Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Devastating Reality of Sin
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

This article serves to explain what sin is and how evil sin really is.

Definition of Sin:
Sin is any lack of conformity to the law of God by transgressing its obligations or by failing to fulfill its commands. Sin is lawlessness. It is not being or doing what God requires; or it is doing what God forbids. To sin is to fall short of God’s perfect requirement of absolute obedience to His Law. Sin is not just bad behavior and outright wickedness but it includes motives of the heart, thoughts of the mind, words from the mouth and certainly conduct in one’s life. Sin infects all that a person is. No person is alive who is unaffected by the pervasive, extensive and tragic effects of sin.

Origin of Sin:
Sin entered the world when Adam, the first man God ever created, disobeyed God when he and his wife, Eve, ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. God clearly told them that they would enjoyably eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden but God commanded them to not eat of only one tree, and they chose, willfully, disobediently, and pridefully, to eat of that forbidden fruit. Adam’s sin brought about death and the curse. The soul that sins will die. Adam’s sin affected not only him but all of his posterity — all people, all generations that would ever come after him. Every person born naturally of a woman enters this world corrupted with the sin nature inherited from Adam.

Examples of Sin:
Sin can be classified in three main categories: sins of the heart, sins of the mind, and sins of the will. The desires, the thinking patterns, and the actions are all affected by sin. Selfish desires and prideful motivations are examples of sin that have taken root and flow out of the heart.  Also, the mind of man (his thinking pattern/processes) is corrupted by sin. Man cannot think rightly and does not understand God properly. Man is blinded and corrupted in his mind and in his intellect. Furthermore, his behavior and conduct is sinful as an outflow of the sinful desires and selfish motivations of one’s heart. Evil desires, greed, slander, fornication, adultery, anger, wrath, drunkenness, impatience, selfishness and pride are all manifestations and examples of sin. Other practical examples of sin include evil, envy, strife, deceit, malice, gossips, haters of God, unbelief in Christ, arrogance, boasting, disobedience to parents, idolatry, homosexuality, transgenderism, masturbation, stealing, reviling, cheating, and using God’s name in vain.

Effects of Sin:
God says that the soul that sins will die. The true Word of God also declares that the wages of sin is death (spiritual). Sin has affected all of mankind, all of man’s makeup, all of human history, and it will remain until God creates a New Heaven and a New Earth. So pervasive are the effects of sin that all man’s makeup (thought, words, deeds, motives) are completely affected by the devastation of the curse of sin.

Magnitude of Sin:
Sin is so bad because God is so holy. The measure of sin’s magnitude has to be compared with the dignity and honor of the One sinned against. God is infinitely holy and perfectly just; indeed, God is absolutely perfect and infinite and eternal in all of his attributes and characteristics. Therefore, to sin even one time against God would mean that a person has committed a sin worthy of an eternal, infinite punishment because it has offended an infinitely holy and eternally righteous God. A human may ignore a sin or may pretend it doesn’t exist. God, however, remembers each sin that has been committed against His holiness and sees the mountain-like problem and gigantic tragedy that sin has caused.

Judgment for Sin:
Every single sin that has ever been committed in the history of the world will be personally, infinitely, and perfectly judged by God. No sin will ever be left unpunished. God is a righteous Judge who has indignation every day. Every sin that men ever commit slight His holiness and ignite His righteous and holy anger. God promises that He will repay men for all that they have done. Every thought will be judged. Every careless word will be judged. And every wicked deed will be judged by God. Even thoughts, and words, and deeds that men have forgotten about and even those which men aren’t even aware of will be brought to light on judgment day and God will fairly, righteously, and perfectly judge the sinner who stands guilty before God.

Devastation of Sin:
Sin brings forth death. The devastation of sin is that the moment Adam sinned, death entered the world and all sinned. The Bible says that men are totally depraved and radically corrupt. This does not mean that every person is as bad as he possibly could be, but the Bible means that the totality of man’s being, in all of his parts and faculties (thoughts, will, heart, intellect, and behavior) are all touched by sin, depraved by sin, and under the curse of God. Nothing is more tragic and more infinitely devastating in all the world than the committing of a sin.

Awareness of Sin:
No one can rightly understand the nature of sin apart from a true understanding of who God is and from the revealed Word of God, the Bible. Men are blinded by sin to their own sin. It’s like a blind person who walks into a cave full of snakes. He’s not even aware and can’t understand that danger is all around him. An awareness of sin comes from the Bible as it is read, God is understood, the Spirit of God gives understanding, and sin’s evil is exposed. Again, the sinfulness of sin cannot be rightly understood or dealt with apart from the written Word of God, the Bible.

The Law that Exposes Sin:
No one would understand the enormity of sin and the heinousness of sin without the clear revelation of the Bible. Where does anger come from? What makes coveting so bad? Why is pride a sin? Why is worry and anxiety a sin? The Law of God exposes the heart of men and the uncrossable gulf that exists between God and men because of sin. We would not know what sin is were it not for God’s clear revelation given to us in the Bible. The Ten Commandments expose the heart and the behavior of men that brings all men to the position of full and total guiltiness before a holy God.

Denial of Sin:
The chief denier of sin is Satan. He said long ago in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve that if you eat of the forbidden fruit: You will not surely die. But the denial did not prevent the reality of sin’s devastating effects. So it is today as many people deny the reality of sin or the enormity of sin or the consequences of sin. But God does not ask men to agree with him nor does God seek to make a compromise with men. The denial of sin does not change anything in God regarding His certain and fair and infinite punishment against sin. For a man to deny sin exposes the reality that he is walking in the likeness of his spiritual father, Satan himself, who denied sin. But death surely came and everlasting judgment will most certainly come. To deny sin is to deny reality. To deny sin is to call God a liar. And God will punish all those who reject Him and His truth.

Cover up of Sin:
Sinners have cleverly and brilliantly devised many ways to try to cover up their sin. Lying, deception, manipulation, blame-shifting, outright denial, and remorse are a few of the many ways in which men endeavor to cover up sin. The Bible provides abundant accounts of men and women who sought to cover up their own sin (in a number of ways). But in every case, God sees the heart of man and no human cover-up can ever prevent the all-seeing eyes of God from fully observing the sin and assuredly punishing the sin. People may do their best to cover up their sin and may successfully cover up some sin and keep others from finding out but nothing is hidden from God. Every creature stands naked and fully exposed before the eyes of God before whom every person will have to give an account.

Consequences of Sin:
God lovingly & clearly declares that the soul that sins will die. God will repay sinners according to their ways. The consequences for sin are infinite, eternal, just, and fair as from the Righteous God who always does what is right. And this just judgment comes from the righteous God who powerfully and perfectly does what brings Himself greatest glory. The sinner who dies in his sinful condition — whatever religious background he may have or whatever perception of goodness he may have about himself — will be everlastingly punished under the fierce and just wrath of God in the Lake of Fire, in conscious, unending torment in God’s presence and holy punishment.

Conviction of Sin:
Lots of people feel guilty. Many people may do a bad deed and feel bad about it. Lost of reasons may exist for such emotions and feelings. Many may not want to get caught and they may not want the consequences, or they want to preserve their reputation. But the Bible reveals that there is really only one adequate response to sin, namely, true conviction over sin that results in repentance (turning from) and faith (turning to) in Jesus Christ Jesus. True conviction over sin can only come from God the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). On the final day when Jesus Christ returns in glory to judge the world, He will convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done. Everyone will either be convicted by God the Spirit and turn from their sin, or they will remain in their sin and be convicted on the day of judgment when it’s too late and they’ll be cast into hell.

Removal of Sin:
A day surely comes in the future when God will remove sin entirely from the world. But it will not come until the Lord brings great judgment upon the world that has rejected him, casts sinners into hell and believers enter glory, and then the Lord Himself will re-create a New Heaven and a New Earth where righteousness dwells. In this future estate of blissful joy and everlasting glory, no sin will exist and nothing unclean, impure, unholy or defiled will ever exist. Just as life existed without sin in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned, so there is coming a future time when sin will forever be eradicated and absolute righteousness will forever be the life of the redeemed in glory.

Inadequate Remedies for Sin:
Our world has sought to invent countless ways to remedy the sin problem. Religions abound in various stripes and forms to call people to moral living and kind actions to try to outweigh the bad deeds. Roman Catholics seek to purge their own sins by being good, praying prayers, and acts of penance. But any religion and any effort and any life of morality will always prove to be inadequate to save a soul from the all-seeing eyes of God and from the sure wrath that will come upon every sinner’s soul everlastingly. Religion, philosophies, worldviews, tolerance, self-denial, and philanthropies will prove on the final day of Judgment to all be worthless, demonic, deceptive and absolutely unable to save.

Forgiveness for Sin:
Only one solution for the sin problem exists. And the solution for the sin problem is found entirely outside of man. No person can ever achieve his own forgiveness or cooperate with God to bring about his own forgiveness. God alone can forgive and it is a work of God — and a work of God alone. If God were to keep a record of all wrongs committed, who could stand blameless before Him? But with God there is forgiveness. The only way a sinner can be forgiven is for God to intervene and graciously, mercifully, and undeservedly lavish forgiveness through the substitutionary, sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. God must punish every sin. God has provided one escape from wrath in hell. And that escape is not religion but the righteousness of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died, God reckoned/imputed sins of guilty lawbreakers to Jesus on the cross. This is the real reason for the cross: for Jesus to bear the curse of God and bear the wrath of God in his soul, infinite punishment from God for His people. Then, those who believe in Jesus Christ alone, by faith alone, by grace alone are imputed/reckoned with the perfect righteousness (obedience) of Jesus Christ that God requires to enter heaven. So the only way to be forgiven is through the redemptive, saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. That way, God is just in punishing your sin (on the substitute) and He is just in reckoning you as being declared righteous not in your own righteousness but in the perfect merits of Jesus Christ your substitute. Come to Jesus Christ by faith alone! Turn to him and be forgiven of your sin and saved from the everlasting penalty that your sin deserves in hell! Flee to Jesus Christ and find life and joy and forgiveness.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

That Evil Monster of Sin!
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Sin is lawlessness. Nothing good exists in sin. God is wholly desirable and everything good is bound up in God and in His beauty. But sin is all evil, always evil, powerfully evil, and deceitfully evil. Sin promises and then it destroys. Sin kisses and then it strangles. Sin is as old as humankind. Nothing is so monstrous as that gruesome and horrid evil of sin. God despises sin with a holy and righteous anger. Why is sin so bad and how does Scripture describe that evil monster of sin?

Sin is Pervasive. — Sin permeates every part of man’s makeup. No part of the human person exists that has escaped the tragic effects of sin. Sin pervades all man including his mind, his soul, his heart, his will, and his affections. Everything from the soul of his foot to the crown of his head is tainted by the toxic poison of sin.

Sin is Permeating. — Sin has spread throughout the entirety of human nature. The Apostle Paul speaks of the sons of disobedience who have disobeyed God and who are all, together, affected by this soul-killing disease of sin. All are, by nature, sinners and thus have been the recipients of the permeating spread of sin’s influence and power.

Sin is Polluting. — Nothing so contaminates the human soul like sin. All of humanity has suffered from the pollution of this irresistible monster of sin. It has polluted the soul, the body, the mind, and the desires. Starting in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned, it has polluted all mankind since them who have been naturally born of women.

Sin is Prohibiting. — The effects of sin prohibit a person from coming to God, worshiping God, and adoring Him rightly. In fact, the problem of sin is not only that man has it but that man is wholly and totally unable to come to God in and of himself and by his own efforts, will, or intentions. Sin prohibits all people from drawing near to God for sin causes man to be idolaters in exchanging the worship of the one, true God for anything else.

Sin is Poisoning. — To poison someone is to severely harm them and bring about their death. Sin poisons the soul in that it brings about death. Physical death is one effect of sin but eternal death under the righteous wrath of God is another inevitable result of sin. Sin has so poisoned the soul that it always leads to everlasting torment in God’s righteous hell unless a soul is rescued by God’s amazing grace.

Sin is Paralyzing. — What an unspeakable tragedy that sin has paralyzed man so that he is wholly incapable of movement toward God, toward Christ, and toward holiness. So horrid and putrified is sin that it completely prohibits the hellbound soul from seeing its dire condition, its devastating outcome, and it has so made the soul unable to come to God for help and deliverance.

Sin is Perfidious. — As early as in the Garden of Eden, sin’s evils have shown themselves to be full of kisses but always resulting in death. Satan, the father of lies is a deceitful worker, the father of sin and the beast who tempted Eve by deceiving her to eat the forbidden fruit. O to view sin in its perfidious nature. Nothing true resides in sin. It is wholly and fully evil.

Sin is Punished. — Sin brings forth death. The end result of sin -- every single last one -- is everlasting death. No sin will ever go unpunished. No wrong will ever be left undone. Every offense against God must be brought before God’s unswerving justice. Sinners, full of sin and corrupted within, will face the everlasting punishment from God Almighty in hell unless God intervenes to save them by His mercy.

All of this concerning sin leads to the devastating portrait of sin -- its totality, its pervasiveness, its thoroughness, in all of its God-abhorring evil. Herein is the corrupt condition of every single person in the world. Every person is born, by nature, into this world of sin and as a sinner. We do not sin because we are sinners. We sin because we are, by default and by nature, born as sinners. Sin is not merely something that someone may choose to do, it is something that all unregenerate sinners are. Behold the astounding and astonishing grace of God! O that God would have mercy upon such poison-filled worms like us! O that God would deliver and rescue us from His righteous punishment by delivering up His very own Son -- the gloriously pure and infinitely delightful Savior -- so that He may gain sinners like us as His sons -- Beloved sons! Thank the Lord for His mercy! Bless Him for His deliverance! Give everlasting praise to Him who had mercy upon you and upon Him who caused you to be saved even when you were running from Him and rebelling against Him and rising up in war with Him! Praise God that His grace is greater than our sin and when He saved us, He thoroughly and eternally changed our nature so that we are no longer unable to please God (as before) but now we have been so radically transformed that we are now able to please and worship Him who is altogether lovely!

Monday, May 20, 2019

As we eagerly await the OPEN AIR PREACHER'S DAY OF INSTRUCTION & EQUIPPING hosted by Christ Fellowship Bible Church (St Louis, Missouri) [this Saturday, May 25th], I think it'd be helpful to provide a few helpful blogs on some related issues around the importance of faithful, biblically sound, and urgent preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified on the streets.

1. My personal philosophy of open air preaching  |  Blog
2. Reasons why open air preaching is always effective  |  Blog
3. How to prepare powerful pastoral preachers  |  Blog
4. Preparing an open air sermon  |  Blog
5. Street preaching at abortion clinics  |  Blog
6. Does street preaching work?  |  Blog
7. Why is open air preaching opposed by the local church?  |  Blog
8. Spurgeon on open air preaching  |  Read

VIDEO: a biblical defense of open air preaching  |  WATCH
VIDEO: does street preaching work?  |  WATCH


We have gathered together a simple Bible-reading plan that many folks have used at Christ Fellowship Bible Church.  It'll take you through the Old Testament one time and the New Testament twice each year.  It consists in reading a couple of chapters in the Old Testament and either one or two chapters in the New Testament each day.

If you DO NOT have a consistent Bible-reading schedule or plan or if you just throw open your Bible and point to a text and read your favorite verses each day, let me strongly encourage you to READ THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE.  The whole Bible makes a whole Christian.

Here's a blog for profitable Bible-reading -- how to read the Bible for your spiritual food.  May it be helpful for you.

The Bible reading plan SIDE 1
The Bible reading plan SIDE 2

One of the great joys of my spiritual life is reading God's Word first thing in the morning as I begin each day.  May the Lord encourage your heart as you feast upon His Word as well!

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Heartfelt Embrace of Young Womanhood, Part 2
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Titus 2:4-5 is a gloriously clear text that defines what biblical womanhood is about. In fact, these verses provide the ingredients for a wonderful ministry of older women coming alongside to deliberately teach and biblically urge the young women to live out these seven virtues that God mandates for all young women.  In a culture of confusion and outright rebellion against God and His Word, this text serves as a clarion call to the older women of God to train the younger -- that is, to intentionally teach, to regularly disciple, to faithfully ‘school’ -- women in God’s design for biblical womanhood. Here is the true path of joy, the road to happiness, and the honor of biblical, young womanhood.

As mentioned before, Paul gives these virtues of biblical womanhood in the context of the older women teaching the younger. And this teaches that these biblical qualities do not come naturally. The young women need to be taught these things.

In the previous blog, I commented on the first three virtues. God calls young women (1) to love their husbands, (2) to love their children, and (3) to be sensible (Titus 2:4-5a). In this post, I want to continue commenting on the virtues of young womanhood from this crucial text.

4. She is to be pure.  Paul calls the young women to be pure. The Greek word that Paul employs speaks of being religiously honorable, reverent, and sacred. Here is a woman who knows that she is fully devoted to God and owned by God in her life. She makes it her ambition to be pure in every area of life. The context, however, may lead to her pursuing purity in her sexuality. She is fully devoted to her husband and him alone. She is fully available and desirous of him and lovemaking with him alone. She has no flings, no emotional relationships, no fanciful desires. Rather, she is self-controlled in her body and in her sexuality. Young women need to be taught these things. Culture, the swath of young woman presenting themselves on social media, TV shows, Netflix, and in our cities does not help in promoting a biblical view of sexual purity. Far from it! Herein lies the reason why God calls the older women of God to intentionally and faithfully attend to the younger women to teach them sexual purity. This woman cares about modesty. She cares about what she wears. She cares for her brothers in Christ and does not want to wear anything that could cause them to stumble (tight clothing, high clothing, low clothing, provocative clothing). God’s design for young womanhood is to be pure in her life. In a culture of impurity and sensuality and provocative clothing, young women of God must remember that though they live in the world, they are not of the world. And God does not mandate them to do it alone! The older are to come alongside of the younger with love, with honesty, with care, with biblical truths, and with practical tips and advice.

5. She is to be a worker at home.  Literally, Paul calls the young women to be ‘home-workers.’ Talk about something that flies in the face of the cultural wave for women to go out and work, present themselves, flourish in their field, travel the world, get a job, excel at the workplace. The primary place of work and ministry for a married woman and for a mother is the home.  This does not mean that a woman cannot work outside the home. But the point that Paul makes is that her primary domain of ministry and her primary place of exertion of energy must be the home -- to her husband, to her children, and to her domestic duties of keeping the house a welcoming, warm, inviting, and hospitable place for her family and others. This, of course, does not come naturally to young women. They need to learn this. And here Paul calls the older women to teach domestic duties to young women. What does it mean to keep the house? What’s entailed in cleaning, in home decor, in hospitality, in colors and furniture, in food and preparation, in serving others? How does she make and maintain a warm, inviting, and delightful environment for her husband and for her children? Let the older women take the younger under their wing to intentionally school them in the importance of these duties and the practical nature of how to do them well as a woman of God.

6. She is to be kind. Another virtue that God mandates for young women is to be kind. The word could also be rendered good, generous, beneficial, useful, excelling in her duties.  This is the young woman who sees a need and she does all she can to attend to it and meet that need. She primarily is kind and useful to those in the context of her home -- her husband and children -- but also those who come to visit, those in her church family, those she welcomes over for hospitality, and others who may come across her path. She seeks to be generous, excellent and kind in all her words, her actions, her duties, and her responsibilities as a wife, a mother, and a home-maker. Again, this virtue does not come naturally to young women. That’s why the Apostle calls the older women of God to teach this virtue to young women and show them why it’s important and how to be kind and beneficial to those in the context of her home. The home is her domain and the young woman of God seeks to excel with grace and usefulness in the primary place where God has called her to serve.

7. She is to be subject to her own husband. Godly women are to be submissive to their own husbands. Biblical submission is the heartfelt placing oneself under the authority of others that God has placed in our lives. Biblical submission is a glorious and beautiful thing. God not only calls wives to submit, but everyone is called to submit. For instance, all must submit to God, all must submit to government, all Christians must submit to their church elders. Even Christ submitted Himself to His Father. So, biblical submission is a wonderful heart-attitude flowing out of a godly woman that seeks to honor God and fulfill her role as God has spelled it out in Scripture.  Culture is not the standard. Biblical women do not learn marriage orders and godly living from watching the secular world. The authority is the Scripture and it couldn’t be more clear. Young women must embrace the beautiful and glorious call from God to submit to their own husbands. Note they are to submit to their own husbands -- not every person or every man, but the man she’s married to by covenant. And note how Paul begins and ends the list of virtues of biblical, young womanhood by addressing marriage. She is to be a lover of her husband and faithfully submitting to her own husband. This certainly does not come naturally to a woman. This, again, is why Paul calls the older to come to the assistance of and urgently teach and biblically show what this entails and how it looks in the day to day life of a marriage.

All of this points to a great purpose. Why does Paul give these seven virtues of young womanhood?  So that the Word of God will not be dishonored (Titus 2:5b). To state it differently, Paul doesn’t want the word to be reviled, or discredited, or maligned. What a high calling God gives to young women. You can, by God’s grace and with His Spirit, live out biblical womanhood in such a way that you beautify the gospel and show the life-transforming power and joy-instilling hope of the Word of God! What a high calling that should be happily embraced by all young women of God!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Heartfelt Embrace of Young Womanhood
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Titus 2:4-5 speaks of the older women who are to be “teaching what is good so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

So many godly women love and appreciate Titus 2 for the clear instructions that the Lord gives to both older and younger women. The Lord has spoken clearly in these verses. He has provided timeless truth, perfect principles, and needed exhortations for joyful womanhood.

In this first blog, I’ll elaborate on the first few virtues of young womanhood from Titus 2:4-5a. To begin, however, I should remark that Paul calls the older women to encourage the young women to do these following 7 virtues. That teaches something very urgent: these qualities do not come naturally to a young woman; they must learn these essential marks of womanhood. These don’t come easily. Culture, social media, Netflix, coworkers, and the entertainment industry do not help in promoting biblical womanhood. So, at this very point, Paul calls upon the older and more mature women of faith to come alongside of the younger women to deliberately teach them.

In fact, the word that Paul uses for the older women to help the younger women is to “encourage” (NASB). The Greek word can refer to an urging, deliberate training, admonishing, even schooling the younger women in these particular virtues. This is far from a text message here or there. It’s more than reading a few blogs on the topic or hearing a sermon every few years on womanhood. This requires the intentional, thoughtful, deliberate and proactive training and discipleship of an older woman coming alongside of a younger women to particularly train her in these qualities of a biblical, young woman.

When reading these marvelous virtues in the text, one should immediately recognize the priority is placed on the home -- marriage, parenting, homemaking, godly conduct. Contrary to the cultural pressure today to go out, get a job, make money, flourish personally, do what you want, be who you desire, thrive as a corporate woman, God’s glorious and timeless plan is for the biblical woman to find her primary calling in the context of the home. Her responsibilities and duties are tethered first to her husband, then to her children, then to her home-making and her godly conduct in such an environment. This is so counter-cultural and desperately needed!

1. She is to love her husband. In verse 4, the older women in the local church must train the younger women to love their husbands. Amazingly, if they need to be taught this, then it presupposes that it doesn’t come naturally. The Greek word φιλάνδρους literally could be rendered: a lover of the man. This obviously refers to a heterosexual marriage between a woman and a man. But additionally, it brings out a very unique element. To love the husband, as Paul describes it, has to do with a friendship, brotherly kind of love. This is a genuine affectionate, respectful, best-friendship kind of love. This is not the agape self, sacrificing, dying to self love that Paul so often calls for among believers. That’s important but that’s not the same word used here. Paul wants the older women to come alongside of the younger wives and deliberately train them in respectful, affectionate, honorable relations with their husbands. The older women have been there. Perhaps they can train from personal experience. They can teach through loving and compassionate reproof and rebuke when necessary. They can teach through biblical instruction (which means older women don’t have to all be married in order to fulfill this duty; even if they don’t have the personal experience, they have the all-sufficient Scriptures).

2. She is to love her children. In verse 4b, Paul moves from the loving of the husbands to the loving of her children. And like Paul did with the previous word, here Paul uses a similar word for the young mothers. They are to be taught to φιλοτέκνους. This, again, includes the phielo kind of love where the sense of friendship, affection, care, enjoyment and nurture comes to the forefront. I think every mother would understand the agape type love in parenting. You love the child when they can’t love you back (nursing, feeding, changing diapers, etc!). But this is different. This is an affectionate, caring, enjoyable and nurturing kind of love for the children. This, according to God, doesn’t come naturally to young women and so they need to be trained in this virtue by Godly, older women. In the context of the church, the older women are to intentionally come alongside of the young mothers to give tips on parenting, on loving the children, on being caring and affectionate with them, disciplining them with tenderness, and raising them in the context of a happy and holy home. This is not something that’s found on social media or viewed on the common movies in the theaters. Here’s why Paul calls upon the older women of God to school the younger mothers in these vital qualities of womanhood.

3. She is to be sensible. Turning to verse 5, Paul mentions that the older women must urge the young women to be sensible. The Greek word refers to one who is wise, self-controlled, thoughtful, deliberate, and careful in conduct.  This word is a favorite of Paul’s in the book of Titus.  Elders must be sensible (1:8). Older men must be sensible (2:2). Younger men must be sensible (2:6). And here, it’s implied that the older women must be sensible as they are to admonish the young women to live this out in their lives (2:5). The idea is the young woman living wisely in the home, practicing self control in the home and resisting the temptation to give into and pursue every craving and lust and pleasure that comes her way. To live sensibly means that she may have something she wants within her grasp but she still has the ability to resist and refuse it -- by God’s grace. If there is any virtue needed among young women in our culture, self-control and living sensibly has got to be near the top of the list. But, again, that Paul places it here reveals that this quality does not come by nature to young women. Youthful women often follow their lusts, pursue their pleasures, live without self-control and live without serious thought. But may the older women of God obey Paul’s mandate to deliberately assist the young women to know and live out the virtue of self-control and living in a sensible way -- for Christ’s glory and for her joy.

In the posts to follow, I will spell out in more detail the remaining virtues of biblical womanhood as Paul lists them in Titus 2:5.
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