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March 3, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn continues the series entitled “Church Matters,” with a message titled “Sound Doctrine; The Church’s Firm Foundation,” from Titus 2.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series called church matters. These messages were preached at Bob Jones University to help students choose a church home while attending college. However, these biblical principles apply to everyone helping us choose where to worship with the body of believers each week today. Sermon will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn, president of the Masters University in seminary, we are right in the middle of the front end of a series on the local church that Dr. Pettit asked us to deliver throughout the course of this semester, and he announced to me that the very beginning of our chapel time. Our theological theme this year was designed has sort of walk us through as an institution as as as a body of believers that are all commonly held together by our relationship to one another in the context of Bob Jones University and he asked that we go through what the New Testament teaches about how to make a choice about where to worship. So he introduced the series and then make some comments even last week and asked me to articulate to you a number of theological affirmations that are common to what we believe here at Bob Jones University so I would like to come now to attack and really to a portion of texts that that goes beyond what we talked about in the first two sermons to stress the importance of making a church choice based on the doctrine that the church espouses and that the church holds and so I've titled the message sound doctrine the church is firm foundation and as I shared with you when when I had an opportunity last time we were together for our doctoral chapel series.
My wife and I my family had been part of a local church ever since we were married and everywhere. We have gone God's connected us to a local church where we could worship we can grow and we could serve, and for the vast majority of our adult life together.
We found ourselves in places where there were not that many churches to choose from, and then 4 1/2 years ago when the Lord brought our family back to Bob Jones University. We began to go through the process that many of you freshman are going through this semester and and that many of you seniors will be going through and made when you graduate and you leave Bob Jones University in that process proved to be a little more daunting than then Beth and I thought it would. We found ourselves in a place where we were trying to make decisions about where our family would arrive and where we can worship together and where we can grow and serve.
And instead of having five or six options like we had in Milwaukee or in Minneapolis.
We found ourselves in a place where there were 400 options within a 20 mile radius of this campus that was simply stunning to us. We didn't know about all 400 at the time, but as we began working through this project institutionally.
I began to discover why it's so difficult because of the plethora of churches that God is established here in the upstate somebody you know, once joked with me about the fact that there are churches on every block in in Greenville and if there is a block without a church is quickly somebody praying that God would start a church there.
Because there isn't a good church on that block and that's how that's how plentiful churches are in our area and so I began to discover and I'm sure you have found this to be true in your own life that I was going to have to be far more intentional and far more prayerful than I had perhaps been in the past, to my shame I I should have been intentional and prayerful in every case but it it just became a reminder that there were themes that I was going to have to really kind of think about in making a church choice for and so looking back on that process. There were about five questions that I felt I needed to answer. I don't know that I articulated them at the time. In this way, but looking back over that process. There were there were five important questions that we wrestle with along the way. We didn't do it all at once. We let as I said I don't know that I'd consciously written these questions out, but I want to give them to you because I think they may be helpful to you as you think about the church that you believe God would have you to be a part of during your time here at Bob Jones University so question number one.
What does this church believe what one of the doctrinal beliefs that that shade his church in the number two how does this church practice those beliefs out of those beliefs, meaning meaningfully shade that the life of this congregation and what is this churches approach to preaching and proclaiming those troops. What is its approach to preaching and then how does this church advance the gospel, how does it remodel it in its Congregational life. How does the gospel shade the community and how is the gospel advance throughout the community where God is established the church and then number five.
What is the primary and it would really stress that were what is the primary purpose because every time you gathered together in corporate worship. There are a number of things that happened but what is the primary objective.
What is the primary purpose of that particular church.
When it comes to its corporate gather worship. I'm not necessarily talking about a Sunday evening or Wednesday night or any time that the church gathers talking about that time that the New Testament describe the early church meeting on the first day of the week and and the instruction that we have from the New Testament writers not to forsake the gathering ourselves together in that context. So what is what is the primary purpose and focus of its official corporate worship so those questions became very helpful as I look back, and how our family landed where we did and so what I want to do this morning as I want to focus in on the first two of those questions. What is the church believe and how does that believe shape the life of the church and as we talked about when we were together last first Timothy chapter 315 really stresses the importance of this. Let me read this to you by the way I'm going to read this text out of the King James but because of the nature of the texts were going to be looking at this morning I minute apart from our normal practice of reading and preaching out of the King James from our chapel platform and I'll be using and referencing the ESV so as you follow along that that's what were to be doing this morning. Paul said to Timothy, if I tarry long, that thou may us know how thou ought us to behave thyself in the house of God in that household of God is, is not really talking primarily about the building that you go to its it's talking about the reality that you are part of God's household. In this household is the church of the living God, and its role is to be the pillar and the ground of truth. In other words, the church is intended to do two things with the truth it is to be the place where that truth is publicly displaying.
So when you come to the community and you you walk into the community and find yourself in a place where people are doing life there ought to be a community of people whose lives have been transformed by the truth and they are displaying that truth. The church is to be the pillar upon which that truth rests, and is displayed and then the church is supposed to support and defend that truth itself.
That is to be the ground. The idea there is to be the buttress of truth, that which supports the truth and defensive truth. And Paul is going to make the case in both letters that he wrote to Timothy and Titus that this truth is so important. This doctrine is so important to the life of the church that failure to give attention to it. Failure to put it in its proper place. Failure to do what he is about to tell Timothy and Titus to do will actually bring about serious shipwreck in the life of believers, and in first and second Timothy. He gives you four examples of real people living in that day who had made a shipwreck of their life because they had failed to hold on and to give attention to sound doctrine. So this morning. What I like to do is I'd like to take these two questions related to what a church believes and how it practices what it believes and I want to take us on a on a journey through first, second Timothy and Titus. I want to make three observations the first of those is the paramount importance of sound doctrine and I want to begin our journey in Titus chapter 2 verse one where I ask you to turn where Paul makes this very very bold statement, but as for you Titus it doesn't matter what anybody else is doing and where to find out the Titus actually has an official role in this church but as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Insulin to give you some background to that state. Paul wrote three letters to two young pastors, elders that God had marked out and that the apostles had set apart to be pastors or elders over local congregations in Ephesus. That's where Timothy was and in Crete that's where Titus was both of these men had been called to serve as recognized official spiritual leaders and they were doing so in very difficult places both Ephesus and Cree were spiritually dark. They were morally wicked and they were hostile to the message of the gospel and yet in every one of those cities in both of those cities through the gracious working of God by means of this word and by the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit. Many in those cities had turned from idols to serve the true and living God and the way for the coming of his son, whom God had raised from the dead the same thing happened at Ephesus and in Cree that happened to the Thessalonians in first Thessalonians chapter 1 verses nine and 10 and these people were now the household of God and as such they were the public display and powerful validation of the truth of the gospel that had transformed them into taking them out of the kingdom of darkness and put them into the kingdom of light and almost immediately came into those congregations voices that began to compete with the true doctrine and so Paul writes to these two young pastors and stresses the importance of them teaching sound doctrine to the church and insisting that the church hold onto that sound doctrine. Now let me show you this out of these two letters I like when we show how forcefully Paul insists on this a.m. and let's look at how he talks to Titus. We saw in chapter 2, verse one. Teach what accords with sound doctrine out not just follow the narrative you can jot down some of these texts.
If you would like. He says to Titus. Here is an example of sound doctrine looks like. In chapter 2 verse 11 D says 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 the 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, not Timothy or Titus, rather, that is an example of the kind of doctrine that your to teach and then he says this, you are actually to declare these things. You can see that in verse 50 you are to exhort and your to review with all authority. Let no one disregard you about this. Don't let anybody come into your church. Titus and teach contrary to this, you need to insist on this and he goes on since I left you in Crete so you could do two things you can see this in chapter 1 verse five and in chapter 1 verse nine, I left you in Crete to put things in order and God's household and to appoint other elders like you who will hold firm to these trustworthy words as taught, so that these men may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it, and Titus. I want you to insist on these things look in chapter 3 verse eight. I want you to insist on these things so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works for these things are excellent and profitable for people. Are you catching the way of what Paul is laying on Titus with regard to sound doctrine, church where he was an overseer.
Notice how he does this with Timothy. Go to first Timothy chapter 1 positive. Timothy, I want you to remain in Ephesus and I want you to charge the idea there is to command I want you to command certain people to not teach different doctrine. Specifically, they need to stop teaching things that are contrary to sound doctrine in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I've been entrusted. Chapter 1 verse 1011 in which I entrusted to you and Timothy. This is so important because the spirit of God specifically states that in later times there will come those who depart from the faith, and in this context you Timothy are to hold fast to the truth and put this body of truth before the brother at specifically the doctrine you received when you were trained in the words of faith and of good doctrine in the fall of festivity. Chapter 4 verse six and verse 11. Chapter 4 Timothy you need to command and teach these truths. You need to practice these things immerse yourself and that so that everyone will see your progress.
Keep a close watch on your own life and on the teaching and process in this for by so doing you will save both yourself and your ears and then he says very directly teach and urge these things guard the good deposit entrusted to you. And so there is the paramount importance of sound doctrine as found in the establishment of the early church through its two young pastor elders there being charged by Paul so if that's so important.
What exactly is this sound doctrine and select quickly look at the nature of sound doctrine. Paul warns Timothy and Titus that there would be teachers who would rise in the church with a body of teaching and he uses this word that is heterologous and the word heterologous means different.
There are going to come in the church people who are going to sound and presents an attractive ways teachings that are different. So the question is different than what and Paul is going to give Titus and Timothy five descriptions of what sound doctrine is like and and and that is to be what these false teachers are not to contradict.
They are coming with the truth that is different than this.
Here are the words that faith and there are multiple references where Paul talks to Timothy about the faith, the truth exhaust sound doctrine. LC doctrine this great doctrine.tgz the good deposit. So what's the point of these five ideas and is this you see the little word the, the definite article this this is not just faith.
This is not just truth is not just doctrine is not just teaching.
This is not just a deposit. There is a specific faith in a specific truth, a specific doctrine a specific teaching in a specific deposit that Paul has in mind.
In other words, he is saying to Timothy, there is an official body of teaching. There is an official body of doctrine, there is an official deposit of truth and and so where did this come from and we read in the New Testament that this body, this essay this truth in this sound doctrine was actually deliver June. Verse three talks about this is that I wanted to write to you about that that the common glorious salvation we share in a and I wanted to celebrate that with you but I found it necessary to urge you to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered or fully delivered to the saints, and so Paul and Jude are reminding us that there is an official body of truth that God delivered to the church and he delivered it through his apostles policy to say to Timothy God entrusted it to me and I entrusted to you, and it's not just Paul alone is actually all of the apostles because in acts chapter 2, verse 42 we find the early churches were gathered together around the apostles teaching and Peter says they got this teaching as God revealed it to them and they wrote it down as the Holy Spirit moved on them and those writings are now presented to us and preserved for us in the Bible that you hold in your hand and so that doctrine is highly important to the church, the nature of the doctrine and the source of it and that brings me to the third and final thing we want to talk about. As we wrap up our time together this morning so what are we supposed to do with this sound doctrine.
What is our responsibility and and I'm to suggest that we have a responsibility at two levels. I think there is a corporate responsibility that we have as members of the local church and that is we we need to seek enjoying churches that take doctrine seriously and whose pastors and elders do at least five things McGinty very quickly. We need pastors and elders were to lead the church to practice these teachings personally.
We need pastors and elders who immerse themselves in these teachings carefully to pay attention to how these teachings are applied and lived out in the life of the church who persist in the teaching and application and living out on these cruise authoritatively and insistently they will not be talked out or away from these documents. Titus chapter 3 verse eight chapter 2 verse 15 and there to guard the truth boldly against error and those that teach it. So when you and I look for church. Paul says ties Timothy doctrine is of paramount importance and and you need to find a church that takes doctrine seriously, whose leaders whose official recognize leaders is appointed pastors and elders actually do the things that Paul was telling Titus and Timothy, and then finally there is a personal responsibility that I had as an individual believer, and that you have as an individual believer and I would suggest that that responsibility is this. You and I need to strive to know what that doctrine is we actually need to take the time to understand what doctrine is and and what our church actually believes so we need to take the time to know doctrine and then we we actually need to leave the doctor we say is important to the point that it's actually shaping the way we live if we say the doctrine of our church, or a particular doctrine is important and it has no effect on our life really contradicting our speech so we need to know the doctrine and we actually need to believe the doctrine so that it shakes her life. And then here's the third thing we need to grow in our understanding of the doctrines that are taught in Scripture. Can I make this observation for the for the four years that you were Bob Jones University you have an unparalleled opportunity that you probably will never have in any other context for the rest of your life. You have an unparalleled opportunity to actually grow in your understanding of the doctors both in and out of the classrooms and of the classes that you take and then we must guard the doctrine that we have come to believe against error and finally we must pass that truth that doctrine on to others, so I don't ever intend to be a teacher of doctoral and I'm suggesting you that that as a Christian, whether you ever intend to or not you actually are teacher of doctrine will teach it in your families to your children, you live it out in the community around you and and as you understand and embrace the truth that is taught in Scripture and the doctrine that was delivered to the church. It changes everything you adorn the gospel without belief. Let's pray together.
Father, thank you for our text this morning thank you for a pattern that we see throughout. Three important books that you gave the two young pastors that were leaning early congregations to do the very thing we're trying to do in our own day and in our own H so I pray for each of us that we would see and understand and be impacted by the importance of the doctrine of the body of truth. You gave your church or help us to love it. I was to know it was to grow in and help us Lord to guarded and to pass it on to others. In Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Sam Horn from the series called church matters. If you appreciate this program to benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift. You can easily do that to the website. The Daily Platform.com. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and BJ. You were committed to providing an outstanding Christian liberal arts education which is designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning loving and leading. If you're looking for a quality education from a biblical worldview in a Christian community that will challenge you BJ you is the place for you. For more information visit BJ you.edu or call 800-252-6363. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on church membership here on The Daily Platform