TITUS 2:1: “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What ever happened to Sound Doctrine? I suspect that most Christians don’t even know what the term means. To most modern-day believers doctrine is something that is from a former era. It is dismissed by the average believer and ignored by a great number of pastors.
Usually, when someone thinks of doctrine they think of a boring presentation of the tenants of the faith. It is something that is reserved for seminaries. It is not practical, does not speak to us in our current culture, and is simply downright boring. Rarely will you read a church sign that says –
“Join us for our new series on the nature of God!”
The word in Greek that is translated – doctrine, literally means teaching, instruction. Yet, it was an instruction that had a purpose. It was not simply a 4-week series on the love of God. It was sound teaching that led to a change in character and lifestyle. It did not simply make one feel good. It was teaching that changed the way people lived. It transformed their character into the image of Christ.
True doctrine is the sound teaching of God’s Word that changes the very nature of man!
True doctrine does not simply focus on the miracles of God and His blessings. True doctrine reveals our sin, calls us to the cross, and gives us instruction on how we are to live our lives in this crooked and perverse world. True doctrine takes the whole counsel of God’s Word and carefully teaches it, line by line, precept by precept. The Apostle Paul, in his farewell address to the Ephesians, states –
- “…How I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ…And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:20-21, 25-27 NKJV
Note Paul’s emphasis. He taught repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. He preached the Kingdom of God. He proclaimed himself a watchman that was innocent of the blood of all men because he declared to all the whole counsel of God. Paul taught sound doctrine. In his letters to Timothy, and now to Titus, he exhorts these young pastors – “Teach sound doctrine!” Our teaching must include the call to repentance, faith in Christ, submission to the Kingdom of God, and must not neglect any part of God’s Word!
We must teach the whole counsel of God’s Word!
In Paul’s letter to Titus, after the first verse of chapter 2, he outlines very practical ways sound doctrine should impact the life of the church. He speaks to older men, older women, young women, young men, and bondservants. His focus is on godly character. It is a transformed life in Christ that is evident in our daily actions and interactions. And, in closing, Paul exhorts Titus to the grace of God!
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” Titus 2:11-15 NKJV
It is God’s grace that both calls us and empowers us to teach sound doctrine. Note the results of God’s grace through sound doctrine:
• We are called to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
• We are called to live soberly and righteously in this present age.
• We are called to live in a position of readiness and faithfulness as we await the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• We are to grow in purity as we grow in Christ.
• We are to be engaged in good works that give glory to God.
• We are to teach these things with – exhortation, rebuke, and authority in the name of Jesus.
• We are not to shrink back in the face of opposition or criticism.
This is the call of sound doctrine. This is the call of the church. We must wake up and heed this call. There is no time for messages that tickle the ears. God’s people need to be taught the whole counsel of God’s Word. And, the only way we can once again do that is to teach all of God’s Word, not simply a verse or two as texts to frame our message.
Our messages must be framed by God’s Word, not the other way around!
Teaching sound doctrine will not be popular. We may lose people in our church who simply want to hear messages that make them feel good. To challenge one to godly living is no longer popular. However, it is our call. It is our mission. We must not shrink back from it.
Sound Doctrine is the only hope for the life and health of the church!
Lord, I pray for every pastor who has the privilege of opening Your Word to their congregations each Sunday. Help them to speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine. Help them allow Your Word to challenge their souls so that they can challenge the souls of Your people. Bring a revival of Your Word in my life, the life of every pastor and leader, and the life of Your Church.
In Jesus’ Name!