(“Impact Your World” Sermon Series–Part 4)
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good” (Tit. 2:3). Older women are to live godly lives in four ways. First, they are to be “reverent” (heiroprepes), which means “strictly befitting or suitable to what is sacred; hence, of persons who honor God in their conduct.” (Friberg) The word means “‘befitting a holy person, thing’, hence ‘holy, worthy of reverence’. It was used specifically in relation to temples and their personnel, religious processions and cultic ceremonies.” (Marshall) Paul wrote in 1 Tim. 2:10, “But with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” The adjective “reverent” may refer to godliness.
Older women are to be reverent “in behavior.” To revere God is to behave as God would have one behave. It is to be devoted to God in a way that honors God. The behavior of older women is to reflect their devotion to God. (Marshall)
Hence, there are internal and external elements to reverent behavior. We are to be reverent inwardly—in the heart. Yet we are to show this inner reverence outwardly—in behavior. External behavior is a measure of internal holiness.
Older women, you are to be reverent in your conduct. You are to honor God in your lifestyle.
Remember Aaron, Moses’ brother? He was the High Priest and the Worship Leader of Israel. He was responsible for leading Israel in the worship of God according to the standards of God in Exodus and Leviticus. One day, he allowed his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, to lead the worship in the tabernacle. But something went wrong.
Leviticus 10:1 reads, “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.” They did not follow God’s rules. They worshiped God according to how they liked to worship God. They did not honor God’s will. Hence, they did not honor God.
The result was that God judged them. “And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord” (Lev. 10:2).
We learn a good lesson there about worship. We are to honor God according to how God wants to be honored, not according to how we want to honor God. There are some Christians who claim to worship God while being involved in immorality, adultery, or same-sex relationships. They worship God according to how they want to worship God—on their own terms. That is false worship. God is dishonored with such attitude in worship. Instead, God is honored only by how God wants to be honored. God is worshiped only by how God wants us to worship Him, and not by how we want to worship Him.