What Agrees with Sound Doctrine

Titus 2:1 ESV

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

I am going to summarize verses 1 through 10.

Sound Doctrine

What is “sound doctrine”? It is biblically sound (unblemished, undiluted). It agrees with the foundations and the foundational truths of the Christian faith and practice as taught all throughout the New Testament (in context). It is not based in Scriptures pulled from their context and twisted to say what they do not say in order to tickle itching ears. But it teaches the whole counsel of God, even if it offends those who hear it.

For, “sound doctrine” teaches us to be serious-minded about God and his word and his purpose and will for our lives. It teaches us to walk in the fear of the Lord and to honor Jesus Christ as Lord, and to put to death in our lives evil deeds, and to walk in obedience to our Lord. And it teaches us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives, and to be steadfast in faith, and to teach what is good, i.e. what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

It teaches us that we are not to be slanderers nor drunkards nor to live in sexual immorality (in adultery or fornication or sinful lust). We are not to cheat and steal from others. We are not to have potty mouths and speak in ways which are lewd or which are using God’s name in inappropriate and disrespectful ways. But we are to be kind, a model of good works, people of integrity, dignified, and sound in speech that cannot be condemned.

For many people today are not teaching what is sound in doctrine, but they are teaching a diluted half-truth adulterated gospel which has been altered in order to appease human flesh. I just ran across an author today I had not heard of before. He is a grandson of Billy Graham. He has written numerous books. The one that stood out to me was called “One Way Love,” by Tullian Tchividjian. And he is definitely teaching this half-truth adulterated gospel.

The description of the book I read online said, “Sadly, however, Christianity is perceived as being a vehicle for good behavior and clean living – and the judgments that result from them – rather than the only recourse for those who have failed over and over and over again. Tchividjian convincingly shows that Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”

So, the solution the author provided was to call “the church back to the heart of the Christian faith – grace. It is time for us to abandon our play-it-safe religion, and to get drunk on grace.” But what kind of grace? If the grace he is talking about gives people a free pass to continue living in their sin without guilt, that is not God’s grace. And if this grace perceives Christianity as not about good people getting better, it is not true grace.

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.”

The Grace of God

The grace of God is not just God forgiving our sins (past, present, and future), and delivering us from the punishment of sin, and promising us heaven when we die based on a confession of faith in Jesus Christ. God’s grace delivers us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we can now live free from addiction to (over and over) sin. And it is empowerment to now walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit.

God’s grace trains (instructs, teaches, commands) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly (over and over) sinful passions and desires. And it instructs us in godly and holy living, and in how to live self-controlled lives, and not to “get drunk” on anything. God’s grace definitely instructs us in “good behavior and clean living,” for “clean” is righteous and pure and holy. And it definitely teaches “good people,” i.e. the righteous in how to continue to walk in holiness and righteousness until the end of time.

And the “good news” for “bad people coping with their failure to be good” is to humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways and then God will hear and he will heal and he will forgive. For Jesus gave himself up for us on that cross to redeem us from all lawlessness, i.e. that we might no longer live as slaves of sin, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, i.e. he is now our Master.

And now we are to be his people, his possession, who are zealous for good works, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). So, we are to be “good people” who are “getting better,” who are growing in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ in holiness and righteousness, who are by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh and who are walking in obedience to our Lord for the glory of God in the power and wisdom of God.

Titus 2:15 ESV

“Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

Now, we don’t all have authority over people like the apostles did or like pastors and elders do, but we can all speak with the authority of the Scriptures and we can teach what they teach. And if we are teaching what they teach, i.e. if we are teaching the whole counsel of God, we are going to be opposed, and mocked, and disregarded, and falsely accused and called all sorts of things, and we won’t have much control over that. But we are not to let it shake us or put fear in us to where we stop telling people the truth.

But we are to trust the Lord with our lives and with the things he gives us to share with the people and trust that his words will not return empty but that they will accomplish the purpose for why he sent them. And we need to keep speaking the truth and opposing the lies no matter what. And then we need to rest in the Lord and find our strength in him to keep persevering.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Master, The Tempest is Raging!

Lyrics by Mary A. Baker, 1874
Music by Horatio R. Palmer, 1874

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled—
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master—
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

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