Scripture: Titus 1:10-16
This morning as we finish chapter one, Paul charged Titus to deal with men who were described as rebellious, insubordinate, empty talkers, and deceivers. Titus was told to correct their false teaching, denounce their immoral behavior, silence them, and remove them from the fellowship of the churches. These are strong actions, but notice they are against men just like the Pharisees that Jesus so openly condemned. They were intentionally leading people astray, living immoral hypocritical lives, lying to the people of the church, and seeking to profit themselves. I am so thankful that God shows generous grace to sinners, but He condemns those who knowingly prey on His children.
Do we see people like this in the church today or was this just something that happened in the first century church? Unfortunately, through the ages, there have been wolves seeking to attack the flock. We must beware and be prepared to defend the Gospel and protect the church with the truth of God’s Word.
Who’s the problem? (v. 10)
What are they doing? (v. 11b)
Why are they doing it?
What do we do about it?
How to Identify False Teachers (v. 15-16)
The Word of God is the ultimate and final authority for the believer and the church.
It is the duty of the pastor as an elder or spiritual leader to oppose any false teaching with the truth. In John 17, Jesus praying to His Father, said “sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” We are made holy by the truth – God’s Word. Don’t accept anything less. When facing temptation directly from Satan, Jesus spoke the truth of God’s Word to negate and overpower the devil’s lies and deception.
The pastor’s duty as shepherd means protect the flock or church from false teachers by removing them from a position of teacher or leader. This also may be accomplished by warning believers of false teachers in the media or other ministries. In Ephesians 4:15 Paul tells us to speak the truth in love as we grow to be more like Jesus Christ.
Finally, because false teachers live and promote sinful self-centered lives, believers who are living holy upright lives will provide a clear testimony against them. 2 Peter 2:15 says “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.”
The greatest protection against false teachers and deceptive doctrine is to know God’s Word. Jesus said if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Know the Word of God!
The GOSPEL is Good News!
The free gift of salvation involves repentance and acceptance of God’s grace alone. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave His life in our place, paying the debt for our sins on the cross. It’s as simple as Paul said in Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” But all too often we self-sufficient humans would rather add something that can be externally observed and for which they can claim credit. We think we should work for or earn our salvation by doing good deeds and acting nice. But Paul said we are saved by grace not works.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)