TEXT: Titus 2:1-13
The students will be able to explain how godliness is different from worldliness, and that it is only attainable through a strong desire to please God.
In Titus 2:1-13, aged men, aged women, young women, young men, and slaves were exhorted to be so faithful to the natural obligations of their own station in life that critics of their religion would be silenced. Slaves, of whom there were many in the Early Church, were exhorted to be very obedient, diligent, and faithful so that their lives would “adorn” their religious profession. As a result, their heathen masters would think, If that is what the Christian religion does for slaves, there must be something to it.
Godliness is so much more than godly conduct and a profession of religion. It is one’s reverence toward God. It is the reality and power manifested by a person’s vital relationship with God.
The Lord’s soon return supplies the motive for godly living in this present world. It is mentioned in almost every one of the New Testament books.
We have been studying the progressive pattern for the development of Christian character (2 Peter 1:5-6). According to this plan, godliness follows patience. Exercising patience in the endurance of “fiery trials” will help bring about this development of godliness. Godliness is different from worldliness, and is only attainable through a strong desire to please God.
- Explain what godliness means to you.
Response: Your students’ definitions will bring out that godliness means “to be devoted to God, to have our actions and thoughts and desires of a nature that will please God and be like Him.”
- Using the following Scriptures, list some of the criteria of godliness that we can measure our lives by.
2 Peter 3:11
Response: Acts 24:16 — conscience void of offense
Ephesians 6:18 — prayer
James 1:27 — visit fatherless, keep ourselves unspotted
James 3:17 — pure, peaceable, gentle, etc.
2 Peter 3:11 — holy conversation
Ask students to share their answers. Discuss each of the criteria given and develop what each means with reference to the students’ own lives.
- A person who is worldly is more concerned about things of this world than about spiritual or eternal things. The concerns of a godly person are the opposite. Give a biblical example of one godly person and one worldly person.
Response: Allow time for students’ responses. Some examples might be: Naomi versus Lot’s wife, and Enoch versus Judas. Through these examples, help your students evaluate the differences.
- Physical fitness and exercise are major concerns in our day. However, 1 Timothy 4:7 instructs us to exercise ourselves unto godliness. What are some of the ways this can be done?
Response: Encourage your students to contribute their ideas. Some suggestions might include: Bible study, prayer, church attendance, and doing good for others. Supplementary Scriptures to use include Matthew 25:35-40 and James 1:25-27.
- Today’s text gives instructions to five different ages and classes of individuals. Name the five. What conclusion can we draw from this?
Response: The classes of individuals are: aged men, aged women, young women, young men, and servants. Your students will likely conclude that godliness is imperative for all ages and in all areas of our lives. As godliness is practiced, they have the assurance of God’s blessing.
- According to 2 Peter 1:4, Christians are to have a certain nature. What is it? When we have that nature, what do we escape?
Response: Christians are to have a “divine nature.” When one has this nature, he will be free from sinful desires, and ultimately will escape eternal damnation. A possible follow-up to this question could be arranged by dividing your class into units of two. Give each couple a few moments to think about one attribute of God, and then have them explain to the whole group how we can develop or exemplify that attribute in our lives.
- What criterion should we use to discern whether something is worldly or godly?
Response: Allow time for student response. They should reach the conclusion that the determining factor is whether it is pleasing to God.
- “Profit” is an important word in business circles. Referring to our key verse, explain what you think is meant by the phrase “Godliness is profitable unto all things . . .” Be specific!
Response: Your students’ responses should bring out the thought that the man who fears, loves, and serves God, receives great dividends. He has God’s blessing all through life, both this present life and in the life to come. His faith, to which he has added the other attributes listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, saves him from the sins and excesses of this world. The peace and love of God in the heart produce serenity and calm. He acquires a full preparation here below for an eternal life of glory Above. Thus godliness has the promise of Heaven, and secures the blessings of both worlds.
Use a mirror to represent a person’s life. Take two objects: one to represent the world or worldliness, and one to represent God or godliness. The positioning or tilt of the mirror will determine which object is reflected, thus showing that the image that is reflected to others is determined by whether one is leaning toward the world or God.
Using a model airplane, define attitude in terms of aeronautics. (The positioning of the plane in relationship to prevailing air currents.) The winds of the “enemy,” or the world, are blowing against the Christian. They can blow us off course (the goal being Heaven) unless we keep our attitude (our determination to make the goal) adjusted. As pressure increases we must adjust our attitude to compensate. We do this by calling on God and applying more of Heaven’s resources.
Fill a quart jar with clear water. Add dirt or ink, a little at a time, naming some of the “pollutions of the world” (2 Peter 2:20).
Show your students a sheet of clear glass. Tell them the glass is symbolic of us as Christians. We stand between Christ and the world, and they see Him only through us. Use this to illustrate how important it is for us to keep ourselves unspotted, so that His image may remain free from distortion and be clearly visible.