As we open to Titus 2, at this very moment, Satan is roaming the Earth trying to mess up God’s plan. His methods of attack are very focused, and are revealed in God's Word by his many names. Each of Satan’s well-known names describes a facet of his evil plan. He is called:
• Lucifer the Cherub who fell because he proudly wanted to share in God’s glory;
• Satan the constant Adversary of God’s plans and people;
• The Serpent from of Old who deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden;
• The Dragon who relentless seeks to destroy Israel the Chosen People of God;
• The Deceiver who enslaves the minds and hearts of the whole world;
• The Murderer from the Beginning who came to kill, to steal, and destroy; and
• The Roaring Lion who seeks to devour the unsuspecting believer.
But today, as we gather in Christ's Church, the most unsuspecting and damaging of all his names, is also the method Satan brings perhaps greatest damage to Christ's church.
That other name of his is The Devil, diabolous or literally:
God's Word shows us how Satan accuses believers before God’s Throne in Job 1. Jesus stands at the Right Hand of the Father, and as our Great Intercessor and Advocate, defends us.
But sadly, Satan has enlisted many helpers, in his attack on Christ's Church. Almost all of them are unsuspecting of the terrible part they play in destroying the effectiveness of believers, church leaders, and entire churches.
In fact, after 30 plus years as a minister of God's Word I have never seen anything as deadly to the church as the Devil, the Slanderer, enlisting gossiping believers to become tools in his hands to slander other believers, tear down the Biblical leaders in Christ's church, and by their accusations, neutralize an entire local church. That danger is what leads us to Paul’s words in Titus 2:3.
As we stand this morning and read God’s amazing list of desires for all women, listen to His second expectation for the woman of grace who follows Christ:
Titus 2:3-5 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things NKJV
Remember that God has shown us what spiritual maturity looks like; and His description is not vague. A godly, spiritually mature woman can be seen in the ways she corresponds to the clear expectations that God has told us are His desires for every woman.
These areas that a woman can choose to focus upon gradually shape her life into becoming more and more a:
Godly Woman of
Titus was instructed to be sure that the women of grace are tuned to what God considers most meaningful and profitable for Christ's church. God says, be sure that each of the older women is taught that these five qualities are to become the life-long priorities for all grace-energized women.
v. 3 “…the older women likewise, that they be”:
1. “Reverent in behavior” as the Greek word ieroprepeis katastematai is rendered in the NKJV, ESV, NAS, and NIV. The only church-wide curriculum for women starts with this call for all women to behave as representatives of God. This means that our God desires that every woman in Christ's church: Live Holy in an Unholy World;
2. “Not slanderers” as the Greek words me diabolous are rendered in the NKJV, ESV, and NIV; and “not malicious gossips” in the NAS. God is looking for godly, mature women who will never allow their speech to get hijacked by the ultimate terrorist. God desires that all women be known as those that Speak Gracefully in a Graceless World;
3. Not Given to Much Wine: Disciplining appetites in an undisciplined world
4. Teachers of Good Things: Modeling Godliness in an ungodly world
5. Admonish: Investing in others in a detached world
That second quality, the Greek word translated “slanderers” here in Titus 2:3 is diabolous, which is the very name of Satan, used of him 34 times in the New Testament. Satan has always been a false accuser; and so each time he incites a believer to do the same, they are doing Satan’s work.