Titus 2:2 MEANING

Titus 2:2
(2) That the aged men.--Not presbyters, or elders, in an official sense, but simply the "old men" in the congregations.

Be sober.--In a more extended sense than the bare literal meaning of the word would give. Let the elder men be "thoughtful," in contrast with the thoughtlessness of careless youth.

Grave.--And quietly earnest, in contrast with all passion and undue excitability.

Temperate.--Discreet, or self-restrained, would be a better rendering for the Greek word.

Sound in faith, in charity, in patience.--Here Paul the aged sums up for the aged men of Crete in these three words, so well known by all his devoted hearers then, by all the devout students of his theology in subsequent ages, the great principles out of which the true saint life springs--faith, love, patience. In the famous Pauline trilogy of virtues, in this place, "patience" takes the place of hope, because this brave patience, this enduring fortitude, especially becomes the old man waiting for death. In respect to these "three" they must be healthy, sound. The faith must not be adulterated with superstitions--the love must be chivalrous, not sentimental. It must be no partisan feeling, but a tender affection, broad and inclusive, as was St. Paul's and his Master Christ's. The patience must be no mere tame acquiescence in what seems to be the inevitable, but must be brave, enduring, suffering--if suffering comes--for the Lord's sake with a smile on the lips. "Not without reason," writes Calvin, "does St. Paul include in these three the sum of Christian perfections." It is with "faith" that we worship God--no prayer, no work of piety, can be severed from "faith." "Love" spreads its wings over all our duties to our neighbour; and "patience" must ever go hand in hand with both "faith" and "love." Without "patience" could "faith" hardly endure; and the affronts and unkindnesses of the world would, without this high virtue of patience, soon deaden and even destroy "love."

Verse 2. - Aged for the aged, A.V.; temperate for sober, A.V.; sober-minded for temperate, A.V.; love for charity, A.V. Temperate (νηφάλιος); as 1 Timothy 3:2, (where see note). Grave (σεμνούς); as 1 Timothy 3:8, 11 (see too 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:4). Sober-minded (σώφρονας); as Titus 1:8, note. Sound (ὑγιαίνοντας); see ver. 1, note, and Titus 1:13, where, as here, the word is applied to persons, as it is in its literal sense in 3 John 1:2. Faith... love... patience. We have the same triad in 1 Timothy 6:11. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 we find "faith, hope, love." In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 the apostle joins "work of faith, labor of love," and "patience of hope," which last phrase seems almost to identify patience and hope (cutup. too Romans 8:25; Romans 15:4). We must not miss the important warning, not only to have some kind of faith, love, and patience, but to be healthy and vigorous in our faith, love, and patience. There is a puny faith, a sickly love. and a misdirected patience.

2:1-8 Old disciples of Christ must behave in every thing agreeably to the Christian doctrine. That the aged men be sober; not thinking that the decays of nature will justify any excess; but seeking comfort from nearer communion with God, not from any undue indulgence. Faith works by, and must be seen in love, of God for himself, and of men for God's sake. Aged persons are apt to be peevish and fretful; therefore need to be on their guard. Though there is not express Scripture for every word, or look, yet there are general rules, according to which all must be ordered. Young women must be sober and discreet; for many expose themselves to fatal temptations by what at first might be only want of discretion. The reason is added, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Failures in duties greatly reproach Christianity. Young men are apt to be eager and thoughtless, therefore must be earnestly called upon to be sober-minded: there are more young people ruined by pride than by any other sin. Every godly man's endeavour must be to stop the mouths of adversaries. Let thine own conscience answer for thine uprightness. What a glory is it for a Christian, when that mouth which would fain open itself against him, cannot find any evil in him to speak of!That the aged men be sober,.... Or "vigilant", and watchful over themselves, their conduct and conversation, lest being evil, it should be drawn into an example by younger persons: this is to be understood not of men in office, of presbyters or elders; for their characters are described in the preceding chapter; but of men in years, of ancient men, that are professors of religion, and members of churches: who should also be

grave; in their behaviour, speech, and dress; levity of conversation, frothy language, and airy dress, are very unbecoming aged persons: and who ought to be

temperate; in eating and drinking, especially the latter, to which old age is most addicted, and care should be taken that they be not over charged with it, and that day overtake them unawares, since they are upon the brink and borders of eternity: the word is rendered "discreet" in Titus 2:5 and sober in 1 Timothy 3:2 and both are characters suitable to men in years.

Sound in faith, in charity, in patience; though they may be unhealthful in their bodies, and become decrepit through age, they should be sound in their minds; in the doctrine of faith, lest they should lead others into error; and their faith in Christ should appear to be right and genuine; and their love to God, to Christ, and to his people, should be real and sincere, and be taken off from the things of the world, of time and sense; an affection for which is an evil that frequently cleaves to old age: and patience should have its perfect work; not only to bear the infirmities of body, brought on by age; but whatsoever sufferings they may be called unto for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, in their last day; and to run out the race that is set before them.

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