What They Ought not to Teach

Titus 1:10-11, 15-16 ESV
(also read vv. 5-9)

“For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

People who are in positions of leadership within the church, who are pastors or elders or deacons, are to live lives which are above approach. But in reality, that is how all Christ’s followers should live. Not one of us should be immoral, depraved, licentious, self-indulgent, wicked, corrupt and dishonest. None of us should be arrogant, quick-tempered, drunkards, violent or greedy. We should all be lovers of good, self-controlled, upright and holy.

But in reality, many professers of faith in Jesus Christ, including many pastors and elders and other church leaders are living immoral, depraved, self-indulgent and wicked lives, usually in secret while they put on a show of righteousness outwardly to impress others. And the sad reality is that they are leading others to live just like them for they are teaching them that they can be saved and on their way to heaven even if they are living in sin.

Many of them are teaching a diluted and altered gospel message which makes no requirements for repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ as Lord. Instead they teach that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to secure them salvation from sin and eternal life with God regardless of how much they sin in this life. Even if they do teach against sin, many are not teaching the eternal consequences of habitual sin. They are teaching God’s love as permissive, which it is not.

Certainly there is not a hammer hanging over our heads ready to beat us whenever we sin against God, and certainly our Lord is loving and forgiving and he is full of grace. But he sets the boundaries, and he sets the requirements for his salvation, and he says we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and we must walk in holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord.

God says that since Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin that sin should no longer be our master to where we obey its sinful desires. We are to no longer be under sin’s control but we are to be under the control of righteousness. For if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, making sin our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we will not inherit eternal life no matter what we profess.

But these empty talkers and deceivers are filling people’s minds with all kinds of humanistic philosophy and psychology and worldly thinking and reasoning. And they are destroying common sense and reason, and they are lying to people and giving them messages which make them feel good about themselves but which don’t teach them the truth of the gospel or the consequences of continuing in deliberate and habitual sin.

And so they are giving many of them false hopes of salvation from sin and eternal life with God based on half-truths (lies) or full-blown lies. For they are charlatans who lie and deceive and manipulate naïve minds into accepting their lies as truth and into rejecting the truth as lies. So what they are spreading is what is filth and vile and despicable in God’s sight. And people are flocking to them by the thousands to hear their lies.

Titus 2:1,11-14 ESV

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

Now, we are not all called to be teachers or preachers or evangelists. But we are all called to proclaim the excellencies of God who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We are all to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in taking the gospel to the world around us. And we are all called to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey the commands of our Lord. And we are all to be his witnesses.

As well, our Lord has gifted all of us who are his with spiritual gifts to be used for the common good of the members of the body of Christ in order to encourage one another in our walks of faith. And so we are to speak the truth in love to one another, and to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and we are to exhort one another daily so that none of us are hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and so we are not led astray by these clever enchanters and manipulators who are lying to the people.

And in our witnessing and in our exhorting and encouraging one another, and in our speaking to one another the truth in love, and in our sharing of the gospel with others, we are to teach what accords with sound doctrine. So we need to be students of the Scriptures who are studying them in their context, and who are comparing Scripture with Scripture prayerfully to make certain that we are correctly handling the word of truth.

[1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Ac 1:8; Ac 26:18; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; 2 Tim 2:15]

And the truth that we are to be teaching is what this passage teaches. For the grace of God does not give us permission to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin while promising us forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. The grace of God, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return.

For if we do not, and if we go on living in habitual and deliberate sin, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then no matter what we profess with our lips, we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will be hell bound, instead. For we are all going to reap what we sow, and if we sow to please the flesh, we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal 6:7-8).

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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