The rest of the devotion can be found here.
Applying Sound Doctrine
For the final ten days of our make-over, we’ll journey with Nancy Leigh DeMoss through her teaching on Titus 2:1-5 titled “God’s Beautiful Design for Women.” We highly recommend the entire series.
Have you ever assumed that doctrine is for scholars who like to pore over ancient texts in big libraries? Actually, solid doctrine isn’t meant to stay in books—it’s supposed to be used in the day-to-day decisions you and I make.
- Just because we pick an idea up in a Christian bookstore; or hear it on Christian radio, television, or in a church, doesn't mean we can assume it is sound doctrine.
- Doctrine—what we believe—determines how we live. And the way we live reveals what we believe. Doctrine and life have to match each other.
- We know so much. If we’d just live a fraction of what we know, we’d be spiritual giants instead of spiritual pygmies.
1But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.I highly suggest you read the whole chapter, it's filled with interesting things from God. :)
Looking first at scripture, what is God telling us here?
"Teach what accords with sound doctrine"....in other words...teach good doctrine, not what you think or what you feel or what seems right to you or what is the rage of the moment....teach what is sound, what holds to God's word.
Older men have things they are to do, as well as older women...and they to teach the younger women the same, young men, slaves etc....all have things they need to be aware of and work towards.
Now what does Nancy draw out of this passage? As she says
If we are not grounded in sound doctrine, we’re going to be susceptible to false doctrine. We’ll be easily swayed, easily influenced, easily deceived by things that may look good or seem good or feel good and may be very popular but aren’t true.It's an important thing for us to think about. So often we don't put doctrine first, we put other things, like programs, outreach, visiting, etc on the agenda as ways to reach out and touch our world for Christ. People so much want to be relevant. it was in issue in the first generation church, and it's an issue now.
Paul was concerned about how the church could be a light in the fog of that generation. That question—about how the church can have the kind of impact it needs to have in a dark and difficult culture—that’s the question a lot of Christian leaders are asking today.
One of the big questions is, “How can it be relevant?” Now, I hope what they mean by that question is, “How can we effectively communicate the gospel and the doctrine of Jesus Christ to a generation that doesn’t value those things?”
The answer is....teach sound doctrine. Seriously.
Paul says what you do is preach to the believers the sound doctrine which will impact and change their lives; and then in their homes, their workplaces, their communities, they will live lives that are in accordance with sound doctrine. And that will make the gospel believable to those unbelievers around them.If believers in the Lord God know what they are supposed to believe, then their lives will be changed. As their lives are changed, people in their spheres of influence will see this and THEY will be changed and impacted for God as well. Just think about it folks....if we truly live for God it has to impact the world around us. God made this world, so it has to be impacted by the things of him! (at least that's what makes sense to me).
Be grounded in the truth of God's word. Know his word as best you can...then go out and live it. If people ask you why the change....be prepared to answer them. Let others know that Christ is central in your life and the reason for why you live as you do.
It's our foundation as believers. :) Sound doctrine overflows into our lives as good works. Sound doctrine overflows into our lives as changes in how we live, act and think.
Doctrine is always connected, in the Scripture, to duty. It’s connected to life. It’s not just some vague abstract stuff up there. It’s real-life applications connected to doctrine.
- Sound doctrine requires us to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.
- Sound doctrine motivates us to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.
- Sound doctrine enables us to do that which we want to do, and that is to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.
In Titus 1:9, Paul says that the elders, the leaders of the church, are to “give instruction in sound doctrine.” Doctrine is the biblical, theological foundation for the Christian life. You can’t build a house without a foundation.
Don't underestimate this effect.....God's word changes lives...even through you.