Doctrine for Older Men

12 October 2014 PM – Titus 2:2 – Tit 14 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Many creatures have gone extinct since creation. There is also a type of humans that is rapidly going extinct as well, that is “faithful men.” Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” God is looking for faithful men to be leaders. This is especially true of older men.

Transition: In Ti 2:2, the Holy Spirit directed Paul to highlight four doctrines addressed to older men to help them become godly leaders.

1.        Older Men Must Be Sober

a.         Note the meaning of the word translated “sober”.

1)            Thayer defines it: to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect

2)            TDNT defines it: “holding no wine”; It refers to the self-control and clarity of mind that are needed in the service of God.

3)            Mikelson defines it: Sober, (figuratively) circumspect

4)            The word is translated “vigilant” in 1 Timothy 3:2.

b.         Note how this applies to older men

1)         Because of their position of leadership over the younger generation, older men must be clear-minded examples for others to follow.

2)         Applied in a strict literal sense, they are to drink no wine that was intoxicating.

3)         It is likely the Holy Spirit had more of the figurative meaning of the word in mind. Older men must be calm, collected, of clear minds, and able to make circumspect (i.e., to step carefully) decisions. They are to be vigilant in mind (i.e., Carefully observant or attentive; on the lookout for possible danger).

4)         Men, as we get older, we too must develop a vigilant mind that is able to make careful, God-honouring choices in life. Pray to that end!

2.        Older Men Must Be Grave

a.         Again, note the meaning of the word translated “grave”.

1)         Thayer defines it: august, venerable, reverend; to be venerated for character, honourable

2)         TDNT defines it: serious and noble and worthy of reverence; The sense is “serious and worthy.”

3)         Mikelson defines it: venerable, i.e. honourable

4)         In Philippians 4:8 it is translated “honest”. The overall sense seems to be that of respectable.

b.         Older men are to be grave

1)         The character of older male Christians ought to be respectable. The way they conduct themselves ought to cause others to give them honour. They ought to be serious, dignified, and worthy of respect and honour rather than being clowns. They ought to be serious about spiritual and eternal matters.

2)         This does not forbid elderly men to have fun, but in their fun they must always maintain a respectful character.

Peter Pett Commentary states, “This is descriptive of the seriousness which comes with age, when a man recognises, the closer that he gets to eternity, the more he must live in the light of it. The idea is not for him to be a sombre killjoy, but simply a man who thinks before he acts, and is not frivolous about life.”

3)         Today we have too many men who are preoccupied with the pleasures and prestige of life and lack a seriousness about the things of God. Men, let’s get serious about serving the Lord and being honourable in our walk.

3.        Older Men Must Be Temperate

a.         Here is the meaning of the word translated “temperate”.

1)         Thayer defines it: of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.

2)         TDNT defines it: of sound mind; “rational” (purposeful), “moderate,” “prudent,” “modest,” “restrained,” and “disciplined.”

3)         Mikelson defines it: safe (sound) in mind, i.e. self-controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion)

4)         The general meaning then is that of restrained self-control. Temperance is one of the fruits the Holy Spirit will produce in our lives when we have a flourishing relationship with the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

(Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

b.         God wants older men to be self-controlled

1)         They must control their minds. We live in a lust-filled world. Controlling the mind is a daily duty! (Php 4:8)

2)         They must be controlled in their consumption. Gluttony is a sin. Eating things that we know are harmful displeases God. Drinking things that harm or control displeases God.

(Proverbs 23:21) “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”

3)         They must control their conduct.

(1 Corinthians 9:27) “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

4)         They must control their mouths.

(Psalms 34:13) “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”

5)         Self-control is a doctrine that we often overlook, but one that God told Timothy to make a priority. These are all marks of maturity that godly older men ought to develop.

4.        Older Men Must Be Sound in Three Areas

a.         They must be sound (healthy) in the faith

1)         The word faith has a definite article so it refers not to having faith but to The Faith – the body of Christian teaching.

(Jude 1:3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

2)         The older men in a church ought to be the most mature spiritually of anyone in the congregation. Though their bodies may be weakening their faith ought to be growing stronger.

b.         They must be sound (healthy) in the love

1)         The word “charity” is agape love. It is the giving of oneself to meet the needs of another expecting nothing in return. It is a love for God as well as for fellow saints.

2)         This too has a definite article indicating that it is The Love that comes from God. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It will supernaturally develop as we grow close to the Lord.

c.          They must be sound (healthy) in the patience

1)         This word speaks of patient endurance, particularly “relating to unpleasant things”. (Trench) Wuest describes it as “remaining under” trials and afflictions in a way that honours God.

2)         This patient endurance is a pleasant attitude amid unpleasant circumstances.

(James 1:2-4) “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations [trials]; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

(Hebrews 12:1) “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

Conclusion: Men, are you working to keep these four doctrines? Are you asking God to change you? Are you setting a godly example for the younger generation? Let’s not let faithful men go extinct!

Song: I Am Resolved – 389