Sound Faith, Sound Doctrine

The knowledge of the truth, according to godliness, was the first thought when Paul wrote his epistle to Titus (Titus 1:1c). The knowledge of the truth is another way of saying, “sound doctrine.” Doctrine is the body of learning we have received as revelation from God. The reliable source of the revelation from God is the Holy Scripture, the Bible.

Paul encouraged Titus to appoint elders to oversee the church in diverse locations. These elders were to be apt to teach and to exhort in sound doctrine. In other words, the man of God who ministers God’s Word must know the Bible. The reason is that he will have to refute rebellious men in the church.

False teachers, like the false prophets in the Old Testament, infiltrate the church as an act of the adversary. Paul insisted that Titus and the true elders must reprove them severely. The devil is a liar and the father of lies, and the children of the devil love to defile the church (Titus 1:15). They are unbelieving and serve as angels of light to pervert doctrine and practice in the church. This is why there should be no record of women elders preaching or teaching the pastoral epistle to Timothy (1 Tim 2:9–15). They, of course, would expose themselves to be wolves in sheep’s clothing if they did. This is just one example.

Christians need sound doctrine in order to have sound faith. It is essential for men of God to be tested for their ability to rightly divide the Word of truth. The health and unity of the local church depends on it because the church is the pillar and support of the truth.

Christ Jesus is truth (Jn 14:6). Elders must preach Christ and Him crucified. The truth of God in Christ is what sets captives free from the lies of false doctrine. False doctrine, of course, is the origin of false faith. Multitudes who subject themselves to a regular diet of weeds are nothing but goats, who are given to eat just about anything put in front of them.

The Word of God preached in the local congregations will have great effect. The goats will be driven from the congregation of Christ’s sheep. The sheep of His pasture will be fed and will be made healthy by the same sermon. The faith of those chosen of God is increased by a steady diet of sound doctrine. Those not chosen of God will not endure sound preaching.

The initial faith of the believer in Jesus was granted by God’s grace. The increase of faith is facilitated by the same Word that gave new life. Trusting Christ is challenged by the world, the devil, and sinful flesh. Just as the names in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11 were recipients of grace to believe, so is God’s work in believers, today.

The product of true faith is good deeds. In Paul’s letter to Titus, the relationship between faith and works is akin to the epistle of James. Faith without works is dead, but works, or good deeds, are the result of a vibrant faith.

Men of God who truly love the flock of God will be true to the Scripture. They will also be found faithful to teach the Bible in the fullness of its corpus of doctrine.

The study of biblical theology is the study of individual doctrines found on the pages of Scripture. What does the Bible teach about sexuality? money? morality? ethics? salvation? There are answers in the Bible, and when the answers are organized, we call it, “doctrine.” When one’s doctrine is aligned with Scripture, we call it, “sound doctrine.”

Faith has a definite basis in truth, and only God is true. His Word is truth; and when the Spirit of truth teaches the Word of truth, the faith of God’s chosen people is sound. May God grant you the grace of true faith and may the joy of knowing the truth cause you to read your Bible more and more each day.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

October 13, 2021


Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher