ACCEPTABLE TEACHING [8/29/20]

Flawless doctrine must be taught by all leaders of the Church <Titus 2:1-10>, and Paul emphasizes that sound doctrine and a holy character should be the distinctive of all God’s people regardless of age or social standing, instructing Titus; “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.” <Titus 2:1 (NIV)>; and wherever this is the practice the Church will show evidence of godliness to the community of unbelievers. Unblemished doctrine, doctrine that is not diluted or “watered down” to please the false teachers is absolutely necessary, for it stipulates the right conduct of all believers; and this teaching is required for all ages, from the children to the older members of the Church; older men and women, younger men and women. The older members should demonstrate self-control and teach the younger members “what is good” <Titus 2:3>, and this characteristic should also be displayed by the younger men and women; and all, including Titus, should live by example <Titus 2:7>. Paul also instructs Titus that his teaching should show inflexible regard for truth, understanding the seriousness of the issues he is addressing, his speech should be sincere and understandable, so that his critics may be silenced; “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” <Titus 2:7b-8 (NIV)>

Paul also addresses Slaves. It may be difficult to appreciate what slavery means today, but we should remember that slavery was a basic element in Roman society and many Christian masters had slaves who were converted to Christianity, these slaves had no legal rights and their destiny was entirely in the hands of their masters. The same “sound doctrine” is also applicable to them for they are to show respect to their masters and be pleasing in all their work and not to steal. How then is this applicable today? We are all members of the workforce in some way or form, and we too as followers of Christ are expected to demonstrate our Christianity in all of our actions in our workplace; not only in words but also in our behaviours! “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” <Titus 2:9-10 (NIV)>. It should be observed that when “sound doctrine” is taught in the church the results will be, “no one will malign the word of God.” <Titus 2:5 (NIV)>; “those who oppose you may be ashamed” <Titus 2:8 (NIV)>; “they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” <Titus 2:10 (NIV)>. No one will be able to slander God’s Word; our opponents will be silenced and ashamed, and God’s teachings will be attractive to a world that is lost in sin. It is unfortunate that this has not been fully achieved in our society today! <cf 1 Pet.2:11, 15; Phil.1:27a>.

Paul now concludes by showing that after our salvation take place, there are two sides to the change that comes into a person’s life. First there must be rejection of all that is evil; “say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions” <Titus 2:12 (NIV)>; secondly, we are to live holy lives guided by the “sound doctrine” that we have been taught; “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” <Titus 2:12 (NIV)>. He stresses that our sincere objective should be to do what is good; “a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” <Titus 2:14 (NIV); cf Prov.16:7; 2 Cor.8:21; 1 Pet.2:12, 15>. He states that our salvation is based entirely upon the grace of God that is available to all mankind; “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” <Titus 2:11 (NIV); cf Rom.1:20; 5:8>; and that through God’s grace and His Word we are taught to live godly and self-controlled lives while we await Christ’s return to take us away from this present sinful world to live with Him for all eternity, for that was the reason He offered Himself as our atoning sacrifice; “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” <Titus 2:12-14 (NIV); cf Heb.9:24-28; 1 Jn.3:2-3>. Sound doctrine will encourage us to anticipate the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ <Rev.22:17, 20>.

Good sound doctrine based entirely on scripture is what needs to be taught from all our church pulpits!

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