“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance” – Titus 2:1-2
Continuing with our discussion from last week I need to take a small step back and share some applications for the first point. Speaking things that are in accordance with healthy doctrine should work its way into our daily life in every situation. For instance, Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification (building up) according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” That is what would be deemed sound doctrine and in fact goes hand-in-hand with the idea of Titus 2:1. How does this work its way out in our lives? First, in accordance with Ephesians 4:28 and 5:25-28 speaking what is in accordance with healthy doctrine should be evident in our relationships with our wives. The husband and wife relationship is reflected in Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church. In particular, His word (Scripture) is to wash the Church to purify her, etc. Then in verse 29 we husbands are encouraged to nourish our wives and cherish our wives. This must be exercised at least in part by how we speak to our wives. Unwholesome words spoken to our wives do not build up nor do they nourish. In a very practical way, then, speaking what is in accordance with sound doctrine should be exhibited in how we speak to our wives for only by speaking what is in accordance with pure doctrine can we build up our wives.
We should also demonstrate this in the father/child relationship. Continuing to draw from Paul’s instruction in Ephesians, he states that fathers are to not provoke our children to anger, “but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Quite clearly the proper fulfillment of the directive to instruct them can only be obeyed by speaking “the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” In order to bring them up in the instruction of the Lord we must accurately share His teaching (all of Scripture) with them. However, in order to not provoke them to anger fathers must also guard themselves from speaking “unwholesome words” to them, words that do not build up but tear down.
In a third instance in order to speak those things that are in accordance with sound doctrine we must guard our public speech. Ephesians 5:4 states, “and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” There should be little need for explanation here (but of course I will give some anyway). There are some things that should not be spoken because they are “not fitting.” But what are they not fitting for? Looking back at Ephesians 5:1-2 we can see that they are not fitting for those who would be imitators of God who walk in love as Jesus walked. As men of God it is incumbent upon us to reflect the character of God. This requires us to be imitators of Him and walk as Christ walked; and it also requires us to speak His words after Him. Thus, speaking the things that are in accordance with pure doctrine is indispensable to imitating God as His dear children.
To conclude, as we work through this study together I think it best for us to keep a few other things in mind. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (2Tim. 3:16). The desired goal of Scripture is that the man of God is mature and completely furnished for all good deeds (2 Tim. 3:17), which deeds He prepared for us before the foundation of the earth and created us as new creatures to carry out in order to bring Him glory (Eph. 2:10). Because of the preceding, we must diligently study the revelation that He has given, which, and hear me loud and clear, can only be found in the pages of the Holy Bible, His word to us. We do this to show ourselves workmen approved by God, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). This revelation that He has given, once for all, is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). There is no need for any other revelation from God. He has already delivered and preserved for us “everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3). Therefore, as men of God we must “become doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). Only the one who “looks intently at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it” is the one who “will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).
Until next time. I pray this helps.