A second machine that I use is called the “LEG EXTENSION” machine. Now, I thought this meant that if one of my legs was shorter than the other one, this machine would make the necessary adjustments. That’s not how it works. With this one a padded bar rests on your feet and you lift that bar with both your legs at the same time.
I’m careful to read the instructions printed on these machines. I don’t need to lose a limb while losing weight (although that would be about 30 pounds, wouldn’t it?).
You see that little red handle-thing? That’s where you choose the weight your two legs lift. I have been setting that handle-thing at about 90 pounds. It seems to be just enough so that after ten “reps,” I start to feel “the burn.”
How am I when it comes to SPIRITUAL EXERCISE? Do I ever feel “the burn” of the Holy Spirit saying to me, “Hey, get off your duff and start working out your own salvation. And do it with fear and trembling!”
We’re looking at the little epistle of Paul to Titus and noticed some questions on the first section of chapter two. Here are those verses again and my response to the questions I raised.
Chapter 2 You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Here are a few questions — and my responses:
1. How is teaching minimized in our culture? How is teaching seen by Paul as he advises TItus (v. 1)? May I suggest that our culture minimizes teaching in acting as if no one knows any more than anyone else. I guess it’s a pride thing. Paul sees teaching as a key to combating false ideas which lead God’s people astray.
2. How do we know if we are teaching what is “appropriate” to sound doctrine? How do we test ourselves and others? Obviously, we take a systematic theology class from someone like myself. Just kidding. We take the whole of Scripture to test an idea or a set of ideas or a system. We test ourselves by God’s revealed Word — and we use the same instrument to evaluate others.
3. Paul then gives specific instructions to different age groups. What seems to be his primary burden with the older men (v. 2)? It seems Paul’s primary point with the “older men” is that they would be models worth following.
4. We’ve lost the impact of the word “temperance,” don’t you think? One dictionary defines temperance as “moderation or self-restraint, especially in eating and drinking.” Why is TEMPERANCE such a vital quality of godly men (v. 2)? Godly men can lose their reputation and respectability by bad choices, immoderate lifestyles, indulging in “the flesh,” as Paul puts it elsewhere.
5. How does a man make himself someone who is “worthy of respect,” do you think (v. 2)? I can’t make people respect me, but I can seek to remove any barriers that might cause them to disrespect me. I can positively live in a way that pleases God — who is the object of my attention.
6. Do a brief word study of the expression “self-control” in the Scriptures. What do you learn about that virtue?
We learn much about self-control from the following seven texts:
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Self-control is esteemed higher by God than a conquering warrior!
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
The person who lacks self-control is like a defenseless city.
As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”
The message of the gospel is not just salvation, but the practical matters of righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.
1 Corinthians 7:5
“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
The Bible gets very blunt about the marital relationship between husband and wife. Satan waits to tempt the too-long-abstaining couple who reach the end of their self-control.
“gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law . . .”
One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control which seems linked here with gentleness.
2 Timothy 3:3
“without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good . . .”
False teachers in the end times will be marked by a lack of godly qualities, including that of self-control.
2 Peter 1:6
“and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness . . .”
The believer is to add to his/her faith certain virtues, among which is self-control.
7. The third use of our term “sound” occurs here in 2:2. These older men are to be sound/healthy in FAITH, LOVE, and ENDURANCE. If you are a man, perhaps admit to being an “older” man, which of these three is the most challenging for you?