This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith,
Titus 1:13 (NASB)
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
To Paul was given the administration of the Church just as to Moses was given the administration of the Law, and many church-age doctrines, which had been hidden from view in times past were given to us – through the apostle Paul. To Paul was given the glorious mystery among the Gentiles, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” But as with Paul, the glorious gospel of grace was as viciously opposed in those early days of the Church, as it is in these closing days of this Church dispensation.
False teachings then as now needed to be countered, corrected and contradicted by standing firm on the unalterable truth of the Word of God – which was given to Paul by the risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Now as then we are urged to maintain doctrinal integrity and to stand fast on the Word of truth – the inspired gospel of grace, which was given to us by Christ – through Paul.
Although he condemned these false teachers for their dishonest gain, and insisted that the way they twisted the Scriptures was for their own personal profit and must be stopped, Paul seems to be increasingly concerned that the faith of so many church members was being undermined by these unbiblical and tainted teachings. And so strict instructions were given to godly elders of the churches.. to stand firm on the foundations of the faithful word of truth – and to counter, convict and contradict all false teachings.
They were to challenge the imposters indirectly.. by teaching the truth of the whole counsel of God to those who were being subverted by their devastating doctrines. They were to preach the word and be prepared in-season and out-of-season.. to correct, rebuke, encourage and minister sound doctrine to the flock of God, with great patience and careful instruction.
Many today are keen to point out all that is wrong in the various unbiblical sects and to list details of the diverse doctrines and twisted truths that are being fed to undiscerning Christians, by many unscrupulous teachers.. and good apologetics is a necessary means to counter such deceptive doctrines. But Paul encouraged both Timothy and Titus to focus on proclaiming the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ to church members, and not to reiterate the lie of those false deceivers.
There were those whose creative imaginations ‘added-on’ to the pre-cross.. Old Testament scriptures, which Paul called “Jewish myths.” And there were others who insisted on a legalistic post-cross Christianity, where man-made commands, unbiblical authority and other legalistic practices were added to the glorious gospel of grace and imposed on naïve believers – which then as now turn many away from the truth.
And so in the strongest of terms, Paul insisted that Christians who have been taken in by twisted teachings and doctrines of demons are rebuked sharply for their lack of discernment.. but he also encouraged teachers to preach the whole council of God, so that believers may become securely rooted in the Word of truth. Paul knew that a diet of false teaching could only be corrected if believers were firmly grounded on the true testimony of his gospel – which was given by Christ.. to Paul – for our learning.
The testimony that was give to Paul is true. The good news that the risen, ascended and glorified Lord Jesus taught to Paul was given for our learning, so that we need not be tossed to and fro by unbiblical teachings, and carried about with every wind of doctrine. The foundational truth of the gospel of grace, revealed to Paul and other New Testament apostles.. must remain the secure anchor upon which our faith is built so that we are not manipulated by the sleight of false teachers, and their cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Instead we are to speak the truth in love, so that all may become doctrinally literate and grow up in all aspects of our faith – into Christ, Who is the Head of the Church – and the only foundation upon which our faith must rest.
Heavenly Father, keep me grounded on Your Word and securely founded on the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ. Give me wisdom to discern false teachings and help me to remain anchored to the Word of truth. Protect me from those that would subvert the gospel of Christ and may I grow up in all aspects of the faith, which was given for our learning – this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN