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Developing Spiritually Mature Believers

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To teach God’s desire in developing spiritually mature believers is for older men and women to live Biblically ethical lifestyles and teach the younger men and women how to live in the same manner.

Notes & Transcripts

DEVELOPING SPIRITUALLY MATURE BELIEVERS

THE BEST DEVELOPMENT IS THE BEST DEFENSE

Titus 2:1-8
Titus 2:1–8 NASB95
1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
AIM
To teach God’s desire in developing spiritually mature believers is for older men and women to live Biblically ethical lifestyles and teach the younger men and women how to live in the same manner.
INTRODUCTION
Titus 2:1 NASB95
1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
Holman Concise Bible Commentary Sound Doctrine (2:1–15)

Paul stressed the importance of building up the spiritual life of believers as the best defense against error.

Holman Concise Bible Commentary Sound Doctrine (2:1–15)

Paul stressed the importance of building up the spiritual life of believers as the best defense against error.

Verse one serves as the basis for Paul’s instructions. Paul told Titus to “teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.” Sound doctrine must lead to ethical conduct in the lives of all the people in the church.

Since there were no chapter divisions or verses in Paul’s letters. These were added later and are beneficial in helping us easily find things throughout the Bible. This means there would have been no division between chapters one and two when Paul wrote his letter to Titus. This is very important in understanding Titus because Paul had written about false teachers in chapter one and followed in the second chapter with instructions for Titus to teach others to use sound doctrine in their speaking.
Matthew 28:20 NASB95
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Sound doctrine produces health in the individual, making him fit for service and spiritual development.

Before we begin our study, let’s take a moment to revisit something Jesus asked His disciples to do when He gave them The Great Commission.
One of the reasons we see so many believers an inch deep and a mile wide is because we have pushed sound doctrine to the back burner. Rather than base our thoughts and actions on the infallible Word of the Lord, many have chosen to abandon those solid principles and have accepted whatever may be the latest trend. We need to refocus our attention on sound doctrine so we can be successful in developing spiritually mature believers.
Before we begin our study, let’s take a moment to revisit something Jesus asked His disciples to do when He gave them The Great Commission.
Matthew 2 NASB95
1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” 16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.” 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 28:20 NASB95
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:
Matthew 38:20
What Jesus was teaching His disciples, both then and now, is we should study the things He commanded and teach them to other believers.
8:20
THE EXAMPLE OF THE OLDER MEN
Titus 2:2 NASB95
2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
Being temperate is showing good judgment and self control.
Titus 2:1–2 NASB95
1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
Teach sound doctrine
Temperate
Being dignified teaches us a believer should live in such a manner in order to gain respect from others. No one respects a person who professes to have a relationship with Jesus when their lifestyle is far from the expectations of Jesus. A good Christian example will open many doors of opportunity for evangelism.
Being sensible means being in charge of our body and mind in order to have godly attitudes, thoughts and behaviors.
Being sound in faith is the foundation of a believers faith in God which is based on his or her relationship with Jesus.
Any believer who is sound in love has a harmonious relationship with the Lord and other believers.
When a believer is sound in perseverance
By example
A believer gains the respect and listening ear of others when he is sound in perseverance. Life is filled with obstacles meant to shatter our faith in the Lord and
THE EXAMPLE OF THE OLDER WOMEN
Titus 2:3–5 NASB95
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Reverent in their behavior meant they were to devote lives to the Lord and display the character of His holiness each day.

The call upon a Christian’s life comes not from the neighborhood or nation, the mores of consensus, but from the divine personality and nature of God.

The older women we instructed to not be malicious gossips in their conversations with others. Our conversations should build up people rather than tear them down. The bad things we see in the lives of others should drive us to our knees to pray for them rather than broadcast their weakness or problem to the whole world.
Not malicious gossips
It is always heartbreaking to see older people, especially women, who are addicted to alcohol. God wants the older women to live by a higher standard than the world and not enslaved to much wine. I don’t think it would be wrong or do an injustice to the Scriptures to include being addicted to drugs of any kind. It is considered wise to talk with your doctor if you are struggling with a prescription from them. No good doctor wants to see his or her patients addicted to prescriptions they recommend. I have found doctors will work with you if you will be honest with them.
Teaching what is good is much more than teaching in a class setting. It means teaching by example as well. The responsibility to teach the younger women falls on the shoulders of the older women.
THE EXHORTATION TO THE OLDER WOMEN

Jesus once remarked to his disciples, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master” (Matt. 10:24–25). The teacher or master sets the tone, defines the curriculum, and exemplifies what the student aspires toward. This is why the older women must be sound in their inner spirit, their outward lifestyle, because these women were to train the younger women. By living in a godly manner, they would be qualified to pass on the life of faith and godliness to younger women.

There are some in this room who have given a wonderful testimony to the things you learned from the older women when you were much younger. Each generation must teach the next how to live godly and honor the Lord with their lives.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE YOUNGER WOMEN
The older women were responsible in encouraging the young women to love their husbands and their children. There is a great need for this kind of teaching among Christians today. It is so unfortunate to know many in our world have based their relationships on lust rather than love. The end results have been devastating to our homes. A relationship based on lust will never build a solid foundation in a home or stand the test of time. True love can and, most of the time, will weather the storms of life and be standing when they pass.

The word love in this instance comes from the root word phileo, or “brotherly love.” It emphasizes the strength of companionship, of pulling together toward a goal, of devotion measured by kindness and mutual friendship. This forms the basis of a secure and solid marriage and home. At times spouses and parents must exhibit agape, or “sacrificial love.” But the fundamental strength of home life is the intertwining strands of kindness, companionship, and friendship. There exists among the household shared values, shared interests, and, among Christians, a shared Lord and vision of life.

To be sensible and pure is most likely a reference to sexual control and purity. This is very important in our generation with the number of women working outside the home. It is very easy to get caught up in a relationship that will take you down the wrong path and destroy your home.
Encouraging the young women to love their children
To be sensible
To be pure
To be workers at home is a very sensitive subject in this generation. Let’s see if we can learn from the wisdom of another.

Paul also wanted the younger women to be busy at home. To modern readers this statement may conjure visions of a young woman chained to the kitchen sink with six crying children at her feet. Paul has been accused by some interpreters of male chauvinistic tendencies. The context, however, does not support such notions. In first-century cultures, the home was the domain of the woman. This instruction by Paul would not have sounded foreign or oppressive to anyone in the Greco-Roman culture. He was not defining or limiting a woman’s place; he was addressing women where they were. This is not a picture of enslavement but of useful enterprise.

There have always been families in almost every church I have pastored who sacrificed greatly for the wives to stay at home while the children were young. I have never met any person who regretted the sacrifices they made for their families.
It is a wonderful testimony when Christians choose to be kind. Kindness is considered as the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The older women are to encourage the younger women to be subject to their own husbands so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Again, we are going to look to the study and wisdom of another to help us to understand what the Bible is teaching.

It should also be noted that Paul’s directive for submission was given in the middle voice. This means that the woman was to submit herself. The husband must not take it upon himself to make his wife submissive. This her responsibility, just as it is the husband’s responsiblity to love his wife just as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:24–25).

THE EXAMPLE OF THE YOUNGER MEN
THE EXAMPLE OF THE YOUNGER MEN
Titus 2:6–8 NASB95
6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
Titus
Paul gave Titus the responsibility to teach the younger men, however, I do not think it does injustice to God’s Word in telling you the older men are responsible for teaching the younger men. Titus was instructed to urge the younger men to be sensible. Again, this also give the implication of self control and includes sexual purity. Every man needs to be careful because there are always going to be opportunities to be unfaithful.
THE EXHORTATION TO THE YOUNGER MEN
In all things show yourself and example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine. It doesn’t matter how many good deeds we do if we are not true to the teachings of God’s Word.

Paul emphasized two fundamental structures of true Christianity—behavior and belief. In contrast to the false teachers, the proclaimer of the gospel must live a life typified by goodness. Such a proclaimer must deliver the message with integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.

With purity in doctrine
Dignified speaks of integrity of our motives. We must always question why we are promoting or doing something. It must always be to glorify and honor the Lord.
Dignified
Sound in speech which is beyond reproach means the our teaching must be based on the infallible Word of the Lord. We must never do anything to tear down God’s Word in the minds of others, especially the younger men. Paul gives the reason for being sure our teaching is solid and sound. The reason is so the opponent will be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us. There are plenty of people who want to oppose our teaching. We might add, the closer we get to the coming of Jesus, the worse this will get in the world. The devil has always worked hard to distort and destroy the integrity of God’s Word. I would encourage you not to fall into his deceitful trap.
The reason is so the opponent will be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us
CONCLUSION
Developing spiritually mature believers will happen when the older men and older women teach the younger men and younger women. The proof of spiritually mature believers will be evident when the younger men and younger women learn the solid principles of God’s Word and practice them in daily living. If you are an older man or older woman in this congregation, what are you doing to help the younger women and younger men learn and understand the solid teachings of God’s Word so their lives can honor the Lord? Will you help us with our younger generation in developing spiritually mature believers? Younger men and women, are you listening to the older men and women who are trying to teach you God’s Word and help you build a strong and solid foundation for life? The most important question I could ask is, do you know Jesus as your Savior? You will never become a spiritually mature believer unless you know Jesus as your Savior.
Prepared for First Baptist Church Oakdale - September 24, 2017
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