November 3: Titus 2
November 4, 2010
"But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine."- Titus 2:1
Sound doctrine is that which is healthy, whole, balanced. It does not only inform the mind but enflames the heart. It leads to right living (orthopraxy), as well as right thinking (orthodoxy). It is displayed in the following instructions given by Paul to Titus in his leadership of the church in Crete.
Specific counsel for older men, older women, young women, young men, and even slaves shows the gospel in practical living. Notice how this (negatively) prevents the gospel from being slandered (verse 5) and (positively) adorns or beautifies the doctrine of God (verse 10). Faithful Christian living by the whole church provides a foundation upon which the truth can be proclaimed to the world.
The "grace of God"(verse 11) is anything but a license to sin, but rather a call to holiness. It brings salvation, trains us to turn from sin, and empowers us to live a life distinct from the world in its self-control, uprightness, and godliness. It also brings us a forward perspective in which we anticipate the return of Christ and the final victory of God over sin.
Don't miss the heart of sound doctrine- Jesus Christ. Here he is described as fully divine - "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (verse 13). His work as well as his person is set forth - to redeem us from sin and to purify us for himself. Again the emphasis is on practical holiness as the result of God's redemptive purpose.
"Zealous for good works" is a common refrain in this letter. Good works do not save us, as 3:5 makes clear - "he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy". But they are the necessary fruit of our obedience as seen in 1:16 ("unfit for any good work"), 3:1 ("Remind them to be...ready for every good work"), 3:8 ("so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works"), and 3:14 ("let our people learn to devote themselves to good works").
How "sound" is your doctrine?