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Behavior Modification

June 6, 2017

Paul gives Titus the instruction to “teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Simply stated, Titus was to teach them how to live according to what they believe. They needed to learn that biblical teaching was not just about the attributes of God, the hypostatic union and eschatology.

What they knew as facts should impact the way they lived.

And if you read the rest of the chapter, you’ll see very specific behaviors that he was to teach them.

  • Older men – sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
  • Older women – reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine, teaching what is good, training the young women
  • Young women – loving their husbands and children, self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands
  • Young men – self-controlled
  • Titus – an example of good works, integrity, dignity, sound speech
  • Bondservants – submissive to their masters, well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, showing all good faith

And the next verses give the reason:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

The reason we are to live godly lives is because God has set us apart to live godly lives. Some will try to explain it the other way around: If we live godly lives, God will grant us salvation and a home in heaven.

The Bible teaches it the other way around: Because Christ gave himself and redeemed us, we can live godly lives. We can’t live a life pleasing to God without his work of setting us free (redeeming) us from the slavery of sin.

And because we are set free, we can live a life that is pleasing to him.

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