The Introduction

Previously, Paul admonished young Timothy to instruct older men and older women in his congregation. We can reasonably assess, by the entirety of Scripture, that these most of these instructions are not so much gender specific but wisdom and commands of God for life.

But then Paul continues an instruction for the young men of any congregation. But then the Scriptures gets weightier. Let me show you.

The Text

Titus 2:6–8 (CSB)
6 In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled

7 in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

8 Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us.

The Meditation

6 In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled 7a in everything.

The Spirit of Christ: self-control

Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 (CSB) Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (CSB) on’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown.

The incredible lie of the world and especially our hearts and souls will tell us that we can control other people. The sin of legalism boils down to this: the sins that I do not struggle with, I will turn around make it a back-breaking yoke for others that cannot possible bear. Nevermind the fact that the sins that have consumed my soul is killing me slowly and surely.

What did Christ say about this?

Matthew 23:3-4 (CSB) Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.

What would it look like if we control the one thing in this world that we can actually control?

What if we control ourselves?

Not only is it a part of the fruit of every Christian (I say Christian because if you believe, then you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) but it is a command of God.

Let me sum up this way: you control you.

“Are we not suppose to expose sin in others?” Yes and no.

I recall a fantastic story of a missionary sent to an African tribe. God saw it glorious to bring this entire tribe to his heart including the tribe chief and his many wives. They were eager to do right by God. The missionary knew that he must mention that to believe in Christ is to be a husband of only one wife–not several.

This is a case of a people’s group with their own worldly culture that was inherited and in their own control, sought what to do in the eyes of God–which was not easy. The point is that this tribe simply did not know the Bible. They were in sin that contradicted the Bible but they did not know that. The missionary was there to bring forth the word of God.

But see what happens: it is the Spirit that bring conviction.

John 16:7-11 (CSB) Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

If you do have a relationship and can walk side-by-side with one another in love, it might be that they just don’t know. That is why we have the word of God.

But what I speak of is the anti-Christ sin of giving judgment that you cannot possibly bear.

Control thy self. Worry about you. Study the Scriptures. Petition for others.

7b Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching.

The Spirit of Christ: be above reproach

Mark 1:22 (CSB) They were astonished at his teaching because he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not like the scribes.

Christ taught with authority because He was fully God and fully man who obeyed the law of God perfectly. In other words, he was above reproach.

“Do we need to be perfect in order to teach and preach?” Again, I nor no one else in all of creation cannot lay the burden of perfection on you. Christ did not do it. Christ is the God of the Old and New Testament. He is the one who made mankind and He knows that we “come from dust and return to dust.” (Psalm 103) Christ is merciful to us–not in the way of the world that would let us perish in our sins but in true mercy that Christ has freed us from our sin.

The Gospel

8 Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us.

The Spirit of Christ: we stand justified before Christ

Romans 8:31-34 (CSB) What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.

And

Romans 8:14-16 (CSB) For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father! ” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children…

We are justified before Christ not because we do good works but because Christ did the good works that we should have done. In God’s great grace and mercy, we now get to do the good works that God has prepared ahead of time for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Do the works that God has set out for you to do. You have no opponent that can accuse you. Be above reproach and love them like Christ would.

The Discussion

1. What is the difference between perfectionism and being above reproach?
2. Who is in ministry?
3. If we are all ministers but commit sin, what can we do? What does Christ command us to do?

The Prayer

God of Grace
Give us strength to do your will today.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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