We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. 1 Timothy 1:9-11
Those who demand rights to morally live any way they want—cannot use the Bible to back their dictates. The idea that a person can behave in whatever way makes them happy is foreign to faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus is not an add on to the latest cause a corrupt culture is trying to institute. Christ and His teachings do not conform to the culture, the culture is to conform to the gospel of Jesus. Just as a disciplined soldier must follow agreed upon standards to be part of a vigorous army, so faithful disciples of Jesus embrace moral actions embedded in sound biblical teaching.
Paul answers the decadence of his day by clearly defining sound teaching as doctrine that conforms to the good news of a holy and happy God. Hope is instilled through the word by the Lord’s revelation of Himself in the person of Jesus—as divine clarity came through Christ. Christ’s perfection—God’s holiness. His gentleness—God’s mercy. His love—God’s compassion. His forgiveness—God’s grace. His death—God’s sacrifice. His resurrection—God’s life giving power. His obedience—God’s delight. Jesus modeled what He taught, as He sought to love from a morally healthy stance.
“A time will come when some will no longer tolerate sound teaching. Instead, they will live by their own desires; they’ll scratch their itching ears by surrounding themselves with teachers who approve of their lifestyles and tell them what they want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3, The Voice).
Is your faith grounded in the God of the Scripture revealed in Jesus Christ? Does your behavior betray biblical teaching? Habitual sin is an indicator of a life that does not truly love Jesus, only posing in their profession of faith. The first step in following Christ is to be grounded in the gospel by belief and trust through conversion. You cannot begin to grow as a child of God until you have been spiritually born a child of God. Once a true disciple, you mature in the faith by embracing sound biblical teaching. A high view of Scripture grows into high moral standards.
Make sure to surround yourself with a community of believers who seek to know, understand and apply God’s word. Sound teaching in your church and/or small groups, go a long way in deepening your love of the Lord. A person who loves God is continually being changed by His truth. A righteous life (in right standing with Christ) rebuffs the world’s insistent conformity by submitting to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power. Moral clarity comes to a life of humility: always learning, growing and living out the Lord’s ways, as He defines in His word.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me Your truth so by Your power my behavior bows to Your ways.
Application: What unhealthy habit do I need to submit to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit?
Related Readings: Isaiah 30:10; 1 Timothy 4:9-12, 6:3-5; Titus 2:15; 1 John 3:9
Wisdom Hunters –