Tit 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.”
In the previous chapter of this epistle, Paul has spoken about the vanity and general unruliness of those that Titus would labor among in Crete. Here, Titus is being encouraged not to get caught up in the unfaithfulness he is going to encounter. The instruction is simple and straightforward.
Just as Titus was instructed in that day, our responsibility is a simple one: preach the gospel. Regardless of what everyone else is doing or not doing, we are to stand steadfast in the truth of Jesus Christ. No matter how many “good ideas” men may come up with, if there is no support for it in the scripture then we have no business teaching or defending it. Telling the truth is not necessarily going to make you popular with everyone (Gal 4:16).
Our task is to preach only those things that are proper (becoming) to sound doctrine. The word rendered as “sound” means “healthy,”according to Strong’s. We understand what it means to be healthy. Health is manifest by the countenance, by action, and by a general vibrancy. Being truly healthy is not something that just happens: it takes deliberate planning and a measure of understanding to be healthy. Preaching (speak) healthy (sound) instruction (doctrine) requires that we apply the grace we are given in the prayerful study of God’s word.
Healthy instruction requires that we teach (with word and example) the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. The term “aged men” does not necessarily speak of chronological age. Rather, it speaks of maturity in the faith, and when we are mature in the faith there are certain things that should be evident. It is proper in healthy instruction that we address those things.
The aged men should be sober. This is not merely a suggestion. The word translated as “be” is not interpreted here as a desirable attribute, but rather as the state of existence. Men who are mature in the faith are looked to as leaders and as such they are first of all vigilant (sober). When we have a mature faith, we understand something about all the distractions that are going to come before our brothers and sisters. We should stand ready to help them bear their burdens as though they were our own (Gal 6:2).
The mature man in faith is instructed to exist honorably (grave). He is going to strive every day to walk worthy of the labor the Lord has called Him to perform. He is going to exercise self-control (temperate) in his walk with others before the Lord. He is going to exhibit a healthy, uncorrupted (sound) reliance on Jesus Christ (faith) for both his eternal and his daily deliverance.
Men of mature faith are going to display to others the love (charity) that Christ has shown to them. They are to love without reservation or condition, giving no consideration to whether or not that love will be reciprocated. Aged men are going to demonstrate endurance and constancy (patience) in their daily living. A mature faith prevents us from being excited about a walk with Christ one day and indifferent to that walk the next.
May we have grace to declare to our aged men the truth of the life that God has set before them!