Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: Titus 1:10-14

Shovel4

In verses 5-9, Paul gives Titus a list of qualifications to ensure that qualified men serve as elders. The reason such qualified men are needed for oversight is given in verses 10-14 — the multitude of ungodly individuals who teach error and subvert the faith of the vulnerable. As Paul said, “whose mouths must be stopped.” It seems that Titus too, as an evangelist, was to be occupied in this defense of truth.

In every culture, time and community there will be men whose influence will destroy the faith of others. The particular brand of error of which Paul warned Titus, that of libertinism (“evil beasts, lazy gluttons”), is as prevalent today as it was then and there.

Doctrinal error and sinful practices must be rebuked. And as indicated by Paul, at times that rebuke must be sharp. Men are needed, especially in the eldership, who can discern truth from the commandments of men — and “by sound doctrine” (vs. 9) both rebuke the false teacher, and warn God’s people who would be led astray.
.

Mining the Scriptures: Titus 1:1-4

Shovel4

The apostle Paul wrote this epistle to Titus, “a true son in our common faith” (vs. 4). The salutation indicates that, as with Timothy (cf. 1 Timothy 1:2), Paul’s teaching had led to Titus’ conversion.

It was common for Paul, in his epistles, to defend his apostleship as being from God. Paul was not a usurper. In these few verses he states an eloquent argument for his apostleship, as a part of God’s overreaching scheme of redemption for man.

Paul’s apostleship was according to faith. It emanated from God. He states that God had committed him to the proclamation of that faith. God chose through the “foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

So, the emphasis here is not really on Paul as a bondservant and an apostle, but on the message he was to proclaim. Paul describes that gospel as that which “accords with godliness” (vs. 1). It leads to a holy life. As such, it is “in hope of eternal life.” That is, in leading the elect to righteousness, it provides standing with God in judgment. This eternal hope is something we are assured of, as it is promised by God, and God can not lie (cf. vs. 2, Hebrews 6:18). This promise, as Paul indicated, predates the creation of man (cf. vs. 2).

Mining the Scriptures: Titus 1:5-9

Shovel4

This passage is one of only two in the New Testament that list the qualifications for elders. The other passage is 1 Timothy 3:1-8.

The importance of elders is intimated here, as Paul tells Titus to “set in order the things that are lacking” (5). A congregation that does not have elders needs them to be in accord with God’s design. While it would be wrong to appoint men to the task who are unqualified, every congregation should develop men for this important work.

Note also the phrase, “must be” in verse 7. These are qualifications, not suggestions. As indicated, only men who are married with children who are faithful can scripturally serve. They are to be blameless, and in control both of their emotions and their desires. They are to be hospitable, and sober-minded. They must be familiar with scripture and willing to take a stand for the truth of God’s word, when it is attacked by evil men.

In every generation there are men who oppose the truth of God. In His wisdom, He has equipped the church to deal with and defeat those in opposition. Among other things, this is the elder’s work.

Mining The Scriptures: Titus 3:9-11

Shovel

 

Titus 3:9-11

In our text the apostle Paul counsels his charge to avoid divisiveness. He obviously makes a distinction between contending for the faith, and being contentious. While one difference may be attitude or demeanor in the midst of controversy, in this case Paul refers to the content which brings about the division.

“Foolish disputes, geneologies, contentions, and strivings about the law” are named as “unprofitable and useless” by the apostle. Whatever these things are, Titus was not to engage in any dispute about them. Some things we are not to fight about!

What things? Simply put, silly stuff of no consequence that serves no purpose other than to create fussing and fighting among Christians. When men seek to promote and elevate their opinions and speculations to the level of faith, they are guilty of causing strife.

Paul says such men are “self-condemned.” We are not to be patient with such individuals. What they do is obviously wrong, and after the “first and second admonition”, they are to be rejected from the fellowship of God’s people.

Mining The Scriptures: Titus 2:11-15

Shovel

 

Titus 2:11-15

Our text contains a wonderful explanation of grace, and what it means for man.

First, grace brings salvation. Man can not save himself, he can not earn his redemption. But, God freely gave His son to die in our stead. This is grace. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, allowing us to be spared an eternity in hell.

Second, grace is available to all men. It is not limited only to the Jew. All men have access to the saving grace of God.

Third, grace does not excuse us from personal responsibility. The idea of cheap grace, so popular today, is false. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Rom. 6:1-2). Rather, Paul says that grace teaches us to deny worldly lusts, and live “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”

Finally, as recipients of grace, we have hope as we look for the second advent of our “great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”