In Titus 1, Paul gives specific instructions regarding the appointment of elders and their role in the church. Titus 2 addresses the issues of proper conduct in the church. Like Titus, elders in the local churches have a solemn responsibility to uphold sound doctrine. The elder’s role is one that is all-inclusive and deeply rooted in a clear understanding of God’s unmerited grace and salvation.

Part 2 of this series highlights: (1) how those who believe in God should conduct themselves and (2) the doctrine of grace and salvation. Titus 2 underscores practical Christianity and how the grace of God does not give us license to sin but is designed to help Christians live sober, righteous, and godly lives. Elders have a solemn responsibility to uphold the high standards of God’s moral laws in the church.


A. Counseling older men: “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (verses 1, 2).1

B. Counseling older women (Titus 2:3): “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good” (verse 3).

C. Counseling younger women: “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (verses 4, 5).

D. Counseling younger men: “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (verses 6-8).

E. Counseling employees: “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (verses 9, 10).


A. Grace offers salvation to all people: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people” (verse 11).

B. Grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness: “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the 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 wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (verses 12-14).

C. Grace urges us to encourage and rebuke: “These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you” (verse 15).


There is a harmonious relationship between the Christian message and Christian ethics. In Titus 2, elders have a duty of care to instruct the members of the church to live responsibly as Christians within society while not compromising the values of those who believe in God. Sound Bible doctrines are the immovable foundation of Christian life; the two are inseparable. So, while the church must continue to live in the world and face the challenges of life on a sinful earth, it must do so critically, measuring everything against the Word of God.

Like Titus, elders of the church have a solemn privilege to “teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine” (verse 1). Their lifestyle and ministry in the church must be exemplary. Their teaching, all-inclusive and with dedicated commitment, must be authentic and must bear the marks of genuine Christian faith. By so doing, elders remove the basis for unbelievers to slander the church and make the teachings of the gospel attractive to them. The gospel that offers salvation to all people teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and urges us to encourage the faithful and rebuke sin with all authority.

1 All Bible citations in this outline are taken from the New International Version.

Limoni Manu O’Uiha, Ph.D., writes from Palmerston North, New Zealand.