Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

"The Common People Heard Him Gladly"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

When Jesus taught in the temple "the common people heard Him gladly" (Mark 12:37).

The gospel of Christ is God's power to save all who believe (Romans 1:16), but those most receptive to His message have always been commoners. Jesus even gave thanks to God, saying "that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes" (Matthew 11:25). Salvation is not reserved for the college educated, for captains of industry, or the crowned heads of Europe. The word of God is most appealing to those who prefer simplicity. Paul remarked, "not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

That common people could hear Him gladly indicates the Lord spoke to them in a way that was simple to comprehend. He didn't dumb it down for them, but neither did he speak over their heads. The message is meant to be understood, which is why God commanded the prophet Habakkuk to "Write the vision and make it plain" (Habakkuk 2:2). When the people of Judah returned from captivity and restored proper worship, Ezra's assistants "read distinctly from the book, in the law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading" (Nehemiah 8:8). Sound doctrine doesn't impress the audience with the preacher's eloquence (1 Corinthians 2:1-5); it just communicates God's word in a straightforward fashion. When this is accomplished, common people will gladly hear it.

Trial Of Jesus On Trial

Joe R. Price

A religious group called Friends of Jesus has petitioned the High Court of Kenya to clear the name of Jesus:

"A group called Friends of Jesus is seeking to clear the name of Jesus Christ. They say his human rights were violated when he was convicted and crucified without a fair trial. They also want a ruling on whether Jesus' sentencing was legal, arguing that the correct penalty for blasphemy at the time was stoning, not crucifixion." ("Jesus case before Kenyan court,"

Why is this legal action being pursued? According to the man leading the legal effort, Jesus remains a "convicted criminal" and, due to the illegal nature of his trial, that ruling should be reversed. There is no doubt that Jesus did not receive a fair trial, "In his humiliation his justice was taken away" (Acts 8:33). But, does one really believe that a human court has jurisdiction to overturn the ruling of both a Jewish court (the Sanhedrin) and the Roman court (Pilate) two thousand years later? Furthermore, is Jesus really a criminal because a human court said so?

The resurrection of Jesus declared him to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4; Acts 10:39-43). That pretty much renders null and void any ruling of human courts. Rulings from above overthrow the rulings of men (Acts4:19-20; 5:38-39).

The courts of men do not establish divine truth. The trial of Jesus shows this to be so. While Pilate acted with authority given him from above, he abused his power to judge and sinned in condemning Jesus, as did the Jewish rulers (John 19:10-11; Acts 2:23; 3:13).

Jesus does not need a ruling from a Kenyan court to pronounce his innocence. The gospel does that; and it is His gospel that we must preach to the world (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:16-17).

Extinguished Ember

Author Unknown

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the preacher's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back down in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday."

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