Watch the drama that accompanies this message: Dorcas

Susan Hunt: A couple of months ago I was having lunch with a young woman who had just graduated from college. As we were talking, she was talking about transitioning from college life to adult when she said, “I’m making life decisions without the life experience to make them.”

And I said, “Well, Emily, Titus 2 is God’s strategy to provide what you need.”

Emily knew what I was talking about. Her mom has been a spiritual daughter for years. She’s in my Titus 2 discipleship group. So Emily is a spiritual granddaughter, and she’s now in our group.

She smiled and said, “You’re right. I love just to be with all of you. I like to listen to you talk to one another. I like to hear you talk about the various situations you’re in. I like to hear you pray for one another. I learn just from being with you.”

Now, let’s be honest: This is not the strategy you would expect to advance the kingdom of God in a culture that is hostile to Christianity.

Before we get started, let me set before you two big ideas.

Number one: This is God’s strategy. It’s viable not because of who we are or what we can do, but because of who He is, what He has done, is doing, and will do.

Second: This strategy is designed not only to advance the kingdom of God in the world but to advance the kingdom in the hearts of those who obey it.

So let’s look at the gospel imperative in Titus 2:3.

They [referring to the older women] are to teach what is good and so train the young women.

Now, if we pluck these thirteen words out and isolate them, they’re a good idea for any context, but this is more than a good idea. This is a gospel idea that is to take place in the context of sound doctrine. The uniqueness of these relationships is that they’re gospel-inspired and gospel-empowered. They exist in the shadow of the cross and in the power of the resurrection.

To understand the magnificence of this strategy, let’s zoom in on three words: teach, good, and train. Hang on to those three words, and then let’s zoom out and look at them in the context of creation, fall, redemption, and transformation.

Here we go:

God created man and woman equally in His image but assigned different, equally valuable functions in His kingdom, and He said that “it is very good.” They were created to live in relationship with God and to reflect His glory to one another. They knew good because they knew God, but they turned away from God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now they knew evil. Their relationship with God was broken. Their knowledge of Him was terribly tarnished and twisted. When the man and woman sinned, they expected and deserved death, but amazingly, they heard a promise of life.

In Genesis 3:15, they listened as God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman [what they heard was freedom—He would free them] and between your offspring and her offspring. [Offspring meant life. They expected death.] He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." This offspring would defeat the enemy. This is a promise of life. It’s the promise of Jesus.

Adam affirmed his faith in this promise in verse 20. “The man called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living.”

Eve means life-giver. Because of the gospel, the one who became a life-taker can be a life-giver. This is not just biological. When we have been crucified with Christ, as we read in Galatians, it is no longer we …