Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Cretans are.....

Continuing from my devotion the other day, we finish off Titus 1.
10For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 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. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Last time we met we learned about what is needed in a leader/overseer of a church. How the matter of being above reproach was important. Here Paul talks abit about the problems Titus is seeing in the churches he is overseeing.
People who are
  • insubordinate
  • empty talkers
  • deceivers
  • belonging to the circumcision party
  • Professing to know the truth but living their lives in opposition to that
These folks need to be silenced. They upset whole families with what they are doing.

These folks need to be rebuked so that they become sound in their faith.
---- wow...isn't that just so true. THIS is the reason to rebuke ---- to help people become sound in their faith. That's the true reasoning behind it all.

In this passage we also learn
  • that those who aren't sound in their doctrine will turn away from the truth. They will devote themselves to things that aren't true to God.
  • that those who defiled and unbelieving have no purity in their lives. Everything about them is defiled and they are detestable and disobedient and unfit for any good work, even if they profess to know God. Their works show them for what they are.
I have to admit, I'm always taken aback by what today would be deemed as politically incorrect speech in Paul's note here: One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. It always seems a bit "left field" to me to describe a whole set of people this way. But I suppose it was Paul's way of pointing out to Titus that he had his work cut out for him here, to help the Cretan churches become true churches of God with good leadership.

May we be a people given over to the rebuking of the untrue among us. May we strive to build them up in the their faith and doctrine that they may be fit for any good work that God puts before them. May WE (may I) be fit for any good work that God gives me.

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