Pastor Mike’s prayer for Soma in 2021:
Father, help us to see you clearly, trust you fully, seek you diligently, obey you completely, and reject all idolatry as we worship you alone.
Titus was tasked with strengthening the churches of Crete by establishing leaders and calling them to live in godliness.
The primary qualifications for church elders has to do with a man’s character, being blameless.
Titus 1:9 …holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.
The reason elders need to be doctrinally sound:
- To encourage and teach others the Word
- To refute and rebuke false teachings
Silence & Rebuke the False Teachers
The reason that “holding to the faithful message” is a requirement for elders is because false teachings are a significant threat.
For there are many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from the circumcision party. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they are ruining entire households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly. 12 One of their very own prophets said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of people who reject the truth.
15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They claim to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.
1. The False Teachers/Teachings
a.) The lives of the false teachers
One way to identify false teachers is by simply looking at their lives.
Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit.
* Rebellious and reject authority
Refusing to be under authority is a hallmark of false teachers.
* Impure motives by seeking monetary gain
* Morally bankrupt
b.) The actions of the false teachers
Titus 1:10-11, 14
For there are many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception, especially those from the circumcision party. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they are ruining entire households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly… 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of people who reject the truth.
* Deceiving the church
* Teaching what is wrong, non-truth
* Rejecting truth
False teachings are dangerous; it results in ruining and destroying families.
2. The instruction to Titus
a.) Refute or counter their teaching
…holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.
b.) Silence or stop them from teaching more
It is necessary to silence them…
c.) Publicly rebuke or reprimand them
For this reason, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith
Why are we to silence and rebuke false teachings?
(a) they are destroying people/families with their falsehoods
(b) so that they become sound in the faith
3. Application for us today
a.) Be aware of false teachers/teachings
2 Peter 2:1-3
There were indeed false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them. 3 They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Don’t stifle the Spirit. 20 Don’t despise prophecies, 21 but test all things. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
One of Satan’s most effective and destructive tools against the Church is false teachings.
For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 And you must watch!
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Men will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them. 31 Therefore be on the alert…
For further study of false teachers:
2 Corinthians 11:2-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 1 John 2:18-23; 1 John 4:1-3; Jude 3-4
b.) Do not deny Christ by the way you live your life
They claim to know God, but they deny him by their works.
Do our lives reflect Christ, or do our lives contradict Christ?