Tag Archive | Adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior

Points to Ponder Concerning Adorning the Doctrine of God our Savior

1. Why is sound doctrine important according to Titus 2:1-10?

 

2. Do you Whine or Shine?

A. Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

 

B. Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

a. Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

b. Be blameless and innocent

c. Without blemish

d. Shine as lights in the world,

e. Holding fast to the word of life

 

3. How well do you display the following characteristics of the Doctrine of Christ?

 

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

a. Submission

b. Well-pleasing

c. Not argumentative

d. Not pilfering

e. Showing all good faith

 

4. Are you attempting to adorn the Lord or is the Lord adorning you?

 

5. Are you adorned with the Salvation of the Lord? (Psalms 149:4; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4)

 


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Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Our Idea of Adorning Is not God’s Idea of Adorning

Here is where I ran into a problem.  See I had a few verses that just didn’t fit.  They didn’t fit in my thoughts of adorning.  So do I just skip those?  By no means!  That is where people come up with bizarre ideas claiming they represent Biblical doctrine. Our idea of adorning is not God’s idea of adorning.  See we typically think of adorning as adding something to another thing, like adding ornaments to a tree, jewels to a lady, etc.

But we all know we aren’t to add to God’s Doctrine.  So what do we do?

Take off / Put on.

Ephesians 4:20-24 (ESV)

20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Colossians 3:8-10; 12-14 (ESV)
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

We let the Lord take off our old selfish self and in humility allow the Lord to put on us a new self.  Only then can we adorn the Doctrine of God, our Savior.  Adorning God’s Doctrine is not something we can do ourselves.  Only after the Lord has adorned us can we truly adorn the doctrine.

The Lord will adorn us with His Salvation and Righteousness for His own glory.

Psalms 149:4 (ESV) For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Only after our filthy self-adornment is removed and washed in the blood of the Lamb can we adorn anything related to the Lord.

Zechariah 3:4 (ESV) And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

Revelation 7:14 (ESV) I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The wisdom of God’s Word will adorn us.

Proverbs 3:21-22 (ESV)

21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck
.

The Lord will adorn us with Gladness.

Psalms 30:11-12 (ESV)

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

 

The Grace of God has brought us salvation which then teaches us to adorn the doctrine by living self-controlled, godly lives while we wait for our Hope, the appearing of Christ.

Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Our lives should so display and model the gospel such that they can find nothing to accuse us about.

Titus 2:7-8 (ESV)

7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

John MacArthur writes in his Titus Commentary, “The true effectiveness of evangelism does not come from man-made methods, strategy, or marketing techniques adapted from the culture, but from the genuine virtue, moral purity, and godliness of believers whose lives give proof of the truth of God’s Word and the power of Christ to redeem men of sin. That is what silences the critics and makes the gospel believable.

It is not with our great works, wonderful programs, our mission projects, or our great teaching with which we adorn the doctrine of God.  It is our virtue, purity and godliness from the cleansing blood of Christ that adorns the doctrine.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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So How Then Do We Adorn the Doctrine of God?

Notice that Titus 2:9-10 actually tells us a lot about adorning God’s Word.

Titus 2:9-10

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Submission

Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in order to adorn the doctrine of God.  How does submission adorn God’s doctrine?  Submission exhibits trust and faith in God by showing how we know the Lord is over every institution – slaves and masters, husbands and wives, parents and children, government and subjects, elders and the church, etc.  What human institution is not under the authority of God?

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

2 Peter 2:13-15

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,

14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

 

Well-pleasing

Also translated as adequate or acceptable.

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 5:9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

Colossians 1:10 (ESV) … so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

We should be well-pleasing to those in authority over us, just as children should be well-pleasing to the Lord by their obedience to their parents (Colossians 3:20).

 

Not argumentative

This means to not dispute, speak against, back talk, deny, be contrary or contradict.

Romans 10:21 (ESV) But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

Titus 1:9 (ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

 

Not pilfering – not embezzling

Just two other times is this word used in the Bible and they are both in the same passage.

Acts 5:1-3 (ESV)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

 

Showing all good faith – faithful in all things

1 Timothy 3:11  (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded,  faithful in all things.

 

Our lives are to be the adornment for the doctrine of the Lord.  We are not the focal point.  Christ is the focus.  So are we a jewel in the crown or a thorn in the crown of Christ?  The gospel is beautiful with or without us.  But the way we display the gospel and Christ’s Doctrine is very important to how others perceive it.

Acts 2:46-47 (ESV)

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 5:13 (ESV) None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.

  


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Whine or Shine

Let us see what verses we can find that will help us with “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”.

First off my Bible cross references two verses with Titus 2:9-10 — Matthew 5:16 and Philippians 2:15.  An easy way to remember the point of these two verses is with the phrase “whine or shine”.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Our lives should shine so before others that they glorify the Lord because of us.  That is pretty easy to see how that would be adorning the Gospel.  But notice that our good works aren’t to lead others to praise us but to praise God.  How will they know about our Lord if we don’t tell them?

 

“A Christian’s whole life should be nothing but a visible representation of Christ”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thomas Brooks

Men may not read the gospel in sealskin,

or the gospel in morocco {rich leather}, or the gospel in cloth covers,

but they can’t get away from the gospel in shoe leather.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Donald Grey Barnhouse

 

Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Now that is difficult!

1. Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

Philippians 2:9 (ESV) Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

2. Be blameless and innocent

Psalms 19:13 (ESV) Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

 

Psalms 101:2-3 (ESV)

2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;

3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

3. Without blemish

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 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.

 

Jude 24-25 (ESV)

24  Now to him who is able  to keep you from stumbling and  to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 Christ is who cleanses us and makes us without blemish.  We can’t do that for ourselves.

 4. Shine as lights in the world,

John 8:12 (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Notice “will have the light of life”; not maybe, not will one day obtain it, but will have if you follow Him.

5. Holding fast to the word of life

This expression is different in different translations.  The ESV has “holding fast” and the KJV has “holding forth”.

We are to do both.  Hold fast to the Lord – the Word.

Deuteronomy 10:20 (ESV) You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.

And hold forth, proclaim, God’s Word.

Acts 5:20 (ESV) “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”

Notice that as difficult as all of the above are they aren’t “great” works in the typical sense.  They don’t require dying on the mission field or preaching to great crowds.  They don’t require leaving your family behind to evangelize the world.  The character qualities in the Philippians passage are all attitudes of the heart.  Our attitudes of the heart is what we are to “adorn the doctrine of God” with.  No matter where you are in life; a child in an unbelieving family, a wife married to an unbeliever or as Titus 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 2:18 say a slave with an unbelieving, unjust master are called to “adorn the doctrine” with their goods works of the heart.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

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What Can We Learn About “Adorn” From the Bible?

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

 

Titus 2:10 (NIV) and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

 

Titus  2:10 (AMP) Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.

 

The phrase “adorn the doctrine of God” doesn’t appear anywhere else just like that so we have to break it apart even more.

“Doctrine of God our Savior” is very easily understood.  We’ve already studied what is meant by doctrine which is teaching or instruction – teaching of God our Savior.  God our Savior also expressly points out that Jesus Christ, our Savior, is God.  No point debating that – it is clear.

The word for adorn is Kosmeo which is often translated as adorn, garnish or trim.  Any idea what word we get from this Greek word?

Cosmetic

Kosmos is also a related word meaning “orderly arraignment” and is used often for world.

We can look up the other uses of the word Kosmeo in the Bible to get a broader meaning of the word.

 

Put in Order

Matthew 12:44 (ESV) Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

Luke 11:25 (ESV) And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.

Decorate

Matthew 23:29-30 (ESV)

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,

30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Trimmed – to remove excess, make neat or to tidy

Matthew 25:7 (ESV) Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

Adorn is the most common usage.

Luke 21:5-6 (ESV)

5 And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,

6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

 

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (ESV)

8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

1 Peter 3:5-6 (ESV)

5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,

6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

 

Revelation 21:2 (ESV) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

Revelation 21:19-20 (ESV)

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

 

So are we as believers are to put in order, decorate, trim and adorn the Gospel of the Lord?  That sorta implies we are to fix it up or make it look better than it does.  I don’t think so.

As we will see with the next few sections our adorning is not something we add to the Doctrine or the Gospel; it is our goal to not allow our manner of life to detract from it.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Why Must We Teach Sound Doctrine?

Why must we teach sound doctrine? Paul answers it for us in the same passage of Titus 2:1-10.

Titus 2:5 … that the word of God may not be reviled.

Titus 2:8 (ESV) and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:10 (ESV) not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

The verses in Titus 2:5 and Titus 2:8 are both given in the negative in that sound doctrine is necessary so that God’s Word is not reviled, condemned or spoken evil of.  Yet in Titus 2:10 the same idea is given in a positive sense – adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

We are often guilty of breaking up these verses in Titus 2:1-10 into the component parts and saying this applies to women and that applies to men.  I’ve been guilty of that myself.  If you were to see my Bible program right here you would see my highlighting.  Green for general principles, pink for instructions to women and blue for instructions to men, makes sense to me.

But if we do that then we could easily just ignore Titus 2:9-10 because those verses were written to slaves, right?

Nevertheless, we can’t be so fast to dismiss a passage as not applying to us.  There are several different reasons we need to focus on this passage even for women.

Employee / Employer

This is the usual manner in which Titus 2:9-10 is studied.  It is hard to deny the correlation between master / slave and employer / employee.  While we in today’s USA think we do not have to worry about slavery, we can’t go around naïvely thinking that the Bible was written just to us in our time period or that slavery may not ever affect us.  There are people all through the world who deal with slavery.  Nevertheless, in the employer / employee relationship we do have much more freedom and choice in the matter than with slavery, yet with freedom comes much responsibility.  So yes, this passage does apply to us in our work.

Character Qualities

The character qualities in Titus 2:1-10 apply to all believers.   This is an interesting study all on its own.  But here are just a couple of examples.

Sober-minded

 Titus 2:2 (ESV) Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

But we find a verse elsewhere in one of Paul’s letters that show women are to be sober-minded.

1 Timothy 3:11 (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

So see sober-mindedness applies to both men and women.

Dignified

Titus 2:2 (ESV) Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Remember that verse in 1 Timothy also said women must be dignified.

1 Timothy 3:11 (ESV) Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.

Notice how dignified applies to all believers male and female alike.  Thus we can’t just negate the passage that refers to slaves as not applying to us.

The character qualities in Titus 2:1-10 really apply across the board to each believer.  The specifics in how they are displayed maybe different but the actual character qualities are the same.

 

Slaves of Christ

We as believers are slaves of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:22 (ESV) For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.

Ephesians 6:5-8 (ESV)

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

The word in verse 5 translated slaves is the same word in verse 6 translated servants and also the same word in verse 8 translated as slave.  For some reason servant is often used instead of the more accurate slave.  MacArthur suggests that it was a translation cover-up due to the negative connotations to the word slave.  An interesting book to read concerning believers as slaves to Christ is John MacArthur’s book  Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ.


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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Adorn the Doctrine of God

Last month in looking at the verses about Doctrine in the New Testament we discussed for a moment the verses in Titus 2:9-10.

Titus 2:9-10 (ESV)

9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

While we discussed the phrase “adorn the doctrine of God”, we didn’t look very deeply into what that really means.  So let’s go back and look more closely at what exactly that phrase means.  We can give our own ideas and suggestions but unless we really look at what the Bible says we may be just sharing our fallen human opinions.

Our natural inclination when we think of “adorn the Doctrine” is to think of what we can do to make God’s doctrine more appealing to unbelievers.   However, in studying this phrase I came to the realization that we don’t do anything to “adorn” beyond put off our old self and let the Lord adorn us. Thus we then reflect back to others our adornment from the Lord.  We can’t make the perfect doctrine of God more appealing to others, but we sure can make it less appealing.  God’s Doctrine will remain just as beautiful, perfect and effective no matter what our lives are like.  However, we as believers are to “adorn” the doctrine with our character.  Sorta like a frame displaying a wonderful picture or the spot light on the picture.  We aren’t the picture nor should we doctor up or edit the picture – just display the perfect picture.

There are many different directions we could go in order to study what “adorn the doctrine of God” means, but I’m going to start with the context of the passage it is found in – Titus 2:1-10.

Titus 2:1-10 (ESV)

1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,
4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.
7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Now if you are like my kids, you might would say ‘oh, no, not that passage again’.  We all know it so well and not only that but we’ve covered it some over the past few months.  But look with me again and see what I’ve learn just recently.

We started looking at this Titus 2 passage when we were looking at sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1 – “Sound doctrine”

Titus 2:3 – “Teach what is good”

Titus 2:7-8 – “In your teaching show integrity, dignity and sound speech”

Paul is very clear to Titus about how important it is to teach sound doctrine.  Even in chapter 1 Paul is stressing sound doctrine.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) … be able to give instruction in sound doctrine …

 


For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


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