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Exemplifying Sound Doctrine

(Titus 3:1-11)

Lesson 5 -- third quarter 1997
June 29, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

Be subject.
Be ready to every good work.

Submission and obedience--what a subject with which to lead off today's lesson! The Cretians obviously needed reminding; do we?

Home. Some children constantly struggle with heeding the direct commands of their parents. If the parent asks, "Didn't I tell you not to twirl around in the swivel rocker?" some youngsters respond with: "But that was yesterday!" You may smile at that because, reading this particular quarterly, you are definitely beyond that stage. Beyond, no doubt; but beyond is not necessarily up. Some at your age still have to be told three or four times, "It's time to go home!" Other children have a serious problem living within the parameters of their parents' wishes--expressed or implied. Your folks want you in bed at a decent hour, they'd like you to be a little more careful with your money, and they think you spend too much time on your appearance--but the decisions are yours. How are you doing?

Church. Let me ask you this: Does your church discipline regulate sleeve length? You don't know?! Look, when a congregation sets its standards and then writes them down, let every member be fully aware of what those standards are. And let every member live by them! But what about the preferences of the ministry or the expressions of concern coming from them? Does God expect church members to honor their leaders in those areas as well? Even people considerably older than you at times seem to have a rebellious bent in some church matters. I challenge you and your classmates to show the way, to be examples of the believers.

School. I had a student inform me one time: "I don't care about the rules." But he had already beat himself to the punch--his life had conveyed the message to me long before his lips. Is this person unique in his rebellious disobedience? Only in his words; many others (including you and me?) have found that they don't always care to live by the letter and spirit of school regulations and teacher rules.

State. Helmets, seat belts, liability insurance, electrical code, building permits, backyard burning, asbestos handling and removal, R-22 Freon, speed limits, vehicle weight limits, self-employed Social Security taxes--just a few pickets in the fence. The Christian, especially the separated, nonconformed stranger and pilgrim, must be a model citizen!

Make no mistake, my friend: "There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" (Romans 13:1,2)!

Are you? "Ready to every good work," that is. Why do so many people neglect and even fear good works? Many grapple with the issue of legalism. Others seem to believe that the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith excludes an emphasis on good works. Some are so consumed with themselves that they can't see the opportunities to bless others. And then there are the careless ones who just don't stop to remember that God commands good works. So, are you "ready to every good work"?

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