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CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES
Titus 2:2. That the aged men be sober.—As in 1 Timothy 3:2-11, the bishops and deacons. Properly the word “sober” here means not addicted to much wine; then it comes to be applied to the spirit which is not inflamed with passion. Grave.—“The English word which we want, to translate the original, is one in which the sense of gravity and dignity, and of these as inviting reverence, is combined—a word for which, I fear, we may look long without finding” (Trench).
Titus 2:3. In behaviour as becometh holiness.—R.V. “reverent in demeanour.” That they deport themselves fittingly with the reputation they bear for being consecrated characters. Such behaviour will beget reverence and awe. Not given to much wine.—R.V. “enslaved to.” St. Paul evidently did not think much of the veritas in vino. If it loosened the tongue, it was to slander. Teachers of good things.—One word in the Greek—“teachers-of-the-beautiful.” It is interesting to note that in the Pastorals, whose design was to call the attention of Christians to the beauty and nobility of perseverance in holiness, this word for the beauty of goodness is often employed.
MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Titus 2:1-3
Christianity and Old Age.
I. Christianity teaches what should be the special virtues of aged men (Titus 2:1-2).—Aged men should not refuse to receive instruction from another because he is young, if his teaching is sound and wholesome. Experience teaches the necessity of vigilance; and to be vigilant the aged must be sober. Dignified gravity is becoming in old age. The three graces—faith, hope, charity—are the beauty and glory of old men. Patient endurance is supported by hope; and it is a grace befitting the aged, being the result of a ripened experience gained by victory over many trials. The chief attractions of age are in the future. “Winter,” says Richter, “which strips the leaves from around us, makes us see the distant regions they formerly concealed; so does old age rob us of our enjoyments only to enlarge the prospect of eternity before us.”
II. Christianity teaches what should be the special virtues of aged women (Titus 2:3).—Purity is the precious jewel of woman, whether old or young. The deportment of aged women should be in harmony with holiness, as becometh women consecrated to God, and as Christian priestesses. Slander, the besetting sin of some elderly women, and intemperance, the besetting sin of the Cretans and of other women nearer home, should be strictly avoided. A woman enslaved to wine is a she-demon. Aged women should be an example to younger women in the teaching and practice of all that is pure and good. It is impossible to exaggerate the value of the influence of one good woman. Samuel Morley’s mother was a woman of rare piety, and the great philanthropist often confessed, “I am much what my mother has made me.”
III. This teaching should be appropriately enforced.—“Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Sound doctrine is suited to all ages and classes, and should be faithfully inculcated, irrespective of the disparity of years between the teacher and the taught.
1. Christianity has duties suited to every period and relation of life.
2. Christianity is the comfort and ornament of old age.
3. The aged Christian should be an example and encouragement to the young.
GERM NOTES ON THE VERSES
Titus 2:1. The Preacher’s Directory.
I. He should be a preacher.
II. He should be himself.
III. He should be a student.
IV. He should be practical.
Titus 2:2. The Temptations and Duties of old Men.
I. Three sins to be avoided.—
1. Indulgence in wine.
II. Three virtues to be cherished.—
Titus 2:3. The Dangers and Duties of Women.
I. Women have dangers peculiar to their age.
II. Women have duties according to their age.
1. True religion is the foundation of home happiness.
2. The secret of domestic prosperity.
3. True religion at home can alone ensure the esteem of those abroad.—F. W.
CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES
Titus 2:4. That they may teach.—R.V. “may train.” The word almost suggests that there was a certain amount of levity amongst the younger wives inconsistent with a profession of Christianity.
Titus 2:5. Keepers at home R.V. “workers at home.” The term in the R.V. comprehends and adds to that in the A.V.
Titus 2:7. Showing thyself a pattern.—Titus was not to be like the scribes and Pharisees of whom our Lord spoke, who say what others should do and do not themselves observe it. In doctrine … uncorruptness.—As befits the doctrine of God our Saviour. There must be no admixture of error. Gravity.—See the adjective corresponding in Titus 2:2 and note.
Titus 2:8. May be ashamed.—“That possibly he may come to feel shame.”
MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Titus 2:4-8
Christianity and the Young.
I. Christianity has a message to young married women (Titus 2:4-5).—They are to be discreet and self-restrained in their behaviour; to love their husbands and children, the foundation of all domestic peace and happiness; to be keepers at home, the guardians of the house, and to find their sphere of highest usefulness in the duties of the home circle: whilst thrifty as housewives, they are to be good and kind, not churlish and niggardly; to show love to their own husbands by a dutiful submission; and thus guard the gospel from the reproach which their inconsistencies would occasion. “Unless we are virtuous, blasphemy will come through us to the faith.” To fail in any duty is to discredit the religion we profess.
II. Christianity has a message to young men (Titus 2:6).—The burden of that message is to be sober-minded, self-restrained. Youth is tempted to excess, and it is no easy task to repress its wild impulses and passions. The youth-time that is spent in pleasure and folly will lay the foundation of a premature and suffering old age. Beza, the Swiss reformer, in his last will and testament thanks God that he was brought to know Him at the age of sixteen, and thus, by having the fear of God before him, escaped the pollutions of the world. We talk about a man beginning life at twenty one, but in nine cases out of ten all the questions of eternity are decided before that. The first twenty years of a man’s life, as a rule, mould what his eternity will be.
III. Christianity has a message to young ministers (Titus 2:7-8).—They are to be patterns of good works—lively, diligent, zealous. Their purity and sincerity of motive and aim must be apparent in their teaching; and their speech in public and private must be pervaded by a dignified seriousness, that the adversary of the truth may be put to confusion by the power of the word and the evident sincerity and enthusiasm of the preacher. All the freshness, charm, and romance of youth, its poetry, high-spiritedness, and unlimited capacity for work, should be put into every ministerial duty. Youth is a golden opportunity with which we can buy a rich inheritance of future blessedness and joy. The young minister will never again have the vigour and possibilities of work he possesses to-day.
1. Religion does not destroy but augments the pleasures of youth.
2. Religion is the guide and guardian of youth.
3. We are never too young to love and serve God.
GERM NOTES ON THE VERSES
Titus 2:6. Sober-mindedness.
I. Sober-mindedness is a just judgment of things, and this judgment exercised in real effective authority.
II. Must be consciously held as under the sanction and as having the authority of the Supreme Power.
III. Cannot be attained without the person’s forming a sound judgment of his own mind.
IV. Must maintain a systematic strong restraint on the passions, fancy, tempers, appetites.
V. Is quite necessary for the subordinate schemes and purposes of life.—J. Foster.
Titus 2:7-8. The Power of Truth.
I. The power of truth in the preacher.—
1. His teaching will be living and real.
2. Will so preach the truth as to convince others of his sincerity.
II. The power of truth on others.—
1. Will silence criticism.
2. Put opposition to shame and confusion.—F. W.
CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES
Titus 2:9. To please them well.—“To give satisfaction.” “Our own servants’ phrase,” says Alford.
Titus 2:10. Not purloining.—Putting anything apart for themselves (Wiesinger). The word is used of the act of Ananias’ keeping back. It was an act of embezzlement of God’s property. May adorn.—Like the wise virgins who trimmed their lamps, these Cretan slaves are to let the light of the teaching shine in them.
MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Titus 2:9-10
Christianity and Slavery.
I. Christianity enjoins respectful obedience to the master (Titus 2:9).—The apostles and their successors taught neither to the slaves that they ought to resist a dominion which was immoral both in effect and in origin, nor to the masters that as Christians they were bound to set their servants free. Christianity did indeed labour for the abolition of slavery, but by quite other methods. It taught masters and slaves alike that all men have a common Divine parentage and a common Divine redemption, and consequently are equally bound to show brotherly love, and equally endowed with spiritual freedom. It showed that the slave and his master are alike children of God, and as such free; and alike servants of Jesus Christ, and as such bondmen—bondmen in that service which is the only true freedom. And thus very slowly but surely Christianity disintegrated and dispersed those unwholesome conditions and false ideas which made slavery possible (Plummer). The servant is exhorted to render to his master a ready and cheerful obedience, to strive to gain the good-will of the master by showing an interest in all the work committed to him, and to avoid a contradictious and sullen disposition.
II. Christianity requires honesty and faithfulness in service.—“Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity” (Titus 2:10). Stealing was a common vice of slaves, and their abject and helpless condition nourished the practice. But the Christian servant is taught that to appropriate what belongs to another is a grievous sin in the sight of God and man. He is not simply to appear honest, but to be honest. Plato illustrates what is a truly honest man by the story of Gyges’ ring which made the wearer invisible. He that would be honest when he could be dishonest without being found out was a truly honest man. The honest servant will show all possible fidelity in every act.
III. The genuine religion of a slave is a recommendation of Christianity.—“That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:10). The love of God in becoming our Saviour is a powerful motive to adorn His doctrine in our lives. Adornment makes that which is adorned more conspicuous and better known, and enhances the merit of that which it adorns. Even slaves should not think their example a matter of indifference: their religion exalts and beautifies them. Man does not ennoble religion, but religion ennobles him. The pearl in the oyster sheds a beauty over the whole shell. “The heathen,” said Chrysostom, “do not judge of the Christian’s doctrines from the doctrine, but from his actions and life.”
1. Christianity did not violently interfere in the early age with the institution of domestic slavery.
2. But introduced principles which, legitimately developed, made slavery impossible.
3. Christianity elevates man in all conditions of life.
GERM NOTES ON THE VERSES
Titus 2:9-10. The Duties of Servants.
II. Acceptableness of service.
III. Respectfulness of manner.
CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES
Titus 2:11. Hath appeared.—In an epiphany. The Sun of Righteousness with health in His beams had chased away the “hidden things of darkness.” Like the sun’s light, the blessings of grace were to all men.
Titus 2:12. Denying ungodliness.—Repudiating any kind of connection with a life of irreligion. And worldly lusts.—Desires that, like carrion-vultures, fatten on the corrupting things of this world. Soberly, righteously, and godly.—The grace of God disciplines us in relation to ourselves, our fellow-men, and our God. If it had free scope, we should be self-respecting, respected, and Divinely blessed.
Titus 2:13. That blessed hope.—The object of hope. And the glorious appearing.—R.V. “the appearing of the glory.” The epiphany of grace was noticed in Titus 2:11; now the apostle comes to speak of another shining upon the world in glory. Of the great God and our Saviour.—The great question here is: “Are there two subjects, or one only?” For two subjects, the one being God, and the other our Lord Jesus Christ, it is argued: (a) that we never find the phrase “Jesus Christ our God”; (b) that we do find God and our Lord Jesus as two subjects; (c) that the addition “great” indicates God as an independent subject. For one, “the great God, even our Lord,” it is argued: (a) that epiphany is always applied to the Son; (b) that the immediate context refers to the Son; (c) that the following abasement explains the unusual term “great God”; (d) that “great,” if used of the Father, would be superfluous. The R.V. rendering would put the matter beyond question if we were shut up to it.
Titus 2:14. Who gave Himself.—“The forcible Himself, His whole self, the greatest gift ever given, must not be overlooked” (Ellicott). For us.—Not in our stead here, but on our behalf. From all iniquity.—Which is regarded as having had us in thrall. A peculiar people.—R.V. “a people for His own possession.” They were to be regarded as God’s property.
MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Titus 2:11-14
The Gospel of Grace—
I. Reveals salvation for all (Titus 2:11).—R.V. “The grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” The purpose of God to save the race was slowly unfolded to the world. The brightest and fullest manifestation of that purpose was the coming of Christ the Saviour; and yet the world has been slow to believe that He came to save all men. The revelation of the gospel has been a revelation of the character of God and of His boundless grace, embodied and illustrated in His incarnate Son.
II. Demands a life of self-denial and moral consistency (Titus 2:12).—The gospel insists upon the inseparable connection between creed and character, doctrine and life. It is a discipline, enforcing self-restraint in a world where sin is the normal state of things, and enabling us to live soberly, righteously, and godly, as a constant reproof to the world’s sin, and as an example and stimulus to all who are striving to conquer the world-spirit. The gospel of grace is a world-renewing power.
III. Furnishes the hope of unparalleled blessedness.—
1. A blessedness enhanced by the second advent of Christ in glory (Titus 2:13).—The hope created by the first advent grows in blessedness with the prospect of the glory of the second coming, when the great God and Saviour will be revealed in all the splendour of His mediatorial majesty. In that glory all who look and long for His appearing shall share, and their hope shall then have its fullest realisation.
2. A blessedness involved in the provisions of redemption (Titus 2:14). The aim of redemption was not only to release us from the bondage and penalty of sin, but from all its power and pollution. For this purpose Christ gave His whole self, the greatest gift ever bestowed by heaven or received by earth. The final result of redemption is to prepare, by the moral discipline of the gospel, a holy people who shall be zealous in doing and promoting all good works. These verses contain a suggestive summary of the apostle’s teaching, and an enlarged conception of the gospel of grace.
1. The gospel is a manifestation of God’s grace to man.
2. The gospel gives power to live a holy and useful life.
3. The gospel reveals a future of glorious blessedness.
GERM NOTES ON THE VERSES
Titus 2:11-14. What God expects from us, and what He does for us.
I. What God expects from us.—
1. Aversion to ungodliness and worldly lusts.
2. The practice of sobriety, righteousness, and godliness.
3. To cherish the hope of the second advent of our Lord.
II. What God does for us.—“He gave Himself for us.” The object of Christ’s self-sacrifice was:
1. For our redemption—“from all iniquity.”
2. Possession of Christ in a state of separation and purity. “Purify unto Himself a peculiar [purchased] people.”
3. Fruitfulness. “Zealous of good works.”—J. C. Trotter.
Titus 2:11. The Universal Offer of Salvation—
I. Irrespective of our varying moral Conditions.
II. Because all men need it.
III. Because God loves all.
IV. Because Christ died for all.
Titus 2:14. The Consecrating Saviour and the Consecrated People.
I. The consecrating Saviour.—
1. He gave Himself.
2. He gave Himself a ransom.
3. The object of this was to purify men.
II. The consecrated people.—
1. Freed from the power of sin.
2. Brought under the Divine rule.
3. Specially devoted to good.
5. Diligent.—F. W.
MAIN HOMILETICS OF Titus 2:15
The Christian Teacher—
I. Should be master of all methods of effective instruction.—“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke.” The minister’s task is a constant and endless one. He must know how to instruct, exhort, persuade, and reprove. All the resources of learning, eloquence, and spiritual power are needed to do our work efficiently. The great aim of all preaching is to bring sinners directly to Christ. On Egypt’s far-off soil, as the morning beams lit up the eastern sky, an officer lay dying. With gallant daring he had led his followers, guided alone by the pale starlight of the heavens, until at last they reached the enemy; and now the strife is over, but he is wounded mortally. As the general, his cheeks bedewed with tears, gazed down with sadness on his face, a sudden radiance illumined for a moment the youth’s countenance as, looking up to Wolseley, he exclaimed, “General, didn’t I lead them straight?” and then he died. O brothers, when o’er our eyes there steals the film of death, and when the soul flits solemnly from time into eternity, may it be ours to say in truthful earnestness to Christ concerning those committed to our care—We led our people straight!
II. Should speak with unhesitating confidence in the truth.—“With all authority.” The minister is an ambassador for Christ, and speaks not in his own name, but in the name and with the authority of the great King he represents. The truth inspires him with power; and the more he studies and realises its virtue in himself, the more he is convinced of its supreme claims and enforces those claims with overwhelming emphasis. To palter and hesitate in the declaration of the truth is to be unfaithful to his trust and to the best interests of his hearers.
III. Should command the respect of those he teaches and governs.—“Let no man despise thee.” He should speak with such vigour and assurance as to compel attention, and warn with such authority that no one may think himself above the need of admonition. Channing once said: “There is no office higher than that of a teacher of youth, for there is nothing on earth so precious as the mind, soul, and character of the child. No office should be regarded with greater respect.” How much more is this true of the Christian minister! He should so speak and act as to commend the dignity and power of his commission to the most indifferent.
1. The Christian minister deals with themes of the highest importance.
2. The presentation of Christian truth should be a subject of earnest and constant study.
3. The more we are possessed with the truth the more effectively we teach it.
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Titus 2". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent