Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

Gospel Arithmetic

Bryan Matthew Dockens


I don't mind telling you: I hate math. It was always my worst subject in school. Yet, the mathematics of God's word has always fascinated me. For instance, did you know that 1+1=1 (Matthew 19:4-6)? In terms of our treatment of His word and our interaction with one another, God has issued certain rules of a mathematical nature.

Do not add. The Lord decreed, "You shall not add to the word which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4:2). God's "word is truth" (John 17:17) and whenever truth is added to, the sum is falsehood; therefore, "Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6). "Whoever transgresses", that is: whoever goes too far, "and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9).

Do not subtract. Not only does the Lord forbid addition, He likewise prohibits subtraction from His word, having declared, "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it" (Deuteronomy 12:32). The consequences are severe, as the apostle wrote, "if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life" (Revelation 22:19). Few would be so bold as King Jehoiakim who, upon hearing God's word read to him from a scroll, "cut it with the scribe's knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire" (Jeremiah 36:23), yet many effectively do the same when they obey God only selectively, choosing which portions of His word they prefer and ignoring the rest.

Do not divide. By inspiration, Paul wrote, "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). He went on to ask, "For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?" (1 Corinthians 3:3). This carnality is presented in direct contrast to the spirituality of the mature (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). "Those who cause divisions" must be avoided (Romans 16:17).

Always multiply. In the days following the arrests and beatings of the apostles, "the number of the disciples was multiplying" (Acts 6:1). When the church in Jerusalem had resolved an internal conflict, it is recorded that "the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly" (Acts 6:7). Similarly, we can read that when an evil king was deposed by God "the word of God grew and multiplied" (Acts 12:42). The fact is, the church can grow under any circumstances: persecution from without (Acts 4:4; 11:21), discipline of wayward members (Acts 5:14), and during times of peace and edification (Acts 9:31). So long as Christians are bold to spread God's word (Mark 16:15), disciples will multiply in number.


The Cross From Seven Viewpoints

Wade Webster


From the viewpoint of Judas, it was about silver. Judas was a thief and a traitor (John 12:4-6; 13:28-29). He made a deal with the Jewish leaders to sell Jesus for the "goodly price" of thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13); Matthew 26:15).

From the viewpoint of the pharisees, it was about silence. The Jewish leaders knew that the world was going after Jesus (John 12:19), and they were afraid that the whole world would believe on Him (John 11:48). When they could not stump Him or snare Him with their questions (Matthew 22:15-17, 35), they decided to silence Him by slaying Him (Matthew 26:3-4). As you know, even this didn't work. He rose three days later, and His apostles boldly preached His resurrection (Acts 2; 4:18-30, 33; 5:17-29, 40-42; 17:6).

From the viewpoint of Pilate, it was about self-preservation. Although Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:4; Matthew 27:24), he caved in to Jewish pressure to crucify Jesus (John 19:12-13; Mark 15:15). He sacrificed Jesus in an effort to save himself (John 12:25).

From the viewpoint of the Roman soldiers, it was about sport. The Roman soldiers brought Jesus into the common hall and mocked Him (Matthew 27:27-31; Luke 23:11; John 19:2-3). At the foot of His cross, they cast lots for His wardrobe as they watched Him struggle in pain (Matthew 27:34-35).

From the viewpoint of the Father, it was about substitution. In His grace, God sent Jesus to taste death for us by taking our place on the cross (Hebrews 2:9; Romans 5:8-10; Isaiah 53:5, 11; 1 Peter 2:21; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10).

From the viewpoint of the Son, it was about submission. Although the cross meant shame and suffering, Jesus submitted to the Father's will and went to the cross (Matthew 26:39, 53; Hebrews 5:7-9; 12:2; Philippians 2:8-9).

From the viewpoint of the saints, it was about salvation. The early Christians saw the cross, and the blood shed there, as the means of their salvation (Matthew 26:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:9-10; 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:18-24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 1:5; 7:14).

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