Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

A Model For The Church

Garland Elkins, adapted

In the basement of America's largest home, the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, you can see a model of the structure. The model was completed first, as a guide to build the home. In Barcelona, Spain, you can visit the still unfinished Sagrada Familia Church. They have been working on it for fifty years. They will show you a model of what the building will look like when it is finished.

We all need patterns and we must follow the right pattern. The Bible gives us a model for building Christ's church. The New Testament is the right pattern. Members of the church of Christ refuse to accept any human creed in religion. We seek to plant New Testament churches throughout the world, after the New Testament pattern. We refuse any uninspired man's statements, or system of statements, as our rule in religion. Articles of Religion, Confessions of Faith, Disciplines, Church Manuals, and Creeds formulated by men are thus rejected; the Word of God alone is our standard.

This is the only safe path because "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Peter says that God gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3); therefore, when we speak, we are to "speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11).

If we want to be pleasing to God, we need to follow His model (Hebrews 8:5).

"The Way Of Escape": Advice For Overcoming Sin

Bryan Matthew Dockens

  1. Remember that your sin can be forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Repent and be baptized to accomplish this (Acts 2:38).
  2. Thank God that He will never tempt you (James 1:13), nor allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13), but will provide for your deliverance (Hebrews 2:18; 2 Peter 2:9).
  3. Because committing God's word to your heart will help you fight off temptation (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:1-11), make a daily habit of reading, writing, and reciting those scriptures most relevant to your struggle.
  4. Avoid the company of those who would encourage sinful behavior (1 Corinthians 15:33).
  5. Refrain from viewing material that would stimulate wicked thought (Psalm 101:3) because immoral desire is as sinful as immoral behavior (Matthew 5:27-28). Instead, concentrate on good things (Philippians 4:8).
  6. Remember that it is not sinful to be tempted, but to succumb to temptation (Hebrews 4:15; James 1:14-15).
  7. Pray for strength to overcome every temptation (Matthew 6:13; 26:41; John 17:15).
  8. When you do fall short, repent and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).
  9. Confess your shortcomings to your brothers and sisters in Christ so that we may pray for you (James 5:16) and encourage you (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
  10. Be ashamed when you sin (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12), but when you've made progress, forget your sin and move forward (Philippians 3:12-14).

Feminine Side

Bryan Matthew Dockens

I've always been irked by references to the "feminine side" of men. I believe God created mankind "male and female" (Genesis 1:27) and very clearly delineated their roles within the church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:11-12), the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7), and society in general (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 11:15). Men should embrace their masculinity and women their femininity.

Even so, there are certain qualities that are decidedly masculine or feminine which must be developed by everyone.

Maternal nurturing is a definitively female attribute, yet even godly men should display this characteristic. Paul spoke in this way of his work among the brethren in Thessalonica: "But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us" (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8). And Jesus, mourning the desolation that would befall stubborn Jerusalem, lamented, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37).

All Christians, men and women alike, are under command to "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). The words translated "be brave" here (NKJV), literally mean "be manly", and most versions (KJV, ASV, NAS, ESV) render it accordingly. All the godly, women included, must develop manly courage as it pertains to serving the Lord.

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