• God’s 12 Step Program for Every Man in Christ's Church

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If we gathered every young man in the church to give them the most important Biblical lessons they would ever get—what would those lessons be to prepare them for a life of blessing, spiritual influence, and show them the pathway to spiritual maturity?

 

These are the types of questions that Sunday School teachers, youth workers, and pastors often ponder.

 

The good news today is, that God already thought of those questions. He actually moved upon Paul the Apostle’s heart and poured out the Holy Spirit through Paul’s mind into a letter. God has a wonderful plan for Christ's Church.

 

Today we return to God’s written down, specific desires for every saved, born-again, redeemed man in Christ's Church. Wherever you are on the age spectrum this is what God says should be the 12-part measuring stick that you use to know that you are building a life according to God’s plans.

 

These twelve aspects are steps down the pathway of a life that pleases God and bears the fruit that lasts forever. First, at the start of this year we carefully studied:

 

God’s Six Desires

For Every Mature Man

 

Were you here back then? Do you remember what was the plan God had in mind to transform the men of Crete? The same plan He has for all the mature men of Christ's church!

Titus 2:1-2:

 

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;

 

Six qualities are to become the life-priorities for grace-energized men. Note the first trio of godly choices in verse 2:

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be SOBER, so He can use them: MAINTAINING A BALANCED LIFE IN AN OBSESSIVE-COMPLUSIVE WORLD

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be REVERENT so He can use them: GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT LIFE IN AN AMUSED WORLD

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be TEMPERATE so He can use them: LIVING A CONSISTENT LIFE IN A FOOLISH WORLD 

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be SOUND IN FAITH so He can use them: GUARDING A HEALTHY MIND IN A SICK WORLD

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be SOUND IN LOVE so He can use them: STAYING TENDER HEARTED IN A CRUEL WORLD

 

  1. God wants men in Christ's Church to be SOUND IN PATIENCE so He can use them: FINISHING HOPEFULLY IN A DESPAIRING WORLD

 

Grace-energized men living in a sin-energized world is God’s plan.

 

God is on the lookout for men who are sold-out, full-hearted, true-seekers of Him.

 

The standard we are to follow, and for which we will answer to Him is the clear list of character-choices laid down in God's Word. These six are what God expects, what God wants, what His grace can energize you to become—if only you will yield to Him.

 

As you sit before Him—what does God see you really are on the inside? Does He see a longing on your part to be all that He wants you to be?

 

If not, why not surrender to Him right now? Bow your head and heart before the Lord and whisper to Him in your heart that you want to become the man He wants you to be starting TODAY!

 

Now, allow your eyes to slip down from verse two to verse six. Here we catch up with the second half of the instructions for men. The first half in v. 2 is for older men, and those six qualities are what defines them as “mature” men of godliness.

 

Starting in verse 6 we find the pathway that needs to be followed to reach that place of maturity. In v. 6-8 we find what God wants to see growing in the character of every young man. Titus was a young man, and just as with Timothy (in those words: “let no one despise your youth but be an example in…”), Paul includes Titus in the description of what God expects, desires, looks for and wants in EVERY young man. 

 

Training Tomorrow’s

Godly Men Today

 

As we open to Titus 2:6, we see what He wrote down 2,000 years ago. This is the plan God has energized men and women to accomplish as His work, in every part of this world, against every obstacle, for every generation. The Lord wants us:

 

God’s plan is all about personal, face-to-face training—called discipleship.

 

If you understand the Titus 2 model, you understand that this was the simple discipleship curriculum of the early church. They took only the Scriptures and trained the believers from God's Word in what God expected. They defined, explained, and then applied these simple lessons from Titus 2.

 

Just as a baby needs nurturing, feeding, protection, and care—so every person born into God’s family is to be nurtured, fed, trained, and cared for by matured believers until they grow enough to care for another.

 

Just as a baby that never grows and matures is considered sick, so any believer that doesn’t grow and mature is also sick.

 

But in the church often people are physically well and mature, yet if we could see them spiritually they are stunted, weak, under-developed, and sick.

 

What was God’s plan for this need of spiritual nurture? He called the plan “making disciples”, and He made that the one goal for everyone in His family.

 

Because God asks for these qualities it means that He will enable us by His grace to master every area of our life to make our lives pleasing in His sight.

 

Is Every Area of My Life

Mastered by Christ?

 

In our passage today, God shines the spotlight on the next generation of leaders for Christ's church. Young men, who will grow up as the godly and mature servants of God, must begin to cultivate these six qualities. Let’s read them again in Titus 2:6-7.

 

Titus 2:6-8 (NKJV) Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

 

Here is God’s plan for each young man in the church, and the questions that each young man needs to be asked:

 

v. 6 “Likewise exhort the young men”:

 

  • “to be sober-minded”: Ask them: Do you have a firm resolve to Live a Restrained Life in an Unrestrained World? 
  • v. 7 “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works”: Ask them: Do you seek to Become Representations of Christ In A Christ-less World?

 

Paul here tells Titus the same concept that we will see in the life of Timothy. Remember how Paul told him: “Let no man despise thy youth, but be an example to the believers in…”?

 

Paul says, Titus let your life become a model, a template, a pattern. Live out these truths for other young men like you to follow. So this list that follows is what Titus was to exemplify, model, and teach by example to every young man. And once Titus was off the scene, others like godly older men of the faith were to keep that discipleship ministry going.

  • “in doctrine showing integrity”: Ask them: Do you have a constant desire to Maintain Godly Purity In An Impure World?
  • “reverence”: Ask them: Do you have the vigilant attitude of Keeping A Singular Focus In A Blurred World?
  • “incorruptibility”: [by the way the reason this word is in the NKJV is that it was in the Bible as far back as the 300’s when Jerome (347-420AD) translated the Vulgate in 382AD.] Ask them: Do you know God wants you to shine before our sin-darkened world by Keeping an Incorruptible Life in a Decaying World? 
  • v. 8 “sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you”. (NKJV): Ask them: Do you know the reason God left you here was to go and “tell”, so are you Speaking God’s Words In A Godless World? 

 

But before we analyze the complete portrait of this character quality God seeks, look at the way it was to be communicated. The method of communicating this self-restrained, grace-energized, self-controlled life style is amazing.

 

Of all the words of this verse, the most amazing word is the description of how to train young men. Paul says God wants us to “exhort” the young men.

 

We All Need to Learn

How to Encourage Others

Look at the tone of discipleship classes for young men. Paul says not to force these choicest, not to drive them into godly behavior—no, he says Titus “encourage” them.

 

The word encourage (found in 2:6, 15 as parakaleo) is a form of the word used as the Name of the Holy Spirit, when He is shown as our “Comforter”. This form of encouragement in the church is to be through a close relationship of personal exhortation that encourages another believer to lead a godly life.

 

It would be proper to translate this word as “I beg you, please, and urge you to…” and that tone of discipleship towards godliness is the manner Titus was taught to train up leaders in the church. Men and women, boys and girls were to be ministered to with love in God’s plan. A tender, humble, and kind urging to lead a Christ-like life was the plan.

 

Never was the Lord asking His people to be domineering or demanding. God is the source of authority and He can chasten at will, but we His servants are to train godliness in kind exhortations. God knows that believers would respond to loving guidance, but resist the opposite.

 

v. 6 “Likewise exhort the young men:” (NKJV/KJV) “urge” (ESV/NAS), “encourage” (NIV)

 

Circle or underline that word in your Bible and in your mind. In fact this may be something you should even write down.

 

Comforting or encouraging each other is such a vital New Testament ministry that the Scriptures inspired by God use no less than 8 different Holy Spirit inspired words for this ministry.

 

comfort

109 times

parakaleo (3870) verb

beseech 43; comfort 23; exhort 21; desire 8; pray 6; intreat 3

2C1.4; 2.7; 13.11; E 6.22; C4.8; ITH 3.2; 4.18; 5.11; 2 TH 2.17

comfort

29 times

paraklesis (3874) noun

consolation 14; exhortation 8; comfort 6; intreaty 1

A9.31; R 15.4; 2C1.3,4; 7.4,13

comfort

4 times

paramutheonai  (3888) verb

comfort

J11.19; 1Th 5.14

comfort

8 times

tharseo (2293) verb

cheer 5; comfort 3

Mt. 9.22; Mk 10.49; Lu 8.48

comfort

1 time

paramuthia (3889) noun

 

I C 14.3

comfort

1 time

paramuthion (3890) noun

 

Phil. 2.1

comfort

1 time

eupsucheo (2174) verb

 

Phil. 2.19

comfort

1 time

paregoria (3931) verb

 

Col. 4.11

 

We need to consider before we leave this incredible concept, exactly what God may be asking each of us to check. Is this the way you look at ministry? Paul said in Titus 2:6: this is the way you take these truths and deliver them to believers. This is how you teach in the church. This is at the heart of all discipleship and nurturing. Do you see that work

 

To best see this type of Biblical ministry in action turn with me now to I Thessalonians 5. Remember that this is Paul’s first epistle or letter to a church. He is writing back about how they are to do ministry the same way that God told him to do it. This is an insight into how Paul got so much done.

 

As we conclude today, think of everything that you have seen in Titus 2 today and over this entire year, and add this style of ministry. Paul says this is how you make spiritual ministry work. This is the style of personal discipleship that God blesses, and Paul says this is what I do!

 

Let’s read this verse that captures Paul’s method, and then we can understand and apply it to our lives.

 

First Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

 

First the way Paul presents God’s Word, God’s plan and desires is caught in this same word we just left in Titus 2:6 parakaleo or as it says here: exhort (NKJV, KJV) and “urge” (ESV, NAS, NIV)

 

warn those who are unruly,

comfort the fainthearted,

uphold the weak,

be patient with all.

 

Encouraging Step One: “Warn the unruly” (NKJV/KJV) [also “admonish” (NAS/ESV), “encourage” NIV]

 

For those whose lives are out of place:

Remind from the Word what God expects.

 

That is the exact rendering from the Greek text. nouthetithemi ataktos are the words the Spirit of God inspired. Nous is “mind”, tithemi means “to place upon”. So place upon the minds of people who are not aware or obedient, what the Word of God expects of them.

 

Encouraging Step Two: “Comfort the fainthearted” (NKJV/KJV) [also “encourage the fainthearted” (ESV/NAS) or “timid” (NIV)].

 

For those who have little courage or are faint in heart:

Stay close to them in words.

 

That is exactly what the words Paul used convey. Para means nearby or close and mouthos means speaking. So speak to them closely, it even pictures standing closely and speraking softly as in the comfort of Mary when her brother Lazarus died, many women came and stayed close and comforted her.

 

Encouraging Step Three:  “Uphold the weak” (NKJV) [also “support” (KJV), “help” (ESV, NAS, NIV)]

 

For those who have no strength to go on:

Hold onto them tightly.

 

That is exactly what these words mean: antiecho (472) means push against them so they don’t topple, brace and hold onto them.

 

Encouraging Step Four:  “Be Patient with all” this is the verb form of the longsuffering fruit of the Spirit.

 

For everyone:

Go as far as you can on the right road with them,

don’t give up or quit on them, be patient, work with them.

 

 

Men and women, boys and girls were to be ministered to with love in God’s plan. A tender, humble, and kind urging to lead a Christ-like life was the plan.

 

Never was the Lord asking His people to be domineering or demanding. God is the source of authority and He can chasten at will, but we His servants are to train godliness in kind exhortations. God knows that believers would respond to loving guidance, but resist the opposite.

 

Comforting or encouraging each other is such a vital New Testament ministry that the Scriptures inspired by God use no less than 8 different Holy Spirit inspired words for this ministry.

For those whose lives are out of place:

Remind from the Word what God expects.

 

For those who have little courage or are faint in heart:

Stay close to them in words.

 

For those who have no strength to go on:

Hold onto them tightly.

 

For everyone:

Go don’t give up or quit on them, be patient, work with them.


 

God has a Six Desires

For Every Young Man

 

These six qualities are to become the life-priorities for grace-energized young men.

 

  1. Sober-Minded: Living a restrained life in an unrestrained world
  2. Pattern of Good Works: Becoming representations of Christ in a Christless world
  3. Showing Integrity: Maintaining Godly purity in an impure world
  4. Reverence: Keeping a singular focus in a blurred world
  5. Incorruptibility: Keeping an incorruptible life in a decaying world
  6. Sound Speech: Speaking God’s words in a Godless world

 

Tomorrow’s Godly Men

Start Today 

 

Finally, Paul said that God put the spotlight on the next generation of leaders for Christ's church. The young men, who want to grow up to be the godly and mature servants of God must begin while they are young to cultivate these six qualities.

 

v. 6 “Likewise exhort the young men”:

 

  1. “to be sober-minded”, v. 7: First in any godly man’s life is a firm resolve to Live A Restrained Life In A Lust-Filled World;
  2. “in all things showing yourself  to be a pattern of good works”: Next, these men seek to Become Representations of Christ In A Christ-less World;
  3. “in doctrine showing integrity”: Then is the constant desire to Maintain Godly Purity In An Impure World;
  4. “reverence”: And the vigilant attitude of Keeping A Singular Focus In A Blurred World;
  5. “incorruptibility”, v. 8: This means that God wants His servants to shine before our sin-darkened world by Keeping an Incorruptible Life in a Decaying World;
  6. “sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you”. (NKJV):And finally, the whole reason God left His servants here was to go and “tell”, so godly young men are Speaking God’s Words In A Godless World.

 

Paul explains this best using the image of the Race (Gk. stadion). He uses such phrases as “run in a race” (1 Cor. 9:24), “running well” (Gal. 5:7), and “run in vain” (Phil. 2:16). This is the same figure here in Hebrews 12:1-3.

 

Of the different games the New Testament mentions four:  foot racing, boxing, chariot racing, and wrestling.  The footrace is mentioned most frequently. There are four ways that God asks us to yield to Him. These involve getting Christ's focus for the race of life.

 

Look Around: The Foot racing reminds us to look at the race track and stay in our lane. Nothing can be tolerated that may disqualify us (1st Corinthians 9.24-26a).

 

Each believer is on the track; each has a special lane in which to run; and each has a goal to achieve. If we reach the goal the way God has planned, then we receive a reward. If we fail, we lose the reward, but we do not lose our citizenship.

 

1st Corinthians 9.24-26a “Do you not know that those running in a race-course [en stadiou] all run indeed, but one attains the prize. Run thus, that you may win. Everyone who contends [agounizomenos] is self-disciplined in everything, that they indeed might win a perishable victor’s crown [cf. Gal 2:2], but we an imperishable. Therefore I run [trecho] thus, not as if uncertainly;

 

The word castaway (1 Cor. 9:27) is a technical word familiar to those who knew the Greek games. It means “disapproved, disqualified.” At the Greek games, there was a herald who announced the rules of the contest, the names of the contestants, and the names and cities of the winners. He would also announce the names of any contestants who were disqualified. He was concerned lest he ignore himself and find himself disqualified. Again, it was not a matter of losing personal salvation. (The disqualified Greek athlete did not lose his citizenship, only his opportunity to win a prize.) The whole emphasis is on rewards, and Paul did not want to lose his reward[1].

 

Look Within: Boxing points to our opposition to our flesh --the enemy within us (1st Corinthians 9.26b-27). 

 

I box [puktenou] thus, not as if shadow-boxing; but I punch [hyponiazou] my body and I treat it harshly [like beating a slave, doulagougou), lest perhaps having proclaimed to others, I myself should become a failure [adokimos]” (1 Cor 9:26b–27).

 

The word castaway (1 Cor. 9:27) is a technical word familiar to those who knew the Greek games. It means “disapproved, disqualified.” At the Greek games, there was a herald who announced the rules of the contest, the names of the contestants, and the names and cities of the winners. He would also announce the names of any contestants who were disqualified. He was concerned lest he ignore himself and find himself disqualified. Again, it was not a matter of losing personal salvation. (The disqualified Greek athlete did not lose his citizenship, only his opportunity to win a prize.) The whole emphasis is on rewards, and Paul did not want to lose his reward[2].

 

Any contestant found breaking the training rules was automatically disqualified. In recent years, Evangelical Christians have rediscovered the importance of personal discipline and the relationship between a disciplined body and a Spirit-filled life. We must, of course, avoid extremes. On the one hand, religious asceticism is unhealthy and of no value spiritually (Col. 2:18–23). But on the other hand, there is something to be said for disciplined eating, exercising, and resting, and a Spirit-directed balanced life.

 

  1. We smugly congratulate ourselves that we do not smoke or use alcohol, but what about our overeating and overweight?
  2. We loudly proclaim our liberty in Christ and yet we are so bound by our stress overloaded lives that many Christians cannot discipline their time so as to have a consistent devotional life or Bible-study program[3].

 

Look Without: Wrestling refers to our fight with the powers of darkness around us. 

 

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle (Gk. pale) against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

Look Ahead: Chariot Racing looks forward to the heavenly prize and the intense focus needed to finish the race.

 

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

Bible students are not agreed as to the exact sport Paul is describing, whether the footrace or the chariot race. Either one will do, but my own preference is the chariot race. The Greek chariot, used in the Olympic Games and other events, was really only a small platform with a wheel on each side. The driver had very little to hold on to as he raced around the course. He had to lean forward and strain every nerve and muscle to maintain balance and control the horses. The verb “reaching forth” in Philippians 3:13 literally means “stretching as in a race.”

 


 

 

NKJV

NIV

NAS

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: v.2 that the older men be:

  1. sober (3524 nephalios)
  2. reverent, (4586 semnos)
  3. temperate (4998 sophron)
  4. sound (5198 hugaino) in faith,
  5. [sound in] love (26 agape),
  6. [sound in] patience (5281 hupomone);

 

v.3 the older women likewise, that they be

  1. reverent (2412) in behavior (2688),
  2. not slanderers (1228),
  3. not given (1402) to much (4183) wine (3631),
  4. teachers of good things (2567)—
  5. v. 4 that they admonish (4994)

 

the young women

  1. to love their husbands,
  2. to love their children, v.5
  3. to be discreet,
  4. chaste,
  5. homemakers,
  6. good,
  7. obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

 

 

v.6 Likewise exhort the young men

  1. to be sober-minded,v.7
  2. in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;
  3. in doctrine showing integrity,
  4. reverence,
  5. incorruptibility,8
  6. sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men:

  1. to be temperate,
  2. worthy of respect,
  3. self-controlled, and
  4. sound in faith,
  5. [sound in] love and
  6. [sound in] endurance.

 

 

3 Likewise, teach the older women

  1. to be reverent in the way they live,
  2. not to be slanderers
  3. or addicted to much wine,
  4. but to teach what is good. v.4
  5. Then they can train the

 

 

 

younger women

  1. to love their husbands
  2. and children, 5
  3. to be self-controlled and
  4. pure,
  5. to be busy at home,
  6. to be kind, and
  7. to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

 

 

6 Similarly, encourage the young men

  1. to be self-controlled. 7
  2. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
  3. In your teaching show integrity,
  4. seriousness 8 and
  5. 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.

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.2 Older men are

  1. to be temperate,
  2. dignified,
  3. sensible,
  4. sound in faith,
  5. [sound in] love,
  6. [sound in] perseverance.

 

3 Older women likewise are

  1. to be reverent in their behavior,
  2. not malicious gossips,
  3. nor enslaved to much wine,
  4. teaching what is good,4
  5. that they may encourage the

 

 

young women

  1. to love their husbands,
  2. to love their children,5
  3. to be sensible,
  4. pure,
  5. workers at home,
  6. kind,
  7. being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.

 

6 Likewise urge the young men

  1. to be sensible;7
  2. in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds,
  3. with purity in doctrine,
  4. dignified,8
  5. sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

 

 

 

v.1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine, v.2a that the older men be:

  1. 1.            sober:  Maintaining A Balanced Life In An Obsessive-Compulsive World
  2. 2.           reverent: Getting Serious About God In An Amused World  
  3. temperate: Living Wisely In A Foolish World
  4. 4.           sound in faith: Guarding A Healthy Mind In A Sick World
  5. [sound in] love: Staying Tender Hearted In A Cruel World
  6. [sound in] patience: Finishing Hopefully In A  Despairing World

 

v. 3 the older women likewise, that they be:

  1. reverent in behavior: Living Holy in an Unholy World
  2. not slanderers: Speaking Gracefully in a Graceless World
  3. not given to much wine: Disciplining Appetites in an Undisciplined World
  4. teachers of good things—: Modeling Godliness in an Ungodly World
  5. v. 4 that they admonish: Investing in others in a Detached World

 

v. 4b the young women:

  1. to love their husbands: Self-sacrificing Love in a Selfish World
  2. to love their children,: Nurturing Love in a Loveless World
  3. v. 5 to be discreet: Focusing on God in a Foolish World
  4. chaste: Pursuing Modesty in an Immodest World
  5. homemakers: Pursuing Homemaking in a Hostile World
  6. good:  Pursuing Kindness in a Harsh World
  7. obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed: Pursuing Submission in a Rebellious World

 

v. 6 Likewise exhort the young men:  

  1. to be sober-minded,: Living A Restrained Life In an unrestrained World
  2. v. 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works: Becoming Representations Of Christ In A Christless World
  3. 3.           in doctrine showing integrity: Maintaining Godly Purity In An Impure World
  4. 4.           reverence: Keeping A Singular Focus In A Blurred World
  5. 5.           incorruptibility,: Keeping an Incorruptible Life in a Decaying World
  6. 6.           v. 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (NKJV): Speaking God’s Words In A Godless World

 

 



[1]  Wiersbe.

[2]  Wiersbe.

[3]  These paragraphs quoted, adapted, and paraphrased from Wiersbe, Philippians 3 Commentary.


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