How Doctrine Helps You Interact With The Opponents of Faith

A Welcome and Unexpected Result of Teaching Sound Doctrine

Many pastors have struggled with difficult congregations over the years. It’s just as easy for God’s flock to go astray as it is for real flocks. One young pastor who had a problem flock was Titus. A disciple of the Apostle Paul, he was the pastor of a church on the Island of Crete.

flock - need sound doctrine

According to the letter Paul wrote to Titus the people of Crete were morally bankrupt. Here’s what Paul says of them.

One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. Titus 1:12-13

I guess that’s why you don’t see many churches named “Cretan Community Church” these days.

Right after this Paul tells Titus how to deal with the problems he faced.

Teach what accords with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1

That may seem odd to say. Many people think that doctrine is boring and impractical. Certainly it would be a waste of time to teach it to those who oppose you, wouldn’t it? No.  That’s exactly the advice Paul gave Titus. A few verses later Paul explains some unexpected benefits from teaching sound doctrine to his opponents.

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8

2 Unexpected Benefits of Teaching Sound Doctrine

  1. It will put the opponents of the Gospel to shame.
  2. It will silence opponents of the Gospel.

Even though there may be times when we would like to shame our opponents, that isn’t the goal here. The goal is to take away anything that we might be doing that will get in the way of what is most important, sharing our faith.

We have the ability to silence those who oppose the Gospel by modeling good works and teaching the truth of God’s word in a dignified way. This is doable and it makes sense.

The biggest target of criticism for the church is hypocrites who say one thing and do another. When our life matches our words those who oppose us have nothing to say. But we need to do both.

Our goal isn’t to silence them but to take away any objection they have to our faith.

Can you think of something you can do today to benefit someone in your life who is far from God? It may take a few different good works to get their attention but at some point you will. When they finally see your faith is real and you have something they do not, they will be ready to listen.

I pray for each one who reads this that God will give you the opportunity to do something good for someone who is far from God today!

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