Grow: Mentor & Discipleship (Week 1)

Titus 2:1-8

Introduction:

‘Mentor’ is defined as: “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.”  It is a word that is become more and more prevalent in our society. Even what used to be called Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Henry County is now called “Believe and Achieve Mentoring”, encouraging adults in our community to invest in the lives of young people who need positive role models.

Businesses and churches are bringing in interns to help train or mentor them and let them see if this is the job or ministry they want to go into as a career.

The word ‘disciple’ when defined as a noun is:  “any follower of Christ; a person who is a pupil or adherent of the doctrines of another; a follower.” And as a verb is: “to teach; train”.  

The relationship between Paul and Titus is a great example of what it means to disciple someone. Much like Timothy, Paul called Titus “my true son in our common faith.” (Titus 1:4). He was a Gentile, saved under the ministry of Paul with the Gospel message of salvation by grace through faith alone. He traveled with Paul and was trained, mentored, discipled by him. Paul was investing in his life, so that he would be able to go and do the same thing with others. 

In fact, in the scriptures we are reading today, we find Titus on special assignment to the churches in Crete. Some commentators refer to him as Paul’s secretary of state, being able to go in and carry Paul’s message of order and direction.  And in chapter two, Paul is very specific to everyone about what they ALL are to do in order to make sure the Gospel message and the Word of God is not defiled.  So let’s stand for the reading of God’s Word as we hear what those assignments are for us.

“As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.  Teach the older men to exercise self- control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.

 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.  Instead, they should teach others what is good.  These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,  to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands.          Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

  In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely.  And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.  Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.”    

 Titus 2:1-8

My Barclay’s Study Bible calls this section “The Christian Character”.  It describes our Christian moral or ethical qualities that must be taught, because they do not come naturally to us. Let’s look at the area of responsibilities for each group.

 

I. Titus’s job

 

“As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.” 

Titus 2:1

A. This was a reminder for all who read this letter: Live what you preach!
  • He was sent to appoint the church leaders (Titus 1:5-15)
  • Given specific instructions on who could and could not be called to serve the church.
 
B. He was not asking them to do anything he was not doing himself.
 

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.”

Titus 2:7-8

Just like Timothy, he was sent to live it out in front of people so that they will follow by his example and not just his words.

 

II. Older Men

 

Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be   filled with love and patience.”

Titus 2:2

Who are considered “older men”?  (over the age of 40)
 
A. Self-controlled (Sober, temperate) by the Holy Spirit
  • Not just referring to wine/alcohol/strong drink
  • Level-headed, processing things from life experiences
  • Willing to share past failures and successes
  • Self-indulgence in any area costs far more than what they are worth.

 

B. Worthy of Respect (serious, dignified)
  • Not because of age, but because of character
  • Not because of title, but because of integrity
  • Not a gloomy killjoy, but lives life in light of eternity

 

C. Live Wisely (prudent, consistent)
  • No inconsistencies in his life, but the guy you see in church is the guy you see in the community.
  • Not claiming to be perfect or have all the answers, but is striving to be like Christ in all areas of his life

 

D. Needs to be healthy in these three great qualities:
  • Have sound Faith biblically grounded, consistent walk
  • Filled with Love; always to be our first response
  • With Patience/Steadfastness/Endurance/Fortitude;  understanding that things take time and willing to serve to  see it through

 

Paul first mentioned these in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 and then again in 1 Corinthians 13

 

III. Older Women

 

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.  Instead, they should teach others what is good.”                

Titus 2:4

Illustration:  According to Barclay’s Study Bible, this was the most honored and responsible positions in the church, for they were natural advisors of the young of both sexes. Their years have brought serenity, sympathy and understanding. When we realize we are active in sacred things every moment of our lives, the embitterment, argumentativeness, touchiness, and intolerance will vanish overnight.

 
A. Live to honor God
  • Everything we do, brings glory to You, God!
  • Same as older men…self-controlled by Holy Spirit
  • A woman of integrity and good reputation

 

B. Not slanderers/gossips
  • The hiss of gossip should tell us it comes from the snake and not the Savior
  • Human nature would rather repeat gossip than a story giving credit to someone or to God.
  • Christian responsibility to use experiences to guide and encourage, not tear down and discourage.

 

This is not just for the ladies…but for all of us!

        

C. Not heavy drinkers/enslaved to wine
  • over-indulgence in any area can cause us to lose focus
  • we want the world to see a difference in us.

 

IV. Younger Women

 

These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”
Titus 2:4-5

History behind this from Barclay’s Study Bible:

In the Greek world, the home was the only place for respectable women. No trade or profession was open to her; and if she tried to earn a living, she was driven to prostitution. If the women of the ancient Church had suddenly burst every barrier and limitation which the centuries had imposed upon them, the only result would have been to bring discredit on the church and to cause people to say that Christianity corrupted womanhood…in that sense, this passage is temporary.

BUT there is also a sense in which it is permanent. There is no greater task, responsibility and privilege in this world than to make a home…It has been said that consecration is that which makes drudgery divine; and there is no place where consecration can be more necessarily and beautifully shown that within the four walls of the place we call home.”

 

The Communicator’s Commentary  goes on to say:

“I don’t believe the principles of the importance of being a good wife and mother ever change. BUT, the application, of necessity, must change from time to time and from place to place…Contemporary women are fortunate indeed to have more options than Paul or Titus could have imagined.””

                       

 
A. Devoted to their family,
  • Self controlled by the Holy Spirit
  • by being the hands and feet of Jesus to her family first
 
B. Pure, a woman of integrity, Managing the home
  • Your reputation precedes you
  • Katie made reference to this last week, packing for the trip, having a pen in her purse, etc.

 

I always joked that I wanted to go on “Let’s Make A Deal” with my mom, because she would have in her purse any item Monty Hall might ask for…aka her suitcase!

 

C. Kind to others. The children will learn by your actions.

 

D. Submissive/honoring their husbands
  • In word and in deed
  • Works both ways.
  • This principle must always be viewed in the context of mutual submission to each other, growing out of their mutual submission to Christ that Paul laid:

 

“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.”

Ephesians 5:21-21

Why? So that evil could not be spoken about the Word of God.

 

V. Young Men

 

“In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely.”

Titus 2:6

You were recognized as a man in this culture when you reach age 30

 

Question:  How many times have you heard that men have a one-track mind?  Some might even say this…

Illustration:  You had one job!

 
 
A. Self-controlled
 
“Can’t serve others until self is in its proper place!”

 

 “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”

Proverbs 16:32

  • Time of youth is a time of DANGER! It tends to be more reckless
  • Temptations are stronger, blood runs hotter and passions speak more commandingly
  • False confidence from lack of experience
  • More energy = more opportunities for going wrong
  • Most were not married yet, so no home/family obligations
 
B. If he is listening to the older men, he will learn a lot more.
  • While we can’t keep them from making the same mistakes
  • we can share and hope they learn from them

 

Conclusion:

 

Christianity is always a liberation movement!  The Power of Christ broke the power of slavery, the oppression of women, the oppression of people groups (Jews/Gentiles), and now the oppression of a “Me-First” society. We cannot be in unity unless we are putting Christ first in our lives and then putting others ahead of our wants and desires.

We should all know by now that we are commanded to “…go and make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19). This is a command to every one of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior. But how can we go out to others when we haven’t finished doing that right here in our own home and church. One group is not more important than the other. They are all to be built up so they can train the next group. And how will they know unless we tell them?

 

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.   And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:26-28

 
It is something that starts with us…who do you have speaking into your life? And who’s life are you speaking into as an encourager, teacher, mentor, or friend?   
 
Listen to Ken’s message here:
 

^