Titus Chapter 2

Paul’s Instructions to Titus

Titus 2:1

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine”

Regarding his pastoral work, Titus was told by Paul to speak the things which become sound doctrine or healthful teaching. This word “sound” is used in 1 Timothy 1:10; 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9,13; 2:2. It is also used in Luke 5:31 and 3 John 2 where the meaning is clear: to be well, healthy, sound in body. God’s truth and God’s teaching, when believed and obeyed, are to produce a soundness and well-being of soul. We speak often of the need to be “healthy believers”—that is, to have spiritual health that comes from walking with God and conforming our lives to His will and Word.

How can we expect to have an impact upon our town, our state, our country, and our world if we ourselves are not enjoying the perfect peace and health (the “shalom, shalom” of Isaiah 26:3) that God provides for those trusting in Him? Barrenness and leanness of soul will definitely hinder our outreach. The healthy believer, in contrast to this, is described in John 7:38—“out of his belly (innermost being) shall flow rivers of living water.” May we have such an outflow!

Paul instructed Titus (in Titus chapter 2) to communicate sound and healthful doctrine to five different groups: the older men (v.2), the older women (v.3-4), the younger women (v.4-5), the younger men (v.6-8), and the slaves (v.9-10).

The Aged Men (v.2)

The aged (elder) men were to be sober (sober-minded, temperate), grave (dignified, worthy of respect and honor, serious but not gloomy, reverent), temperate (discreet, of sound mind, sober-minded, prudent, thoughtful, self-controlled). These aged men were then instructed to be HEALTHY in three respects: 1) Healthy in faith (How healthy is your faith?); 2) Healthy in love (How healthy is your love?); 3) Healthy in patience (bearing up under the trials and adversities of life with steadfast endurance). How spiritually healthy and steadfast are you when faced with the stormy and fiery afflictions of life?

The Aged Women (verses


The older women were instructed to be in behavior as becometh holiness (to behave as a holy person, to be reverent in deportment, reverent in behavior, not giddy women whose hearts are centered in frivolous matters), not slanderers (this is actually the word “devil,”–the older women are not to go around as “little devils” hurling false charges and misrepresentations and engaging in malicious gossip), not given (enslaved) to much wine (indeed, not enslaved by any food, drink or medicine).

The older women were to be “teachers of good things.” These women are older. They have learned many things just through experience (“the school of hard knocks”) and they ought to be able to teach and benefit others from what they have learned over the years. Their teaching ministry is to be especially directed at the younger women. The years of being in God’s Word and learning from practical experience enables these older women to pass on valuable counsel to young women, young wives and young mothers. [General Principle–Any wise young person will cultivate the friendship of godly older believers and solicit their advice and correction.]

That which the older women were to teach the younger women is given in the next section:

The younger women (verses


The older women were to teach (admonish, train) the younger women in the following: 1) to love (phileo) their husbands (it’s not a matter of falling in love but it’s a matter of LEARNING to LOVE). “It includes the myriad ways in which she can show that she really respects him—by acknowledging his headship in the home, by making no major decisions apart from him, by keeping an orderly home, by paying attention to personal appearance, by living within their means, by confessing promptly, by forgiving graciously, by keeping the lines of communication always open, by refraining from criticizing or contradicting her husband in front of others and by being supportive when things go wrong” (W. MacDonald) ; 2) to love (phileo) their children: “by reading and praying with them, by being at home when they return from school or play, by disciplining firmly and fairly, and by molding them for the Lord’s service rather than for the world” (MacDonald); 3) discreet (sober-minded, self-controlled, see the same word in v.2-“temperate”); 4) chaste (pure, faithful to their husbands and avoiding impurity in thought, word and action); 5) keepers at home (working at home, domestic): “Older women should inculcate the high honor of serving the Lord in the home as a wife and mother rather than working in industry and business in such a way that would neglect the home and family” (MacDonald); 6) good (how to live for others, to be hospitable, gracious, generous, not self-centered); 7) obedient to their own husbands. All of this so that “the Word of God be not blasphemed” (be spoken against; lit. “injurious speech”). This is the opposite of v.10 where God’s doctrine is adorned. Depending on how we live, God’s truth will either be adorned or blasphemed.

The younger men (verses


Paul’s instruction to the young men: to be sober-minded (discreet, self-controlled, an appropriate word since youth is the time of brimming zeal, restless energy and burning drives—this word “sober” is used throughout this chapter); in all things showing themselves a pattern (example) in good works (see 1 Tim. 4:12 where “example”=pattern; see also Titus 3:8,14; Eph. 2:10; Matt. 5:16); 3) in doctrine (teaching) showing (three things) 1) uncorruptness (free from taint—their teaching should reflect the purity of the Word of God), 2) gravity (reverence, being very serious about what God has said), 3) sincerity (not being corrupted away from the path of truth).

Verse 8–sound (healthy) speech which cannot be condemned (the words we speak reflect the heart and by our words we shall be condemned or justified–see Matthew 12:35-37), that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you (we silence our enemies by our blameless speech and conduct). May they not find even a chink in the believer’s armor! There is no argument as effective as a holy life!

Slaves (verses


Paul instructed slaves 1) to have unquestioned obedience to their masters (v.9); 2) to please them well in all things (v.9); 3) to not answer again (v.9)—not gainsaying, not talking back, not being impudent—“Many slaves had the privilege of leading their masters to the Lord Jesus in the early days of Christianity, largely because the difference between pagan slaves and themselves was so glaring” (MacDonald); 4) not purloining (v.10-not robbing their masters, not pilfering—no wonder believing slaves commanded higher prices at public auctions!); 5) showing all good fidelity (v.10-faithfulness, trustworthiness), that they may adorn the doctrine of God in all things (v.10).

Adorning the doctrine (verse 10)

“Adorning the doctrine” is the opposite of God’s Word being blasphemed by the ungodly conduct of God’s people (see verse 5 and Rom. 2:23-24). But when God’s people put to practice the clear principles of God’s Word (whether it be older men, older women, younger women, younger men, slaves or any believers), then the doctrine of God is adorned. The word ADORN (kosmeo–Eng. word “cosmetics”) means to arrange, to put in order (Psalm 119:133–“Order my steps in Thy Word”). It is used of furnishing a room (Matt. 12:44) and of trimming lamps (Matt. 25:7). It means to adorn or to ornament, and it was used of garnishing or decorating tombs (Matt. 23:29) and buildings (Luke 21:5; Rev. 21:19–“garnished”). See Rev. 21:2–“as a bride ADORNED for her husband.” It is also used of adorning one’s person (1 Tim. 2:9–“women ADORN themselves in modest apparel” and see 1 Pet. 3:5). Our lives should beautify God’s truth. Others should see the beauty of God’s truth as they see the way we live. Years ago an aged missionary reported that Japanese bankers were always glad to employ Chinese Christians because of their eminent trustworthiness. They indeed did ADORN the doctrine. Just as women use cosmetics to seek to make themselves look good and attractive, so the believer practices the truth to make God and His Word look good and attractive to all. When we conform our lives to sound, healthy doctrine “we beautify the Bible and make the Christian message attractive to unbelievers” (Wiersbe). “As a beautiful picture may be enhanced by an appropriate frame, so we make Christian teaching attractive if we exhibit its power and truth in our lives” (Kent). May we so live as to be an ornament to God’s truth!

As we order our lives in harmony with God’s truth in our little corner of the world, then God’s truth will be adorned, and the effects of that will ripple across the world, for His great Name’s sake!

—From the 2001 Middletown Bible Church, Missions Report

Note:  Some of the definitions above were taken from Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald.


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