What is the age range of the “older men” in the church in Crete? According to Philo, older men are in the 50-56 yrs. old bracket. Timothy was in his 30s but Paul called him “young.” Following Aulus Gellius, soldiers were young up to age 46. (Marshall)
Older men are to be godly in four ways. First, you are to be “sober-minded” (nephalios), which means literally, “‘temperate’ (in use of wine).” (Marshall) Figuratively, it means “sober, clearheaded, self-controlled.” (Gingrich) Older men, you are to be sober, clearheaded, and self-controlled.
Second, you are to be “dignified” (semnos), which means “worthy of respect, dignified” (Gingrich) or “of good character.” (Friberg)
Third, you are to be “self-controlled” (sophron), which means “prudent, thoughtful, self-controlled.” (Gingrich)
Last week I went to Western Union to receive money for office rent. The lady said, “Sir, your driver’s license is expired.” I replied, “The LTO has issued this Official Receipt that serves as a temporary license. It will expire 2021.” “Sorry, sir, we won’t accept it,” the lady said.
I could have raised my voice and argued with her. I could have called her manager. I could have said that their policy is stupid. (I did say that they needed to change their policy.) But I need to have self-control with my emotions and my temper. So I just asked her what other ID they would accept, what time will Western Union at Fuente open tomorrow, etc.
Paul wrote in Tit. 2:12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled [sophron], upright, and godly lives in the present age.” He says that self-control is an effect of grace. He connects self-control in the present age as we wait for the future age of Christ.
Self-control is the mark of Christ in one’s life. It is the fruit of the Spirit. If you know Christ as Savior, you will practice self-control for Christ’s sake. Be self-controlled.