Questions to Consider
1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson. How does that passage carry over to, impact, and set the tone and context for this week’s passage?
2. Look back over the latter part of chapter 1 (9-16). How do 1:9 and 2:1 “bookend” this section on false teachers? How is the teaching of sound doctrine both the prevention and the cure for false doctrine? To what group of people (2:1-6) is Titus to teach sound doctrine?
3. In 1:5, Paul instructed Titus to “put what remained into order”. Examine the orderliness of the structure of 1:5-2:6. Notice the “first things, first” order of priority of Paul’s instructions. What is first, second, etc. on Paul’s “to do list” for Titus, and why?
4. Compare the style and tone of 2:1-6 to 1:5-9. Titus 1:5-9 gives us the qualifications and character traits of an elder. Similarly, Titus 2:1-6 gives us what? Which three categories of church members are listed in verses 1-6?
Make a four column chart for each category: older men, older women, and younger men. In column 1, list each qualification or character trait of a godly, healthy church member. In column 2, explain this qualification / trait according to what you know of Scripture. In column 3, explain how this qualification / trait helps the church, makes it healthier, or contributes to its orderliness. In column 4, indicate whether or not this qualification / trait is the same or similar to a qualification / trait in either of the other two categories. Which are common to all three, and why?
When a church considers hiring a new pastor, we examine whether or not he meets the qualifications / traits of 1:5-9. In a similar way, should a church examine, when possible, the qualifications / traits in 2:1-6 of a potential new church member when considering whether or not to accept that person into membership? Why or why not? How might a church go about this? Does your church do this in some way?
We typically deem a pastor or elder “disqualified” for his office if he violates the qualifications / traits in 1:5-9. Consider the qualifications / traits of church members in 2:1-6 in light of the church discipline process in Matthew 18:15-20. How does a church that properly practices church discipline help to build and grow these godly qualifications / traits in church members? Should a church discipline a church member who violates the qualifications / traits in 2:1-6? Why or why not? How might a church covenant (for example) fit in to all of this?
5. Compare these requirements for elders, with the requirements for older men (2:2), older women (2:3-5) and younger men (2:6). For which groups does Paul give only character requirements? For which two groups does he give character and behavior / action requirements? Are any of these character and behavior requirements the same? Why? Which two groups does he address at greatest length? Why? For which two groups is teaching a requirement? Why?
Compare the pastor / elder leadership (over men and the entire church) and older women’s leadership and guidance (over younger women and children in the church) to the dynamic of husband as head and wife as helpmeet in a marriage. What are some ways the women of the church can serve as a “fit helper” to the pastors / elders and the church at large?
6. Often, the backlash against the extreme of antinomianism is the opposite extreme of legalism. This is what happened with the Pharisees during the intertestamental period after Israel returned from exile. There was such extreme concern about falling back into lawlessness that the Pharisees made up their own laws for God’s people that were even more restrictive than God’s laws. The same thing sometimes happens with Titus 2:3-5. There is such extreme concern about egalitarianism, that some Christians backlash against it with legalism. They twist Titus 2:3-5 to do so, basically saying that the only things women can teach other women are practical domestic skills, like cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. No Bible teaching, no discipling other women in the Scriptures, and so on. Is this what Titus 2:3-5 actually teaches? What does “teach what is good” mean? How is an older woman to teach a younger woman to “love her husband and children” without teaching her what the Bible instructs us about love? Or to be kind, self-controlled, or submissive to her husband without training her in the Scriptures about those things? I would encourage you to watch my teaching session Teach What is Good: Discipling Younger Women in the 21st Century (starting at 1:18:02 on the video) to learn more.
Consider again the paradigm of the women of the church serving as a fit helper to the pastors / elders and the church at large. How are the women of your church doing in this regard? Are they a loving and hard working Proverbs 31-type “helpmeet,” striving to nurture and do what’s best for the church? Or are they more like the quarrelsome wife of Proverbs?
Think, pray, and talk with other women and your pastor / elders about ways the women of your church could be a better “helpmeet”. Just as Paul prioritized what was most needful for the orderliness of the church in Crete, come to a wise and prayerful consensus on what is the highest priority issue that needs to be addressed for the women of your church, whether that’s learning the Bible better, hospitality, quelling gossip, servanthood, or whatever it might be. Rally a few other godly women, formulate a plan to address this issue, and, under your pastor’s / elders’ leadership, implement it.