Sober Men

Titus 2:1-10

“How does a boy grow into a man? A real man? A godly man? One with character, conviction, and vision? Where does he go to find a manly sense of himself?” Raising a Modern-day Knight, Robert Lewis

One young dad taken the challenge, committed to this:

MISSION: Serve God As A Family United In Love

VISION: Share Our Faith As Responsible Citizens Leading Others To Jesus

VALUES: Compassion Honor Respect Integrity Strength Truth

Problem here – significant departure from what was modeled by his own dad. In fact, “…there is my dad, he was actually a pretty good friend. One problem, I need a father.” Perhaps you can relate; didn’t get help you needed to learn what it means to be godly man. Take heart – Lord of the Church instituted plan to break the cycle that perpetuates dysfunction. His plan covers the spectrum, all ages, both men and women – everyone here fits into our text somewhere.

In study through 1 TImothy have covered much about “God’s Plan for the Church” – her mission and message, her leadership, her compassionate care of the needy. But what about men and women? no other label, how are they to relate, what is their role within the church? Titus needed different instruction and encouragement from Timothy. Timothy’s church in Ephesus well established, those in Titus’ care on island of Crete much less mature. They still needed help with the basics, how to live together and live godly both in the church and in the world.

Doesn’t expect dad’s voice to be the only male one a son hears; intends that there will be a multi-generational chorus of instruction and encouragement and affirmation filling a boy’s ears. Same is true for daughters. This week men, next week women. Children take notes: Lord willing you’ll be man or woman someday. Lord Jesus wants you to see how it’s done, to be trained up properly, to be godly man or woman.

A. older men v.2

who they are

older or aged men – specifically those who are past the age of changing diapers and fixing bicycles and signing permission forms for your children; it’s grand or great-grand children you’re training now

has application to the spiritually mature – those walking with the Lord for number of years, having grown “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18)

what they do

personal goal: finish well – “fought the good fight”, lived life of faith as modeled by our fathers, godly men who have gone on before setting the example

come along side younger men – been this way before; let me prepare you for what’s ahead, show you how to live pleasing to God

remember: it’s to be a men’s chorus, not a solo! you don’t have to show that younger man everything, you have brothers to help

might say “but I don’t have children” “I don’t have wife” “I don’t have a life!” – you had parents, you have a church family, you have brothers and sisters in God’s family, you have a ministry to give from what God has given you to your brothers

what they’re like

sober / self-controlled

investing time and treasure in what matters, not just what interests; ultimately what matters for eternity

investment in people far outweighs investment in possessions or power or position

reverent / worthy of respect

of good character and reputation, taking life seriously – have experienced hard things of life and become more dependent on God

temperate / clear thinking

firm grasp on the truth, ability to apply Bible truth to life situations, and live that way

sound / in good spiritual health

Gal 5.22-23But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

summary evidence of Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life

your mission

first, make sure own house is in order – not necessarily spotless, but in reasonable repair

second, make the effort, take the risk, build up relationships with younger men, bless them with your wisdom, insight, experience

might say “I blew it, didn’t even come close to doing it right, means I’m not qualified”; NOT! means you recognize dangers your brothers face, the help they need to avoid them

B. young men v.6

who they are

those between boys and older men – might call them “family men”

struggling to provide for wife and children, swim against cultural tide focused on self and stuff

trying to be godly husband and father but with out personal example from own childhood

perhaps made really dumb choices starting out, don’t know how to recover and move on

those who are entering manhood, still trying to sort it all out

not settled on specific career or place of employment or residence

lacking much understanding on what means to be good husband and father, not even sure they want those roles

what they are to do

resist the urge to blow off older man’s counsel – it’s a different world, he’s not walking in my shoes

basic biblical principles apply regardless of age and culture

second thing: it’s Christ who builds his church; young man, older man, both part of particular church family by Lord Jesus’ design!! put there for one another

listen to exhortation – παρακᾰλέω – summon, call alongside and encourage on

exhortation to sober-mindedness – right thinking, right ordering of priorities

that one includes all the rest by default

listen to older man who says: hear me, watch me, follow me; he is God’s gift to you

if older man or men don’t come along side, go seek one out, ask him to help you

C. employees v.9-10

who they are

those employed by another in a vocation

what they are to do

conduct yourself in workplace so the employer prefers to hire Christians

do what he says, do a good job, don’t argue, don’t milk the clock, give benefit of the doubt

listen to the one who is further down the road, take his counsel for how to be good employee

bottom line: insofar as it’s up to you, conduct yourself in workplace so Christ has good reputation

D. exemplary exhortation v.1,7-8

“things which are proper for sound doctrine”

whether Titus as shepherd, older men or older women – must teach truth that transforms

flip side: Bible truth that is received, embraced will transform thought, word, deed

no transformation, no true embracing of the truth

believe God is patient, must be patient; believe God is love, must be loving; believe God-Man poured himself out for sinners, must give ourselves to others

“in all things a pattern of good works”

most effective teaching is by example – exhortation is “come let me show you” far more than “come let me tell you”

truth be told: if you have young people in your life / home, they most often follow your example for good or ill

godly example means words and actions consistent with each other – a pattern of what you are encouraging can be seen in your own life

transformation Bible truth has brought about should be visible

all of life, public and private, must be lived counter-culturally, in way that is clearly distinct from the world

We have enemy waging 2-pronged attack – sin in the world and sin in our hearts. Constant battle to uproot sin from our hearts, push it back in the world. God has given Word and Spirit to equip, enable us to be victorious. But,… our King not leading a billion armies of one each; he is leading one army. Has given us each other – encourage one another, watch each other’s back, work together to prevail in fight with sin. Need strong sober men to lead the fight, following in footsteps of our Savior and our fathers who gave their life’s blood for sake of the Gospel.

Need strong, sober, loving men who will teach next generation of boys what means to be a man, a godly man, a man with character, conviction, and vision who loves the Lord Jesus with all his being. It is from among those boys that Christ will raise up next generation of leaders and shepherds for his bride, the Church. We have the equipment (God’s Word, Spirit, Church), have the charge, have the opportunity within these four walls and outside.

What’s left? Action. Must take up the equipment, answer the charge, act on opportunity God has given to be men pleasing to him. Living transformed lives – fighting the good fight, running the straight race, pursuing Christ as the prize, the one who will give each of us that upward call to be forever in perfect union with him. May God by his grace and Spirit stir us to action, to answer his call.

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