TITUS 1:10-16 (NIV – UK)
Rebuking those who fail to do good
10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’ 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
SOUND IN THE FAITH
Paul began his letter by focusing on the need for good leaders in the church who will be an example to others in the Christian life (1:1-9) – and here we have one of the reasons why. There are people who are ‘disrupting households by teaching things they ought not to teach’ for their own dishonest gain (v. 11). These people even seem to be inside the church. Paul is uncompromising in his response – ‘they must be silenced’ (v. 11).
Paul wants us to make no mistake – sound doctrine is of great importance. What we believe about God, our salvation, and the Christian life is important. This is why his instruction is to ‘rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith’ (v. 13).
We must each take personal responsibility for our own personal growth and spiritual learning in Jesus. We want to be pure, so that ‘all things are pure’ (v. 15) and not be like those who claim to know God, but whose ‘minds and consciences are corrupted’.
It is crucial, therefore, that we avoid folk Christianity, myths and philosophies about who God is, or maybe even ideas that we have formed from our own imaginations about God – and instead return to the truth, revealed to us in the word of God. It is there that we will grow to be ‘sound in the faith’ (v. 13).
Question: Do you think that any part of your understanding of God has come from philosophy, myths or imagination? How can you begin to become more sound in the faith?