You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1 NIV)
In the space of a few paragraphs, Paul outlines a curriculum with a motive. That outline does not include a lesson plan and session notes, neither does it describe classroom resources required and assessment methods. It does underline, however, the importance of teaching to the life of the community of grace.
The curriculum outlined in this chapter, however, would not effectively be delivered in an academic, classroom type fashion. Implicit in Paul’s instructions to Titus is the call for Titus to be up close and personal in the lives of the people he is teaching. It’s nono good just saying, “be temperate, respectful and sound” – anyone can just say that. To effectively teach that involves demonstrating that through every day life scenarios, referring to that in the life of Christ our example, challenging actions and attitudes that contradicts that and enabling and encouraging people to live that in their own daily journey.
Paul’s instructions toto Titus, then, requires a great deal of investment in seeing people develop. This is why the gospel motive Paul points out in verses 11-14 is so pivotal. We can live godly lives, by the grace of God expressed in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. That grace is able to remind us that He is doing the purifying work in usus to be a people who delight in doing good. Our part in receiving the teaching and cooperating with the process is crucial to expressing to the world Jesus who sets us free to be about the business of doing good.
It’s an incredible instruction and challenges given to Titus, but it is a great privilege that he is able to fulfil because of the grace. Those instructions for teaching of men, women and slaves is still appropriate today. We still need that grace today to be the people Jesus is purifying for His glorious purpose. Thank God for the process and the role Jesus is playing in it. Thank God forfor the men and women who recognise their responsibilities in carrying out these teaching duties for the benefit ofof the Body of Christ.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden