Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 7 years ago

When Young Women are Christians (Titus 2:3-5, 11-14)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's hear God's Word now from Titus Chapter two, titus two, versus three through five, and then eleven through fourteen. You might think of these two is connected in the way that the scriptures talk about the fruit and the vine. First we read of the fruit that is to be produced in our life, in our lives, and then we read of the vine, our God, that produces that fruit. So, titus two, verse three. Older women, Likewise, are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. And then verse eleven, for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and Godly lives. In the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, who are zealous for good works. May God bless his word to us. Please be seated. One of the concerns of scripture is that God's Word is not reviled. How does that happen? Well, happens when God says something and to the world it doesn't seem to come true or doesn't seem to happen, and so people despise God and laugh at him. This comes out in all sorts of ways throughout the Bible. In judgment in particular, people laugh and mock about the judgments of the Lord because it's been promised for so long, they say, and it's not here, and therefore the judgment that God has pronounced is reviled, mocked, made fun of, not trusted in. Well, there's other ways this happens to. God's Word is said to produce in our lives godliness. The vine produces fruit, and here we are reminded that if the vine is to be producing fruit, then we should seek and desire to produce fruit, that the word of God may not be reviled. To put it in a really plain and common way, we don't want to be called hypocrites or even more pointedly, we don't want our God to be called a hypocrite. We want to one of the our motivations to act and live as the way God has called us to is because we love our God. We want him to be honored and not dishonored. We want to go out into the world and people to say there is a good man, there is a good woman, not for our praise but unto the praise of God. The opposite should hurt us. It should pain us to think that people would think ill of our God because of the...

...way we act. I would think poorly of the king and his word because of the way we represent him. And so tightus gives, or Paul gives to Tightus, instructions about the way our households are to be conducted, the way our lives as individuals in various stations and places in life are to live, and we've been considering these. First we considered older men and then older women. Now we come to younger women. We continue with the series of God's instructions to various people within the church in considering the younger women of the Church, younger married women in particular, and even more narrowly, MOMS I'm young women with children and husband's. Now, though, this passage has a special and direct usefulness to mothers in particular, and married, young married women. A little more broadly, it's, of course, beneficial to us all in a number of ways. For example, it teaches men and parents what they should be looking for in a future spouse. It teaches all of us what we ought to pray for for our young mothers and wives. It also gives in brief the various curriculum topics that older women are to teach the younger women, and that's the context that this comes in. I'm we're focusing on younger women tonight, but of course you noticed that this is sort of included in a command to the older women, which starts in verse three. Older women are to be likewise reverent and behavior, not slanders or slave too much wine. They are teach, to teach what is good and so to train the younger women to do. And then it lists so six different things. Now, giving just another sort of set of introductory comments because of this context of older women teaching younger women, I want to make just a few practical observations. Sometimes we think that Godliness and morals, knowledge of what God wants for us comes to US magically or just automatically somehow, as if God doesn't use means for that. It's not true. God clearly has chosen to work through particular and the ordinary means of Christian partnership and discipleship. Sometimes we wait for wisdom and morals to show up on our doorstep like a baby in a basket. Oh, look, here they are, and as long as they're not coming, we simply don't do anything about it. But scripture tells us that these things are things that are taught. They are things that are learned. And so those who want to grow in Godliness, young women, younger women, must learn to submit themselves to their older sisters, to their mothers in the faith. They must learn to humble themselves as students that they may mature, and that, of course, is not always easy. You don't always like what your teachers have to tell you. You want to do your own ways. You think you know what is right. It requires a spirit of humility to be able to learn a second practically, unless the older women and younger women are together in some way, that's difficult to imagine how this is going to happen. How are older women going to teach the younger women unless they are and somehow getting together, meeting together, living together, working together? Without some kind of context like that, this would seem to be impossible. Of course you can learn a lot from books, and there are good ones out there, but there's no substitute for a living lady who knows you, who loves you, and there's of course, a hundred different ways...

...that this might happen. I'm I'll leave you to figure that out, but let me just mention that to the older women in particular and encourage you in particular, as those who have authority and honor by virtue of your age and the design of God. Let me encourage you, older women, to reach out to your daughters in the faith, though we hope those who are younger will be eager to seek your counsel. Often the young are not wise enough to do so. They are controlled by what Simon Times called the tyranny of the urgent, moving from one thing to the next to the next and forgetting the things that you have learned, sometimes through hard knocks. So go and offer yourselves to them. Perhaps you can offer to help in their homes, perhaps you can take them to lunch. Perhaps you can meet with them at Church and ask how to pray. There's so many different kinds of things. I'll just suggest that one obvious solution might be to use our ladies Bible study. Men, is this something you can support your wives in? There's, of course, other ways to do it, but the nature of the goal, this teaching and learning, demands that we think of some kind of constructive and practical ways to work towards that goal. It doesn't necessarily have to be formalized or anything like that, but we should have a goal in mind and move towards that direction. This is what the Scripture teaches. Well, let's move on. What does God want from his daughters? He lists six things to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, to be pure, to be working at home, to be kind and submissive to their own husband's now, of course, we can only touch on these in a very brief and some ways shallow way, but I hope the overview of this will be I hope the overview will accomplish setting a general sense, or maybe even something a little more particular than general, but the kind of direction in which we ought to be headed. So let's look at these in let's look at these six things. First, to younger women are to love their husband's and children. It is a beautiful thing that starts this description of God's daughters. It starts with love, not that it stops at that point, for love has to flow through everything that we do. The woman who hates her husband or hates her children will never be able to fulfill in any real meaningful way the other commands that she is commanded to do. It's good to ask yourself and be honest. Do you hate your husband? Do you hate your children? Or maybe it's not. You wouldn't use language quite that strong, but you might say that you tolerate them. God calls you to something higher. He calls you to love not just when it's easy, not just when they're cute and sweet, but at all times. Now that kind of love, we all know, is a difficult kind of love, but not so for God. When we consider the great love of God as it's given to us, unlovable, difficult in transients as sinners, we know the great goodness of God and the power and strength of his love. So when you consider the command to love your husband's, your husband and your children. Look to God, who is love, to produce it in you. Look to Jesus on the Cross, who died for you when you were unlovable, and ask him to help. Help you draw from that well. The well that Jesus provides...

...never runs dry. Women are to love their husbands and children. They are also to be self controlled. Now this, of course, is not to given exclusively to women, and many of these things could be applied to others as well, but because we all need self control. But, like love, self control is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it's very, very hard. The Bible tells us that the flesh is powerful and it within us and it wages war against the spirit. It's not something that's just kind of going on in the background. It's one of the its central in many ways to who we are and the kinds of lives we live in the world. But our bodies are a temple of the spirit, which means the spirit has already won the battle against the flesh. We have been born of the spirit, the spirit says in his word, which is both a reason to exercise self control and the promise that we believe in order to be self controlled. What do I mean by that? I mean that, on the one hand, when we think about our bodies as temples of the spirit, when we think about ourselves as the battle ground in which the spirit is waging war and winning that war, it gives us great encouragement and reason to fight, to strive, but it also gives us the strength and encouragement and the direction we need to fight, because if you fight in the fight, in the flesh, with your pride and your self righteousness, seeking to be esteemed among others, you only feed the fire of your own sinful desires. Self control comes from seeking God control, turning to him in prayer and repentance and faith, asking that the spirit himself would subdue within you what is fleshly and make a dwelling place there. Third, women are called to be pure. MOMS have to get their hands dirty a lot, but not their hearts. Wives and mothers should seek to live lives which honor their husband's and honor God and live lives which are pure. A Clean House means nothing if it's if all around there is dirt, the dirt of an immorality. Philippians eight reminds us the things that we are to look at and to consider and to spend time dwelling on are things that are pure, Paul writes. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything excel of excellence, if there is anything worthy about praise, think about these things. Here again, it is the spirit of God that strengthens and teaches us what is pure and what is not. This doesn't mean that a Christian woman is a formalist, a traditionalist or a prude, but neither is she a libertine or a careless person. In either case, she doesn't seek purity as understood by the world, but she learns it from her Lord and her God. A Christian woman doesn't seek, and likewise, a Christian woman does not seek purity by the world, but from God himself, who cleanses her mind of impure thoughts, who forgives her sins when she is at fault, who washes her clean whenever she gets dirty. This is the hope of all of us who struggle with impure thoughts, who cast ourselves into impure things, that we...

...have a God who makes us clean, who washes us and makes us pure. You remember, I told you that these two passages in titus relate to the fruit and the vine. Listen to the words that connect to the vine. We are a minded that it is our savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. How do we pursue purity in our lives? How do we become people that are pure, not just on the outside, but on the inside as well? It's by finding salvation, it's by finding cleanliness and forgiveness and redemption in our Lord and Savior, because in him he has made a people pure. We have no means of getting ourselves clean, but we and he, but in Jesus. We do not of getting ourselves cleaned, but by being cleaned by him. Jesus washes us, he washes the filth away, and in this are younger women and all of us have a lot of hope. Number four, working at home. This phrase does not limit a woman's work only to the home. It doesn't exclude other occupations and activities that she might be involved in. Why? Because, both by precept and by example, the Bible tells us that, holy do women do more than work at home. There are queens like esther, whose home is also a governmental office, and extra and which she exercises is the authority that she has in that vein. Miriam was a prophetess who served Israel and in various acts of worship. Lydia was a seller of purple goods, and the Queen described in proverbs thirty one. is working at home, yes, but also in the fields, in the market place and among the poor. So what does Paul mean when he says working at home? Well, what he's doing is he's saying positively what could be put negatively, which is to not be meddlers or busy buddies or in other people's affairs. They are to be working at home. In other words, their business is to be there with their families. Paul says a similar kinds of things and gives similar instructions in a similar passage in first timothy or he's talking about younger widows again, to this particular group of people here, those who have lost their husband's and he tells them to be, I'm, busy at home and not about and other people's business. They are to use their time wisely to focus on the tasks which they have been given. They are to submit to the Lord in the callings to which he has called them, to be content in them and to work hard in them. And number five, they are to be kind. Perhaps the opposite of kindness is cruelty. This is very important to remember because women have an amazing amount of power, as they as it has been said, and rightly, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. I'm you see this in various novels, in Shakespeare and Jane Austin. Though the women may not have a certain kinds of outward authority, it is often very quickly obvious that they have a much power and are able to use it in all sorts of ways, both for good and for evil. And Paul says that they are to be kind. The power that they are are given, the things that they do, the way...

...in which they exercise their callings before God. They are to act in ways that are kind. It is easy to be cruel, it is easy to be manipulative, it is easy to hurt and to harm, but God tells these younger women to not give into those kinds of temptations, but to be gentle, to be loving. This is, of course, the way of our Lord. Again, to consider the vine out of which the fruit is produced. There is our Lord who gives himself up for us. It's our Lord who brings us our salvation, who comes to us in gentleness and meekness and humility. Jesus, of course, is powerful and had every right to wield that power with a kind of crushing authority, but instead he comes in love, and we are called to treat each other in the same way. And finally, number six, younger women are called to be submissive to their own husband's here we see in the Bible that her relationship with Christ bears directly on this point. In particular, in Effusions Five, God says that just as the church is to submit to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husband's submission, of course, does not mean that she is required to take his blows or his tyranny, or she is to go against the will of God if he commands her to do evil. God doesn't command his daughters to do evil, but to do good, to honor and submit to their husband's means striving to lift up their character, to seek their godliness, to follow their lead to advance their credit among others. It means living righteously and not scandalously. It means keeping one's duties and being faithful in all things. And, as with all these other things, this is also hard because of the sin in ourselves and, in particular, because the weakness of men. But she serves the Lord and it is made bearable and even joyful. Peter I'm describes when he's talking about similar duties and he talks to women, he has in mind a particular situation where a wife is called to do these things that Paul is describing here in titus, but in a particular context, where she has a husband who does not obey the word of God, who isn't a Christian, who doesn't have the priority she has, doesn't have the loves that she has, isn't motivated by the same things, isn't warring against the flesh, and she is called to lead a godly life, to submit, and Peter Recognizes that is hard. It is a hard thing. It is a hard thing to serve the Lord when people are unlovable and difficult. It's hard to submit and give honor when a husband is not very honorable and is difficult to follow. But the Lord reminds women and reminds all of us that wohend whatever duties we are called to him in. We are called to serve him ultimately in these things, and in that there is a lot of joy, because to do the Lord's will, even when it's hard, to know that he is strengthening us in the tasks that we are given, to know that he is sanctifying us through those difficulties, is to know that we are close with God and we are walking in his ways. Scripture reminds us that...

...he sees us in our struggles, he knows our difficulties, and so when we consider these things in hole, we will need consider this direction that God would have his daughters to walk in. We see a lot of goodness. We see that if if these things were be to care, if these things were to be carried out and God were to bless them, as he often does, what we find are very happy and pleasant results, most of the time, happy homes, pleasurable places, marriages that are strong. Of course, it's not always that way and of course we don't always do these things. Younger women, like older women, and younger men and older men, you have a lot to repent of. As you go through this list and you look at these things, with each one of these no doubt and hopefully, you can see in yourselves ways in which you fall short, ways in which you have not loved as you ought to love, ways in which you have not been self controlled or pure, or working at home or kind or submissive. If we're honest with ourselves, whether we're women or not, these are things when we when God calls us to a way of living in a kind of righteousness, we know that we struggle. The flesh does wage hard against us. But again, that's why we consider the vine. It's why we consider our Lord and our Savior, who makes us zealous for good works when we're tired, who purifies us when we are unclean, who gives us righteousness when we are unrighteous, who controls us when we lack self control, who loves US WHEN WE ARE UNLOVABLE. Younger women, that means you have a place to turn, a God who rescues and loves and takes care of you, a husband who is inestimably honorable and always good. Submit to him, submit to him in faith, and God will um work in you. He will do the things that he is promised. When we consider these things, when we consider our God, let us strive after these good things, but strive in Him, knowing it's in him that we live and work, and it's him who is working these things in us. Let us pray for our younger women and for all of us and our souls.

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