The Aim of Our Doctrine
A common question that you will get in a house where there are numerous little children is the question, “Why?” As Tammy and I raised our children there was not a day that went by that this question was not asked, “Daddy, why?” Honestly, this is a very important question to ask. Why is it important not to touch the electric outlet? Why is it important not to play in the road? Why is it important not to touch this or that? Namely, because of disastrous consequences that will happen if you do not follow your parent’s instruction. In the same way, we as Christians need to be asking the why question as it relates to our obedience to God’s Word. Why do I have to obey God’s word? The answer to this question is answered for us, in part, in the letter of Titus.
In our recent looks at this letter, we have been discussing what God desires for women in the church. We have learned that godly women are to encourage the younger women to live upright and godly lives. But why is that necessary? Why go into great detail about what women and men are to be doing in the local church? The answer to that question is found throughout this letter. Paul has given specific instructions to Titus, and that is, to teach sound doctrine. The goal of this sound doctrine is for our Christian lives to be built upon it. As sound doctrine is taught, heard, and obeyed, there is only one result, the honor of God. For example, Paul calls bondslaves to be subject to their masters in everything (Tit. 2:9). The aim of this behavior is to adorn the doctrine of God. Also, we are to be subject to rulers, to be ready for every good work, so that we can bring honor to God, thus pointing men to the Savior (Tit. 3:3-4).
The discipleship of men and women in the church has the same goal and purpose. The answer to the “why question” is found in vs. 5b, “so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” The older women are to teach the younger women to live sensible lives so that God is honored. The way we bring honor to God is by ordering our lives by His truth. The product of ordering one's life by sound doctrine is to show the world the character of God. When we dishonor God’s Word, we cast shame or doubt about the character of God to a watching world. Our conduct either honors God or dishonors Him. John MacArthur rightly states, “Unbelievers judge the genuineness and value of our faith more by our living than by our theology.” When Christian women follow God’s Word and the example set for them by an older generation, all those watching will not be attracted to their outer beauty, but the inner beauty of a godly life, that honors and glorifies God.
The “why question” is very important for us to ask because of what is at stake. The fame of God’s glory is at stake. Finally, William Hendriksen in his commentary on Titus states, “If young mothers, professing to be Christians, should manifest lack of love for their husbands and for their children, lack of self-control, of purity, domesticity, kindness, and submission, they would cause the message of salvation to be evil spoken of by outsiders.”
May God give us grace never to dishonor God’s name. Pastor Jason