Salvation Must be Built on Sound Doctrine

A couple had been married for 50 years. “Things have really changed,” she said. “You used to sit very close to me.” “Well, I can remedy that,” he said, moving next to her on the couch. “And you used to hold me tight.” “How’s that?” … More

Changed

A life that is independent of the doctrine of faith in Christ and salvation is but a show. As fruit is to the root so is a changed, productive life to a faith that saves. The false teachers with their counterfeit doctrine were deceptive, immoral and abominable (Titus 1:10,15,16). Their error produced its  normal fruit. In contrast, the Cretan saints who had put their faith in Christ had to understand  and practice ethical principles which demonstrated their new life in Christ.

Paul tells Titus that he must instruct the members with sound doctrine (v. 1). This is in contrast to the myths and man-made prescriptions which the false teachers were giving. He must teach this “sound doctrine” as actively as they taught error. Paul probably commences with the older men because they would have to set the example of Christian living to the oncoming  generations. Four characteristics of change are insisted upon (v. 2):

  1. Sober minded“ - The older men should be the balance wheels in the congregation keeping its course steady.
  2. Grave“ - That which invites respect and reverence.
  3. Temperate“ - To be fully rational and in possession of the full use of their faculties, in thought, word, and action.
  4. Sound in faith, in love, in patience“ - To be strong in personal faith, tender and mellow, rather than bitter and vindictive, in their love, and characterized by patience.

Application

How closely does my life line up with the instruction that Paul gives to older men in this passage? Respect is not something that is demanded but must be earned. I want to be a person who is characterized by patience and one who people will want to come to for advice.

Titus 2:1-2 (English Standard Version)

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.

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