Jan 15, 2023. Titus 1:10-14

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CONTENTIOUS WITNESS. Titus 1:10-14. 01/15/2023. #02.

10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

1. Battle for the Gospel

                a. What Paul says here seems to contrast with what he told Timothy about a gentle witness

                b. The gracious humble witness is the norm, but there are times that a stronger witness is necessary against evil men trying to destroy the Gospel witness

                c. 3 basic recipients of the Gospel witness:

                                a1. The SEEKER – one who is honestly open to truth and wants to know what is right

                                a2. The SKEPTIC – one who either has his own belief system and in not likely to change or is doubtful that anyone can know the truth with certainty

                                a3. The SCORNER – adamantly opposed to the Gospel (mocks, opposes, and attacks)

                d. Normally, one backs away from the scorner and moves on to others

                                a1. If the scorner seeks to destroy a witness then confrontation is often necessary

                                a2. The battle for the Gospel is often contentious against the destroyer

                e. To the SEEKER we CONVINCE; to the SKEPTIC we CALCULATE (using evidence); to the SCORNER we CONTEND

2. Battling radical Jews

                a. The main opposition were radical Jews

                                a1. Paul admonishes Titus to stand firm against the angst of these Jews

                                a2. A difficult assignment for a Gentile convert

                b. 3 typical types of antagonists:

                                a1. The RADICAL RELIGIOUSIST – promoting his religion by seeking to destroy all other viewpoints (may be a philosophy like humanism or hedonism being promoted)

                                a2. The PRIDEFUL EGOTIST – this is the know-it-all self-promoting man who thinks that is intellect and ideas are the sum of wisdom

                                a3. THE HATEFUL ATHEIST – a man full of evil, disdain, hatred, violence, and loathing of God

                c. Jesus battled the Pharisees (Matthew 23), who should have known better and Paul battled the High Priest, as well as cast out a pestering demon in Philippi

                d. Paul describes these Jews as insubordinate (refusing to submit to God, “refusing to be put under”), vain talkers (empty speakers, words without meaning), and deceivers (beguilers, liars, crafty frauds)

3. To bring to an end

                a. Paul states that these deceivers must be stopped (shut their mouths) – must be Spirit led to do this

                                a1. They subvert families, teaching lies and perversions to gain a following

                                a2. Their motivation =  gain $ from scamming

                b. Paul states that the Cretans were typically liars, evil, lazy, and gluttonous as one of their prophets said

                                a1. They were quick to believe Jewish fables and myths that leads away from the truth

                                a2. Today, the cults teach superstitions, fables and stories of fake miracles, legends, folklore, spirit world powers, and special charms

                c. All superstitious idolatry is evil and of the devil

                d. Titus is told to rebuke them sharply

                                a1. Ephesians 5:5-14 – there is a responsibility of believers to expose and oppose evil

                                a2. Battling evil is rescuing tricked victims

                e. A gentle witness is best, but contending for faith is at times necessary to save the weak (Ephesians 6)

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:5-14

5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”