And Epistle Written Unto Christians
“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you”Titus 2:7-8
The Mission in the Land of the Ungodly
What is the mission of the Christian? Is it not to bring the message of the salvation of Christ to the lost world, and to help each other live for God? The Apostle Paul sent Titus to Crete for these purposes, as was discussed in the two previous epistles about “The Ministry of Today”, and “To Living Soberly”. Titus was given a mission in this wicked land of the Cretans. The teachers here were vain and unruly, they subverted whole houses against the LORD, and were teachers of fables. Simply put: their mouths needed to be shut up.
Think about the falsehoods that Titus had to deal with, and think about the falsehoods Christians deal with today.
Paul said that the deceivers’ “mouths must be stopped” (Titus 1:11). When we think of the dangers of false doctrine we must consider the dangers of those false doctrines being believed. Belief in false doctrine can lead a saved man to serve sin, and a lost man further away from Christ. Does Paul mean that violence must be used in order to stop their mouths? No, not at all, and he does not mean to say that they must be silenced by death or injury. But consider that the Lord Jesus Christ called the Pharisees and Scribes hypocrites in front of all the people. When the Pharisees could not say anything against Christ, they were afraid to do anything to him in the sight of the people because the people heard what Christ said and believed that he was a prophet (Matthew 21:46). Simply explained, the Pharisees were ashamed to publicly denounce truth, for they could not condemn the righteous Christ.
Consider the dynamic here. When Jesus spoke truth against the servants of the devil, the people heard it gladly. This shut the mouths of the Pharisees, for the doctrine of Jesus could not be argued against, and the people understood it to be true. This led to the eventual crucifixion of Christ, but when we remember that this was the purposed outcome of God’s will, and that the Pharisees could not do anything against Christ by words, then we can see that the goal was met, and their mouths were stopped. For although Christ died, yet he lives forever more, and the Pharisees themselves were made his footstool.
Now consider the doctrine of Titus. Paul told him that it must be pure doctrine, the doctrine of Christ. Sound and true, with the goal being the eventual defeat of the evil beasts on the spiritual battlefield. Christians today are afraid to fight this battle. Instead they lay down their weapons and give in to the evil beasts and their slow bellies, which means that they submit themselves to false doctrine and fleshly lusts. That is why Paul exhorted Titus to ensure that the young men (which are those that must be raised to fight the continual war of faith), must be exhorted to be “sober minded” (Titus 2:6). Jesus fought the spiritual battle and won because he lived by the words of the Heavenly Father. These words necessitated that the liars must be called liars, hypocrites, and children of the devil. Are we prepared for this warfare?
A Life Lived For The LORD
Paul understood that the pure doctrine of the salvation of Jesus Christ must be exemplified in all aspects of a Christian’s life, and all ages and occupations of Christians as well. He discussed the aged men and women, the young men, and he also described the duties of a servant to his master: “Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:9-10).
Dear Christian, the Lord Jesus Christ gave his life on the Cross to save us and “redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). The mission and ministry of Titus has many parallels to the predicament of today’s Christians, and it seems that we are in a worse condition today to fight it. Paul gave Titus clear instructions to teach truths to the Christians and rebuke the false teachers. Paul outlined the purpose of a Christian to work for the glory of God, to understand truth, and to be zealous. Rebuking a false teacher even if he is a man who is unreasonably respected as a teacher may sound like a strange thing to do for some Christians, yet recall that the Lord saved us to be a peculiar people, and to be deniers of ungodliness (Titus 2:12). You do not need to be a Pastor or evangelist to fight for the truth, dear Christian, just understand that it is part of the work that God wants us to do in prayer, to “exhort and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:15). As long as you understand that our message is the truth of Christ according to God’s Holy Word, “Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).
Grace be with you all. Amen.
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