To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.After our brief interlude to the non-pastors among our readers (and we can see how well that went, so dear pastor reader, your work is obviously cut out for you), we back to seeing how Paul told Timothy to engage in the ministry -- and we have come to a simply phrase: "teach what accords with sound doctrine".
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
I was tempted to go on from there today and roll out the bulk of Titus 2 for you, but this phrase has some particular interest. First of all, it does say "teach" -- as in "to use words in order to declare one's mind and disclose one's thoughts". It's not a subtle word, really: it's sort of a clear command word -- sort of a present active imperative: teach it. Preach it. Declare it. Use words. Now.
And in case one doesn't see it, Paul does say "YOU teach". Don't just see to it that it's taught: YOU teach.
And Paul is not exhorting Titus teach just anything. He says to teach "the things that stand out or are conspicuous" -- which is an interesting thing when one is taking a sentence apart word for word. But Paul wants Titus to teach not the minutiae or the sub-subtle lexical nuances: he wants Titus to go after what's obvious -- get the big rocks in, as they say in 7 Habits class.
But here's the thing: it's not what's obvious to the world, or what's obvious to the Cretans: it's what's obvious about healthy doctrine.
You know: while we believe in some really interesting and deep stuff, how about the obvious stuff that is healthy doctrine as opposed to (for example) what is "detestable, disobedient, unfit".
Because here's the thing: often, we overlook the obvious. The problem in the Christian life is that it's loaded with obvious stuff, and we get caught up in endless genealogies and stupid myths. What if we stuck to the obvious stuff, like somehow being grateful for the forgiveness of our great debt, and generous because we have been given so much we do not deserve, and loving because we have been loved in a rather lavish way?
Because I think that's what Paul means here by "adorns": that which is just hangin' right off sound doctrine.
Dear pastor reader: pick the low-hanging fruit. Use words in order to declare one's mind and disclose one's thoughts. Preach it. You.