Thursday, June 21, 2012

Speaking Sound Doctrine With Our Lives

In my last post, I mentioned how the concept of sound doctrine from the book of Titus looks more like living out our faith in action than a set of truths to be proclaimed or studied.  Of course I think sound doctrine consists of both aspects but the living them out part often gets ignored.  At least two thirds (probably more) of Paul's letter to Titus has to do with living out ones faith.  Let's explore exactly what Paul writes about living out sound doctrine.

Titus 1:16
In this verse we actually find out that people with bad doctrine don't really have a life represented by good deeds.  Paul says that people with unbelieving minds are those who profess to know God but by their 'deeds' deny Him being detestable and disobedient and "...worthless for any good deed."  Apparently Jesus was right when He said you shall know them by their fruit (Matt. 7:20).

Titus 2:1
Here we find Paul encouraging Titus to speak the things that are fitting for sound doctrine.  Paul wants Titus to be urging people to know, learn and apply sound doctrine to the people on Crete.  What did Titus speak as sound doctrine?

Titus 2:2-6
Here we see Paul exhorting Titus to instruct men and women how to live out their doctrine by passing on to one another proper behavior.

Titus 2:7
Paul wants Titus to be an example of good deeds in everything he does.  This indicates an outward focus on what others need, not on getting his needs met.  Titus should be engaged in good deeds with purity in doctrine.  Good deeds and good doctrine seem to go hand in hand.

Titus 2:8-10
Paul continues to urge people from all backgrounds to live out their faith, "...showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect."  What does it mean to adorn but to put on.  How is the doctrine of God our Savior put on in every respect if not how we live out out what we believe.  

Titus 2:14
Titus is to encourage people to be zealous for every good deed.  Here is an excitement to show what is deeply in our souls through good deeds.

Titus 3:8
We should lead by example and instruct folks to be 'careful to engage in good deeds'.  We must make this choice and live it out...from out soul up!

Titus 3:14
"Our people must also learn to engage in good deed, to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful."

Which is a true doctrine for me?
To believe I need to loose 10 lbs
To actually take action and lose 10 lb?

Sound doctrine has a lot to do with how we live, not simply what we believe.  I cannot recall a sermon I've heard on that topic and yet, it seems to be so right.  Certainly how we live and what we believe go together but you'll only know what someone truly believes by their attitude to live out sound doctrine with our feet and hands, not simply with our minds.

I'd love to hear what you think...


  1. What's the point of believing something unless we put it into action? If we aren't living out what we profess to believe, do we really believe it? The old saying 'actions speak louder than words' sees to apply here.

    James chapter 2 says what good is it if we claim to have faith, but no deeds to back it up.

    1. Thanks Betsy. Of course you are right :-). We need seasoned men and women intentionally spending time with younger people helping them learn how to live out their faith so it is authentic. At last, few folks make time and sacrifice to actually do this. Maybe more will follow the example of Scripture here :-)

  2. Oh wow, Ed. This post is so excellent. You're example of saying you need to lose 10 pounds versus actually taking action to lose 10 pounds is a great one. I'm sure almost anyone can relate to that comparison! Thanks for all your posts. I really love reading them.

    1. Hi Amy, thanks for your comments. I would love to come and visit with you guys again when you feel the time is right. I will continue to pray for you guys and look forward to serving you to grow and expand the Kingdom in your areas of influence. Please tell the church there hello for me!

  3. Anonymous5:59 AM

    Acts 6:7 also has this idea. It tells us that the gospel was spreading in Jerusalem and a considerable number of priests also became obedient to the faith.

    In the NT, faith is not merely about right thinking, but right living too. Christianity, being a follower of Jesus, involves the whole of one's life.

    Nice post bringing this out in Titus too!

    1. Stan, thanks for your comments and bringing Acts 6:7 to bear light on this issue! I pray that our lives will be light to those who live in darkness!