutation, we have a number of great spiritual truths presented. we will spend some time looking at these first four verses and touching briefly on verse 5 leading into next week where we will discuss the qualifications for elders.

My goal will be to get each of these lectures posted online the Monday or Tuesday after they were delivered at Wilcrest Baptist Church in the Adult 1 Sunday school class.

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7661 - Prayer

Let’s talk about prayer. Jesus had some words for his disciples on this subject in Luke 11, verses 1-4.

Listen to these verses:

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

He said to them, "When you pray, say: "`Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. '"

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7660 - Martha and Mary

We pray God will give us discernment that we may understand how His Word applies to our lives.

As we continue our study through the book of Luke we come to Luke 10:38-42. In this passage Jesus visits in the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, although he is not mentioned.

Listen to these verses as I read:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

This scene in the life of Jesus occurs less than six months before the crucifixion. Many scholars of the Word point to the familiarity described and conclude that this could not be the first encounter between Jesus and this family. Likely they knew each other from some previous contact.

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