“But as for you teach what accords with sound doctrine…For the Grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age-waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ 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.”(Titus 2:1 and v11-13)
Sound doctrine to teach, specific training being espoused, having a confident vision for His Coming, reiterating why He died-to redeem us to be a people for His own possession: these and so much more to have sober but joyous response of. Then again, how do I do this?
One of the best things that happened to me in my Christian walk is to discover the glorious, mind-boggling depth of the Scriptures and especially the Gospel. There are reasons that the fathers in the Faith were enamored with writing about the Scriptures. Look at John Owen, Jonathon Edwards, and Charles Spurgeon for example: the focus they had on various doctrines through their writings affects and assists to define Christianity today.
Learning about the subjects of the various principles that give Christianity its structure (called Doctrines) helps me understand the Hand of God in what I see, especially when I look into the mirror-it supports me in efforts to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and to be ready in season and out to talk about the “hope that is within me.”
I totally recognize that I am a “jackleg” scholar wanna-be. There is no way I could ever be like some of the guys I named above. Being like these guys doesn’t drive me; being as God says for me to be is what drives me. Scholarship without hands on, getting my boots on the ground and dirty, I think isn’t the Spirit’s point. Learning with direction for good works is the objective.
I have written to myself before, mentioned to my wife once or twice, that the Gospel is a simple message (Jesus said the Gospel should be spoken of in simplicity so a child could understand it) but it is also the most complex and beautiful that I could study the facets of the Gospel for the rest of my days and still only scratch the surface of what the Trinitarian God planned before Creation began.
Lord God: Thank You for the Plan of redemption. You love us that much is clear and without question. Why You love us? Well, that will absorb our contemplation for eternity; especially when I wonder why you love specifically me? You called, you chose-and yet I wonder why? Nevertheless, I worship You and toss my crowns (a meager count they are) at Your feet because You did something You didn’t have to do but did anyway. What emotional, sober, calculating discussions You had that the choice of Redemption via the Cross was the result? Mind boggling and without human reference. Thank You forever, AMEN.