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. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:1-5
In Titus 2 men and women are told to be "sound in faith." This means our faith is to be uncorrupted and our theology should be sound. How do you know if your theology is sound? First you have to know what you believe and why you believe it! If you are Reformed, then know Reformed Theology. If you are Covenant, than know Covenant Theology. You have to know what you believe and your belief system must check out as correct with the totality of Scripture.
How sound is your faith? How sound is your theology?
I think one of the best ways to self-test your answer is to see how you respond to the things life throws at you. How you respond to those things is a great indicator of how much good theology you know and apply. We are are practicing some sort of theology all the time; the question is; is our theology good or bad?
Some examples of bad theology you may be familiar with are:
- God wants me to be happy
- God told me...
- I can't go on
- It (the Bible, Jesus) is not enough
- Some people are beyond forgiveness
- I want peace
- God has nothing to do with this ______
When I hear these kinds of statements I know there is an underlying theological issue out of whack. Every counseling problem is a theological issue on some level!
A woman who tells me, "God wants me to be happy" does not understand her purpose in life. She does not understand she is not on this earth to be happy; she is here to love, serve and glorify the living God!
The woman that says "God told me" does not have the correct theology on the sufficiency of Scripture nor does she understand that the canon is closed. We do not hear from God in that way at this point in church history. Oh I know some of you may really object to that, you think or feel God told you something. But I would challenge you to tell me how God told you! Was it in the wind? Was it over the TV? Did you just feeel it? I am not mocking those of you who think God is speaking to them, I am challenging your theology. There is so much spooky mysticism in some denominations that there are women walking around thinking there is something wrong with them because God is not speaking in their ear.
A woman with sound theology knows her trials may be hard and that there will be bad times. In spite of bad times and in the midst of them she knows she can go on (press on!) and that she can glorify God through how she handles what life is bringing her.
Good theology understands the sovereignty of God and that His is directing your path, and He is allowing things to take place because He is growing and changing you! Your trials are about sanctification and being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.
When a woman tells me "there is no hope" I have to remind her that theologically that is untrue. God is the God of hope. God never fails. He always accomplishes what He sets out to do. There is hope just in that statement alone!
There is hope because there is no new sin and Jesus was the provision for all the sin there has ever been or ever will be! That is hope giving! The only place there is no hope is in hell and until a person leaves this earth, there is always hope. To say there is no hope in a given situation means God is not on the throne. It means He is surprised at what you are going through. We know, because He is omniscient. He is all knowing. He knows the end from the beginning and nothing ever catches Him off guard.
A woman who says "it (the Bible, Jesus) is not enough" clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding about who God is. There is a lack of theological understanding about the sufficiency of Christ and His Word.
Somewhere along the way she was taught that while Jesus is enough to get you saved, you have to maintain it by doing good, working hard, and being perfect. That is works theology and that is wrong!
Those who believe "I can't be forgiven" or that some are beyond forgiveness don't understand forgiveness, reconciliation, or justification. These terms by the way are not taught in most churches anymore so few understand the weight they carry. So many of the women I see in the counseling office are overwhelmed by the weight of guilt and pain. Their heads are full of ideas of penance and suffering for their sins. They do not understand that the suffering and death of Christ was completely sufficient for their forgiveness. There is nothing to be added, nothing else is expected and frankly, nothing else will due. If there was something other than the death would lead to our forgiveness, that Jesus was duped. He went to that cross believing that His personal sacrifice was the only thing needed.
"I want peace." This is living life for the pursuit of peace and happiness and is nothing more than idolatry. It places the focus on self, and attempts to push out anything that God is doing in a trial.
Do you see the importance of being sound in faith? You won't become wise and knowledgeable only by attending Sunday service - you have to seek to learn and grow in these things. May I encourage you to press on toward this goal this year? Begin to become sound in your faith through the study of God's Word.