“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1 (ESV)
“In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul is preeminently concerned with the unity of the body of Christ––how they function as one unit, how they strive for one mission, how they reach one goal. From the beginning of chapter 4, Paul takes up the task of identifying this “one body” (Ephesians 4:4). He identifies them as those who: (1) Walk worthy of their calling (Ephesians 4:1); (2) Bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2); (3) Maintain a unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3); (4) Maintain a bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3); (5) Equip others for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12); (6) Build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12); (7) Attain to the unity of the faith (Ephesians 4:13); (8) Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15),” explains Bible teacher Dustin Benge.
“These glorious features of the body of Christ should be the identifying characteristics of all mature believers. Mature believers are essential in achieving the purpose and fulfilling the call to which the church has been called. How do we produce mature believers? Sound doctrine,” Benge continues.
“In an age when doctrine is chided and dismissed as arcane, Paul reminds us that biblical sound doctrine is the golden chain through which all the above facets are linked. Without sound doctrine, the chain falls apart and is good for nothing. We could put it another way––without sound doctrine, the church falls apart,” Benge concludes.
The Apostle Paul understood that the lifeblood of the church of Jesus Christ is sound doctrine (I Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3). Today’s church culture stresses deeds over creeds. In other words, the emphasis is on the believer’s behavior and fellowship. The phrase “Be the Gospel” is often used. However, this emphasis on lifestyle instead of biblical doctrine, which is intended to guide the believer’s lifestyle, has become the church’s doctrine.
This is why Paul utilized the phrase sound doctrine. Sound (ὑγιαίνω; hygiaino) is a present active participle. It means healthy, correct and accurate. We derive our English word hygiene from this word. Paul previously used this word in Titus 1:13. Doctrine (διδασκαλία; didaskalia) means teaching and instruction.
Paul commanded Titus to teach sound doctrine. To teach (λαλέω; laleo) is a present active imperative verb. It is a command to be continually obeyed. It means to speak, talk, and to tell. What is to be spoken, talked about, and told in the church? Sound doctrine.
God called Titus to teach what accords with sound doctrine. The phrase what accords (πρέπω; prepo) means what is fitting and proper. It is a present active verb. Proper sound doctrine is to be taught all the time. No exceptions!
“Sound means “healthy”—Paul uses this word nine times in the Pastoral Epistles (five times in Titus), always in the sense that the truth produces spiritual well-being. The things Paul mentions in Titus 2:2-10 pertain to truths, attitudes, and actions that correspond to and are based on biblical truth. In order not only to please God, but also to have an effective witness to unbelievers, God’s people must know the truth that leads to spiritual health,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.
Pray for your pastor, and teachers in your local church, that all are committed to teach sound doctrine. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
The His Word Today Podcast for Sunday, October 2 examines Ephesians 1:5-6.
Soli deo Gloria!