Summary: There will be opposition to the christian faith and so how do we handle them?
Please open your Bibles to Titus…..
All Christians are to pursue godliness; and godliness is pursued through His Word and through Jesus Christ!
And as we noted last week, God calls on godly leaders to encourage others and refute false teachings.
Let us note a little background of Titus and where he was. From Galatians Chapter 2, Titus was with Paul and Barnabas in their missionary journeys. Titus was left in Crete (show map) to pastor the churches established there.
Crete was populated by Cretans who descended from ancient Greek Minoans; but as we will note in the passage, there were many Jews in Crete, but at that time the island was ruled by Romans! The book of Acts notes Cretans to be present when Pentecost came and so, there were Christians in Crete. Crete was a complicated society which much needed Christianity!
Titus was the right person to pastor in Crete because he was Greek, had experiences with other cultures, and he was discipled by the Apostle Paul.
Before reading our passage for today, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word….
Read along with me now Titus 1:9-16…..
v9: tells us that godly church leaders are to encourage with God’s Word and refute false teachings.
And what do we note from v10-12?
There are many rebellious people (opposing the Christian faith):
- mere talkers = (loves to talk but all meaningless)
- deceivers = (leading others to delusions)
- circumcision group = Jews who do not believe in Jesus Christ
- ruining households with false teachings and for dishonest gains
- Cretans with barbaric culture
How were the Cretan Christians supposed to handle those who oppose the Christian faith?
v13: those opposing the Christian faith in Crete were to be rebuked sharply! Why?
- Jewish myths and lies were being taught (v14)
- Impure with minds and consciences corrupted (v15)
- Actions were ungodly: detestable, disobedient, unfit for doing good (v16)
Now, before we get carried away with rebuking everyone we meet who does not believe in Jesus Christ, let us carefully note the desired results from God. Look again at v13; what is to be the result of their rebuke??
God’s desire, even for those in present opposition to Jesus Christ, is for people to accept Christ as Savior and God!
And so, what Biblical principles can we apply to our lives today?
As I alluded to in the past, how can you tell a counterfeit from the real? Study and get to know the real, then you can quickly tell the counterfeit! What is real in life? Whatever God says is real and truth in life!
1. Don’t live a life of lies, study and commit to what God says!
2. Be aware of the opposition to the Christian faith! What will happen if we allow to creep in our lives the teachings of the opposition to our Christian faith?
If we do not watch ourselves from false teachings, lives and households will be ruined! Perhaps you have not personally experienced this, but think about relatives and friends with ruined lives and households, did they study and commit to God’s Word? Even us who profess to be Christians, can be easily deceived by false teachings!
And God tells us in our passage today
3. how we can tell false teachings? – look at the list from v10-12!
And finally, in the same way for the Cretan Christians,
4. We are to rebuke those who teach false doctrine with an emphasis in bringing them the truth!
As stated in Ephesians 4:15, we are to speak the truth in love.
Rebuke false teachers with love! This is not easy to do because we get so defensive don’t we? How can we do it right? How do we love, a God type love? We can love agape type love by knowing and living with agape type love available through Jesus Christ. As we rebuke others, keep in mind the love of Christ graciously given to you.
Actually, whatever we are doing we should always keep in mind the love of Christ graciously given to you.
Let us all commit to this, shall we, on a daily basis keep in mind the love of Christ graciously given to you and pursue godliness!