Summary: REPROVE REBELLIOUS TROUBLEMAKERS WHO SUBVERT SOUND DOCTRINE AND DENY GOD BY THEIR DEEDS
REPROVE REBELLIOUS TROUBLEMAKERS WHO SUBVERT SOUND
DOCTRINE AND DENY GOD BY THEIR DEEDS
I. (:10-11) SILENCE THE FALSE TEACHERS
Key: "who must be silenced"
Hendriksen: "Paul uses a rare verb which has as its primary meaning ’to stop the mouth by means of a bridle, muzzle, or gag.’ The deceivers, then must not be tolerated but be silenced, and this should be done by Titus and by the elders…"
A. Their Number -- "For there are many"
B. Their Character -- "rebellious men"
refusing to submit to any authority
C. Their Methodology and Results
1. "empty talkers"
Hendriksen: "achieving no useful purpose, with their fictitious tales about Adam, Moses, Elijah, etc., and with their legalistic hair-splitting (cf. 1 Tim. 1:6); yet deceiving the minds of the weak."
D. Their Primary Background -- "especially those of the circumcision"
E. Their Disruptive Impact -- "because they are upsetting whole families"
Bassler: "The picture that emerges is one of a somewhat less than cohesive church structure in which a lot of the teaching activity takes place in various households."
Hendriksen: "In the church of God there is no such thing as ’freedom of misleading speech.’ Reason: it would be too dangerous."
F. Their Message -- "teaching things they should not teach"
G. Their Motivation -- "for the sake of sordid gain"
II. (:12-14) RESCUE THE GULLIBLE
A. (:12-13A) This Problem of False Teaching in Crete Should be no Surprise (once you understand both:
- the character of the false teachers
- the susceptibility of the people to error)
2 or 3 different groups in view here -- false teachers inside the church who were possibly true believers and needed correction; false teachers either inside or outside the church who were false professors of faith with a strong Jewish background; and those
gullible church members who were being unduly influenced away from the faith
1. Confirmed by their Own Testimony
"One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said"
Paul not speaking in some type of harsh, judgmental spirit
2. Character of the False Teachers (and to a lesser extent of the Gullible People)
a. "Cretans are always liars"
explains how they can embrace a false message
b. "evil beasts"
explains how they can exert such an evil, disruptive influence
c. "lazy gluttons"
explains their motivation of seeking to profit by attracting a following
3. Validity of this Testimony -- "This testimony is true"
B. (:13B-14) Necessity for Correction in order to Rescue the Gullible
1. Confrontation -- "Reprove them severely"
2. Goal -- "that they may be sound in the faith"
Kent: "Some broaden the scope of ’they’ (subject of the verb ’be healthy’) to include not just the false teachers, but the victims of their teaching as well."
"the faith" = the body of truth that is in accordance with sound doctrine
3. Warning Against Distractions and Disruptive Influences
a. "not paying attention to Jewish myths"
b. "and commandments of men who turn away from the truth"
III. (:15-16) DISCERN THE FALSE FROM THE TRUE -- LOOK AT THEIR.DEEDS