Titus 1 verses 10 thru 14
10 For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections,
11 who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught.
12 A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
13 Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith
14 and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands of people who reject the truth.
For – this conjunction connects this passage to the previous phrase about Elders correcting those who speak against healthy teaching.
there are many rebellious people – meaning this is the reason Elders must be able to give correction, because there are not just a few but many who rebell against the healthy teaching of the gospel. Rebellious means they are disobedient to God, they are unruly toward the Gospel.
idle talkers – meaning their words are empty and senseless to ‘move’ people in the proper way of salvation.
and deceivers – meaning a misleader or a seducer to wrong teaching.
especially those with Jewish connections – Paul specifically calls out those false teachers who are of the circumcision and of Crete. Meaning those professing Christians who also follow Judaism, meaning they were judaizers. The John Gill commentary says these are judaizers who mix the gospel of Christ and the laws of Moses. Paul often mentions them in his other letters. They teach that Moses’ laws, such as circumcision, keeping of sabbaths, and keeping the feasts, must be kept to obtain salvation.
Acts 15:1 (NET) 1 Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Colossians 2:16 (NET) 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days –
Discussion Questions :
Why is it a good thing that Paul called out the group directly?
How does calling out a false teaching group go against our culture today?
List the names of rebellious groups or doctrines that are against the gospel in our world today?
who must be silenced –
A). The -who- refers to the rebellious, the idle talkers, the deceivers, and especially the rebellious judaizers mentioned above.
B). Silenced means to put something over the mouth or stop the mouth. See ways to silence false teaching below:
1. They must not be given an opportunity to publicly teach in their meetings.
2. Families must be warned about them.
3. Their teaching must be overcome with healthy teaching by the Elders.
Discussion Question: How have other religions, countries, and even some Christian states in the past silenced others?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
because they mislead whole families –
A). mislead means to overthrow, overturn, destroy, and to subvert.
B). The word for family also means a house. Since churches at that time were house churches, this could mean false teachers were deceiving whole house churches and not only families.
Discussion question: In our day with false teaching coming from churches, house to house, radio, television, and the Internet, how can we protect our churches, family and friends?
by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught –
meaning these false teachers main motive was not sincere but was to receive filthy gain by their false teaching.
Discussion Question: what ways do false teachers obtain dishonest gain today?
A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets –
1. One of them, meaning one of the Cretans, who many commentaries think the below quote was from Epimenides, a poet born in Crete. Poets were also called Vates or Prophets says John Gill.
2. Or the one quoted below is associated with these false teachers mentioned above who may have quoted the Cretan poet Epimenides.
said, “Cretans are always liars – meaning the prophet above condemned the Cretans of being liars.
evil beasts –
A). Evil means bad, harmful, wicked
B). Beasts means dangerous-wild-animals.
lazy gluttons –
A). lazy meaning they are inactive, unemployed, and useless
B) gluttons means they are all stomach. In other words, their life style is to overindulge.
Such testimony is true – Meaning that though the words are true of all people and all Cretans, Paul sarcastically uses this person’s own words to apply specifically to the false teachers themselves who deceive, harm the souls of others, and teach for dishonest gain. In other words, he is saying to the false teachers, yea, Cretans are this way and you should look in the mirror because this is you.
For this reason rebuke them sharply –
A). Rebuke means reprove, admonish, correct the false teachers.
B). Sharply means to confront them abruptly and severely.
What holds us back from confronting others directly?
What should be our motive in confronting others?
that they may be healthy in the faith – meaning if the false teachers are rebuked then they may repent of their heresy and could become sound in the faith. The Greek word translated healthy is our word for hygiene. Their faith should be in Christ alone for salvation from their sins.
What characterizes the beliefs of someone who is sound in their faith in Christ?
and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands –
A). meaning that after repentance the false teachers would no longer hold to untrue and unscriptural Jewish sayings and fables,
B) nor commands and traditions like those extra commands added on top of Moses’ law like those made and followed by the Pharisees.
of people who reject the truth – meaning the Cretan false teachers were learning their false teachings from others who reject the truth of the gospel.
The Greek word translated reject is where we get our word apostasy.
They reject that Moses’ law was only a schoolmaster to show them how sinful they really are and that they could never keep the law perfectly.
They reject that Moses’ law has been abolished (Hebrews) and that Christ has fulfilled it (Mathew).
They reject that salvation is in Christ alone by faith alone without the mixture of Moses’ law being needed for salvation.
They reject the gospel and instead hold to fables and man-made traditions that bring them into bondage.
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Will you stand against false teaching?
I know it’s uncomfortable and not popular, but you need to warn others of false teaching groups and of false teachings. Stand up for the truth. Warn your family and friends. When you come across a false teacher, warn the false teacher in a kind and respectful manner through the scriptures. Come along side them, and show them the scriptures.
Learn and study My scriptures well that you may clearly refute their false doctrine. Teach your family, friends, and church that they may know the truth and not be deceived.
The purpose for confronting false teachers is not to win an argument, but to win them over to healthy doctrine to free them from the bondage of hurtful man-made teachings and ideas.