Sunday, March 25, 2018

Paul's Epistles – Titus – Part 3: Rebuke False Teachings - Pastor Bruce A. Shields

Paul's Epistles – Titus – Part 3:
Rebuke False Teachings - 
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

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Unlike some of the other epistles attributed cautiously to Paul, nearly all agree that without a doubt, Titus is most definitely Paul’s workmanship.

Some thought that because of its strong emphasis on “works”, Paul did not write it. (1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14 ), however Titus 3:5 gives the answer to that objection, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”

It is clear Paul is pressing the issue of works, not for salvation sake, but in an effort to promote “godliness” which comes from knowledge of the Truth, a godliness which “produces” works naturally as its fruits.

Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

This letter was written approximately the same time, and more than likely the same place as I Timothy.

Introduction to Titus
Appointing Elders who love what is good

Appointing Elders who love what is good

Titus 1:10-16 (65 AD, written between I Timothy and II Timothy)
For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’  13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
God’s ideal for the Christian Church and Christian Workers

a. Especially those of the circumcision group
                                                        i. They must be silenced (Rebuked)

b. They are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach
                                                        i. Unqualified to teach because they are/have rejected Truth

                                                     ii. Should not teach because the things they are teaching are not only incorrect, but disrupting entire households

                                                  iii. They cause division/strife within the body of Christ

                                                   iv. They have a spirit of religion (believing they have a higher understanding)

                                                      v. Paul says most of them were doing this for personal

c. Our motivation is key to our walk with the Lord
                                                     i. If our true motivation is to get closer to the Lord, then when presented with scriptural Truth, it will not be rejected
                                                  ii. Paul says these people are rejecting Truth, and therefore must be rebuked sharply

                                               iii. So after their correction they will be sound in faith and turn from their meaningless talk and deceptions

a. Some of the teachings causing disruption were myths
                                                        i. There were many myths the Jews taught and believed, such as gods that died and were raised to life each spring with the foliage

                                                     ii. Goddesses who brought about fertility and procreation

                                                  iii. Nearly all of these myths had been brought into the Jewish culture from the Jews taking wives from outside the Jewish faith

                                                   iv. Roman, Greek, many Pagan influences and false teachings brought about a slew of traditions, myths, stories and such that were sometimes taught as fact alongside the True God of Creation , Paul said put a stop to this nonsense

b. Some of the teachings causing disruption were teaching of men
                                                        i. This is the realm that is most dangerous, where false teachings from other religions are easily disputed, especially myths and stories, the teaching of men usually manipulates the Truth of God into a way that is self-serving to the teacher.

                                                     ii. This results in things such as cults, prosperity preaching, “magical” ability preaching, etc...

                                                  iii. This can also result in manipulating the Truth to control people through their fear of God, such as the case with the Roman Catholic church, and the Sanhedrin

                                                   iv. Jesus rebuked the Sanhedrin (who was working with the Roman government to control the Jewish population through a religious state, such as Islam, ISIS and many other religious cults attempt to do)

                                                      v. Jesus said to them, Mark 7:13 “Your tradition makes void the Word of God.”
c. Both were to be ignored
                                                        i. Myths, false religions, teaching of men, even other gods, belief systems and such, were to be ignored

                                                     ii. BECAUSE they have no power over God and His people!

                                                  iii. Paul has taught about this fact more than once

                                                   iv. When the members of the Corinthian church were worried because they didn’t want to accidentally buy or eat food that had been offered to false gods Paul responded to their fear in I Corinthians 8:1-8

                                                      v.  Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 

                                                   vi. Paul makes it clear
1. Knowledge (understanding) = intention / motivation

2. Idols, gods, lords other than the Father in Heaven are NOT real

3. There is only 1 God, to acknowledge another is to say He is not the one True God, the Almighty, above all

4. Although there are many so-called gods and lords in heaven and on earth, there is only 1 God the Father
5. However, some do not possess knowledge (because they listen to myths, fables, teaching of men as opposed to scripture, the Truth of God)

6. Their consciences (faith) are weak, THEY give power to myths, gods and lords, and in thinking they have power, eating anyway, they are defiles

7. But to those with pure motives, they remain undefiled BECAUSE food will NOT commend us to God, and we are no worse off if we do not eat it, no better if we do

a. If you are eating food sacrificed to idols because you are hungry...

                                                        i. And you acknowledge those false gods and idols are powerless against the one True God, your

                                                     ii. Your motivations, knowledge and faith are in-tact, and all things of this earth and beyond are powerless against the one True God

b. There are MANY PAGAN things we do yearly that have NO SPIRITUAL effect on us as Christians
                                                     i. We all KNOW Jesus was NOT born on December 25th, yet we celebrate Christmas in His honor
1. Pagan power over us

                                                  ii. Easter, another Pagan holiday celebrating spring, fertility and procreation...we chose to honor the resurrection

                                               iii. Halloween, Babylonian ritual Akitu celebrating the victory of the sky god Marduk over the sea goddess Tiamat

                                                iv. Valentine’s day - Roman feast of Lupercalia where they sacrificed goats and dogs

                                                   v. Mardi Gras - Pagan day focussing on fertility and spring
                                                vi. Birthdays - Originally an Egyptian day celebrating the Pharaoh turning into a god

                                             vii. Ash Wednesday - Vedic Hindu Indian Agni celebration where the ashes on the forehead were a symbol of Shiva

                                          viii. Mother’s Day - Greeks and Romans worshipped mothers, the goddess Matronalia (where we get matron, maternal, matriarch, etc.) she was the goddess of fertility and nature

                                                ix. St. Patrick’s Day - Actually anti-pagan because St. Patrick drove out the pagans, however Americans turned it into a day of getting drunk and wearing green

                                                   x. All of these days are PAGAN celebrations, yet, we, as Christians, can celebrate our own way because OUR MOTIVATION IS NOT HONORING THE MYTHS AND IDOLS, therefore, these have NO EFFECT on us!!

CONCLUSION –  the 4 questions and the facts

For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced
Who are the rebellious people?
Those teaching things that are based in myth, or teachings of men that bring discord and disrupt families and the church, or cause division and strife

What is the good they are failing to do?
Stop denying Truth, and believing myths and the teaching of men over God

What does it mean to rebuke them sharply?
Correct them with the Truth of God in a clear and unapologetic way

What is the purpose of rebuking them?
So they will return to the Truth and stop believing myths and doctrines of men

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?   

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