Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In everything adorn the doctrine of God

In writing to Titus, Paul brings forward an interesting aspect of life that we don't think of too often. He encourages all people, no matter their station in life to remember that all that they do is to reflect their faith in God and be in accord with the sound teaching/doctrine that we have received from those who have gone before us. (That line made me think of All Saints' Day, which is only 2 days away on Nov. 1st, as well as the importance of realizing that it isn't up to us to make up new doctrine or teachings.)

Paul's words to Titus, "But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine," (Titus 2:1 ESV) are words that are oft quoted concerning the importance of the pastor and teacher to watch carefully what is being taught on all levels of life. But he goes on with other words that I think are very telling for all people to pay attention to in their lives. He writes concerning older men, older women, younger men, and slaves. In doing so, we read, "...that the word of God may not be reviled" (2:5b); "...having nothing evil to say about us" (2:8b); and "so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior." (2:10 b) Everyone, no matter their station of life, are to life a life that reflects their faith in God. Not only is it to reflect their faith but also that which they profess - which is called doctrine or teaching.

Too often we live our lives as though it doesn't matter what we say or do as long as we believe in Jesus as our Savior. The focus is upon our personal faith and what we believe. We don't think about how what we do, how we live, what we say, is to be a reflection of that which we believe (which is called doctrine). You might say, "But I am not a theologian." So what! You don't have to be theologian to live a life that reflects that which you believe.

You are a witness to Christ and what He has given us in His Word. How you live reflects Christ. What you say, what you do, tells others what you believe. You can say, "I believe in Jesus as my Savior," but when your life and your words reflect the prince of this world and the sinfulness of this age, then your words are trumped. People will listen to what you say after you say you believe. That becomes the reflection of your heart.

And that is the challenge of living as a Christian. We are called to live as a Christian each and every day, in all that we do and say. Of course, we are going to sin. everyone sins. Being a Christian doesn't mean you are perfect every moment of the day, but it does mean that you are forgiven in Christ Jesus. But knowing this also means that you will do all you can, guided by the Holy Spirit, strengthened by Word and Sacrament, to live as a child of God, living according to that true doctrine/teaching that you have been taught.

What is the purpose of that kind of life? "...that in everything [you] may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior." (2:10b) In everything your life is to be a reflection of God and not the world. That is truly a challenge that only the Spirit can help us to meet.

Ramblings, yep, they are ramblings this morning. Not sure that they came out like I was thinking. I pray your day will reflect the doctrine of God our Savior.

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