Summary: This message is the third in a series through the book of Titus in which we learn how to grow a healthy church.
Growing a Healthy Church
When People In The Church Need To Be Silenced
We have already looked at the introduction to the book in verses 1-4 and learned about the person and purpose of Paul as well as the purpose of his apostleship…why he existed…what he was committed to. Last week we studied verses 5-9, the qualifications of godly leadership. We also spent a little bit of time showing from the bible why we believe, the terms elder, bishop, pastor, overseer, shepherd are all referring to the same office.
Tonight, we dive into a little bit more of the problems that Titus was facing. Remember we said that he was facing opposition that need to be dealt with. Before we look at this we have to understand that there are times in the life of a church, when people need to be silenced. There will be people who come and teach things, either by what they say or in how they live, that are contrary to the truth of God’s word.
We must understand that some false teachers come and teach with their lips, other false teachers come and teach with their lives. Some are teach falsely out of spite, some out of ignorance, and others with deception, but regardless of why they are teaching or promoting untruth and regardless of how they are teaching it, they need to be silenced.
We also have to sometimes these teachings are doctrinal and sometimes they are moral teachings. Many times I’m afraid that we view false teaching as just something that affects doctrinal beliefs such as the deity of Christ. But false teaching moves beyond that. False teaching also includes anything that removes or lessens God’s standard of morality. False teaching is also anything that perverts the purpose of the church. Those who attempt to do any of those things fall into the category of false teachers and need to be silenced.
So how do we silence them? We silence them with a strong commitment to teaching and preaching the truth of God’s word clearly, boldly, and powerfully. We do so by not letting them teach, and by being committed to living godly lives.
These next several verses show us the reality of who needs to be silenced, how to silence them, and why there is such a need to silence them. Look with me if you will at Titus 1:10-16.
Titus 1:10-16- “for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
12 one of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13 this witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 not giving heed to jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15 unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 they profess that they know god; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Let’s start out by answering the question, “who needed to be silenced?” Right of the bat we see the character traits of these people.
A. Their Characteristics
1. They were rebellious- Vs. 10a- “For there are many unruly…”
They are characterized as unruly, but this is also the idea of being rebellious, which affects attitudes as well as actions. They can be described as enemy combatants…the enemy of God. The defy correction by the church and ignore truth, constantly justifying everything they do.
2. They were empty talkers- Vs. 10b- “For there are many unruly and vain talkers…”
In the words of Shakespeare, they are “full of sound and furry, signifying nothing.” They may be captivating and persuasive, but their words are cleverly disguised as lies and untruth. They may even use the Bible to prove a point, but they twist Scripture to teach what they want rather than what the Bible actually says.
3. They were deceivers- Vs. 10c- “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers..”
We are beginning to learn a little more about them. They are deceivers. Whether intentionally or not, they end up deceiving those who are not grounded in their faith.
4. They were legalists- Vs. 10d- “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:”
“Especially they of the circumcision” refers directly to the Jews. They are also called and referred to as Judaizers because of their attempt to obligate all believers to Jewish legalism. They wanted to impose the Old Testament ceremonial laws and traditions. They were mixing the truth of God’s word with the ceremonial practices. They were attempting to link the two together in an attempt to gain a standard of godliness. These Judiazers were spreading Jewish myths and commandments…