Living Wisely in a Foolish World
As we open to Titus 2, listen as God speaks through Paul to each of us today, expressing exactly what He wants us to be. Paul wrote out this curriculum for Titus, it was to be taught to every person in the church as a personal map to a life of pleasing God. This letter explains the specific ways that men, women, boys, and girls can choose to obey Christ by responding to His Word.
God's Word carefully lays out the vital qualities of life, chosen character habits that are the pathway to highly useful living. To be a highly useful tool in God’s Hands, and to live a highly rewarded life, God wants these qualities to become your life-priorities. They begin in verse 2:
Titus 2:2 that the older men besober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; NKJV
“Temperate” as this Greek word sophronous is rendered in the KJV and NKJV; or “Self-controlled” as we find in the ESV and NIV; or “Sensible” as translated in the NAS. This word was chosen by God to communicate the third quality He wants to see in His highly useful and rewarded men, which is: LIVING WISELY IN A FOOLISH WORLD.
God wants older men whose lives are yielded to His control. God wants them to live in such a way that their lives demand an explanation from a watching world. This wise man’s life is characterized by the defining qualities of the Greek word sophronous which means, “self-controlled, restored to one’s senses, earnest living’.
God wants a man whose life speaks louder than his words; whose character is noticed and prompts other men to examine their own lives.
The Titus 2 older-man-in-the-faith’s life is a pattern for others to use in shaping their daily choices for living into:
First, Living Wisely Exposes the Foolish Philosophies our World
One whole area of wise living that these temperate men get discipled in is: to recognize, understand, and resist the growing list of unbiblical beliefs, and the post-Christian rules by which America now lives. Just to name a few:
1. Wise men see and resist our foolish world’s NARCISSISM or self-centeredness. Foolish people live for themselves.
Remember Christ's story about the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21)? Foolish decision-making always starts with a premise of "what is best for me?" Wisdom from God leads us to start all decision making with the desire of, “What is best for God?” and “What magnifies Him?” and “What glorifies Him?” That is a man of temperate wisdom.
2. Wise men see and resist our foolish world’s UNIVERSALISM or the belief that salvation is not exclusively in Christ alone. Foolish people think that no idea or belief is invalid, so they do what is right in their own eyes—not God’s (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
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