Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus
Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging
of the truth which is after godliness;
Teaching on Titus 1
(Tit 1:1) Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
This is a letter from the apostle Paul to Titus. Bishop of the church of the Cretians. Paul here states that he believes in acknowledging truth. That truth being after godliness. The definition of godliness is belief in God and reverence for his character and laws. If we say we believe in God and ignore what He has to say to us, then we are not living in truth and godliness.
Jesus Christ called Paul to be an apostle. The word apostle means a person sent by another; a messenger; or envoy. They received a commission to preach the gospel into the entire world. It is a job of servanthood. They are bearers of light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a title or heirarchy. Heirarchy is not taught in the New Testament. On the contrary. Here is what Jesus told His very disciples:
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye
know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,
and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
God's elect are simply those that God calls by His spirit in which those called, answers that calling. It could be anyone of us who simply receive the Lord Jesus in our lives and commit ourselves to Him. We become the elect. That does not make us higher than or better than anyone else. To become part of the elect, we respond to the gospel. Anyone can do that who hears the gospel.
(Tit 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
It was never meant even before the creation of mankind that we be lost and die in sin. God created us to live eternally. This promise is given to all and not just a chosen few. The thing is that only a few will receive this because many reject the gospel and the promise of eternal life. There are a few ways that we can reject this promise:
1. By not believing it
An important part of salvation is repenting of sin. Sin cannot enter the Eternal Kingdom of God. Sin will destroy the soul and cause the soul to enter hell at the point of death. Jesus came to remove that sin, to save us from sin and forgive us from sin.
The law of God points out what sin is. The law of God says we are guilty of that sin. Jesus came to pay the penalty the law says has to be paid because we have sinned. The penalty of sin is death. Jesus died. When Jesus suffered death He paid for breaking the law of God but the thing is that Jesus did not break the law of God so He shouldn't have had to die. That is why His death can count on our behalf. To receive this though one has to believe it and accept it. God is not going to force this on us. We first have to believe that we have sinned and have broken the law of God, then we have to repent and be willing to turn from sin. Then we have to believe that Jesus has the power to forgive and give us victory over sin. Then are we saved and can inherit eternal life. Our bodies will still die a natural death but our spirit and soul will live forever in eternity. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, we will also rise and receive new bodies than can never die. If Jesus would have committed even one sin, He could not have risen from the dead because the payment for sin is death.
(Tit 1:3) But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
This is why I do not like to see the preaching of the word of God become last in importance in our church services. When I hear someone say, "The service was so good that the preacher didn't get to preach." That does not appeal to me much. I'm not against the Holy Spirit taking over when we are sure that it is a move of God and God does not want the preacher to preach in that one service. That is okay; but to continually have praise and worship, testimony and special singing and only give 5 minutes to the preaching of the word on a regular basis would rob the people from hearing what God places on the heart of the minister. The word is what cleanses and changes the heart. The word is what corrects and teaches us. The word is what makes us to be able to resist sin and live godly. If we just rely on feel good music, how are we going to live the rest of the week on the job when there is no gospel music playing. Sure we can read it at home but how many people do?
(Tit 1:4) To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Notice how Paul always stresses two people but united in purpose. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice also that when it comes to fellow believers in Christ, we become not only brothers and sisters in the Lord but mothers, dads, sons and daughters.
(Tit 1:5) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
Bishops are to ordain the elders of the different churches. Here are the requirements for the elders.
(Tit 1:6) If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
Blameless to me means, no sin that is not under the blood of Christ. In other words no continuing sin that He has not repented of. An elder should not be one that has not been born again and received God's gift of salvation. He should have only one wife. Not divorced. I believe he can be a widower who once had a wife but she died. His children should be under obedience and not troublemakers. This probably means while the children are still living at home. What they do when they are of age and leave home couldn't be under his authority so he couldn't be held accountable for what they do.
(Tit 1:7) For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
The bishops also is to be blameless, a faithful steward. Not hot-headed, short-tempered, a drunk, or consumed by the lust for money or the desire to lord over others.
(Tit 1:8) But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
An elder and bishop should love to be hospitable, friendly, kind, fair, honest, sober in mind and temperate.
Temperate means not to over indulge in anything that it become excessive or he should not be obsessed with something that takes up all his thoughts and energy apart from the calling God puts on his life. For instance, a little golf once in a while may be okay but what if golf is so important to him that he neglects what God calls him to do. An example: I can't go visit the sick today, I have an important fishing expedition.
When we take the words of Jesus in previous paragraphs, the words of Peter and scriptures about humility, kindness and love, we see that bishops, apostles and pastors are to be those that are humble and full of love for the people they are to teach and lead. They have authority over how the church is conducted to make sure no false doctrine is preached, no one is harmed and things are done according to the will of God but they have no authority over anyone's personal life or conscience. They are not to use their authority to force anyone to accept their religion. We are born again by the spirit of God. It is absolutely impossible to force that upon anyone. It is a personal choice. If someone who claims Christ begins to teach falsely and contrary to the word, then a bishop would have authority to remove him from that position. He can't force the person to not believe in the false teaching.
I believe the reason Jesus has not ordained a heirarchy kind of church is because too many time corruption and false teaching gets in the leadership also. They must be held accoutable also.
(Tit 1:9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
This is the biggest job of bishops, pastors, and teachers. The importance of sound doctrine cannot be stressed enough here. To forsake the word and controversial doctrine to keep from offending anyone is not going to save one lost soul or keep the saints from being unfaithful to God. We have to preach, teach and live the word of God. We must not add to it the doctrines and commandments of men but we also must not ignore it. Lack of doctrine is the biggest thing lacking in our modern churches.
Gainsayers are those that contridict the truth by talking back and openly opposing those teaching truth. We do have to be careful here because if the leadership is teaching lies, there has to be a way to oppose them. Perhaps giving themselves to much prayer first and going to them privately would be the best way at first. Just to purposely speak out to disrupt or cause trouble in a haughty spirit should be avoided.
(Tit 1:10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
This is the type that will creep in if we ignore sound doctrine. As long as the word remains within our hearts and is taught vigorously, unruly, vain talkers or deceivers will have not strength among us. The gospel is simple, pure and brings freedom from sin, love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. Those that try to add to this by adding doctrines of the old law the coming of Jesus fulfilled or replaced causes burdensome hardship. We can be gloriously saved one day and then someone come along the next day and say we are not really saved yet until we do such and such like become circumcised. There are those today that say we have to keep the Jewish feasts, pronouce God's name without using a J and other such things to make sure our salvation. It is okay if we want to do those things. I don't mind calling Jesus Yeshua for instance but that doesn't make me "more saved." I think it is great to keep the Jewish feasts but most of us wouldn't know how or where to begin. It doesn't add to or take away our salvation.
(Tit 1:11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
Those that teach things people want to hear, do so for financial gain. This is really big in today's church. Teaching that to gain is godliness is being taught today and is the very opposite from what Jesus and the apostles taught. When Jesus sets up His earthly kingdom and all sin is put away, then and only then we might receive riches. The Old Testament promises of wealth mostly concern the latter day restoration of Israel. We are never promsied that we will be rich in this life before the coming of the Lord. Never. We might say that Abraham was rich. He was but he wasn't made rich by people giving him great offerings. He wasn't made rich by devouring widow's houses or making merchandise of the word of God. I can't see Abraham charging big fees to come and speak the word of God or forcing people to pay tithes under the threat of being cursed if they don't or get rich if they do. I don't think he was rich in what we think is being rich today. He had plenty of cattle and was able to provide a living for many that worked for him and that was considered rich. I think he got his riches by being blessed of God yes, but I believe he was a hard worker and earned a living honestly, not by fleecing people who were poorer than he was.
Gen 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and
Genesis 14:22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have
lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of
heaven and earth,
In other words Abraham ran a cattle business and lived in such a way that God blessed the work of his hands. He didn't fleece and guilty people into giving him big offerings.
(Tit 1:12)One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
(Tit 1:13) This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
(Tit 1:14) Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Fables, commandments of men, jokes, philosophies, legends, quotes, quips etc that are not the word of God attract crowds sometimes but they do not feed the soul. Some are out to gain by our willingness to be gullible and give more than we can afford so they can live lavious lifestyles. If a rich minister can drive around in fancy cars, live in a mansion for instance and members of his flock do not have proper shoes to wear, something is wrong.
(Tit 1:15) 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.
There was a division among them at times whether one had to be circumcised in order to complete their salvation in Jesus Christ. It was unbelief to believe that the blood of Jesus wasn't enough to save the lost but they also had to be circumcised in order to be really saved. This was adding to the gospel.
We can also take away from the gospel by teaching that once you are saved, nothing you can do will cause you to be lost. This is also wrong. Jesus came to save us from sin, not save us in our sin. If we return to sin, we must repent again. We can't go back into the sin, He saved us from and expect to be saved. It is what we are today that counts, not what we did at an altar ten years ago. If we accept Christ and then depart from Him and ignore His word, how can we be saved from sin and inherit eternal life?
At the same time, if we repent of sin and accept Christ for salvation, how can we make our salvation even more secure by doing an outward act like circumcision to make us more saved? It would be similar to making periodical animal sacrifices for sin when Jesus already made the biggest sacrifice by giving Himself to die on the cross. We would be insulting Him to go back to the law of animal sacrifices to cleanse from sin. Now we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
(Tit 1:16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
If we return to the sacrifices of the law we are being disobedient and opposite to true good works. If we become lawless, disobedient and return to sin after we are saved, we also become abominable and reprobate to any good work. It works both ways.
SITE MAP |SERMONS |
BIBLE STUDY INDEX