Titus 2 begins: ‘You, however must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine’ (2:1) or ‘But as for you teach what accords with sounddoctrine’ (ESV). Chapter two describes what Titus must do in contrast to the self-willed, self-righteous teachers of 1:10-16. In chapter one Titus must ‘silence’ false doctrine (1:11). In chapter two he must ‘teach … sound doctrine’. Look a chapter 2:1: ‘You, however, must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.’ The word ‘sound’ means ‘healthy’. This is the truth that leads to spiritual and emotional health.
An invitation to a wonderful life
Cretan culture was characterised by drunkenness and promiscuity – a bit like my city of Sheffield. Paul’s message clearly involved turning from that way of life. But it wasn’t a message of abstinence. He wasn’t trying to persuade people to give up a life of fun for a life without fun.
Look at verse 10: ‘… so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.’ If Christians live in the way Paul describes then their lives will be attractive.
Paul isn’t even trying to persuade Christians to see their new life as attractive. He’s saying that unbelievers will be attracted to this new life in Christ. It’s not some con-trick. It’s not Paul saying, ‘Pagan life might look like fun, but really they’re all miserable while we Christians have deep joy – so deep you can’t it see most of the time!’ No, Paul is saying unbelievers will find life in Christ attractive. This is the attractive life, the beautiful life – to us and to unbelievers. People will look at our lives as say, ‘I want to live like that,’ ‘I want to grow old like that’.
In the next few posts we’ll be answering the question ‘what does this wonderful life look like?’
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includes Tim Chester’s books