What Accords with Sound Doctrine

Titus 2:1 ESV

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”

What is “sound doctrine”? Sound means whole, healthy, pure, and uncorrupted. And doctrine is Christian teaching (instruction) that is to be applied to our lives as is necessary for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ in holiness and righteousness and in purity of devotion to our Lord Jesus. I.e., it is the doctrine of the Christian faith and of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

For it to be pure and uncorrupted, it needs to be taught in context. For example, we can’t teach Romans 6:23 without the context of Romans 6, as a whole, and without the context of the book of Romans, as a whole. For, many are teaching Romans 6:23 only as though it is teaching that Jesus forgives our sins, so we don’t have to pay the punishment for our sin.

But, in context, this is talking about Jesus setting us free from the control of sin over our lives and from our slavery to sin so we would no longer live under sin’s control and no longer in slavery to sin but as slaves of God and of his righteousness. For we are slaves of the one we obey, and if it be sin, it ends in death, but if it be obedience, it ends in eternal life with God.

For, the wages of living in sin under sin’s control in slavery to sin is death. But the gift of God, which is deliverance from slavery to sin, and which is empowerment to live godly and holy lives, results in eternal life with God when we apply it to our lives and we walk in righteousness and holiness and we no longer walk in sin, according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

For, the ‘gift’ is not just forgiveness of sins so we can escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die. The ‘gift’ is freedom from slavery to sin and empowerment to live for God and for his righteousness. The gift is Jesus dying for us so we can die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength (Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24).

Speaking truth in Love

Also, teaching what accords with sound doctrine involves speaking the truth in love. It involves confronting sin in sinful humans, calling for repentance and for obedience to our Lord, and calling for us to humbly surrender our lives to Jesus Christ in submission to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. But not everyone is going to like that.

And when it says here in v. 3 (not quoted) that older women are to teach what is good, “good” is to be defined by God and by his word, not by the world and not by worldly Christians who are diluting the gospel message to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh and to the world. For, “good” means teaching what is honorable (righteous, moral, upright).

And when it says in v. 4 that older women are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands, please understand here that love comes from God, and so when we love our husbands and our children we love them in a way which honors God, which is holy and righteous, and which is pure, and which considers what is best for them.

And when it says in v. 5 that we are to be kind to our husbands, kind is intrinsically good and good is what is righteous, moral, and upright. So, telling lies is not kind, even if it is meant to make someone feel good. For, “kind” and “good” come from God and they are empowered by God in our lives through faith in Jesus Christ.

So, I am an older woman (age 71), and if you are reading this, and you are a younger woman or even a woman of any age, please know that to love our husbands and to be kind to them and to do good to them is to be honest with them, not to lie to them. And if they profess faith in Jesus, but they are living in sin, it is okay to confront them with their sin. That is kind.

For, if we truly love our husbands, and we know that they are not living right, and we know that they are doing wrong, and that they are wronging us by their actions against us, it is loving and it is kind to talk with them about it, and even sometimes to speak strongly when they resist, because they are professing to believe in the same Jesus as we are.

For, they have been given a God-given responsibility to love us as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And I am not talking about demanding absolute perfection here. I am talking about not living in sin against God and against us, their wives. If we really care about our husbands, we are going to speak the truth to them in love about sin.

And regarding submission to our husbands, this does not involve submitting to sin. This is to be under God’s arrangement, according to his holiness and righteousness, and according to his purposes for the Christian wife and husband. We don’t do what is wrong in order to please our husbands. We don’t compromise morals or truth, but we will submit as to the Lord.

Also, submission doesn’t mean that one person lords it over the other in an abusive way. The Scriptures also talk about us submitting to one another as followers of Jesus. We yield to another where yielding does not involve doing what is wrong or compromising truth and righteousness. But the man is to lead, and the woman is to follow, but she can still share her thoughts.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV

“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.”

Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. And God’s grace to us is not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. His grace to us trains (instructs, commands) us to renounce (to say “NO” to) ungodliness and worldly and fleshly passions. We have to say “NO!” to sin and “YES!” to God daily.

And his grace trains us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. So, if we show this same grace to others, we are going to tell them that God’s grace to them is not free license to continue living in sin without guilt and remorse. This is showing them love, and it is kind, because we could be snatching someone from the fires of hell and saving them (Jude 1:23).

For Jesus Christ gave himself for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) and to save us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession (He is Lord, we belong to him) who are zealous for good works – the works of God he planned for us to do, to walk in them (Eph 2:10).

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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