Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemonby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 2:1-8 the word healthy is used three times. In verse 1 Paul says, “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting to healthy teaching.” In verse 2 Paul speaks of being healthy in faith, love, and endurance. In verse 8 Paul refers to “healthy speech that cannot be condemned.” Titus was to speak the things which are fitting to healthy teaching and show himself a pattern of healthy words, and the elderly men were to be healthy in faith, love, and endurance. It is significant that in these verses, a portion of Titus in which the saints are charged to live an orderly life in the church, Paul uses the word healthy three times. If we study the verses where this word is used, and especially if we pray-read them, we shall be richly nourished. I would encourage you to pray over Paul’s word concerning healthy teaching, being healthy in faith, love, and endurance, and healthy speech. If you do this, you will enjoy an excellent spiritual meal.
Titus 2:1 says, “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting to healthy teaching.” This verse opens with the word “but” to show that it is in contrast to 1:16. In contrast to those who profess to know God, but by their works deny Him, Titus was to speak the things which are fitting to healthy teaching.
The healthy teaching is always according to the truth (1:14) of the faith (1:13). It is the content of the apostles’ teaching, the content of God’s New Testament economy. It not only ministers the life supply to the believers and heals the spiritual diseases, but in so doing also brings the church into a sound condition with a good order. Hence, it is very much stressed in these three books, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, books dealing with the disorder and decline of the church. In 2:1 Paul charged Titus not to deviate from the healthy teaching, from the apostles’ teaching. He should not be like the gainsayers, the vain talkers, those who teach differently and make the church subject to the influence of Judaism and Gnosticism.
We also should be reminded to speak the things which are fitting to healthy teaching. The word healthy points to that which is hygienic and which can both inoculate others against spiritual poison and also supply them with life. Our teachings should not merely pass on knowledge to others, but should supply them with life. Often when I have been tempted to speak about a certain subject, I was stopped. I had the sense that there was not much of the hygienic element in what I planned to say. We need to remind ourselves and be reminded by the Spirit to give forth healthy teaching.
Healthy teachings do not provoke debates or arguments. If we give adequate attention to feeding on the Lord, we shall not care to argue. A dining table is not a place for debate or argument; it is a place for feasting and nourishment. In the church life we should not exchange the dining table for a desk. We all need to learn how to put healthy “dishes” on the dining table to feed the saints.
In the foregoing message we pointed out that in fighting the battle for the truth, we need to maintain excellent relationships with others. Our behavior needs to be according to the highest standard and also very human. In every area of our daily life and family life we must be proper.
In the three Epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus Paul emphasizes the importance of a proper humanity. In 2:2 Paul speaks to the aged men and says, “Aged men are to be temperate, grave, of a sober mind, healthy in faith, in love, in endurance.”
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