HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Lord, thank You for saving me by grace through faith.
Read TITUS 2:1–15
Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel
2 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
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. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 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.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 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.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 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.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 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.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“By grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Be aware of this as you enter God’s presence.
Sound teaching (1) is literally “healthy teaching.” Here Paul spells out what such health should generate in the lives of members of a first-century household, which may have consisted of an extended family of three generations, uncles, aunts, cousins and, in the case of wealthier families, slaves too. These instructions do not advocate the institution of slavery nor rigid gender roles (e.g., verse 5 does not restrict women to working in the home), but insist that if a person’s faith is healthy, that will surface in his or her behavior, particularly in the daily context of the home and close relationships. Which category from verses 2–8 best describes your position in life, and how are you challenged by this passage?
The spiritual impetus for this distinctively Christian lifestyle comes in verses 11–14; note the similarities between the content of these verses and the internal motivations which we saw in 1:1–4. Note particularly what is said about grace in verses 11 and 12. We began today by considering the truth about grace: saved by grace, not by anything we do. However, here we see that grace is not a free ticket to heaven but an ongoing encounter with a merciful God, which, if authentic, will teach us to avoid certain patterns of behavior and embrace healthy ones. Grace both saves and teaches.
A further dimension comes to the fore in this chapter: the effect which the observable godly behavior of Christians is meant to have on those who oppose them, both inside and outside the church. Note what is said about this in verses 5, 8, 10 and 11. Can you think of examples of this in the lives of people known to you?
How could the “teaching about God our Savior” be “attractive” to your acquaintances who are not Christians (10)? How could you enhance this attractiveness?
Lord, keep me aware of the influence that I radiate onto others so that my life, too, can furnish a godly pattern of behavior.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.