Man's Assignment

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I. Pursue God's Assignment  (Titus 2:1-2)

Paul begins this section of Scripture by drawing a contrast between Titus in particular, and older men in general, and the false teachers who were harassing the church at Crete (1:10-15). These troublemakers were insubordinate, mouthy and deceptive. They were motivated by money, liars and lazy. They listened to the words of men, of popular culture, more than to the Word of God. They were infected with a defiled mind and a defiled conscience, professing to know God but by their actions denying Him. They were detestable, disobedient and "unfit for doing anything good" (NIV). Paul challenges Titus (v. 1) and the older, mature men (v. 2) to pursue a different path, a path that would please God and provide a pattern for others to follow. He quickly defines seven essential characteristics.

1) Be A Teacher. (2:1)

Godly men are called by God to teach, recognizing that their teaching can take different and varied forms. "But you" is emphatic in the original language. "Speak" is a present imperative (cf. 2:15). Here it means to teach or instruct. We are to teach things that are proper, in accord, fitting with sound doctrine (lit. "healthy teaching"). We must be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ and true to the Word of God both in belief and behavior. What follows in verse 2 provides the foundation that will insure that we do not fail in this crucial task.

2) Be Sober. (2:2)                         

The more mature men (Gr. presbutas) in the church are admonished to be "temperate" (NIV), clear-headed (cf. 1 Tim 3:2, 11). This man is wise in his decision-making and careful when making judgments. He is clear on what really matters and decisive in making godly choices. He uses smartly his God-given talents and gifts, his time, his money and his energy. He is a man with right and godly priorities and he has as his motto for life one simple dictum: "all that matters in life is that you please God."

3) Be Reverent. (2:2)

This idea describes a person of dignity and "respect" (NIV). This man goes after that which is noble and morally valuable and worthy. It is a character trait that God expects of the deacon (1 Tim 3:8) and his wife (1 Tim 3:11). This is the man who, while not being a prune or a Pharisee, takes no delight in inappropriate off colored humor, vulgarity, or anything else that is suspect, questionable or clearly out of bounds. He himself is worthy of honor and respect, particularly by younger men, because of the purity and integrity of his life.

4) Be Self-Controlled. (2:2)

This word is translated as "temperate" in the New King James Version. This person has his passions under control and is self-disciplined. He is not careless or foolish with his words or in his behavior. Men,"should have the discernment, discretion, and judgment that comes from walking with the Lord. They refuse to be conformed to this world but are transformed daily by a renewed mind bathed in Scripture (Rom 12:2).

5) Be Sound In The Faith. (2:2)

Paul, in the last 3 terms in this verse, brings to our consideration the Christian triad of faith, love and patience (the natural outgrowth of hope). Mature godly men are to be sound (Gr. hygianontas), healthy in their confidence and trust in the Lord. This kind of personal faith is rooted in a daily walk with God as Father and an immersion of one's life in the Scriptures. This man not only know what he believes and why he believes it, he knows who he believes. This is the man who says of His God, "even when I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart."

6) Be Loving. (2:2)

Jesus said in John 13:35 to His disciples on the night he was betrayed, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Love is mentioned in a general sense here in Titus. We are to love God supremely, fellow-believers genuinely and lost humanity fervently. The kind of love, beautifully portrayed in 1 Cor 13:4-8, is to be the standard we strive to obtain day in and day out.

7) Be Patient. (2:2)

The Christian of all people, because of the hope that is within him, should be patient, steadfast, and he should exhibit "endurance" (NIV). Because we know how it will all come out in the end, we can endure testing, work through hardship, accept disappointment, and not give up under pressure and adversity. The mature godly man does not lose heart, throw in the towel or drop out of the race. Rather, he runs the race with endurance, fixing his eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith (Heb 12:1-2).

This is God's assignment for MEN.

"The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out," (proverbs 10:9).