Titus Two Triangle
About the Guest
For a man to lead his family spiritually, he needs to continue to point them to the gospel. Pastor Voddie Baucham says that we first need to understand that the gospel is important because of sin; because without the proclamation of sinful man, there is no proclamation of a gracious God.
For a man to lead his family spiritually, he needs to continue to point them to the gospel. Pastor Voddie Baucham explains why this focus is important.
Titus Two Triangle
Bob: For a man to lead his family spiritually, he needs to continue to point them to the gospel. Voddie Baucham says that man needs to understand fully what the gospel is all about as he leads.
Voddie: The gospel is not just “Jesus needs more friends, and He wants you to be one of them.” Our gospel is bloody. The reason the bloody gospel is important is because of sin. Without the proclamation of sinful man, there is no proclamation of a gracious God and a grace-centered gospel. All of these things are important. If a man is going to lead his family, he’s got to understand the gospel in this context.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, May 19th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Voddie Baucham has a lot to say to us today about how a man ought to lead his family spiritually. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Thursday edition. Have you ever been to a four-hour seminar that got jammed into about an hour? [Laughter]
Dennis: You know, I wondered how you were going to start this broadcast because I thought you were going to ask me, “Have you ever been on a jet sled, where you go from 0 to 400 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds,—[Laughter]
Bob: Right off the bat!
Dennis: —and leaves your face back at the starting line?” [Laughter]
You’re going to hear today from Voddie Baucham.
Bob: You know, we don’t get a chance to hear from Voddie as often as we used to because Voddie and his family recently—
—they left Houston, Texas, where the family had lived for years, and they have moved to Africa. Voddie gives leadership to a seminary, training pastors in biblical theology on the continent of Africa. It’s really cool what he’s doing; but it means that we don’t get to talk to him as often as we used to talk to him, except when we get updates on what’s going on with his work in Africa.
We did get a chance to hear from him not long ago. We were with a group of guys, and he was talking about our responsibilities, as husbands and as dads, to give spiritual leadership in our homes.
Dennis: I’m going to tell you—you’re right—it was four hours of content in about 60 minutes. It was wonderful.
Bob: Yes; exactly. It was just what these guys said they needed—the right instruction to re-calibrate what they’re doing, as husbands and as dads. Here’s Part One of a message from Voddie Baucham on spiritual leadership.
Voddie: Well good morning.
Audience: Good morning!
Voddie: Oh, that sounded good! [Laughter] Yes, I like that. Alright; my assignment this morning was rather broad. It was to speak about the issue of biblical manhood. But what I want to do today is talk about this issue of discipleship—this issue of preparing men for their most important and most significant role. That role is the role of shepherding their families—the role of being a man, in a context.
One of the reasons that question was so difficult to answer was because there was no context. You have to have context.
The Bible paints pictures of us / of manhood within context. Again, that’s something that is difficult for us because we always hear, “You need to be a leader.” We go: “Yes!
Audience: Yes! [Laughter]
Voddie: “Let’s do that! Where are we going?” You know?
So, listen to this, first of all—this is from Richard Baxter: “We must have a special eye upon families to see that they are well-ordered and that the duties of each relation performed. The life of religion and the welfare and glory of both the church and the state depend much on family government and duty. I beseech you, therefore, if you desire the reformation and welfare of your people, do all you can to promote family religion.”
This is Richard Baxter talking to a group of pastors. He’s saying, “If you want to see revival, if you want to see your churches transformed, if you want to see your communities transformed, I beseech you, do everything you can to promote family religion.” In other words, to promote the idea of households functioning the way they’re supposed to function; and specifically, of fathers leading households to function the way they’re supposed to function.
We know we have a call to prepare men. The question is: “To prepare men for what?” Here’s a little illustration I like to use. You don’t train to wear this uniform. By the way, I don’t care what branch of the service you served in. Everybody knows—that’s the baddest uniform in the whole military—right there! [Laughter] I mean, it just really is!
But you don’t train to wear that uniform—you do not train to wear that uniform.
See, here’s my problem with much of what we’ve been talking about in men’s ministry over the last two decades. We’re basically training men to wear this uniform. We’re basically training men to go to stadium events, training men to get together and enjoy being together, or training men to maybe get together in an accountability group or whatever. Ultimately, we look at these warriors and we’ve said to these warriors: “You don’t look good in your dress uniform. Dress up. Look good in your dress uniform.” But we leave men, sort of standing there, looking better, but having no hill on which to die. We don’t train to wear this uniform. We train to go fight!
But the problem is—nobody has told men—in the last couple of decades, really—where they’re supposed to go fight. Yes: “Don’t commit adultery,” “If you’re not married, don’t fornicate,”—you know—“Don’t do….”
We’ve got all that stuff—you know: “Have your quiet time,” so on and so forth—but where is the hill on which to die? Where is your battle station? I want to tell you that, whoever you are, you have a battle station in your home—whoever you are, as a man. I believe that is the hill on which to die.
Why is this need so urgent? First, because of obvious cultural degeneration—our culture has degenerated. We don’t understand what manhood is. Really, we measure manhood by the three “B’s”: the ball field, the billfold, and the bedroom. That’s how we measure manhood—the ball field, the billfold, and the bedroom.
When men get together—again, men, apart from Christ, or men, who are in Christ—when they get together, very quickly, we want to know: “What do you do? What kind of money do you make?”—that’s the billfold.
“What did you play?” Men are always asking each other: “What did you play? Did you play ball? What position did you play? How far did you get?” because that’s how we measure manhood. And then, of course, the bedroom—you know? “What kind of woman do you have? What kind of women have you had?” That’s how we measure manhood in our culture. Men, if we don’t fill that void with anything else, that’s how our sons are going to measure manhood because it’s the only measures that they’ve got—the billfold, the ball field, the bedroom.
Ecclesiological confusion—this is confusion within the context and confines of church. We have sort of feminized our understanding of the church. We have feminized our understanding of the ministry.
We’ve feminized our understanding of our mission. In this confusion, it’s really hard for men to find their place in the context and confines of church. Even being part of the church / serving in the church has a very feminine connotation because there aren’t many places—unless you’re serving in pastoral ministry—and that’s not even as masculine as it was before. Now, the way we define pastors—I mean, pastors aren’t bold lions, proclaiming the gospel, and standing up against error, and calling things. That’s not what they are; you know? Now, pastors are these sort of self-help gurus. We’ve got guys, standing up in the pulpit, with skinny jeans and their mama’s haircut.
[Laughter] I mean—you know—that ain’t right, man! I’m just saying; you know? [Applause]
The need for assimilation—this is urgent because of the need for assimilation. We have men, who come into the fold—we have men, who are born again. These men, who are born again, come to faith in Christ. The question is: “Great! What now? What do I do?” There are many men in this room—a lot of the stuff that we’re going to talk about that is the responsibility of a Christian man—that 150 years ago would have been completely understood—now, most of you have never seen it. You certainly didn’t grow up with it. So, there’s the need for assimilation.
Listen to this from James Alexander in his book, Thoughts on Family Worship: “There is no member of a household whose individual piety is of such importance to all the rest as the father or head, and there is no one whose soul is so directly influenced by the exercise of domestic worship. Where the head of a family is lukewarm or worldly, he will send the chill through the whole house.
“If any happy exception occurs, and one and another surpass him in faithfulness, it will be in spite of his evil example.” There’s no one more significant—no one more significant.
Another—Oliver Hayward: “I know not how a minister can employ his time, studies, and pen better, next to the conviction and conversion of particular souls, than in pressing upon householders”—or fathers—“a care of the souls under their charge. This hath direct tendency to public reformation.”
So, the local church—let’s talk about that because this is the place that God designed for this kind of discipleship to happen. The local church is “Plan A”—period. It’s just “Plan.” It’s not even “Plan A”, it’s just “The Plan.”
Amen? The local church is the plan. It’s a training ground for family shepherds. There’s this Titus Triangle, if you will. The three points of the triangle are—number one, godly, older men in the church. Not just older—you can be older and not godly; amen?
Audience: Amen; yes!
Voddie: There are some men, who don’t live like they used to live because God has changed them. There are other men, who don’t live like they used to live because they just got too old. If you can’t say, “Amen,” you ought to say, “Ouch!”—right? [Laughter] There’s a difference between those two; okay?
Secondly: Godly, manly elders—godly, manly elders. I believe the leadership of a church is clearly designed for men—clearly designed for men. If that offends you, I’m not sorry.[Laughter]
God designed the office—of elder, bishop, pastor, overseer—for men—exclusively for men / expressly and clearly for men; okay? He leaves no doubt whatsoever in both Titus and in Timothy.
Then, thirdly: Biblically-functioning homes. Here’s what happens—and, again, we are talking about men; but this is also true for women as well—a baby boy comes into the world and is born into this Christian family. In this Christian family—it functions in a biblical manner. He sees, and he hears, and is instructed in the things of God, within the context of that home.
Now, one of the things he does, in the context of that biblically-functioning home, is that he attends a biblically-functioning church, with his family, where he sees these godly, mature, gray-headed men, who’ve been walking with God for a long time—who are reiterating the same thing that he is hearing in his home, and who are serving as mentors for his father, who is teaching him these things in his home.
Then, week by week, he sits under the teaching and preaching of a godly, manly elder, who is thundering the Word of God and echoing the very same things he is hearing from those other two sides of the triangle. This is the Titus Triangle. This is how long-term, overarching, full-orbed, holistic discipleship is designed to take place.
Four key areas—let me give these four key areas: family discipleship and evangelism, marriage enrichment, child training, and lifestyle evaluation. Now, there could be more, and we could talk about more; but I’ll just give you the low-down.
Let’s look at the first one—family evangelism and discipleship. George Whitfield: “Every governor of a family ought to look upon himself as obliged to act in three capacities: as a prophet to instruct, as a priest to pray for and with, and as king to govern, direct, and provide for them.”
What does a man need to know in order to function in this particular area? He needs to understand the gospel, he needs to understand evangelism, and he needs to understand discipleship. Every man needs these three things if he’s going to function in this area of family evangelism and discipleship. If he’s going to be an agent of evangelism and discipleship in his home, he’s got to understand the gospel, he’s got to understand evangelism, and he’s got to understand discipleship.
When we talk about the gospel, he has to understand what the gospel is not. That’s just as important—understanding what the gospel is not is just as important as understanding what the gospel is.
The gospel, for example, is not the Law. Amen! The gospel is not the Law. The gospel is not all the moral teachings of Jesus; right? You know, how many of you have heard this new mantra: “Love God; love people”? It’s usually, “Love God; love people,” and then, another tag line: “Love God, love people, and change the world,” “Love God, love people, reach the city,” “Love God, love people, da-da-da-da-da.”
Here’s the great irony—is that idea of “Love God; love people,”—you know, “That’s who we are about, and that’s what we’re about,”—oftentimes it accompanies the ideathat: “We’re not about rules. We’re not about Law—we are not about the Law. We’re just about loving God and loving people.” Here’s the great irony—“Love God; love people,” is basically a summary of Jesus, in Matthew 22, being asked about the Great Commandment; right? “What’s the greatest commandment?”
Literally, here’s the question because there was an argument about which commandment was the greatest commandment. There was one school of thought that said the first commandment was the greatest commandment and all the others come under that umbrella. Some would have argued that the fifth commandment was the greatest commandment because it was a bridge between the two tables of the Law. Others would have argued that the tenth commandment was the greatest commandment because, ultimately, coveting is the root of all the rest of your sins.
So, he asked Jesus, “Which one?” They were trying to put him in one of these camps: “Jesus, what’s the greatest commandment?” You know His answer—He says, basically, the “Love God” part of “Love God; love people,”—He said, “Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” He said, “That’s the first and greatest commandment.” By the way, that’s a summary of the first table of the Law—commandments one through four. Then, He says, “The second is like it—love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s the summary of the second table of the Law. So: “Jesus, what’s the greatest commandment?” “I’m going to have to say, one through four, followed closely by five through ten.”[Laughter]
Here’s the great irony—“Love God; love people,”—that is not the gospel—it’s actually a summary of the Law.
It’s the opposite of the gospel. I’m not saying we can’t use that—just know what it is. It’s the summary of the Law—it’s not the gospel. It’s not the gospel; okay?
What is the gospel? The gospel is the good news. It is the good news of what God has done through the person and work of Jesus Christ to redeem lost and sinful men through His death, burial, and resurrection as a substitutionary, vicarious death that satisfies the righteous wrath of a holy God on behalf of sinners who can be saved and forgiven no other way. That’s what the gospel is; okay? It’s really simple. That’s what the gospel is—it’s something we proclaim!
What the gospel requires—what does the gospel require? The gospel requires repentance and faith. That’s it! The gospel requires repentance and faith—period! The gospel requires repentance and faith. “Well, you can’t just live any way you want to live. There’s got to be some obedience in there!” Yes; that’s what the gospel produces. If you confuse what the gospel produces and what the gospel requires, you end up in works righteousness because, now, you’re trying to accomplish, in and of yourself, that which only God accomplishes through the gospel. Again, you’re off the reservation if you don’t get this. If a man is going to lead in family evangelism and discipleship, he has got to understand these things.
Bob: Well, we have been listening today to the first part of a message from Voddie Baucham—a message where he was challenging men on the subject of spiritual leadership.
I don’t know how many of the guys, who came in that day, had been thinking about the relationship between the gospel and their marriage or the gospel and their family; but they got it before they left.
Dennis: They did; and I don’t want the men to miss the statement: “You should be prepared for battle.” That’s what Voddie was talking to you about. The battle begins for your marriage and your family. If you’re a single guy, it begins by battling for the moral purity and innocence of a young lady you may be dating. If you’re newly-married, it means you’ve got to set a course, spiritually, for you and your wife. If you have children, it means the all-important spiritual leadership that disciples your kids to, first of all, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior, Master, and Lord; but then, secondly, to raise them to be Christ-followers their entire lives. Men need to man the battle station of the home.
Bob: I noticed a lot of guys, who were scribbling notes as fast as they could as Voddie was speaking. I wanted to go up and tell them, “You know, he has written a book on this subject—a book called Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes.” It’s a book we have in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. All you have to do—if you want what Voddie is talking about here and you want to understand it, get a copy of the book, Family Shepherds.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com—and you can order from us online—or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and order by phone. Again, the title of the book is Family Shepherds. It outlines for you what the Bible has to say about how we shepherd our families, as men. Again, you can order Family Shepherds from us, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or you can call 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY,”—and order a copy of the book by phone.
Now, before we wrap things up here today, we have been spending time all this year acknowledging special anniversaries—FamilyLife Today listeners who are celebrating anniversaries on their particular anniversary date—all because, here at FamilyLife, we are the Proud Sponsor of Anniversaries™. FamilyLife has been around for 40 years. We’ve been helping couples celebrate more and more anniversaries because of how God has used this ministry in their lives.
Today, I want to say a special “Congratulations!” to Mary Ann Lepine, who is celebrating 37 years of being married today to me. So, “Happy anniversary, honey!” and “Happy anniversary!” to anybody else who might share our anniversary date. It’s been a great 37 years with the love of my life!
If you would like some anniversary ideas for when your anniversary rolls around, we have some thoughts for you that we’ll email to you or we will text to you in advance of your anniversary. If you’ll just go to FamilyLifeToday.com and give us your anniversary date, and your email address or your phone number, we’ll send out those ideas about a month before your anniversary rolls around so you can have a special anniversary celebration on your special day.
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Now, tomorrow, we’re going to talk about why it’s important for you to teach your children to behave. And let me just let you in on a secret—it’s not just so that you have well-behaved children. Voddie Baucham’s going to talk about that tomorrow. Hope you can be there for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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