Titus 1:9 NIV
[An Elder] “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Not just elders, but all who believe in Jesus Christ are to hold firmly to the word of God and to our faith (1 Co 15:2; Phi 2:16; Heb 3:14). And we should all be those who correctly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
We should all be those who encourage others with the truth of God’s word (1 Thes 5:11-14; Rom 15:4-6; 2 Co 13:11; Heb 3:13; Eph 4:15-16; Heb 10:24-25; Col 3:16). And we should all expose what is false (Eph 5:11).
Titus 1:10-11 NIV
“For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 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.”
It is important that we hold firmly to the word of truth, and that we expose the lies, and that we encourage one another in our faith and in the word because there are many rebellious people who are deceiving the masses into believing a false gospel of salvation which gives them a false hope.
Many are teaching a faith in Jesus Christ that is a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus is (or who they think he is), or it is words repeated after someone else in a prayer. But those who “believe” never have changed hearts, because they never died with Christ to sin so that they could be resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
And that is because nothing is required of them – no repentance, no obedience to Christ, and no submission to Christ as Lord – or else these are more like suggestions. But what is being taught is that our behaviors (our actions, our deeds) will not impact our eternal life with God.
And so, we have a whole lot of people claiming to believe in Jesus Christ who are still dead in their sins, headed to hell, while they are claiming heaven as their eternal destiny, and while they claim that their sins are covered by the blood of Christ, so it gives them freedom to keep living in sin.
Titus 1:12-14 NIV
“One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’ This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.”
Since we are taught in Scripture that we are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them, then that is what we should do when we become aware of the liars and the lies they are telling which are leading people astray and to hell (Eph 5:1-21).
We must expose the lies for what they are by showing the truth of what God’s word teaches (in context). For many of these liars and deceivers are teaching the Scriptures, but they are teaching them out of context and they are twisting them to say what they do not mean.
For example, one of their key passages is Eph 2:8-9 which teaches that is by God’s grace that we are saved, through faith, and this not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. But they leave out verse 10 which says that we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them.
They use verses 8-9 as proof text for their theory (or lie) that we are not to do works at all. But that isn’t what it says. It says we aren’t saved by our works, the works we do in our own flesh of our own choosing. We can’t work our way into heaven, in other words. We are saved by God’s grace, through faith, but that faith is not absent of works and we’ll be judged by our works.
It is just that the works we are required to do are of God and he is the one working them in us as we yield control of our lives over to him and as we submit to his will for our lives and we follow him in obedience. And if we don’t do what God requires, as a matter of practice, we don’t have eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).
Titus 1:15-16 NIV
“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. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
This is exactly the result of this false gospel with its false hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God.
There are many who are claiming to know God, but by their actions they deny him. So, you see, our actions matter for they show whether or not our faith is genuine. It is not enough just to profess faith in Jesus Christ, but we have to walk in that faith in the power of God’s Spirit.
Because so many are now teaching that we can have faith in Jesus but that our actions don’t matter, they are opening the door wide for many professing Christians to continue living in sin without conscience. For, if they begin to feel guilty for their sin, they are just told to claim who they are in Christ to alleviate the guilt.
And so, we have a whole lot of professing Christians living no different or even worse than those who make no profession of faith in Christ at all. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good because they are still walking in the flesh, denying Jesus as Lord, living for self-pleasure and in self-indulgence while claiming Christ’s blood covers it all.
But Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would no longer be slaves to sin but so we would now be slaves to righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For, if we walk (in practice, in conduct) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (Rom 8:1-17).
So, yes, we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and this not of ourselves, not of our own works lest we should boast that we somehow earned our own salvation. But our faith in Jesus Christ means that we deny self, die to sin, and that we walk in obedience to our Lord (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Lu 9:23-26).
If we choose to not die with Christ to sin and if we choose to continue living in sin, and if we choose to not obey our Lord, but we choose to live however we want, we will die in our sins. We won’t have eternal life with God (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10).
So, if you want to be saved from your sins and have eternal life with God, you must stop believing the lies, and you must stop living the lies, but you must know the truth which will set you free, and then you must live the truth of God’s word (the whole counsel of God), not in absolute perfection, but as a matter of your life course to the glory of God and to his praise.
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.