Paul wants Titus to teach virtues to believers. A virtue is a positive trait that is deemed to be morally good. Paul provides his own list of virtues.
doctrine. The Greek word is διδασκαλίᾳ (“didaskalia”). It means instruction, teaching.
sound doctrine. Paul wants Titus to give people teachings that are solid.
Based on the above, most people imagine that Paul wants Titus to provide teachings that rigidly adhere to official doctrines. However, that is not at all what this chapter is about. Rather, Paul wants Titus to teach virtues to believers.
A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good. The opposite of virtue is vice.
The ancient Greek philosophers listed four “cardinal” virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and courage.
In the verses that follow, Paul does not adhere to that list. Rather, he provides his own lists of virtues for different people.
VERSE 2. that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, and in perseverance:
older men. These virtues resemble the requirements for bishops:
1 Timothy 3:2. The overseer therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, good at teaching;
1 Timothy 3:8. Servants, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money,
VERSE 3. and that older women likewise be reverent in behavior, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good,
older women. These virtues resemble the requirements for the wife of a deacon:
1 Timothy 3:11. Their wives in the same way must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, and faithful in all things.
young wives. These virtues resemble those of the ideal Roman wife.
VERSE 5. to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that God’s word may not be blasphemed.
may not be blasphemed. That is, discredited.
Through their bad behavior, a Christian discredits the Christian faith. In this section of Titus chapter 2, Paul mentions several people-groups:
- older men (verse 2)
- older women (verse 3)
- young wives (verses 4-5)
- younger men (verse 6)
- slaves (verse 9)
It is unfortunate that young wives are singled out as the only ones who can discredit the Christian faith. It is abundantly clear that anyone can do that.
sober minded. Young men are to be sober.
VERSE 7. In all things be showing yourself an example of good works. In your teaching, be showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility,
VERSE 8. and soundness of speech that can’t be condemned, that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us.
VERSE 9. Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters and to be well-pleasing in all things, not contradicting,
servants. The Greek word is δούλους (“doulous”). It means a male slave.
VERSE 10. not stealing, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things.
grace of God. The appearing of Jesus Christ is an outpouring of the grace of God.
bringing salvation. The Greek word is σωτήριος (“sótérios”). It means saving, bringing salvation.
to all. The Greek word is πᾶσιν (“pasin”). It means all, the whole, every kind of.
bringing salvation to all men. Are all people saved, no matter what? Is eternal salvation universal?
VERSE 12. instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age;
Titus 3:3. For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
VERSE 13. looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. This speaks of Jesus Christ as God.
Wisdom 18:15. Your all-powerful word leaped from heaven out of the royal throne, A stern warrior, into the midst of the doomed land,
John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 20:28. Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Titus 2:13. looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Hebrews 1:8. But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your Kingdom.”
Revelation 19:13. He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called “The Word of God.”
VERSE 14. who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.
exhort and reprove with all authority. The Christian leader is to exhort people and correct them. They need to act as if they have all the authority and expertise.
However, some leaders are far too eager to do this. They have a bossy personality. They need to tone it down and be humble.
Other leaders find this very challenging. They have a humble personality. They need to increase it and do it more.
Let no man despise you. A Christian leader needs to exhort or reprove in a way that maintains the ministerial relationship. They just can’t go around blasting people.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.