Paul told aged men to be sober (2:2) and aged women “likewise” (v. 3), and young women (v. 4), and now young men (v. 6). God would have Christians of all ages to live above the frivolity of the world and be serious about living for Him.
Paul told Titus to be a “pattern” for young men. Dresses are made by laying a pattern on the cloth and cutting it to the exact shape. Paul was telling Titus to be an exact match to the good works God has laid out for us in his epistles.
God motivated people to walk in good works in time past by showing them the “pattern” of the temple and all the rules of the priesthood (Ezek. 43:10,11) to make them “ashamed” of their sins. If they still wanted to continue in sin after seeing the lengths to which God went to forgive them their sins, that would be the height of ingratitude. Today we look to the cross to see the lengths God went to forgive our sin. It is the height of ingratitude today to continue in sin after God has made us dead to sin (Rom. 6:1,2).
The candlestick in the temple was made according to the “pattern” given in the Law. It was a type of Christ (John 8:12) who was made under the Law (Gal. 4:5) and walked according to the pattern given in the Law. But He was only the light of the world as long as He was in the world (John 9:5). Now we are the light of the world as we hold forth the word of life to men (Phil. 2:15,16).
But we don’t shine as lights in the world by walking according to the pattern given in the Law as the Lord did. We shine by walking according to the pattern given in Paul’s epistles. If you’re still walking in the good works of the Law, observing the sabbath and Israel’s diet laws, you’re telling people we’re under the Law, and that’s not shining the right light of life. It’s hard to get saved by grace if you think we’re under the Law!
Just make sure people see your pattern of good works and glorify God, not you (Mt. 5:16). That only happens if you tell people you belong to Him!
And they must know you’re not doing good works to pay for your sins, but to show your connection to the Savior who paid for your sins.Just like the tribes in Israel that didn’t erect an altar on the wrong side of the Jordan River to sacrifice and pay for their sins, but to show their connection to the altar in Israel that did pay for them (Joshua 22:11-29). They built it according to the “pattern” of the one in Israel to show their connection to it, and we walk in the pattern of good works to show our connection to the Lord who saved us.
If you need more motivation to show yourself a pattern of good works, remember that Moses made the tabernacle according to the “pattern” (Heb. 8:5) “of things in the heavens” (Heb. 9:23), “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched” (Heb. 8:2). Entering the pattern of the earthly tabernacle they were entering heaven on earth, and you can have heaven on earth if you walk in good works!
Corrupt means to turn something sound into something unsound, so “uncorruptness” in doctrine (2:7) is sound doctrine “Gravity” in doctrine means seriousness, but not to the exclusion of humor. There are funny things in the Bible (Deut. 5:23-27; I Sam. 15:13,14; Job 8:1,2; 12:1,2; 13:5; 21:3). We should be serious enough about the things of God to use every tool in our belt to get truth across, including humor!
“Sincerity” in doctrine (2:7) means pure doctrine, not mixed with sin (I Cor. 5:8) or human wisdom (II Cor. 1:12), and not mixed with things like envy and strife and contention (Phil. 1:15,16).As the presence of the word “sincere” in those verses indicates the truth must be kept pure from those things.
“Sound speech” (2:8) consists of sound doctrine. Sound speech “that cannot be condemned” is doctrine that is set forth so accurately that it cannot be proven untrue, one of the meanings of the word “condemn.” No one can prove the Bible untrue, so all we have to do is convey it accurately! The Lord dealt that way with those who were “of the contrary part” (2:8 cf. Mt. 22:15), and when He did they were “ashamed” (Lu. 13:17)— as Paul said those contrary to Titus would be (2:8). This would shut their mouths (Tit. 1:11)