by Jack Eberle
“Training us, that having denied the ungodliness and the desires of the world system, we should live discreetly, righteously, and godly in the new age...” (TWI).
After prayerful study of His Word and the respective languages, this appears to be a very close rendering of how God would have stated to us in our present age. Always know, however, that God, the Holy Spirit, will teach you and guide you. (See John 16:13 and I John 2:27.) The word “training” appears to be closest to what we today would call training. The concepts are not that different if you consider that the Holy Spirit does not just “read us our lesson” for the day and take off. No, indeed, He is recognized as your guide into all truth. This must be considered trans-dispensational.
The next phrase of God’s holy Word assumes that those being addressed here have met two conditions:
(1.) They have denied ungodliness. These are His blood bought sons. They have set aside the world and its lusts. (See I John 2:15-16.) This doesn’t mean that these people had gone off to live in some lonely cave where they would receive no offers of the world’s pleasures. Rather, they dealt with the world and its offers on a daily basis and did not succumb to Satan’s offers. (Read Matthew 4:1-11.) Titus gave Paul every indication that he was ready and willing to walk the road God had for Him. (2.) Paul enjoined him to deny the temptations of the world system. Some might inject that the world is always changing. I John 2:15-16 will always be factual no matter what modern nuances will be available.
We read that God’s Spirit through Paul enjoined Titus to positively live “discretely”. Some of you will recognize something in this word sophronos. Wisdom seems to be the core of the word. We see this is bearing upon the surroundings and environment of Titus as pertaining to his ministry in Crete. Satan’s wiles will have opportunity to pull Titus off track. Think of Proverbs 3:5-7. I can’t imagine that Paul in his various injunctions to Titus and friends would leave out the great wisdom of the Proverbs.
The second word is well translated “righteously”. Nothing is hidden here. Very simply, the Word is saying, “Do Right.” I well remember as a Bible and seminary student at Bob Jones University, our great leader and mentor was so wont to say, “Do Right!” as to acquire the title, “Mr. Do Right.” Paul was essentially the same. Sometimes it is simple to know what is right but difficult to do what is right. Paul may be telling Titus, “Don’t just take the easy way!”
The last requirement Paul emphasizes to Titus is to be “godly”. Live in such a way that folks will be able to tell that you have been with Him and you and He walk hand in hand. What a charge is packed in these few words!