Tuesday, 12 June 2018
…in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility Titus 2:7
In the previous verse, Titus was directly instructed to “exhort the younger men to be sober-minded.” Now, instead of asking him to continue to exhort others, Paul directly exhorts Titus. With that understanding, he says to Titus, “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works.” The reason for his words is still for the benefit of the young men, but it is now one of example by Titus rather than exhortation from him.
Titus was to make himself the epitome (in all things) of character. Whatever he did was to be laid down as a pattern (an example worthy of emulation) that others could follow (good works). The word translated as “pattern” is tupos. It is where our modern word “type” is derived from. It signifies a model, which is used to mold other things. In making coins, there is a model which is then repeated in the coin making process. Titus was to be such a model by which he would forge others into the proper mold through emulation of him.
From here, Paul cites three words which are all connected to the idea of doctrine. One of the words is not found in many Greek manuscripts, and the order is not always translated the same, but each will be explained, regardless as to whether the third word is an insert error or not.
Paul says, “in doctrine showing integrity. The word signifies incorruptibility, and thus immortality. Titus’ doctrine was to be so pure and undefiled that it would exist at all times and without any change or corruption. It was to lack any capacity to break down. That is a tough call for anyone, but this is what is expected of the elder within the church. They are never to be blown by the winds of doctrinal confusion.
He then says that in doctrine, Titus should show “reverence.” Titus was to have a serious honor for the doctrine he espoused, exalting it because it is noble and good. The man of God is to hold doctrine from the word in high esteem, never diminishing it. Instead, he is to treat it as an august, worthy of respect, matter.
Finally, concerning doctrine, Titus should show “incorruptibility.” Albert Barnes says, “The word here used does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means, here, the same as purity – that which is not erroneous, and which does not tend to corrupt or vitiate the morals of others, or to endanger their salvation. Everything in his teaching was to be such as to make men purer and better.”
Life application: For the man of God who is selected as an elder, there is a high calling. The stress in Paul’s word of this verse in Titus is on doctrine. The man of God is to not waffle on his doctrine, but is to be sound and set in it at all times. He is to hold proper doctrine in the highest regard, and to live his life so that others understand that this is his treasure and sacred trust.
Lord God, doctrine concerning your word is a matter that many take lightly, changing their thoughts quickly with each argument that arises. Unfortunately, this shows a lack of respect for the incorruptible nature of Your word. There is one truth in doctrine, and it isn’t up for sale to the highest bidder, nor does it belong to the most eloquent orator. Instead, it is for us to seek out, and then to hold fast to. Give us wisdom in this, and may we be fixed, firm, and resolute in our proclamation of what is right and correct concerning the truth of Your word. Help us in this, O God. Amen.