AWAITING JESUS’ RETURN (Titus 14)
READ: Titus 3:8-15
Those who preach or teach know that the conclusion to a message is very important. It is the last thought you leave with the people. It needs to summarize, conclude and motivate to action. Paul’s conclusion to his letter to Titus does all those things (Titus 3:8-15).
Paul referred back to his words about doing what is good (Titus 3:1-7) to begin his final words to Titus. Again he repeated the importance of training his people “to devote themselves to doing what is good” (Titus 3:8). Just because one accepts Jesus’ free gift of salvation and is going to heaven when they die, doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t continue to sin in this life (1 John 1:7-10). Our old sin nature doesn’t change with salvation. We receive a new nature, God’s Spirit within us, so we no longer have to be controlled by sin (Romans 6:12-23). We still have a free will and can choose to sin just as we did before salvation. The pull of the flesh is still strong after salvation, sometimes stronger than before! We do not lose our salvation when we sin (1 Corinthians 3:1-23), but there are consequences. Sin blocks the working of God’s Holy Spirit in us so we do not experience His peace, guidance, power and help (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). When God’s Spirit fills (controls Romans 8:9) us, He produces His fruit in us (Galatians 5:22-23) which builds up believers and attracts unbelievers to Jesus (Titus 3:8).
Doing what is “good” means not getting into discussions and arguments about the details of what is OK for a Christian to do and what is not, especially as pertains to the Old Testament law (Titus 3:9). Paul is referring back to the legalism he talked about in Titus 1:10-16. Getting into these legalistic arguments about minor details of life is “unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9). Nothing good comes from it, but conflict, divisions, fear of doing what is wrong, pride in feeling more righteous than others and replacing grace with law result.
Try to correct these people, in fact try twice (Matthew 18:15-17). But if they continue in their error then have nothing to do with them (Titus 3:10). Don’t waste your time on them nor give them the attention they crave. Warn others to not listen to them and don’t give them an opportunity to speak in church. These people are “warped and sinful” and are “self-condemned” (Titus 3:11). These are very strong words but true. Even though they may be popular and seem sincere, and people admire them and like to listen to them, we must protect our sheep by removing them from any place of influence. Suppose you were having a meal after church and everyone brought something to share, and one person brought some food with just a little bit of rat poison in it. Would you let them share it with everyone? Even if they were a nice, sincere person and you didn’t want to offend the, you couldn’t let others eat their poison. The same is true of false teachers. It takes only a small amount to do a lot of damage!
Paul then closed his letter with a few personal messages (Titus 3:12-15) and sent the letter on its way to Titus, and eventually to us today. We aren’t able to sit with Paul and be trained by him, but by reading and following his letters to Timothy and Titus we can be recipients of his advice for us today. Do what is right and spiritually pure and teach others to do so. Those who teach anything else are to be warned, they will be rejected and removed. These are strong words but history has shown they are true. They are true for us today as well. (November 13, 2023 Doylestown, PA)
PAUL’S ADVICE: Do what is good and have nothing to do with those who teach falsehood.
Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
When others see you, do they give glory to God for the good you do?
How have you responded to false teachers who have tried to mislead people in your church?
What should you do next time someone teaches false doctrine?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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