I want to present the profile of a godly person, as described in Paul’s epistle to Titus. These are characteristics that should be present in the life of every Christian person. If they are not present in your life and you claim to be a Christian then you need to do some self searching to see what the problem is.
Paul covers every age of life. Godliness is not just for a certain age group. It is for every person who claims to be a Christian, whether young or old. Here is Titus 2.
But you speak the things which become sound doctrine: aged men to be temperate, sensible, discreet, sound in faith, in love, in patience. Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise exhort the young men to be discreet; In all things having shown yourself a pattern of good works: in the doctrine, purity, sensibleness, without corruption, in sound speech that cannot be condemned, that he who is opposed may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Slaves are to be obedient to their masters, to please them well in all things, not talking against, not stealing, but showing all good faith, so that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works. Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. (Titus 2:1-15)
I. It all begins with solid Biblical teaching.
If you want to be a godly person and live a godly lifestyle then you need to be trained in the Word of God, learning how to study It, understand It, and apply It. If you have unsound doctrine or no doctrine (doctrine means “teaching”) then you will not be a godly person and you will not be able to live a godly lifestyle. Do you know how to study the Bible so that you can understand It and apply It? If not, then I would suggest that you learn to study the Bible according to the Inductive Bible study method. Precept Ministries International is a great organization that teaches people how to study the Bible step by step. They have well trained teachers who know how to invest in the process of discipleship. You need to be a good disciple (student) and you need a good teacher. Titus was the teacher who was to invest in the members of the church. But, he was not to do it all by himself. He was to invest in people who would continue the same process (helping him teach people the Word and how to live It). Do you have a spiritual mentor? If not then why not?
II. The special characteristics of a godly person.
Paul begins with the older men, the ones who are to be the spiritual leaders because of their spiritual maturity (not just physical age and maturity). Here is how they are described.
- Sound in faith
- Sound in love
- Sound in patience
Now, I would like to take a look at the meaning of these individual words. The first word is temperate and it means “evenly balanced, not too much one way or another, not extreme”. He lives a balanced lifestyle in all ways. He is not over emotional to where he is controlled by his emotions. He is not over rational to the point that he does not have compassion. He is a nice balance between the two. He is calm and collected in all that he does. The second word is sensible and it means “to be honorable in attitude and actions, honest, faithful”. He is an honest man in motive, word, and action. He has nothing to hide and no hidden motives. What you see is what you get. He is the same at home, church, and work. He does not wear a different mask for different occasions. The third word that is used to describe this person is discreet and it means “one who knows how to curb his impulses and desires”. He holds himself (his passions) under control. He is a person who has a sin nature like all people yet he knows how to say no to temptation and impulses. He knows how to hold his tongue as well as his thoughts. The next three descriptions are predicated with the word sound and this word means “healthy or strong”. It is correct or good, upright. So the faith that a true believer has is “healthy or correct” faith. He believes correctly because he has been taught correctly. This comes from having a good mentor who has taught him the Word of God. The love that he has is also “healthy”. It is not selfish or self centered love (I love you because you do something for me). It is agape love, self sacrificing love, investing in the good of the other. The final of the three is patience. He is ready to endure all things so that he can love and help others. He is ready to endure all persecutions and mocking as he lives out a godly lifestyle. He does not try to take advantage of others because he is honest and transparent in all that he does. His faith is pure and demonstrated through his lifestyle by the way that he loves and serves the people around him.
Next, Paul moves to the older women, who are also the ones who are to be the spiritual leaders because of their spiritual maturity. Here is how they are described.
- Reverent behavior
- Not slanderers
- Not enslaved by much wine
- Teachers of good;
- That they may train the young women
Again, I would like to take a look at the meaning of these individual words. The first characteristic is reverent behavior and it literally means “devout, pure, chaste, proper, innocent, uncorrupted in thoughts, motives, words, and deeds”. She is also balanced in her lifestyle the way that they godly men are. This balanced lifestyle is seen in the lack of slandering. To slander means “to accuse falsely”. The Greek word that is used here is “Diabolos” and it is the word that we use for Satan, the Devil because he is the one who accuses us falsely. A godly person is completely unlike the Devil. When a godly person speaks, he speaks the truth. Another translation uses “malicious gossip” instead of slander. A godly woman does not spread information that is not true or unverified. She is not enslaved to much wine because when a person is under the influence of alcohol, his/her tongue usually loosens up and spreads info that is either untrue or unverified. Finally, a godly woman has been trained by other godly women and now she seeks out younger women to teach the ways of the Lord to. She becomes a mentor to others. Her training manual is the Word of God.
The younger women
- They are to be taught by the older women
- To love their husbands
- To love their children
- To be discreet
- To chaste
- To be keepers at home (care givers in the home, they can work outside the home but her priority is her household)
- To be good
- To be subject to their own husbands
In the next article, I would like to continue looking at the younger men as well as employees because the Word of God is practical for every part of life, the home life, work life, and church life.
What about you my dear friend, are these qualities that we looked at part of your daily life? Do you live a balanced lifestyle in thought, word, and deed? Are you an example for others to follow? Do you seek to invest in others as you have been invested in? If you do not have a mentor then I am sure there are many godly men and women in your church who would love to invest in the process of discipleship. Let your pastor know your desire and I am sure that he can connect you with a great mentor. You will be amazed at how your life will begin to change and then you will want to pass on what you are learning to others and the process will continue. If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ then your first act needs to be repentance so that you can enter into the New Covenant through Jesus Christ so that you can be born again. May God bless.