Lucia's Blog: ADORN THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Sunday, March 1, 2020

ADORN THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS

 “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… 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.  Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.  Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative... but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior in every respect."
Titus 2:1-10


Some of the most beautiful prose written is found in Matthew 5-7.  It is the well-known Sermon on the Mount, the first doctrinal treatise taught by Jesus of Nazareth. Its doctrines have changed the world as it has changed the individual sinners who dared to put them into practice. They adorn the teachings of Him whom they adore.

For many, God’s Doctrine is not attractive, especially to those who insist on living in sin.  They find the Bible and its doctrines repulsive, claiming that Doctrine is not essential.  Doctrine is not just important. It is essential, vital to our salvation. We cannot be saved unless we obey the complete plan of salvation, which includes obedience to all of our Lord's commands for the rest of our lives. We cannot separate Doctrine from the Gospel. We obey Him because we love Him, and there is no way to please Him without loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Anything less than that is FALSE Doctrine! (Acts 2:38; I John 4:1-6; 2 John 9; II Thessalonians 1:8; I Timothy 4:16; Acts 20:26-27). 

The whole counsel of God is Doctrine. All the teachings of Christ are Doctrine.  All children of Light must conform their lives to sound, healthy Doctrine to beautify the Word of God (His Doctrine), making the Gospel Message more attractive to unbelievers. It is impossible to convert profane people to Christ if we Christians are not walking in Truth and Spirit. That is, we must adorn the Doctrine of Christ (the Gospel) to be effective in drawing unbelievers to Christ.  Our daily life communicates our faith to a watching world.  It will be difficult for them to listen to us if we don't reflect the Truth in our manner of thinking, speaking, and living.  It will be impossible to teach others the Gospel of Christ if we, ourselves, are not imitators of Christ (I Cor. 11:1).  So we must show the beauty of the teachings of God.  God is always opening doors for us to show the beauty and value of following His Doctrine.  We must “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine"  (Titus 2:1).

Sadly, few read their Bible and meditate on the Word.  They are not able to defend sound Doctrine and let their light shine, making the Gospel of Christ look more appealing!  Why?  Because we must live in such a way as to let others see the beauty of Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20).  We must also sanctify Christ in our hearts that others may know the hope that is in us.  When they ask about our hope, we must be ready to make a defense (give an answer, 1 Peter 3:15).  Only mature Christians (those who have grown in the Doctrine of God, sound in faith) can do this.  It is in adorning the Doctrine of God, our Savior, that the church can carry out His work and fulfill its purposes in everything to glorify Him.  It is Grace that teaches us how to adorn the Doctrine of our Savior (Titus 2:10-11).  We must be compelled to adorn it!  (Titus 2:13). 

The word “adorn” means to decorate, to make beautiful, to embellish, to display the excellence of something, to exalt, to honor as well as Grace.  In fact, the word “adorn” is similar to the word “cosmos,” which makes reference to the beautifully created order of the universe.  In Psalm 19:1, the Psalmist exclaims, The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows his handiwork.” Not only is the universe functional and exact, but it is beautiful.  Our God has adorned the universe majestically with its sunrises and sunsets, beautiful mountains and valleys, and awe-inspiring panorama.  Indeed, by His mighty power, He spoke into existence order and complexity in our universe!  Our God is majestic and amazing!  

So, how do we adorn the Doctrine of Christ, our Savior?


I.    BY ALLOWING THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST TO ADORN OUR “INNER MAN 
  
The imperishable adornment that is renewed according to the image of God is described in Galatians 5:22-23Ephesians 4:24-32; and Colossians 3:10-12.  These words describe in detail the imperishable adornment of the inner man. Notice that all these Scriptures talk about putting on the new self.  They speak of the character traits or qualities (fruits of the Spirit) of someone created in the likeness of God, renewed and regenerated in the knowledge of God with all righteousness and holiness.  In Christ, we have all we need to be complete because “Christ is all, and in all.”  

Since we have all we need in Christ and our lives are hidden in both Him and the Father, we must put to death all lawlessness and set our minds on those things that are above where Jesus is.  Our job is to make sure that our “new self” is well adorned and beautified so that we may make it look more appealing or attractive to a world that is living in darkness and sin.  We become a magnet that attracts others to imitate Christ as well, have what He has and be like Him.  There is no better way to present the glorious Gospel of Grace to the unsaved!  

As those who profess and have confessed to being followers of Jesus Christ, we must put on this attractive garment or “uniform” and adorn it well as those who have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col. 3:10).  If we are not willing to put on the new garments of righteousness and holiness, imitating the character of Christ in us, showing others that Christ lives in us and that we now walk in His steps doing His will, how then can we teach others the Gospel of Grace and “convert” others to Christ?  Let this sink deeply into your hearts!

The key to adorning the Doctrine of Christ is righteous and holy living, being a good example “in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (I Tim. 4:12).  In Titus 2, Paul is challenging older men, older women, young women, young men and bondservants to live in righteousness, in all integrity, respect, sound in speech, with purity in Doctrine, “showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.”

Non-believers seldom read the Bible but are reading the lives of all Christians as open letters of recommendation every day.  Therefore, we, as God’s chosen, must “put on” the Gospel of Christ in a way that is well presented (adorned) as possible without contradicting the message.  How is this possible? 
  • By “denying ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).  
  • By presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, and not being “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2). 
  • By being "crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).

So, we must repent if we have not been wearing the garments of righteousness and holiness. We must start removing the dirty garments, the sinful practices, and habits of the “old self,” dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:1-13).  Since “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).


II.   WE ADORN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST BY OUR GOOD WORKS AND OUR FAITH:  (Titus 2:1-10).

  • Teaching the “whole Truth and nothing but the Truth,” with the right spirit and attitude (2 Tim. 2:23-25).   Sadly, those who defend the Truth many times don’t present the Doctrine of Christ in a good light.  Although “doctrinally sound,” many show an attitude of one who has “lost his first love,” therefore, they need “to repent” (Rev. 2:5).  We must understand clearly that we must not only “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3) but that we defend the Truth in a manner that is not contentious.  Indeed, we must love the Truth with conviction (Proverbs 23:23), but we must teach it following the golden rule of love (I Cor. 13:4-8).  
  • In I Thess. 1:8, Paul says that “the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.”  The church must sound forth the Gospel but must do it with the attitude of the faithful bond-servant.  The bond-servant must be well-pleasing, not argumentative… but showing all good faith” (Titus 2:10).  It is then that the church adorns the Doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things.  Christians ought to be prepared to defend the Doctrine of Christ with meekness, yet boldly.
  • Today many religious teachers leave the impression that the Word of God cannot be understood and applied to faithful living.  They say that the doctrines of the Bible are contradictory and conflicting. My question is:  If that is true, then how can the Bible be the book of Truth?  They ignore what Jesus said, Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).  If it appears not to be accurate, does the fault lie with the Word of God or with our teaching?  What do you think?  “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, 'THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED"'  (Romans 3:4).  
  • Therefore, let the Word of God be true and man a liar.  “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace”  (I Cor. 14:33).  Pay attention! God’s Word does not support division but demands unity on God's terms rather than unity in error. Unity is only possible when men give up their creeds, false doctrines, private interpretations, personal preferences, and the “think so’s” written by men.  We must let the Bible speak for itself and nothing else.  Period!  It is only then that we can adorn the Doctrine of God, our Savior.  Are you willing to do it?
  • When we make our claim to follow the Truth and nothing but the Truth but then take away the clear teaching of the Bible, we are blaspheming the will of God before the world that is in darkness with our inconsistency.  Why?  Simply because we must teach all the counsel of God on issues of fornication, adultery, gossip, drunkenness, immodesty, submission to authority, divorce and remarriage, pornography, homosexuality, abortion, responsibility in the home (parents, children), racism and so on and at the same time we must show ourselves as good examples, the kind of people our God demands that we be.  Consistency with the will of God is what adorns His Doctrine and nothing else.  It is then that the Gospel will impact the world around us.  Our barrenness and leanness of soul will absolutely hinder our reaching out to them.  Take heed to the words of Jesus in John 7:38
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.”
  • So adorning the Doctrine of Christ, our Savior is the opposite of causing God’s Word to be blasphemed by our ungodly and worldly conduct (Titus 2:5; Romans 2:23-24).  When God’s people put into practice His principles of righteousness, whether it be older men, older women, younger women, younger men, bond-servants, they adorn the Doctrine of Christ.
  • Likewise, when we are ashamed of the Doctrine of Christ, we do not adorn it because deep down in our hearts, we do not like it. We despise it.  In Mark 8:38 Jesus said, 
“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Again in Romans 1:16, Paul said,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
  • Our Light must shine before ALL men if we are to adorn the Doctrine.  Our lives must be lights that shine as good examples of good works before all men that they may glorify our God in heaven (Matt. 5:16).  
  • We must hold fast to the Word of God without complaining and protesting but rather shining our lights in this world of darkness.  Only then do we adorn the doctrine “so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Phil. 2:14-16).
  • We adorn the Doctrine when we walk in love as “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish”  (Eph. 5:25-27).
  • The Doctrine is adorned by the righteous deeds of the saints.  “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev. 19:8).

CONCLUSION:

The only way that we are going to adorn the Doctrine of Christ, our Savior, is by allowing His Doctrine to adorn our spirit (our inner man).  Likewise, when we walk in a manner worthy of our calling, in our conduct and showing good works, we will adorn it as well.  There is no other way!

Hypocrites cannot adorn the Doctrine of Christ. That is what we are if we do not put into practice what we preach or teach.  By the same token, if we are not sanctifying the Truth of God but rather finding fault with the Word of God, relying on our own creeds, doctrines, our own private interpretations, and reasoning, it will be impossible to adorn it.  And if we fail to let the Bible alone speak for itself, then we are blaspheming the Doctrine of Christ.  

Moreover, if we minimize the Doctrine of Christ, we become inconsistent and appear to blaspheme the will of God before outsiders.  Therefore, we must make Christ’s Doctrine attractive to the unsaved.  Grace demands that we adorn it!  (Titus 2:12).  Let us then make the Doctrine of Christ, our Savior, very attractive to others, especially the unsaved, by our godly and holy lives.  Remember, the time is short, and the Lord is at hand!

Thus, to adorn or beautify the Doctrine of God our Savior, we must first believe it; engrave it in our hearts; study it with all diligence to present ourselves approved to God; obey it (being doers of the Word and not just hearers); defend it (we must be prepared to answer with meekness and boldness); live it (in integrity, respect, purity, etc.); and finally proclaim it.
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2).
“With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth” (Psalm 119:3).

May we adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior so that we might be partakers of His divine nature. May we be transformed into the image of Christ to adorn His Doctrine. May we be good examples and handle the Truth rightly that we might adorn the Doctrine of God, our Savior.

Luci

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