The SHOULDER PRESS is a machine that will challenge your masculinity. It basically measures how much weight you can “press” upwards at a 45 degree angle. I think all the weights and angles have been calculated by a skinny, pale-skinned, technician at Star Trac, who laughs diabolically as he designs these machines that he will never use. But that’s just my theory.
“Better tighten my belt! I’m a skinny tech at Star Trac!”
Anyway, I’m glad that I’m healthy enough to “go to the gym” and “work out” and “do my ‘reps’.”
Which brings us to our study: the Epistle of Titus, whose theme seems to be how to be SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY.
We listed a few questions in our last post. Let’s take a shot at answering some of them. But first, let’s review our verses from 2:9-10 —
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 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.
1. How are we to respond to the whole “slave” thing in the Bible? Does the Bible support slavery? Paul isn’t telling these slaves, “ESCAPE WHENEVER YOU CAN!” How do we “justify” slavery in the Word of God? First of all, the Bible does not support kidnapping or forced slavery. There are several forms of slavery in the Bible (as in culture). Paul Copan’s articles on slavery are well worth reading. His understanding of the New Testament teaching is found here. His article asking if the Old Testament supports slavery is found here.
2. Assuming that Paul’s primary point here is that Christian slaves should submit to their masters, what other verses in the Bible teach us about our slavery? Pre-conversion we were slaves to sin (Rom. 6:6, 16), to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness (Rom. 6:19) but now should be slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6:15, 18), leading to holiness (Rom. 6:19). When we were slaves to sin, we were free from the control of righteousness (Rom. 6:20). We’ve now become slaves of God (Rom. 6:22). Before coming to Christ we were slaves to non-gods (Gal. 4:8). The Spirit doesn’t make us slaves, but sons (Rom. 8:15). We are not to become slaves of human beings (I Cor. 7:23). As slaves of Christ, we are to do the will of God from our hearts (Eph. 6:6). There are clear instructions for both masters (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1) and slaves (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22; Titus 2:9; I Pe. 2:18). We are to live as God’s slaves (I Pe. 2:16).
3. How are slaves to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive? What does that expression mean? We are to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. The word “attractive” comes from a verb meaning to ornament, adorn, to embellish with honor. The original meaning of that verb is to put in order, to arrange, to make ready. We can “uglify” the truth about God, presumably by the way we live or don’t live. Doctrine is more than verbal expression. We must live out as best we can what the Bible actually teaches about the Lord!