Some Characteristics of a Godly Man, Part 3

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything recently, but it’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  This week I would like to continue discussing some characteristics of a Godly man, as I’m sure you ascertained by the title.

Paul, having given Titus instruction concerning the content of his teaching/speaking, turns to the actual content that Titus was to share with his congregation.  The first thing that Paul tells Titus is that older men, in order to be Godly in their character, are to be temperate.  Although this is initially directed at “older men” it is to be reiterated in verses 6-8 in reference to young men.

What does it mean to be temperate?  The Greek word carries multiple meanings.  First, it can mean “not mixed with wine,” to “abstain completely or extremely limited intake.”  This is an acceptable interpretation, that older men (and the young) are to limit their intake of wine in order to maintain temperance and self-control.  This is congruent with Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5:18; “And do not get drunk with wine…”  The second definition is “restrained, clear-headed.”  This seems to be the more appropriate definition for the context since it would incorporate the first definition also since it is the more broad of the two.  This too is in harmony with Paul’s teaching elsewhere, in particular Galatians 5:22-23 and the fruit of the Spirit, i.e. self-control.  Therefore, the Godly man is to be one who is clear-headed, restrained, or one in whom the Holy Spirit is producing self-control.

How can this be exhibited in the life of the man of God?  Obviously in a very narrow sense it is seen in the fact that the man of God will not be a slave to wine, a.k.a. alcohol of any type.  That is the easy part believe it or not.  In the broader sense (and I believe the sense that is meant in the context of Titus 2:1-2) temperance will be displayed in the life of a Godly man by his exercising restraint in his behavior, clarity of mind, and overall and on average, sound judgment.  The good thing is that if you or I struggle in this area all we have to do is ask for help.  James tells us in James 1:5 that, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  It is an amazing thing that God does for us.  Not only does He reveal to us exactly how He wants for us to live, He also gives us the power to actually accomplish the task.  To Him be all the glory!

So we find that another aspect of being a Godly man is found in being temperate.  It may do us well to look at Romans 12:1-2 in order to get some more insight into the steps we need to take to reach that temperance.  I’ll leave that to you for your individual study.

I pray this helps.

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Garth Brooks on Obama: I Love Him to Death; Its Got to Be Hell In That Office | CNSnews.com

Another clueless entertainer offers his astute observations based upon the nothingness between his ears.  His statements in this interview reveal that he knows nothing about how the American “system” is supposed to work.  The problem is when presidents attempt to do “what we want to do” when what we want to do is not within the confines of the Constitution of the United States.  He says we should “vote for (things) because they’re right or wrong.”  The question is, by what standard of right and wrong?  Or, what determines if something is right or wrong in our system of self-governance?  The answer: The Constitution of the United States!  That IS the system.  And if that system will not allow a president to do something its because our founding fathers were smarter than we are.

Garth Brooks on Obama: I Love Him to Death; Its Got to Be Hell In That Office | CNSnews.com.

Some Characteristics of a Godly Man, Part 2

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2

Continuing with our discussion from last week I need to take a small step back and share some applications for the first point.  Speaking things that are in accordance with healthy doctrine should work its way into our daily life in every situation.  For instance, Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification (building up) according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” That is what would be deemed sound doctrine and in fact goes hand-in-hand with the idea of Titus 2:1.  How does this work its way out in our lives?  First, in accordance with Ephesians 4:28 and 5:25-28 speaking what is in accordance with healthy doctrine should be evident in our relationships with our wives.  The husband and wife relationship is reflected in Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church.  In particular, His word (Scripture) is to wash the Church to purify her, etc.  Then in verse 29 we husbands are encouraged to nourish our wives and cherish our wives.  This must be exercised at least in part by how we speak to our wives.  Unwholesome words spoken to our wives do not build up nor do they nourish.  In a very practical way, then, speaking what is in accordance with sound doctrine should be exhibited in how we speak to our wives for only by speaking what is in accordance with pure doctrine can we build up our wives.

We should also demonstrate this in the father/child relationship.  Continuing to draw from Paul’s instruction in Ephesians, he states that fathers are to not provoke our children to anger, “but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).  Quite clearly the proper fulfillment of the directive to instruct them can only be obeyed by speaking “the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”  In order to bring them up in the instruction of the Lord we must accurately share His teaching (all of Scripture) with them.  However, in order to not provoke them to anger fathers must also guard themselves from speaking “unwholesome words” to them, words that do not build up but tear down.

In a third instance in order to speak those things that are in accordance with sound doctrine we must guard our public speech.  Ephesians 5:4 states, “and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”  There should be little need for explanation here (but of course I will give some anyway).  There are some things that should not be spoken because they are “not fitting.”  But what are they not fitting for?  Looking back at Ephesians 5:1-2 we can see that they are not fitting for those who would be imitators of God who walk in love as Jesus walked.  As men of God it is incumbent upon us to reflect the character of God.  This requires us to be imitators of Him and walk as Christ walked; and it also requires us to speak His words after Him.  Thus, speaking the things that are in accordance with pure doctrine is indispensable to imitating God as His dear children.

To conclude, as we work through this study together I think it best for us to keep a few other things in mind.  All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (2Tim. 3:16).  The desired goal of Scripture is that the man of God is mature and completely furnished for all good deeds (2 Tim. 3:17), which deeds He prepared for us before the foundation of the earth and created us as new creatures to carry out in order to bring Him glory (Eph. 2:10).  Because of the preceding, we must diligently study the revelation that He has given, which, and hear me loud and clear, can only be found in the pages of the Holy Bible, His word to us.  We do this to show ourselves workmen approved by God, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).  This revelation that He has given, once for all, is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).  There is no need for any other revelation from God.  He has already delivered and preserved for us “everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3).  Therefore, as men of God we must “become doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).  Only the one who “looks intently at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it” is the one who “will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).

Until next time.  I pray this helps.

Tyndale Theological Studies Collection 5 Vols. – Logos Bible Software

Great books from a great group.

Tyndale Theological Studies Collection 5 Vols. – Logos Bible Software.

The Bible and Matt Drudge

Jack Kinsella has offered a very good observation concerning the wild and wacky world in which we currently find ourselves living.  It is worth a read.

Bible Prophecy News Politics Current Events Christian Intelligence – The Omega Letter.

Some Characteristics of a Godly Man

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2

Recently we had a conference for the men of our church (Cornerstone Bible Church, Lubbock, TX) and I along with the elders of our body addressed many issues that Christian men deal with on a regular basis. The topic assigned to me was the identification of some of the biblical characteristics of the godly man. When I came to these two verses in Paul’s letter to Titus I was struck by the volume of information that was packed into them. So I decided to share what I found in these verses with our men. I would like to take the next few blog postings to share with you what I shared with them.

It is important to notice the first phrase, “But as for you” (v.1). In order to identify what makes these words so necessary one must go back to chapter 1:10-13, 15-16. Paul identified those “rebellious men” (v.10) who were “teaching things they should not teach” (v.11). These men were to be instructed in the truth by Titus so that they “may be sound in the faith” (v.13). Accompanying their false teaching, “by their deeds they deny (God)” thereby proving themselves to be “worthless for any good deed.” In contrast to these men Titus was to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (2:1), “sound” in that it is healthy, pure, or uncorrupted.

To be sure this first directive is given directly to Titus and secondarily to all who would be teachers of God’s word. However, I believe that it also extends in a broader degree to every man who would be a godly man. My reasoning is as follows: First, Messiah left the Church with the command to “make disciples” or “disciple the nations,” which included the mandate to teach the nations to “observe” (tereo “to guard; keep”) all that Messiah had taught to the disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). This command is not simply for those who first heard. The idea that those whom they taught were to “guard” or “keep” all that Messiah taught would necessitate the perpetuation of the discipling process. But if it were only for those who actually heard, then no contemporary Christian would have any culpability if that command were not being currently heeded. This is a ridiculous thought since it would necessarily mean that making disciples would have ended with the death of the last person to who had actually heard the words of our Lord. Secondly, if men are meant to take part in disciple-making then each man (Christian person in general) would need to be a teacher to some degree since part of making disciples lies in teaching the lost person about the gospel. After that initial gospel presentation (or after several presentations in which questions will almost assuredly also need answering) the new convert will need more instruction in the faith. I realize that in the process of discipleship more than one person will be involved, some evangelizing, some teaching after the conversion of the person, but all of us must be able to answer questions concerning the Christian faith if we are to be obedient, although none of us can answer all of them. Therefore, Paul’s command to Titus can find application in the life of those who are not in the position of pastor/teacher.

Remember what Paul’s message was; “speak the things which are fitting (in accordance with) sound (pure) doctrine.” Again, the contrast is seen between those who teach “things they should not teach” (1:11) and the man of God who is to teach the pure word and doctrine from God. A man of God, whether he is single or married, whether has children or does not, must be a teacher of theology to some degree. It’s not that he has to be able to write a multi-volume systematic treatment of biblical theology, but he must at the very least understand the foundational truths of the Christian faith “once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). How else will we be able to speak those things that are in accord with uncorrupted doctrine? How else will we be able to “contend earnestly” for the body of Christian doctrinal truth?

We find then that one of the major characteristics of a godly man is seen in his ability to identify what is “fitting for sound doctrine” and then speaking that truth to others.

We will continue next time. I pray that his is helpful.