November 3

Today's Bible Reading
     II Kings 16
     Titus 2
     Hosea 9
     Psalms 126-128
''But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine."  (Titus 2: 1)
            I've had many believers tell me that when they go to church, they want something exciting. They're looking for the ''doxology'' of celebration. They are weary of long sessions of preaching and teaching without a lot of humor, but all the emphasis on doctrine that seems to them as dry as dust. Maybe they have just confessed to why the church is indicted with powerlessness and foolishness in our day.  More music,drama, dialogue, fellowship, and activities are all fine, fun, and sometimes exciting,but they can never take the place of knowing what the Bible teaches.  That involves learning the great doctrines of the Christian faith.
            The church must teach sound doctrine or it is not a church. I've seen a little book entitled The Spiritual Fingerprints of the Visible Church. When the book takes us back to the Day of Pentecost, when 3,000 people made their commitment to Christ, the book of Acts tells us that ''they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) These were the identification marks of the early church - the apostle's doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. It really doesn't matter how high the steeple may be, or how beautifully the chimes may play; it is the message that is going out from the pulpit that will tell you whether the church is really a church, organized as Paul understood it, and as the Word of God declares it.
            In this second chapter of the Book of Titus, we find that Paul believes the church should be organized with the older men and older women teaching the young people of the church the truth from the Word of God.
So, you ask, ''What is true doctrine, and how can we know we are studying true doctrine?'' It means simply this: you are to take the Bible, not some book about the Bible but the Bible itself, and study it chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. The Bible is the best commentary on itself, and the best interpreter of itself.  Seek the wisdom and leadership of the Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God to give you wisdom and understanding. Seek out Godly teachers whose lifestyle exemplifies their commitment to Scripture. These must be teachers who believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallibleWord of God.  They must be teachers who give you not their opinion, but clear teaching of Scripture.
            As you study the doctrine of God's Word, you must rightly divide the Word of Truth. Many like to dwell on those verses that seem to suit their needs at the time, and avoid those things that convict them. One man wanted me to tell his wife that she was supposed to obey him. I asked him how long it had been since he told her that he loved her, and given evidence of it. When we discovered that seemed to be quite awhile,I was able to explain to him that the wife responds to the genuine love of her husband. You must rightly divide the Word of Truth. The church must be organized to teach and communicate the doctrines of the Word of God. You are to be a part of that, either through teaching or learning.
            As you continue to pray for Maritime Ministries throughout the world, pray especially for safety and protection of the crew, medical personnel, and ministers on these boats. The loss of the original MV Logos near Cape Hom in 1988 highlights the potential for danger. 
            ''You do not do God a favor by serving Him. He honors you by allowing you to serve Him."
Victor Nyquist