Tag: sound doctrine

Orderly Elders overseeing the Church

Scripture reading for July 11th: 1st Kings 12, 2nd Chronicles 10-11, Titus 1

Titus 1:5-9 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you--if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

Paul wrote to Titus, another younger minister who grew up in the faith under his ministry. Paul had left Titus in Crete to oversee the church there and to set in order this body of new believers. This would require him to appoint ‘elders’ to oversee the church and keep the proper order. These elders must have their own lives in proper order to be effective in their assignments. They must have only one wife and have their children in proper order. Their own character must be soundly grounded in God’s Word and they must have their spirits under control from the pride and arrogance of the world and free from addictions and idolatry. They must be above reproach, having a good reputation in the Church as well in the culture they lived in. The Word of God must be firmly held and preached.

Titus 1:15-16 “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the stewardship that You grant to Your people who You call into leadership to oversee Your Church. I have been blessed to be a part of that and to help equip others to also lead. Grant wisdom to those setting Your body in order. Guard Your church against professors that deny God by their works and ungodly life-styles. Help me daily to set a good and godly example.

1st Kings 12: 28-30 “So the king (Jeroboam) took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, ‘You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who have brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Then this thing became a sin, . .”

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People of purity!

Scripture reading for June 25th: Titus 2

Key Scriptures: Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works. Declare these things: exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

Paul stressed to Titus that God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone had brought salvation to all men. The grace of God actually trains believers in righteousness and holy character which prepares us for the arrival of Jesus Christ in His glory. Any believer that is still living in sin has not yet obtained grace and will not be ready for Christ’s return. These simple truths were to be declared by Titus rebuking those still living in sin. Jesus Christ, our blessed hope, can return for us at any time and pastors are to be watchful over souls! They will have to give an account of their ministry to the Lord Jesus.

Titus 2:7 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of patience, sound doctrine, and rebuking those who were in need of correction. I pray that the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith will not be watered down in our culture to allow believers to avoid true repentance. Use me to preach sound doctrine with integrity, bringing salvation to the lost.

Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

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Rebuking the deceivers!

Scripture reading for June 24th: Titus 1

Key Scriptures: Titus 1:10-16 “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but the the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

Paul was a pastor and took time to instruct other pastors in dealing with problems in the church. There are people problems and problem people that must not be ignored but dealt with to keep order in the church and maintain unity. The problem in the church at Crete was false doctrine coming from a sect of Jewish converts who were still teaching Jewish ‘myths’. These ‘teachers’ were not under pastoral and apostolic authority–they were ‘insubordinate’. They thought they had truth, but were really deceived and were causing division. Paul’s instruction to Titus was to rebuke them sharply in hopes of bringing true repentance and faith. They must be silenced and stopped from fleecing the congregation and dividing it. Paul warned Titus that they may not be repentant as false doctrine and love of money from teaching it often defiles mind and conscience. They had a profession, but no possession of saving faith and were unfit for any role of church leadership.

Titus 1:9 “He (elders) must hold firmly to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray for pastors in Your church that are needing to correct and rebuke sharply those causing division. Give them wisdom and discernment and courage to do what You instruct that sound doctrine and true faith will bring salvation and life. Deliver us from defiled minds and consciences and fear of man.

Titus 1:5 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you–“

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Don’t deny God by your works!

Scripture reading for July 9th:  1st Kings 12, 2nd Chronicles 10-11, Titus 1

Key Scriptures:   Titus 1:15-2:1  “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.  The profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works.  They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good works.  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” 

Paul instructed Titus, a young minister and another ‘son’ of Paul’s in the faith, about the various parties in the church. The ‘circumcision’ party was causing disruption by teaching false doctrine and causing disruption and division. Paul told Titus to silence them and rebuke them sharply. Their profession of Christ was a lie because their works were denying Jesus. Sound doctrine must be taught which produces good works. Salvation is by faith through grace, not through works of the flesh like circumcision.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for cleansing my conscience and mind and giving me the ability to discern good from evil. Order my works today to bring glory to You alone as I set my heart to seek You and Your will.

2nd Chronicles 11:16 “And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.”

1st Kings 12:28 “So the king (Jeroboam) took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “you have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

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Passing on sound doctrine!

Scripture reading for October 9th:  Titus 2, Psalm 52, Proverbs 17

Key Scriptures:  Titus 2:1-5 “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.”

Sound doctrine and sound living are always linked together in Scripture.  We who teach God’s Word must model the sound doctrine and do so steadfastly and faithfully.  Older men are to teach younger men and older women are to teach younger women how to apply the Word of God in every area of life from marriage to workplace and raising of children.  God’s Word is to be exalted by faithful practice of basic respect, kindness, and love.

Faith Confession:  I teach and live out the sound doctrine of Holy Scripture and as an older man seek to train my children and grandchildren and younger men how to apply Scripture to life.  I encourage older women to do the same with their children and younger women that God’s Word may be glorified.

Proverbs 17:6 “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”  

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Teach sound doctrine!

Scripture reading for October 9th:  Titus 2

Paul gave detailed instructions to Titus concerning his need to teach sound doctrine.  Sound doctrine is not just a set of rules or laws on how to live, but it it a decision to obey the Word of God and imitate Jesus Christ, our great Teacher.

“Teach older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.”  (Titus 2:2-5)  Sound doctrine included practical teaching on how to live productively for the Kingdom of God in the social contexts of the day and time.  Older men and women were the role-models for the younger.  Self-control is mentioned for both men and women.  Bringing our  bodies under control of our will by the power of the Holy Spirit is sound doctrine!   We must not live out of our feeling or passions.

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, . . .”  (Titus 2:7)  Our example is strong teaching of sound doctrine.  If our lives as Christians don’t reflect Jesus Christ, we have failed.  It is by God’s grace that we can live out His Word.  This grace teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and live self-controlled, upright and lives while we wait for Jesus’ promised return! (Titus 2:11-14)

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Unfinished business!

Scripture reading for October 8th:  Titus 1

Paul had left Titus, a young minister, in Crete to attend to some unfinished business.  Ministry in God’s kingdom must be lead by leaders with character and who are true to the apostolic teachings and sound doctrine.  There were those in Crete who were influencing the young church that needed correction and Paul entrusted Titus with this job.

“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.  An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.  Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”  

The church must be led by people of character.  This character is made evident by their conduct and reputation in their family and community.  Children are reflections of their parent’s discipline and training.  When there are wild and disobedient children, this disqualifies a person for leadership in God’s family, the Church.  Character is the primary consideration given to Titus to complete the unfinished business of appointing elders to lead.

Another strong consideration was sound doctrine.  Elders must be hospitable and able to teach.  They must relate well to the people and be able to instruct in the truth as well as correct those who were wrong.  It’s a noble thing to lead Christ’s family! (1st Timothy 3:1)

 

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Do your best!

Scripture reading for October 5th:  2nd Timothy 2

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”  (2nd Timothy 2:1-2)

Paul encouraged Timothy to continue to stand strong in the grace that came through Christ Jesus.  It was only by grace that we are saved and it is grace that enables us to fulfill our calling.  Through grace, Paul instructed Timothy to pass the truths of the Gospel and of God’s grace in Christ to others who would be reliable.  These, in turn, would instruct others and their faith would grow through God’s grace in action.

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.  But God’s word is not chained.  Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”  (2nd Timothy 2:8-10)   Paul’s life was centered on Jesus Christ and the gospel of God’s grace.  He encouraged Timothy and us not to forget this simple center.  Suffering would result from preaching this message and living centered on Christ, but for the sake of the elect–those called to salvation by the Holy Spirit–endurance was possible!

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”  (2nd Timothy 2:15)  Christian ministry requires God’s grace and our effort to apply the truths of God’s word.  We must put forth effort to do our best and to correctly handle God’s word and live a holy life.  There will be no shame for those who do so.

 

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Fight the Good Fight!

Scripture reading for December 8th: 1st Timothy 4-6

Leadership in the church is not an easy task!  Choosing wise deacons and elders is imperative to having a strong church.  Leaders and strong workers are often in short supply because many are not qualified or have not matured by applying the word to their daily living. Much thought and prayer are necessary in filling the offices of leadership.

Leaders will face increasingly difficult times in the last days.  (1st Timothy 4:1-8)  Many will abandon the faith and run after deceiving  spirits and follow teachers who are using doctrines of demons.  Leaders must be discerning and able to confront false doctrine.   They must unfailingly teach the truth and stay true to sound doctrine.  They must avoid myths and old wives tales but strive to live godly in the midst of the apostasy.

“Command and teach these things.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” (1st Timothy 4:11-14)  Youth and maturity are often two different things.  Those who are anointed to lead and have been called by Christ and affirmed by the elders must confidently lead by preaching and teaching God’s word.  We lead by example first, then by our teaching!  God will work with us through the gift bestowed through prayer and by the Holy Spirit.

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and your doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1st Timothy 4:15-16)  Preachers must stay sharp on doctrine and stay true to sound doctrine!  Moving away from it is dangerous for the preacher and his flock.  Bad doctrine is often played out in daily living.  We must examine our daily life and thought patterns and make sure that lines up with what we believe and teach.  If we believe that Jesus is coming back soon to judge the sinner and save the righteous, we ought to be about saving sinners and living the gospel!

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