Understanding. The doctrine of God constitutes God's will toward man. It involves what God has for man to know and to obey in being pleasing to Him. It can be understood! Paul wrote to the Ephesians and admonished them "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17). There would be no meaning to this admonition if man could not understand God's will. Furthermore, how could one adorn what he does not understand? Paul stated that what he wrote in few words, men could read and understand. (Ephesians 3:3-5). I am persuaded that those, who contend that the doctrine of God cannot be understood, do not exert a great deal of time and energy in trying to understand it. The different individuals or designations mentioned in Titus 2 appear to have obeyed the gospel along with these bondservants. They understood the doctrine of God, and having become Christians, they were admonished to continue faithful regarding it.
Respect. Adorning the doctrine of God involves giving Him the proper respect. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9). These words convey the concept of respect that should constitute our regard for God. These bondservants, who were called upon to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour", may have faced more difficulty than normal in respecting the doctrine of God. We have already mentioned that there are a number of passages in the New Testament which definitely teach that servitude or slavery was condoned in the doctrine of God. In adorning the doctrine of God, these bondservants were to respect that this relationship was recognized by the Lord. Though we might find the society contrary to our feelings, it did exist. Those involved in adorning the doctrine of God were to understand this and follow God's directions for both master and servant. The spirit of rebellion was not to be advocated, and they were to please their masters "well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity;". Regarding this relationship, we introduce the following verses from I Corinthians 7:20-22: "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant." Whatever our calling, if we are to adorn the doctrine of God, we must respect God's teachings. We abide in the doctrine and recognize that there is only one true doctrine. (II John 9-11) (I Timothy 1:3).
Obeying. All the understanding and respect for God which men might possess, is to no avail when obedience is lacking. There is no true adorning of the doctrine of God without doing what he commands us to do. We need understanding to know what to do, but understanding and respect for God is void without obeying. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21). "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." (II Timothy 6:1). His doctrine can be either adorned or blasphemed! By our lives, which do we demonstrate to the world?
Adorn The Doctrine Of God #2
“Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.” (Titus 2:9-10) NASV). We have previously noted that to adorn the doctrine of God is a very important and beautiful thought. Many people contend that they believe in God, but of this number, few seem to recognize the importance of having a proper regard for God’s doctrine or teaching. Proper regard for God means having proper regard for His doctrine. If we are to be what God would have us to be, we are concerned with adorning His doctrine. We concluded the previous article by quoting I Timothy 6:1: “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” Rather than adorning the doctrine, it is possible to behave in such a manner as to give individuals an avenue or reason to blaspheme the name of God and His doctrine. We must certainly give heed to the doctrine of God wherever we are and in whatever calling we might be. Paul was telling Titus to preach these things to those who were bondslaves. Their circumstances of life did not exempt them from their responsibility to the doctrine of God and having proper respect for it. We find people who contend for situation ethics. These people feel that certain conditions and circumstances relieve them of their obligation to the doctrine of God. Such a view is foreign to the scriptures and it certainly has no potential in adorning the doctrine of God. But what is involved in adorning the doctrine of God? We have already mentioned understanding, respect and obeying. To these, we add the following:
Consistency. By consistency, we are thinking of practicing what we preach
in order that our lives are in accord with what we say we believe. “Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). An inconsistent or hypocritical
life does not adorn the doctrine of God. Such has even led people to blaspheme
the doctrine of God! Hardly a day goes by, but what I think of Paul’s
direction to Timothy in I Timothy 4:16: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto
the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself,
and them that hear thee.” This verse emphasizes the value of the legs
being equal in living a pure life and preaching the pure doctrine of God. By
so doing, one does not turn people away from recognizing the truth, but “in
doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” There
is no way to truly adorn the doctrine of God without taking heed to self and
the doctrine. Jesus warned His disciples about inconsistencies: “Saying,
The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever
they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works;
for they say, and do not.” (Matthew 23:3) Consistency should be found
in our homes! In the verses before our text, aged women are taught to live in
such a godly manner “That they may teach the young women to be sober,
to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers
at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
(Titus 2:4-5). We should have a horror of giving anyone a reason to say, “What
you do speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you say”.
Contending. If anything is worth believing, it is worth contending for. The doctrine of God is worth believing and for it we certainly must contend. How can we adorn something that we will not uphold or feel it is worth our contending for? “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3). Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. (Romans 1:16). We must not be ashamed of the doctrine of God, but be ready to contend for it whatever may be the circumstances. In Philippians 1, Paul speaks of some preaching Christ without having love for the truth. “But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:17). With Paul, we should always be “set for the defence of the gospel”.
Continuation. Along with consistency and contending, there must be continuation, if the doctrine of God is to be adorned. When it is ignored, the doctrine of God is not adorned. The book of Acts reveals what is involved in obeying the doctrine of God. The remaining 21 books have the theme of exhorting and encouraging one to continue faithful and stay with what one started. When one ceases to be faithful, he is preaching the sermon that the doctrine of God is not profitable or worthwhile. If that is adorning the doctrine of God, I have no conception of what adorning means. Those who adorn the doctrine of God continue in faithfulness unto death. There is no place for “quitters” in God’s heavenly abode. “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10).
by Bobby K. Thompson
Return to the New Testament Study of Titus
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /