Read Titus 2
Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel
2 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
This passage pulls no punches and affirms us in our calling as disciple-makers. While it can be easy to view ourselves as not capable or ready to be disciple those around us, Titus 2 makes it clear that no matter our age or how long we’ve been a Christian we are called to teach others and encourage them in the ways of Christ. We are called to teach young and old, rich and poor, godly and ungodly.
Some of us, once we realize we are supposed to be teaching others, often don’t know where to begin or what to teach. In verses 11-14 Paul reminds us that we were taught by the saving grace of God. It is important to remind ourselves that He purified us and now we are His. Because of what Jesus did on our behalf, we can now be eager to do what is good. What better way for us to teach others than by explaining what God has been teaching us in our lives, and this is exactly what Paul encourages us to do.
Statistics also back up the importance of being engaged in discipleship. A Barna study done in January 2022 found that those who are involved in discipling others are more likely to feel that their relationship with Jesus brings deep joy and satisfaction, their relationship with Jesus impacts the way they live everyday life, and they are energized when they spend time with Jesus. However, 2 out of 5 Christians surveyed said they weren’t involved in any sort of discipleship. If a disciple is failing to make disciples, are they really a disciple? In the same way a fruit tree produces fruit, disciples should be producing disciples.
If this is the first time anyone has prompted you to do this, find someone whose faith you admire and ask them to help you follow Jesus as they do. Find someone newer to the faith than you do and ask how you can best serve them as they follow Christ. Jesus and Paul are clear in what we are to do as followers of Christ. Don’t be intimidated, just convey what you have learned in your own journey about the saving grace of God.
- What comes to mind when you think of the word “discipleship”?
- How have you been discipled? What patterns or disciplines have you learned from others?
- How have you discipled others? How can you pass your faith on to others?
For more information on the studies referenced above, check out these two studies from the Barna Group:
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