Friday in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Titus 2:1-3

Older Men and Women in the Church

The Apostle moves on from the troublemakers to different groups within the church along gender lines.  This reminds us of what we should already know—that sexual differentiation is the most fundamental of all differences.  Sexual differentiation is more basic than race, ethnicity, nationality, age, or any other physical difference.  (I say “physical” because the doctrines of election and regeneration mark the most fundamental spiritual differentiation between groups.)  That said we should do more in our churches to minister to men as men and women as women, respecting the difference.

First, Paul tells Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.”  There are many things a pastor can’t change that he wishes he could.  There may be things happening in the church which are wrong or just plain “out of order” that he wishes he could do something about, but the government, the constitution, the culture, or powerful personalities of the church simply won’t allow him to do anything about it.  In other words, churches do not give elders the authority in the church that Scripture does.  But there is one thing the pastor can do and must do and that is teach sound doctrine.  Do that, preacher, and let God do with others what you can’t do.

And the topics of sound doctrine upon which he could preach are practically limitless, but Paul mentions some items right away.  And isn’t it interesting that one of those items runs right along the line of sexual differentiation.  First up are older men.  Yes, the Apostle begins with men because by creation and thus nature, God has set man at the head of woman.  And he then differentiates according to age because age is second only to gender regarding basic differences between people, and Scripture assumes that old age is wiser than youth.  So Titus is to command the older men to be “sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness”; indeed, the very qualities one expects from older men who have spent their years pursuing godliness.  One gets the picture of a man who is grave and serious, yet with the joy of the Holy Spirit animating his person.  It is rather the same with older women who “are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers,” which can sometimes be a feminine malady.  They are to teach the younger women—a matter we will deal with tomorrow.  But let us say now that one cannot teach that which one does not know.  It is thus incumbent upon men and women to live such lives now that they will be able to teach younger men and women in the coming days—and not by bad example—which happens all too frequently—but by good.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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