In an information rich world, it is easy to think that knowing things is an end in itself. However, only when knowledge is applied and put to use does it make a difference. We can know all about nutrition, but if we still insist on eating chocolate cake for every meal, we will not experience health. We can know all about traveling to another country, but until we take the trip and turn that knowledge into an experience then all we have are daydreams. We can know sound doctrine and be experts in the gospel, but until we seek to live out the implications, we are basically just religious study majors, not true disciples.
In our passage today Paul reminds Titus that there is a responsibility that comes with knowing sound doctrine. After the knowledge comes the lifestyle informed by the information. The gospel has implications for all of us at every age and social position. Titus 2:1-10 explain the way that we would live when we have encountered the truths of the gospel. These truths when expressed in our lifestyles produce godliness and good fruit. They lead to peaceful living with God and peaceful living with one another. The gospel is meant to transform the way that we live our lives, not just the way that we think about God and ourselves.
In Titus 2:11-15 we see why we do these things. It is because of God’s work in the world and in us. We live godly lives because we have experienced the grace of God and his salvation. We do these things because that grace is transforming even our most evil characteristics and tendencies. We do these things because we have a hope and a future through Christ that motivates us to think beyond our experiences on this earth. We do these things because we have experienced redemption and have been given a new life and a new purpose.
It is a real challenge for us today to be focused on applying what we learn about our faith. It is much easier to learn about God rather than live for God. It is also easier to think that having knowledge about God is sufficient when it comes to being a disciple. Fortunately, we are called to a much more exciting and fruitful life. Take some time to think about how your faith is put into action. Does your lifestyle match up with what Paul describes in the first part of the passage? What is the fruit that your life is producing? Have you become satisfied with knowledge of the Bible and the gospel or are you seeking a lifestyle that reflects what you believe? Ask God to help you grow into a disciple who lives according to the doctrine that you profess.