In his letter to Titus the Apostle Paul has much to say about the believer’s walk and works. Salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Tit. 3:5); but after having been saved by grace alone there is plenty of opportunity for works. Five times in this little epistle reference is made to works. The child of God is to show himself “a pattern of good works” (Tit. 2:7), to be “zealous of good works” (Tit. 2:14), “to be ready to every good work” (Tit. 3:1), and “to maintain good works” (Tit. 3:8,14).

In the first verse of chapter 2 the apostle speaks of “the things which become sound doctrine.” These things were not only theological but practical. In this epistle such wonderful truths are presented as the salvation-bringing Grace of God, the Kindness and Love of God toward those who were once foolish, disobedient, and deceived, Redemption through Christ, and the Blessed Hope. But the inspired writer dwells even more fully on matters that pertain to daily life and conduct. He calls for sobriety, faith, love, and patience in the old men, and for such behavior as becometh believers in the aged women. He tells the young women to be discreet, chaste, and lovers of home, while for the young men the exhortation is to be sober-minded. In the minister himself he calls for sincerity and sound speech, while in servants fidelity is enjoined, with a warning against stealing from their masters.

All this is regarded by the apostle as Sound Doctrine. In 1:9 he speaks of sound doctrine, in 2:1 of the things which become sound doctrine, and in 2:9 of adorning the doctrine. Paul did not set forth doctrine simply to reach the mind and to store it with knowledge, however Scriptural it might be, but he believed in doctrines that affected the lives of the children of God.

Let us remember this, and learn a lesson from it. We need not only correct doctrine but also right and holy living, and mere knowledge will not take the place of real fruit in our lives. Alas, how many today have only a form of godliness; some even boasting of their knowledge of grace, yet manifesting none of the accompanying graces.