Paul instructs Titus to look for leaders who walk the walk, i.e., lead by example. The last key area of exemplary living surrounds the role of God’s Word in their lives. They must be convinced of the trustworthy nature of the message, be educated in its contents, and then he adds that they should be able to express “sound doctrine” in an encouraging way. Doctrine has drawn much criticism today from our pluralistic society. When we teach biblical truths, we are said to “indoctrinate” others and this is always a bad thing. Of course we’re always indoctrinating others with our convictions.

A major wave of persecution of Christians broke out under the Roman Emperor Julian in 362 AD. He is known as Julian the Apostate. He ordered that all educators be licensed before teaching, in an effort to prevent the Christian education of young people. On this same day in 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed classroom prayer and Bible reading in American schools. Jesus commissions all true believers to make disciples. The means of doing that is twofold; baptizing and teaching. Baptizing refers to leading others to faith climaxing with their public profession of that faith and identification with others of the same faith. Teaching is concerned with “sound doctrine.” All teaching is “indoctrination.” Schools that eject Biblical instruction from the curriculum and ban prayer are indoctrinating students on the irrelevancy of the most important aspect in life. All teaching, or lack of teaching, serves to indoctrinate.

Sound doctrine is literally “healthy doctrine.” That’s why the NLT translation calls it “wholesome teaching.” Teaching biblical truth results in healthy, wholesome living and brings spiritual wellness as well as physical health. The same word used in 3 John 2 for physical health is used in Titus and other passages for spiritually healthy doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13, 16; 5:17; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1, 7). A. W. Tozer said, “Great saints have always been dogmatic.” J. I. Packer wrote, “There can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “We cannot have the benefits of Christianity if we shed its doctrines.” Paul predicted, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” That’s why Jude tells us: “Contend earnestly for the faith.”

“But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine” Titus 2:1