Sound doctrine shows up again! I discussed the importance of reproving in the devotion yesterday. I think the reproving was correcting those who were intentionally deceiving and upsetting others in the church in chapter 1. However, the theme of reproving continues and it seems to be for preventing false doctrine from ungodly practices. And we should be aware that ungodly works will lead to the dishonor of God’s word and God Himself.
When we come to Christ, he forgives us completely and counts us righteous (in a right legal standing before God though we are ungodly) by faith alone. Our relationship is completely dependent on the person and perfect work of Jesus. But this faith results in fruit. We are saved by faith alone but faith is never alone. Faith in Jesus produces good works which are one of the purposes of salvation. When we are justified and forgiven, the process of sanctification begins.
We understand this process as discipleship. In discipleship, we learn and unlearn a lot things. Teaching is a huge part of discipleship. We all start in the same place when we are born again. Whether you are old or young or male or female we must all learn to walk with Jesus and learning to walk with Jesus involves unlearning the way we previously walked.
Chapter 2 continues the theme of teaching sound doctrine but it is set off by “bookends.” Verse 1 and 15 are very similar. It’s a great description of how discipleship is supposed to look. But I might stop and ask what should be used for teaching sound doctrine and discipleship? If you thought the Scriptures then you are right.
Let’s be reminded of this:
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 *that* the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.(2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Titus 2 are instructions to Titus to “speak things which are fitting for sound doctrine” to older men and older women. Sound doctrine teaches them to be “temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, [sound] in love, [sound] in perseverance” in older men and also “reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good” in older women SO THAT “they may encourage the young women.”
And something I haven’t noticed before in the next section on younger men (and by the way, younger can mean new…like new disciple). The emphasis is on the teacher or discipler rather than the new believer. The one who is young in the faith is to work on being sensible. The way that happens is by listening and watching those who are older in the faith by example. Did you see that?
Notice: (Tit. 2:6-8) 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible (self controlled or sober-minded); 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, *so that* the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
I think the “yourself” is Titus not the young men. The easiest way to prove this from the Greek because it’s hard to know sometimes in English. The Greek pronoun is singular and cannot refer to the plural “young men.” I thought that before looking at the Greek just from the context. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit giving me eyes to see that this morning.
Why? Why does Paul instruct Titus to speak things which are fitting for sound doctrine? So what? In the words of how my young kids might say it…’cause why? 🙂 Here it is…
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.(Tit. 2:11-14)
Let’s make disciples who make disciples. Let’s make disciples by teaching sound doctrine that they might be sound in faith. Because the grace of God has appeared to us! God saved us from sin…why would we want to remain in it? God saved us that we might walk with Him not in the ways of the world. God saved us to bring Him glory by becoming like Him. The grace that saves is also the grace that transforms us. May we not remain as we are but mature in the faith for the glory of Christ!