Summary: Are you teaching the Bible truths that should be taught? This brief outline is intended simply as food for thought. It contains a list of Bible truths, some of which are often overlooked, but which the apostle Paul says are some primary subjects for teaching. May this short outline stimulate further study and, hopefully, some expanded sermons on these subjects that we “should teach”.
“These, then, are the things you should teach.” (Titus 2:15)
•• The apostle had just completed the first two chapters of his epistle to Titus. In the first chapter he gave instructions on the appointing of good elders, who would in turn preserve sound doctrine in the church.
•• Then in the second chapter, Paul covers a wide array of the characteristics that should be found in Christians. And he closes the chapter by telling Titus that “these are the things you should teach” (vs. 15).
•• In this short outline my desire is to present these characteristics in summary form. My hope is that you will be stimulated in three ways: (1) to evaluate yourself, to see if these wholesome characteristics are present in your life; (2) to study these topics in more depth; (3) and to incorporate many of these topics into your sermons, Sunday school lessons, bible studies, and other preaching or teaching activities.
Titus 2:1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.
To Titus, the church leader, was entrusted the responsibility of imparting “sound doctrine” — that is, sound teaching — which is a major theme in Paul’s Pastoral Epistles.
• 1 Timothy 4:16, KJVTake heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
• 2 Timothy 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching.
• 2 Timothy 4:2, KJVPreach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
• 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
• Titus 1:9 [An elder] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Titus 2:2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
•• Paul gives instructions for proper conduct by the “older men”.But these wholesome characteristics should also be emulated by all believers.
• Worthy of respect
• Self-controlled. It is interesting that this trait (self-control) is mentioned four times in this chapter — verses 2, 5, 6, and 12.
• Sound in faith, in love, and in endurance
Titus 2:3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
•• These instructions to the “older women” can likewise serve as examples of virtues applicable to us all.
• Reverent in the way they live
• Not slanderers
• Not addicted to much wine
• Teachers of good things to the younger women (vs. 4).
Titus 2:4-5 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
•• These hoped-for traits in the “younger women” are best taught to them by experienced, older women.
Titus 2:6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.
•• Interestingly, the only trait Paul here exhorted the “young men” to have was self-control. That suggests to me that self-control must be of primary importance for young men.
Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
•• The church leader (here, Titus) is to be a role model:
• Setting an example
• Doing good
• Teaching with integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech.
Titus 2:9-10 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
•• Thankfully, slavery has been abolished in most 21st-century cultures. But the principles here can easily apply to the employer-employee relationship. I will use the biblical terms; you can easily apply them in a modern context.
• Subject to their masters
• Pleasing their masters
• Not talking back to them
• Not stealing from their masters
• Fully trustworthy
• Bringing honor to God by their conduct
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...
•• Here Paul teaches a balanced view of grace, showing that grace is not to be confused with libertinism. Rather, grace requires a response of godly living.
Titus 2:13-14 ...while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
• That we live proactively, not passively, always eager to do what is good (14)
I hope that this brief study has stimulated you to further study, and also that the pastors and other church leaders reading this will take the apostle’s words to heart — “These, then, are the things YOU should teach.”