One of my favorite books is ‘The Godly Man’s Picture’ by Thomas Watson.
While that’s worth reading, we get an even more important picture of a godly man in Titus 2.
Many months ago, we began looking at Paul’s description. But never finished.
So I thought I could share part two.
We saw that first a godly man is committed to discipleship.
Now, second, a godly man is devoted to doing good. After explaining what Titus is to teach the young men, he turns the screws and begins to speak to Titus directly in verse 7.
But obviously this isn’t just a message for Titus.
If you look at the text, you’ll see Paul says, Titus you are to prove yourself – what? An example, a pattern, a model for young men to follow. In other words, Titus lead by example. Young men should seek to do exactly what Paul commands Titus to do. Titus is just to provide a pattern how to do that.
Of what specifically?
What example is he to provide for those who are watching?
Paul begins by giving him a very general overarching command or exhortation.
He writes, “Show yourself an example of good works.”
The term he uses here for good can also be translated beautiful, excellent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, commendable, noble and praiseworthy. Paul’s not talking about a superficial, shallow kind of goodness, but instead a deep-down to the core goodness. He’s telling Titus to be an example of beautiful, praiseworthy living. Titus, Paul is saying, you are to be busy about doing good, and by doing so you are to provide a pattern, an example for the young men to follow. Paul wants men in the church to be known or marked by a consistent pattern of good, praiseworthy, noble works.
The first thing I usually think when I hear the term good works is the false teaching that says you are saved by good works. And I know that’s not true. That’s entirely wrong. You are not saved by your good works. God is so holy that the best deed that you’ve ever done is filthy in his sight, so trusting in your good works to save you is a vain and foolish hope. The gospel is all about God, God saving you, God doing what you could not do, Jesus coming and living and dying in your place. But I think what happens sometimes is that we are so eager to say that we are not saved by good works that we can miss the role God has designed good works to play in our lives.
Good works are clearly very important to Paul.
He commands Titus and young men here in verse 7 to be devoted to good works.
Then in verse 14, he tells us that Christ gave himself for us that we might be “zealous for good deeds.” What a picture of the church! Christ redeemed us to be eager to do good.
Next, he exhorts us in 3:2 to be ready for every good deed, and closes out his letter in 3:14 by saying, “And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet the pressing needs that they may not be unfruitful.”
Though you are not saved by your good works you are saved to do good works. As one pastor explains, “Good works cannot produce salvation, but are a subsequent and resultant God-empowered fruit and evidence of it.” We all love Ephesians 2:8,9, where Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.” We amen those verses, as we should. They teach an amazing truth. You could do good every day the rest of your life and all of those good deeds put together and piled on top of one another won’t be enough to save you from the wrath of God. You are not saved by being a good guy, a good person, you are saved by God’s grace, you are saved because of the work of Christ,- you are saved through faith. But too often, we stop at verse 9. We have churches full of people who can shout out “saved by grace” but have no idea what for. They don’t know why they’ve been saved by grace. We need to keep reading. Listen to verse 10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,” why? “for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” So God did this great work in you, He made you a new creature. He did that. You didn’t. Now you are this new person and you are looking around and you are wondering what next? What am I to live for? What is to characterize my life? Well, Paul tells us. God created you in Christ Jesus, He saved you, for good works!
When we wake up in the morning, we should be thinking “What good can I do today?” This is one reason why I’ve been saved, God has prepared good works for me and I am to find them, I am to do them with all my might. We should be hungry to do good. God did not save us to be the same person we were before we were saved. That’s the way so many people act. Their view of salvation seems to be, “Saved by God to live for myself.” NO! THAT’S A LIE. God made us new creatures in Christ Jesus that we might walk, that’s talking about a consistent pattern of life, in the good works that He prepared for us.
But you say, how do I know what good works to do?
Read your history books and you’ll find all sorts of religious people doing all kinds of crazy things and calling them good works. Sometimes people would sit on top of a pole for a long time and say they were doing that for God. Others would go out into the desert and live in a monastery and say they were doing that for God. The problem is they are making up what good works they are to do, instead of looking to the book that God designed to teach us how to do good works. God’s told us what works He wants us to do in His word. Paul tells us this is part of the purpose of Scripture in 2 Timothy 3. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,” why? why did God give us this great book? “That the man of God may be adequate, thoroughly equipped” “for what? “Every good work.”
God saved us for good works. But He did not leave us there, wondering what these good works are and how in the world we are to do these good works that He has prepared for us. No. He gives us the Scriptures which gives us everything we need to do the good works that He has called on us to do. Every time you read the Bible, you should be challenged to do good. God gave you this book to help you do good works. You want to know the good works God has called you to do, don’t go away and make up all kinds of ideas, instead go to Scripture and follow the commands and principles that are taught there. You say, but I am not adequate to do these good works. Really? Well, God tells us that if you are a believer He has given this book to make you adequate, to thoroughly equip you. There’s no excuses. God saved us not by good works, but for good works and He gave us this book to equip us to do them.
But that’s not all!
He’s also given us a family to encourage us and challenge us to greater works than we have ever done before. In Hebrews 10:23,24 we read, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate/provoke one another on” to what? “Love and good deeds.” In other words, you are not only commanded to do good, but to think about how you can help other believers do good and they are commanded to do the same for you. Christian friendship is a wonderful gift from God. As friends, we are to provoke one another, stir one another up, push one another on to doing the good that God has created us to do! And, as godly men, we should be excited about setting an example in doing just that for the church to follow.
You want to be a godly man?