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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

SOUND DOCTRINE FOR AGED MEN

Titus 2:1-2 But speak thou the things, which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

The apostle Paul had left Titus in Crete, and, by this letter, he was given inspired instructions that he should set in order the things that were wanting in the church of Christ that had been established on this island. First he told Titus that it was needful to ordain elders in every city. And with this admonition, Paul gave him the qualifications for those that were needed to fill this position, as overseers in each congregation of God's people (Vs. 5-9). He then gave Titus this spiritual advice: to defend God's truthful doctrine of eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, by exposing, and proving, the error of false teachers that profess to know God, but deny Him by their works (Vs. 10-16).

Concluding these first chapter admonitions, Paul then advised Titus to speak thou the things, which become sound doctrine. In a similar, but opposite approach to this sound advice, Paul told Timothy to preach to the church in Ephesus, warning its members against the actions and instruction of men that are contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 10:10). Titus was to preach sound doctrine to the membership of the church of Christ in Crete in which he was presently ministering. This entire chapter takes Christians, by various ages and stations in life, and tells them the characteristics that should be prevalent in their lives.

Among those things that Paul considered sound doctrine, and what Titus was to teach,was the fact that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. Certainly not all aged men, but those that have dedicated, and applied themselves, to gain knowledge of the will of God, can do so. And most certainly not all of the knowledge one gains is to benefit themselves, butor more importantly, and more wisely, to benefit others. It is vary probable that most knowledge is regrettably unapplied and wasted. In the book of Job we find how aged men should apply the knowledge they gain profitably through wisdom and understanding. In that context we found that with the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding (Job 12:12-13).

Certainly, younger generations are to find personal wisdom, by looking into the knowledge and understanding of aged men. Godly wisdom is only found in aged men,whopossess the following Christian characteristics. They must be sober, or vigilant,as the word is translated in 1 Timothy 3:2. In 1 Peter 5:8, translators use both words: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Aged men should desire to be good examples to all members within a congregation of God's people; they should be watchful at all times; awake, not given to strong drink, or anything else that may cloud, or interfere with their ability to be alert to any danger.

Aged men should be grave - able to give serious thought to all spiritual matters, and convey that image to all in their presence, by their teaching and conduct of life. They should be temperate - exhibit self-control over their emotions at all times. Also in the conduct of their lives, aged men should be sound in faith. It is not enough to become a Christian, and be knowledgeable about God's will. They must also sincerely allow it to control their conduct at all times. To be sound in faith means to accept the word of God without adding to, deleting from, or, in any way, altering the doctrine that it proclaims.

Aged men must also be sound in ...charity. For an excellent description of charity, or love, one must read 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. There we find that all other acts of worship toward God are worthless unless they are accompanied with true love for God, and for the love that drives one to recognize, and attempt to fill, to the best of one's ability, the spiritual and physical needs of all other human beings on earth. Just as God forgives those that forgive others, so the benevolence of God, and the spiritual blessings he bestows, is directly conditioned on the demonstration of benevolent deeds toward others that are given in true love and compassion. Finally, aged men must be sound in ...patience. As one ages in years, patient endurance and fortitude must be learned, practiced, and demonstrated in one's manner of life. It is necessary to persevere, and overcome, the trials and temptations of life, in order to grow, and remain faithful to God.

This is the sound doctrine that Titus was to preach to the aged men in church of Christ, on the island of Crete, and this is the sound doctrine all aged men in the body of Christ today, should know and practice.