I just realised that we are lacking a post for the young men – something that would be a good thing to have. As I was looking at the Scripture passages containing ‘young men,’ (there are 97) one in particular stuck out. In Titus 2, Paul tells Titus to teach different groups of people specific character traits that are necessary for them to have. These are very interesting and challenging verses, but right now I want to focus on verses 6-8: “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
First let’s focus on the first verse, “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” What does it mean to be sober minded? Partly, this means not being drunk with wine. We see this in First Thessalonians 5:6-7: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” From this verse, we can see that being drunk is not something that should be in the Christians life.
Now let’s focus on the next verse. “In all things shewing thyself…” We have a natural tendency to think that he has switched subjects. However, let us consider this for a moment. We can be reasonably certain that Titus was a certain amount younger than Paul, because he is referred to as, “mine own son after the common faith.” (As opposed to his brother, etc.) Therefore, we can be reasonably sure that Titus qualified as a younger man, and Paul continued to speak to the younger men, but he made it more personal for Titus, because these were some things that Paul wanted Titus exemplify in his life.
“Shewing thyself a pattern of good works:” When we think about this, it seems as if it is setting the standard pretty high. And as a matter of fact, that is true. The standard is extremely high. So high, as a matter of fact, that on our own, we cannot reach it. However, when we allow God to take control over our lives, He will work in our lives so that we will be able to show good works. They are not of ourselves, lest any man should boast, but of the Lord, who saves us. When we allow the Lord to control our lives, it means that, with God’s help, we are going to make decisions that we know would be pleasing to God. This means that every time we make a decision, we will allow the Lord to control what we do in that situation by doing what He wants us to do. We also have a responsibility to obey what the Lord wants us to do. Though it is through His grace and His power that we are able to do this, we do have a responsibility to fulfill. We are responsible for our actions, but the Lord helps us when we make a decision to stand up for His Word and Kingdom.
“…in doctrine shewing uncorruptness,…” How is a young man going to have uncorrupt, or perfect doctrine? There is only one way – and that is, again, to allow the Lord control over your life, and to study God’s Word. To love to get into God’s Word, and apply it with all your heart. To read, not in a way so as to get through it because you want to have good doctrine, but in such a way that you are looking for something. Looking for something that you have yet to learn. Looking for things that you need to reinforce in your life.
“… in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity,…” How would I define gravity in doctrine? This is being serious and ready to be involved in Scripture. It also means that doctrine is not something that is to be taken lightly. Doctrine is a grave, serious subject that is often taken as something to be handled lightly and without care. I am not saying that humour is a bad thing. However, humour is not something that should be intermingled with doctrine carelessly. Also, there are young men today who don’t even know how to be serious. Religion is either too boring or serious for them, or it is something treated lightly. We know that Christians today are straying farther and farther from the truth because there are ‘Christian’ people groups who are doing this.
“…sincerity,…” Young men should be sincere. This means that they will be what they seem to be. Someone is sincere when there love for God and their passion for His will is something of their most inward being, not an outward front. When someone is not sincere, it causes damage to their relationships with others, and more importantly, their relationship with God. Though others may never know that a person is not what they pretend to be, God will know, and he will punish those who do not obey Him. And since His Word says that sincerity is something you should have, we must obey.
“Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” What is sound speech? Another version has “Right and true words,” and from the French, “Une parole saine,” meaning “a healthy or wholesome word,” we get the idea that this is referring to words that would be true and wholesome. Let’s talk about the idea of truth. He is talking about words that we are absolutely positive are true. Look at the second part – “that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” This means that our words must be so true and so based on the Scripture, that the one who tries to oppose us has nothing that they can successfully say, based on the Bible, that would break down what we have said. It should be based on the foundation of God’s Word, so it is ‘iron clad.’ We will face opposition, if we base our beliefs and words on the Bible, but our words will be so iron clad that the one who tries to tear us down will have to tear down the Bible itself in order to disagree with our words on a Scriptural basis.
Based on all this, let’s look over the verse once more, and hopefully in new light that God has revealed to you through these words. “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” – Titus 2:6-8