“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
“Wholesome Doctrine” (Titus 2:1)
This teaching is an imperative for the life of the church. And it is so in any day or generation because of the ongoing conflict between truth and error, it will never cease until the end of the age. The fight of faith between sound doctrine and the ever-changing opinions and positions of men based upon human philosophy. Paul has already mentioned this (Titus 1:9, 13-14). It is insufficient for Titus to simply pray against the errors of his day, he must denounce it from the pulpit, publicly denouncing it. The people of God must needs be made aware of the prevailing errors, why such is erroneous, and of course what is that they are to indeed believe. The positive truth of God’s word.
The positive element of sound doctrine must not be forgotten. The above is negative. However the best antidote to error is a ample dose of the truth. Titus must “speak” v1, preach, herald the good news of the gospel, teaching, building up the flock with what is sound. This alone is how they come to be aware of the subtle and obvious departures from the truth. It is especially so today in the midst of modern secular, multi-faith, ecumenical climate we find ourselves in, here in the West. There are always areas of church life where we can agree to disagree, but when it comes to salvation doctrine, definitely not. When it comes to the Person and nature of Jesus Christ and his atoning work. His substitutionary atonement for sin as the only remedy for a lost world. When it comes to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. On these issues there is no room for agreeing to disagree. Therefore there is the need not only to herald the good news of salvation, but build up the people of God. So ground them in the truth that they will be able to smell heresy ten miles away. What use I ask you is gospel success, if we do not follow through and nurture people in the truth, teach them sound doctrine?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)