Know What You Belive, Live It Out And Make A Difference


Knowing what we believe- our doctrine and living it out will makes a difference.

I have recently been in the book of Titus. I love this short book that is so rich with sound doctrine and how we are to live if we are in Christ.

Paul gives 3 doctrinal statements, one in each chapter. These statements show when God saves and brings us into relationship with Him we are no longer the same and how we live our lives reflect that change.
It is vital we know doctrine- what we believe about God, salvation and His word.

Paul starts off with the first statement in 1:1-3 that God, who cannot lie, chose and gave salvation and eternal life before time began. He is letting us know that it was God’s plan from the beginning to save and always had a plan to send Jesus at the right time.

Paul then goes on to tell Titus why he left him in Crete. He was to set the churches in order and appoint elders so they will know sound doctrine and live it out and to silence the false teachers. Crete was a godless place, calling wrong, right, and right, wrong, excessive lifestyles, only caring about themselves, and one of their own said “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons” (1:12). Not only that but there were many false teachers, rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers who professed to know God but did not. They were upsetting whole families with their false doctrine and lifestyle (1: 10-11, 16) There is no difference from then to today. We live in a society much like Crete and there are many false teachers in the church leading people astray.

The second doctrinal statement is found in 2:11-14- “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds”.
This is sandwiched between the first statement and the description of the kind of men that are to be elders and the qualities of men and women in the church. These characteristics are only possible because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. When we are saved, we are changed. It results in living a life of following Christ and doing good to others- in our homes, churches and community.

I know that it can be discouraging and frustrating to see how our society is going with all the changes in morality, lifestyles, the laws and lack of truth taught in the “churches”. I love how Paul reminds them and us in the third doctrinal statement in 3:3-8 to remember who we were once and where we came from with a BUT GOD- It is only by the grace of God we are different- “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.”

To reflect on:
We are saved by God’s grace, His choice and plan from before time began through Jesus.

God’s grace brought salvation to us and instructs (disciplines, trains) us in how we are to live.

This salvation and instruction will result in a life change as we are dwelt by the Holy Spirit.

We are not saved by good deeds but will have good deeds after salvation- making a difference.

We are to know doctrine- know God and His word. Knowing right doctrine results in right living.

As we become frustrated with society and come into contact with people outside of Christ, we can’t expect them to act as followers of Christ if they are not. We have to remember who we once were and only by the grace of God we are no longer the same. How we live our lives and love the person is to reflect Christ. We are to be obedient and faithful to share the truth of the gospel in the confidence that it is not up to us to do the saving- it is God’s work.

All praise and glory to God!

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