What does Titus teach us about "Sound Doctrine?"
To listen to the sermon go to What Is Orthodoxy?
Throughout my time as a pastor I have run into those that want to make sure you are teaching "Sound Doctrine." And in truth, this is very important, however many of those that seem so concerned to make sure I am sound in my teaching and theology, aren't so orthodox in some key areas of their own. Thus, they want to be "Watchdogs" for poor theology, but they fail to live out the goal of any 'good' theology; grace and love. Not always, but often, the same people who care about whether I am teaching 'Orthodox' Christian theology are not that gracious and loving, which is strange, and seems as though it would be a clear sequiter to their belief system.
In our continued study in our series "The Church As It Was Supposed To Be" we are now turning from a look at the "One Anothers" in scripture to a study in Paul's letter to Titus. We are doing so, because Titus is considered one of the "Pastoral Epistles," which means it was one of Paul's later letters to pastors Timothy and Titus, to help them, "Put in order what remained" (Titus 1:5). Thus this epistle helps us take another look at what God intends for His church, from a different angle.
One of the themes that jumps out at you is the idea of caring about "Sound Doctrine" or teaching (See 1:9, 13; 2:1). Afterall, it's one of the main duties of any pastor/elder (1:9). I agree completely that 'Sound Doctrine" begets sound affections that work toward sound Kingdom life, but in our context here in Titus, the sound Doctrine Paul is discusiing has more to do in how we live out the implications of the gospel than it does in any particular systematic theology that many people think of when they think of "Doctrine." No doubt, doctrinal truths matter, but if they aren't producing people that love God more (Doxology) and people more (Missiology) then the practice is empty and in vain.
Our theology (Orthodoxy) should produce a healthy worship (Doxology) moving us to a healthy connection to those that don't know Jesus (Missiology).
Therefore, Titus one outlines healthy qualifications for believers, but certainly those that call themselves Elders who are leading the Church. And healthy leaders, lead people to healthy relationships in Christ through the preservation of the gospel truth, through the preaching of the word, the guarding of the truth and the exemplary behavior demonstrating the relevancy of the word of God in our lives.
So, as we study Titus, hopefully we will see what godly living looks like, and how true doctrine should always lead us there.