Summary: Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine
Things Becoming Sound Doctrine
June 19, 2011
One of the best things parents can do for their children is to communicate expectations clearly. If you ask my children, “What’s expected of you?” they’ll answer, “To listen and obey.”
“How do I want you to obey?”
“All the way, right away, and with a happy heart.”
“What’s expected of you in the store?”
“No running, no yelling.”
The Scriptures, likewise, have clearly communicated the simple expectations God has of us. They’re not always easy to obey, but they’re fairly easy to understand.
Tonight I want to remind you of some of these expectations as we learn to submit to our Lord together as one body. The Apostle Paul writes to Titus who was a pastor of a congregation of believers. He says to him…
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
In the verses right before this Paul talked about the false teachers “whose mouths must be stopped” because they were leading entire households astray for the sake of money. They were known for being “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers.”
Titus was to stand in juxtaposition to this. He was to speak the “things which become sound doctrine.” And what is that? We find it directed to different groups within the assembly. First…
Older men should be mature and dignified (:2)
He says, “Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
2That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The first three have to do with being mature and dignified:
Sobriety is to be clear-minded and watchful.
Gravity is to be serious, thoughtful, and dignified.
Temperance is to be self-controlled.
I get this picture in my mind of an older man looking like a lion. Older Christian men ought to be known for serious minds and their dignified approach to life. I don’t think this means there’s never a time for silliness and having fun, but as a whole, older Christian men ought to reflect in their actions the seriousness of being in a perpetual spiritual battle.
What a disgrace to see an old man too drunk to walk. It’s terrible to see it in a young man, but far worse in a man who by now ought to know better.
And I don’t think we can say enough about dignity. To be grave is to be worthy of veneration. It’s hard to respect a man who curses like a sailor and tells dirty jokes and lusts after women. Older men should be above such things—they need to leave boyhood behind and act like godly men.
Seriousness is a quality, and to be reserved is to be esteemed.
But that doesn’t mean that older men are to be uncaring. Actually it’s just the opposite:
Aged men are to be “sound in faith, charity, and patience.” Sound doctrine results in soundness of faith, love, and patience. When we say that older men are to be serious and respectable, we need to take down the picture in our minds of a grumpy old banker from 1900 and replace it with the picture of, say, a father during a time of war. Life is serious and so must he be, but he is full of love and joy.
His faith in God is unshakable because God always provides. His love is without end because it’s the fruit of the Spirit in him. He’s composed and thoughtful and aware, but he genuinely cares for people. When they aren’t as dignified or mature as he, he’s patient and teaches the truth in love.