“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 ESV
What is sound doctrine? With so many different translations and interpretations of scripture out there in the world, how do we know which one is correct? How do we judge who is right and who is wrong?
Well, first of all we need to begin by being in genuine relationship with Almighty God, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ in death to sin and in living to God and to his righteousness.
We have to have crucified the sinful nature with its lusts and desires, and we have to have been born again of the Spirit of God and have put on Christ and his righteousness, no longer living for our sinful flesh, in practice, but now living for our Lord according to the Spirit of God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Then, and only then are we indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God who then leads us into all truth. He teaches us all about Jesus Christ and he gives us spiritual discernment and wisdom to understand the truths of God’s Word. But, then we have to listen to what the Word teaches us, and we have to do what it says, if we are going to truly know the truth that will set us free.
Then, as we are in God’s Word each day, listening to him speak his words to our hearts, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth to our hearts, and then we do what the Word teaches us, we will begin to learn the truth. But, this can’t be something we do five minutes a day so we can check it off our schedules. We have to study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen (and women) who correctly handle the Word of Truth.
And, something very important that I learned over the years is that we have to study scriptures in their contexts. Too many doctrines are formed out of a select number of scriptures taken out of context to make them say what people want them to say.
So, if you want to know what is sound doctrine, and if you want to share what is in accord with sound doctrine with others, then study the scriptures in their context, and also compare scripture with scripture regarding the same subject matters.
Also included in this is that we have to be willing to change our beliefs if we are presented with scriptures which refute what we may have been taught early on. But, there again we must compare scripture with scripture and study scriptures in context to make certain we are not being led away from the truth to something that is false.
“Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.” Titus 2:2-6 ESV
I am going to just clump these all together here because most of these qualities or character traits, behaviors, and conduct are what we should all be doing, not just these specific people groups.
All of us should be serious-minded about our walks of faith and how we conduct our lives in purity of devotion to our Lord. All of us should live lives which are self-controlled under the control of God’s Holy Spirit, and not live lives which are out-of-control, wild, untamed, fleshly and worldly. And, every one of us should be sound in faith and not wavering in beliefs or easily persuaded by every wind of teaching brought to us by deceitful schemers.
We should all be reverent in our behaviors; reverent to God, especially. And, we should not be those who make it our practice to gossip about and slander others. But, we should be those who love one another as God loves us.
Thus, we will not do to others what we know is going to harm them. We won’t lie to them or about them, we won’t steal from them, we won’t commit adultery against them, nor mistreat or misuse them for our sinful pleasures. We will do for them and to them what is for their good, for their welfare. For, love is not what we feel, but it is what we do. So, we need to do good.
And, although us older women do have a responsibility before God to do the things mentioned here, which we should take seriously, I believe all of us should set the example for others in how to behave, and in having the right heart attitudes, and in how we should treat one another. We should all lead by example, but we should also teach what is right, too.
“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, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14 ESV
Many people today have distorted the grace of God to make it into a free license to continue in sinful addiction without guilt and without remorse.
One well-known and renown pastor I heard talk one day reduced the grace of God to “fire insurance.” He described it as something we get so that we can keep on sinning without fear of punishment. And, his invitation was merely to accept God’s grace – this fire insurance – and that would then secure them eternal life with God and heaven as their destination after death.
Sin is barely mentioned anymore. Repentance and obedience to Christ are either just not taught or they are actually taught against, almost as though it is a crime to turn away from your sins and to walk in obedience to Christ.
And, so many, many people are being fed a lie which tells them that all they have to do is just to say some words after someone, or just acknowledge Christ, or just accept his grace, and they have heaven guaranteed no matter how they live from that moment forward.
But, that is not biblical grace. That is a lie straight from hell. For, its very purpose is to keep people still bound in their sin, headed for hell, while giving them a false hope of eternal life with God in heaven. It is cruel!
But God’s grace instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and desires and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return.
For, Jesus gave himself up for us to buy us back for God so that we would be free from our slavery to sin and so that we would now be God’s possession, his people, who are zealous to do the good works that God prepared in advance that we should do in his power and strength.
An Original Work / August 19, 2013
Based off 2 Peter 1:3-11
Jesus has given ev’rything
Needed for life and godliness.
His great and precious promises
Free us from our sin and distress.
Add to your faith His goodness;
Knowledge; patience; godliness;
Brotherly love and mutu’l affection;
Kindness and unselfishness.
If you possess these qualities,
Growing in your maturity,
They will keep you from vanity.
You will bear fruit effectually.
Nonetheless, if you lack them;
Forget you’ve been cleansed from sin,
Nearsighted are you; you can’t see Jesus.
You have closed your heart to Him.
Therefore, beloved, confirm, then,
Your calling and your election.
Do this by showing diligence:
Obey your Lord; be repentant.
Practice all these qualities
God provided on a tree.
He died for our sins so we’d be given
Life with Him eternally.