Year 3 Day 100
Read - Titus 2
Message - Scott Woodburn
The false teachers on the island of Crete may have been active in their deception but regardless, Titus was to continue teaching what accords with sound doctrine (v1). What does doctrine mean? Doctrine is a system of belief. It is often seen as a dirty word - some say "our church doesn't do doctrine, just grace!" but that in itself is a doctrinal statement. Doctrine is a good word and Christian doctrine is to be taught and embraced by the faithful.
Do you know you have doctrine? You certainly do. If you believe that Christ died and rose again from the dead - that's doctrine. If you believe Jesus is coming back - doctrine. If you believe you are being sanctified - you guessed it...doctrine! So we have doctrine, we should delight in doctrine and as we do a lifestyle flows out of good sound teaching.
Older men are commanded to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (v2). Gentlemen as the years roll on we are to be always growing and maturing in the faith. Gone are the days of drunkenness and all-night parties and living with no responsibilities. Older men are to walk in a dignified manner before the Lord.
Older women are to be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers or slaves to much wine (v3). Ladies you too are to walk in a mature fashion. Gossip and slander should not leave your lips and if you enjoy a glass of wine it should not become your master. Additionally you are to be mentors to the younger women in the church. You are to teach them what is good and what Christian womanhood looks like. They are to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (v5).
In the same manner the younger men are to be self-controlled (v6). Gentlemen, in our youth we can often be driven and controlled by our sexual desires. We can act impulsively. Blood rushes to our head and we can offer to fight a rival in the carpark. The implication of Christian doctrine is that we must control ourselves and bring no shame upon the Gospel by our actions.
Titus' ministry was to be filled with good works (v7). He was to model Christian manhood to everyone in the church. As he taught he was to do so with integrity - his words were to be matched by his actions. He was to be dignified - not shouting and screaming and drawing attention to himself. His speech was to be sound - he was to choose his words carefully so that any opponent would be silenced (v8).
Even Christian slaves were to walk in accordance with sound doctrine. They were to submit to their masters without arguing or stealing. Instead they were to strive to please their master showing good faith in every circumstance. The works of the slave were to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour" (v10). What does this mean? The actions of the individual are to enhance the beauty of the Gospel, not to detract from it.
All Christians are to strive to be submissive and obedient to rulers and authorities (3v1). We do not follow our leaders if they require us to sin, but when possible we are to be good citizens of the state. We are to be ready for every good work never tiring of doing good. We are to speak evil of no one, shunning gossip and slander. We are to avoid quarrelling, always seeking peace and we are to be gentle and courteous to all. (3v2)
The Gospel has come and the impact of the Gospel is profound - we are to put aside the ways of the past and live godly lives in the present age (v12). We patiently wait for the return of Christ who died for us and sanctifies us each day (v13-14). Titus was to boldly declare such truth and exhort and rebuke with all authority (v15).
In some circles doctrine may be a dirty word but it is not an optional extra for the Christian life. May you understand the ancient doctrines of the Christian faith and may you realise their practical implications for your everyday life. To Christian men, women and children may your lives adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.
Q94 What is Baptism? Baptism is a Sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.