Consider listening to the following sermons exposited from these verses of Titus 2 by Dr. Caldwell as he seeks to faithfully preach and teach the Word of God.
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What Is The Role Of Older Members In The Church?
Titus 2:1-5 envisions older members of the church influencing younger members. We read Paul telling Titus to speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. He shares instructions for Titus about what the older men and women in the church are to be and do so that the word of God will not be dishonored. These instructions include words such as teaching, encouraging, etc., meant for the older as they share with younger men and women. Psalm 145:4 declares, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”. How can the people of God pursue this kind of ministry? What is required for this influence to occur in our churches? Is this meant to take place through discipleship or mentor relationships? What does this look like in the life of the church? In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot will help us to think through this passage and guide us in its application.
Dr. Caldwell confirms there is a focus in these verses on the Word of God regarding older men and women. Yet, most of what Paul describes regarding older people influencing younger people has to do with character. It is helpful to see that what Paul has in view is the word of God as it is established in the lives of His people. These verses describe character traits that mark maturity in men and women of God. They describe lives that are submissive to the Scriptures, lives that understand the authority of the Scriptures, and lives that respond with obedience. These traits have come through the growth process of sanctification. They reflect the word of God being worked into the fabric of people's lives. This growth and maturing have taken place over time. With it comes an element of experience and wisdom. This is one of the reasons that older people can be such positive influences on younger people. Generally speaking, they have lived the Christian life longer. They have the advantage and experience of having walked through years of living that younger people are just beginning to face.
However, we won’t pursue multigenerational relationships unless we understand their importance. Dr. Caldwell tells us that the knowledge of Scripture imparts the priorities of Scripture. This knowledge comes through solid preaching and teaching as it takes place in all areas of church life. It helps the Lord’s people to develop and have a biblical worldview. With that biblical worldview, they are able to understand the importance of generational training and learning. This is how it finds expression in the life of the church but also in the life of families.
But, says Dr. Caldwell, all this requires proper biblical instruction; and this is key. What Paul envisions is a kind of a trickle-down effect, a sort of downstream reality. The pulpit and classes where people are taught and instructed are a necessary part of the teaching that older men and women will be passing on. Some of this will happen by way of personal relationships, others by way of discipleship. There will be people in our churches who have not grown up with solid preaching and teaching and those who have not had many of these things modeled through parents and grandparents. So, as they are hearing and learning these things, it needs to be received and embraced, going home with them being reflected in their families.
Dr. Caldwell shares that you cannot teach what you do not model. If something has not been caught, it cannot be taught. He explains this is most likely why there is this emphasis on character in the passage. We have to be these things to teach these things to others. And to teach them, we have to have friendships, spiritual friendships where we are living the Christian life together as brothers and sisters.
As older saints, we don’t need to be confused or dismayed about where we fit in church body life. We have not aged out, and we are not out of touch. No matter our age, we continue to be useful servants of our Savior and Lord until we are called home. Older people are vital to the spiritual health of the church. As older and elderly individuals in a congregation, we need to be able to embrace the opportunity and responsibility envisioned in these verses of Titus. As does each generation in the church. This includes young people who need to see the value of others investing in their lives. Dr. Caldwell says he really thinks that the learning of Scripture imparts a sense of value and priority to things that we would not learn otherwise. We must let a text like this instruct us as to the value of multigenerational involvement, which will further enjoin both, those who are older and those younger to pursue these things.
This instructive passage from Paul to Titus teaches us how to live in the fear of the Lord. It teaches us how to live a life that reverences, pleases, and honors God. God has not only given us instructions on how to be saved, but He also has given specific instructions on how we are to live as His people. Those instructions include specifics for men, specifics for women, specifics for the old, and specifics for the young. If we are going to grow in the faith, if we are going to honor God with our lives on this earth, we must receive and embrace every bit of that specific instruction for our lives. This includes embracing God’s Word according to our specific God-given roles in life. Are we doing this? Are we growing in our sanctification, seeking to adorn the doctrine of God in all respects?
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
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