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Titus


Alan

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Unfortunately most "conservative Christians" seem to disagree with much of this and promote various forms of rebellion just as do "liberal Christians" (and the lost). I can't even count the number or variety of wild arguments I've heard from Christians as to why they can flaunt speed limits or why it's okay for them to dodge taxes or why taking up arms is the solution to just about anything they have a problem with.

Too many Christians are caught up and entangled in politics, political action and assorted "rights" movements to the neglect of Christian growth and living. To them, doing things God's way is equal to doing nothing. In effect they find themselves trying to help God set things right (as they see it in their own eyes) by going against God's commands.

John81,

I could not have said it better. Thank you.

Eswarden,

I am glad to know that the brief side-study on Luke 20:21-23 coupled with Daniel 9:24-27 was a blessing to you. 

Brethren,

Does anybody else have any thoughts, comments, or areas of discussion that you would like to see discussed?

Alan

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Christian Markle,

Welcome! We are very happy to have you on OnLine Baptist and part of this discussion on the book of Titus.

I am new to this forum and this is my first post.  I am not sure how this Bible Study format works. Are we on Chapter 3:1? If so, I would ask what everyone sees as the flow of thought from vs 1-8?

For His glory

Christian Markle

I will briefly answer your questions.

1. The way this bible study format works is that someone (for this study that someone is me) starts a subject and sort of keeps the thread on the subject matter and, in this case, as I load lessons up anyone who wants to comment, discuss, agree or disagree may do so (hopefully in a friendly manner). If I need to clarify anything that I said please let me know.

2. Yes we are one Chapter 3:1. When people comment I try and respond in an appropriate manner. 

3. The flow of thought of verses 1-8. Good Question! Does anybody have any response to what you think is the flow of thoughts of Titus 3:1-8?

One last thought, since you are just coming to this thread, if you have any comments on any of the earlier lessons in Titus, or lessons that were a blessing to you, please let us know.

Glad to have  you in this discussion of Titus.

Alan

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I am new to this forum and this is my first post.  I am not sure how this Bible Study format works. Are we on Chapter 3:1? If so, I would ask what everyone sees as the flow of thought from vs 1-8?

For His glory

Christian Markle

what I see as the flow of thought is, Paul is admonishing not to speak ill of any man (this would include those in authority over us, whether it be church leadership or secular) and he "justifies" it by reminding that before we were saved we had a lot of sinful, contentious behaviors.  Basically -- except for the grace of God that brought you salvation and made you a better man, you would be just like the person you criticize, and in fact, you were once just like him.  Because of the grace you received, you should be a kind and gracious person to those who need that same grace.  It is through those good works that those men see a difference and are potentially won to the Lord.  Face it, everyone in the world complains about those in rule over them, those who are kind to them will stand out and make an impression.

at least that is where I saw the progression going....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. The way this bible study format works is that someone (for this study that someone is me) starts a subject and sort of keeps the thread on the subject matter and, in this case, as I load lessons up anyone who wants to comment, discuss, agree or disagree may do so (hopefully in a friendly manner). If I need to clarify anything that I said please let me know.

Thank you, I will indeed attempt to keep any disagreements friendly.

2. Yes we are one Chapter 3:1. When people comment I try and respond in an appropriate manner. 

Excellent, we are using Titus 2:11-3:8 as our passage for memorization for this year in our Adult Sunday School Class. It is my responsibility to lead a similar teaching/discussion. I look forward to the interaction.

One last thought, since you are just coming to this thread, if you have any comments on any of the earlier lessons in Titus, or lessons that were a blessing to you, please let us know.

I appreciate the welcome and invite to go back to previously discussed passages, but this may unnecessarily bog down the present discussion. I do think that the broader "flow of thought" for this section of the book begins with 2:1, but that really is going back pretty far. 3:1-8 is a powerful passage on a number of fronts and is certainly worthy of our attention.

Glad to have  you in this discussion of Titus.

Alan

Thank you again for the warm welcome!


For His glory,

Christian Markle

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what I see as the flow of thought is, Paul is admonishing not to speak ill of any man (this would include those in authority over us, whether it be church leadership or secular) and he "justifies" it by reminding that before we were saved we had a lot of sinful, contentious behaviors.  Basically -- except for the grace of God that brought you salvation and made you a better man, you would be just like the person you criticize, and in fact, you were once just like him.  Because of the grace you received, you should be a kind and gracious person to those who need that same grace.  It is through those good works that those men see a difference and are potentially won to the Lord.  Face it, everyone in the world complains about those in rule over them, those who are kind to them will stand out and make an impression.

at least that is where I saw the progression going....

Sister, you have indeed seen a similar flow of thought to what I have also noticed. I would add that this is not just about our communication, but in how we behave. Further I would suggest that this passage offers us specific information on how we are to respond to those who are indeed "not nice" to us. I would suggest the following as a summary: "How to deal with people who irritate you."

I am regularly reminded that I have been treated way better by God than I would prefer to treat others -- oh, how gospel grace teaches and trains us to live differently (Titus 2:11-12).

Two things of significance for preachers: Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) is telling Titus what to preach on ("Put them in mind" has the idea of "remind them"); furthermore in vs 8, he tells him to regularly affirm these things so that we who are believers will be careful to maintain good works. We who preach should take note of Spirit inspired commands on preaching topics!

There is much here for meditation toward sanctification of our character and behavior, but I sense that we are supposed to be focused on vs 1 for now.

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Does anybody else have any thoughts, comments, or areas of discussion that you would like to see discussed?

Alan

I agree that the point of 3:1a,b is our submissive response to government. The emphasis on levels of government officials (principalities, powers, magistrates) certainly pushes us to respond with obedience and submission at each level of government. (There are exceptions, but these should be for clear and direct demands against the clear and direct commands of the Lord our God (cf. Acts 5:29).) However, vs 1-2 offer 5 subjects of responsibility which Titus was to remind his hearers of  (that is 5 if we separate out subjection of principalities and powers and obedience to magistrates as 2 separate responsiblities). Ought we not also think through the last phrase of vs 1 as well as the we do the beginning of the verse?

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Trapperhoney,

Thank you very much for your comments on the responsibility of Christian behavoir towards leadership. As God instituted government (church, local, rulers, etc...), we should obey the leadership above us as ultimately all leaders in all aspects of life will give a full accounting, (lost or saved), for all of the decisions (good or bad), that they made and will be rewarded accordingly. I fully understand that the lost rulers of this world, and other leaders in areas of importance (including churches), cannot comprehend the judgment to come on all decisions and laws, the judgment will take place nonetheless. Acts 24:25

Christian Markle said, "There is much here for meditation toward sanctification of our character and behavior, but I sense that we are supposed to be focused on vs 1 for now."

Throughout the book of Titus the Apostle Paul dwells on our character and our sanctification. If I needed to put a title on the flow of thought on 3:1-8 I would probably write, "Sanctify Yourselves."

Alan

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The Tongue

Titus 3:2

     (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

One of the hardest things to control is our tongue. James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Maybe that is why God only gave us one tongue and two ears so that we would listen more than we would speak. God is against all forms of evil. This includes speaking evil of others, gossiping, and spreading false rumors about others by mouth or by print. Even if a fault is found out against a brother, it is best to let God judge him and keep our mouths shut and our pens silent. We are living in an age when even Christian writers are slandering brothers in Christ for any reason under the sun. Brethren, we need to stop printing slanderous material about anybody. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Remember Job? Job was a righteous man who suffered much for having integrity. Yet, his so-called friends judged him day after day and spoke evil of him while he was in the midst of extreme suffering. All through the book of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, continually accused Job with lies, half-lies, slanders, and innuendoes. Finally, God put an end to it. God told Jobs’ three friends to stop their lies, Job 42:7-9.

Like Job’s friends, God will judge those who slander, by mouth, or by pen, a brother in Christ. King David warned us about this matter in Psalms 50:19-21, “Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slenderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I [God] kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such as one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” God will judge, and reprove, all those who slander a fellow Christian, especially a man of God in the ministry. Psalms 105:15 clearly states, “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

Brethren, God hates slander, gossiping, innuendoes, and other forms of backbiting.” These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-18

We ought to carefully weigh all the facts when we deal with men and not judge people carelessly. Remember what the Lord Jesus said when we had a problem with another saint? We are supposed to go directly to the person and talk with him. If that did not resolve the conflict, then we were supposed to go the pastor of the church that he was in, (not the church of the one accusing the brother), and then discuss it with the pastor.  and two or three witnesses and then take the matter before the church: Matthew 18:15-17.

Very importantly, if the brother in question was a minister, then there must be at least two or three witnesses even before the matter was heard: 1 Timothy 5:19

I know there are brethren that just love to pick verbal religious fights and spread slander about the character, and work, of a fellow pastor, evangelist, or missionary. The best advice that I know is to just avoid them and not answer them, if possible. Why? Usually, those who want to have verbal and written fights are foolish and unreasonable men who do not really want the truth anyway. We need to take the advice given by King Solomon in Proverbs 26:4, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him, ” And, Proverbs 10:18 and 19, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”

God wants His people to develop within themselves a gentle and meek spirit. This is in direct contrast to a prideful, boastful, and brawling attitude. Paul said it best in Ephesians 4:1 and 2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”

We need to be longsuffering and put up with those who are brawlers, evil and have other character defects. As Christ put up with us before we were saved, and before we were sanctified, I might add, so must we try to develop a non-judgmental attitude towards others. The Apostle Paul said, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up ... Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4 and 7. We should strive to have a non-judgmental attitude in our hearts.

 

 

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Now that we have included vs 2 may I make some observations?

In Titus 3:1-2 Paul commands Titus to regularly remind the Cretan believers of 5 responsibilities. Grammatically the list looks like this:

Put them in mind

to be subject to principalities and powers,

to obey magistrates,

to be ready to every good work,

To speak evil of no man,

to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

1) They are to have a submissive attitude toward governmental authorities.

2) They are to actually obey governmental authorities.

3) They are to be prepared (ready for immediate action) for all kinds of good works.

4) They are not to speak with the intent of malice toward anyone

5) They are not to be a brawler (ready for a fight, a chip on the shoulder) - instead they are to be gentile and displaying all kinds of meekness toward all.

 

There is much to explore here. Like what does it mean to be ready for every good work? What does that look like practically speaking? What forms of communication are evil speaking and what forms of communication although not pleasant are actually right not evil? What does it mean to be a brawler? What does gentleness look like?

Although I am interested in all of these questions, I would like to emphasis only one specific idea. Why the emphasis in the last phrase of vs 2 -- ALL meekness toward ALL men? This I believe really sets the stage for the rest of the passage (vs 3-8). May I suggest that the universal nature of this responsibility draws out from us a natural question? HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I DO THAT WITH EVERYONE? And the answer is found in our recall of our own evil depravity toward God (vs 3) and His merciful response to us (vs 4-8). Note that the notion of the preparation "to every good work" is repeated in vs 8 in the phrase "be careful to maintain good works." The point of vss 3-7 then is to help us know what to review constantly so we will respond properly when it very hard to respond properly.

For the glory of His grace,

Christian Markle

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We ought to carefully weigh all the facts when we deal with men and not judge people carelessly. Remember what the Lord Jesus said when we had a problem with another saint? We are supposed to go directly to the person and talk with him. If that did not resolve the conflict, then we were supposed to go the pastor of the church that he was in, (not the church of the one accusing the brother), and then discuss it with the pastor. Matthew 18:15-17. If these steps are not taken then it would be best, and spiritual I might add, to not judge our brother and drop the matter. And, very importantly, if the brother in question was a minister, then there must be at least two or three witnesses even before the matter was heard. 

Does Matthew 18 actually teach that we are to take our unresolved personal conflicts to our spiritual leaders? It seems that if the first step (private confrontation vs 15) does not win back the brother then it is not time to get a Pastor, but to get other spiritual brothers to go as witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These witness do not need to be fully informed (so as to be "on the side" of one brother or the other, but come to hear the case. These witness appear to fulfill two purposes: 1) to be able to establish every word (vs 16) and 2) that they may speak into the situation so as to be heard (vs 17). This does not need to be a Pastor. I suggest that Paul saw the believers of Rome to be fully able to admonish one another because they had two characteristics: 2) full of goodness and 1) full of all knowledge (Romans 15:14). Jesus does not say go to your pastor, he says take two or three witnesses. If these are not heard, then one may take it to the church (again not to the pastor per se, but to the assembly). The congregation may then rule on the matter. If this ruling is then ignored then there is to be treatment such as a heathen and/or publican (vs 17).

You are correct that not all matters are worthy of this progression. I think it is possible to allow love to cover and mercy to prevail at any stage of this process. The determining factors however, should be the potential spiritual damage if one backs off. We are indeed called to forbear one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

For His glory,

Christian Markle

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Another reason I don't believe Mt 18 requires the pastor to be one of these witnesses (notice I said didn't require him as one as opposed to a prohibition from him being one) is that it would eliminate a check and balance in the church. What I'm referring to is a situation where the person in the wrong is the pastor himself, the same Mt 18 process applies to him which couldn't be done if you HAD TO HAVE the pastor as one of the witnesses. 

Then there's the issue of not having a pastor at the time of an issue that won't wait. They had that problem here shortly before they called me. They had to put a man out at a time when there was not a pastor here and no indication as to when there would be one.

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On ‎2015‎年‎9‎月‎23‎日 at 10:26 AM, Christian Markle said:

Does Matthew 18 actually teach that we are to take our unresolved personal conflicts to our spiritual leaders? It seems that if the first step (private confrontation vs 15) does not win back the brother then it is not time to get a Pastor, but to get other spiritual brothers to go as witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These witness do not need to be fully informed (so as to be "on the side" of one brother or the other, but come to hear the case. These witness appear to fulfill two purposes: 1) to be able to establish every word (vs 16) and 2) that they may speak into the situation so as to be heard (vs 17). This does not need to be a Pastor. I suggest that Paul saw the believers of Rome to be fully able to admonish one another because they had two characteristics: 2) full of goodness and 1) full of all knowledge (Romans 15:14). Jesus does not say go to your pastor, he says take two or three witnesses. If these are not heard, then one may take it to the church (again not to the pastor per se, but to the assembly). The congregation may then rule on the matter. If this ruling is then ignored then there is to be treatment such as a heathen and/or publican (vs 17).

You are correct that not all matters are worthy of this progression. I think it is possible to allow love to cover and mercy to prevail at any stage of this process. The determining factors however, should be the potential spiritual damage if one backs off. We are indeed called to forbear one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

For His glory,

Christian Markle

 

On ‎2015‎年‎9‎月‎23‎日 at 10:51 AM, OLD fashioned preacher said:

Another reason I don't believe Mt 18 requires the pastor to be one of these witnesses (notice I said didn't require him as one as opposed to a prohibition from him being one) is that it would eliminate a check and balance in the church. What I'm referring to is a situation where the person in the wrong is the pastor himself, the same Mt 18 process applies to him which couldn't be done if you HAD TO HAVE the pastor as one of the witnesses. 

Then there's the issue of not having a pastor at the time of an issue that won't wait. They had that problem here shortly before they called me. They had to put a man out at a time when there was not a pastor here and no indication as to when there would be one.

Matthew 18:16, "But  if he will hear thee, then take with thee one of two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

The Lord does not specifally say one of the witnesses must be the pastor. I will change the lesson to reflect the item noted.

Matthew 18:17, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

In the strictest sense, both Christian Markle and Old Fashioned preacher are correct; the word pastor and/or bishop, and/or overseer, is not mentioned. And there are some cases when the pastor is the one accused (by two witnesses), where it is obvious the transgression is held before the church body with the pastor as the one accused.

The reason why I said to bring it before the pastor as the pastor is the head of the visible church and the representative of Christ; 1 Peter 5:1-4

As 1 Timothy 3:1-7;5:1 & 17-19, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 are further revelations from Paul and Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, on the office of the Pastor (bishop or overseer), as the visible head of the local church I believe it is completely appropriate to say that (except in extreme circumstances), the pastor must be present for any accusations brought before the church body.  

Furthermore, a church without  a head is an incomplete body. If a decision was made to expel the accused individual from the church without the consent of the pastor it  would be, in my estimation, not appropriate. Be that as it may, I will not belabor the point mentioned. 

Alan

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Matthew 18:16, "But  if he will hear thee, then take with thee one of two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

The Lord does not specifally say one of the witnesses must be the pastor. I will change the lesson to reflect the item noted.

Matthew 18:17, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."

In the strictest sense, both Christian Markle and Old Fashioned preacher are correct; the word pastor and/or bishop, and/or overseer, is not mentioned. And there are some cases when the pastor is the one accused (by two witnesses), where it is obvious the transgression is held before the church body with the pastor as the one accused.

The reason why I said to bring it before the pastor as the pastor is the head of the visible church and the representative of Christ; 1 Peter 5:1-4

As 1 Timothy 3:1-7;5:1 & 17-19, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 are further revelations from Paul and Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, on the office of the Pastor (bishop or overseer), as the visible head of the local church I believe it is completely appropriate to say that (except in exteme circumstances), the pastor must be present for any accusations brought before the church body.  

Furthermore, a church without  a head is an incomplete body. If a decision was made to expel the accused individual from the church without the consent of the pastor it  would be, in my estimation, not appropriate. Be that as it may, I will not belabor the point mentioned. 

Alan

Brother Alan,

I am thankful for your clarification on Matthew 18. I think you are on safer ground with that.

I would like to press your view of the Pastor a bit. The Biblical text only gives headship in the church to one person, Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 2:10, 19). We pastors are not heads; we are overseers (ie managers). We do not preside as lords over believer-priests (1 Peter 5:3 cf 2:5,9); we are not the mediators between God and the church. We are the teachers of doctrine; this is how we lead, feed and protect the flock. The congregation makes the decisions in the area of discipline (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5). Christ died for the church; it is God's flock (1 Peter 5:2)., Christ is the chief shepherd (vs 4); we are simply His under-shepherds. I do not think it is an oversight by Christ to not mention church leadership in Matthew 18. This certainly does not exclude the pastor from the process, but it does not demand his involvement either. The pastor's role is to teach the principles of conflict resolution; he certainly may be a witness in the second step. He may also guide the church through the third and implementing the fourth step, but he certainly is not the "visible head" of the church...Christ is the church's ONLY head.

For the glory of Christ in His Church

Christian Markle

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The Lord Jesus is the head of the church; that is indisputable. But, at this time the Lord Jesus is not, "visible." Please note in my post I made careful note that He is not visible at this time and that the pastor of the church is the "visible," head of the local church.

In the qualifications for the pastor we read, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For is a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 1 Timothy 3:4 and 5 The pastor is to rule the local church as a man rules his household.

This does not mean being a dictator or other forms of miss-rule. I fully understand that many pastors are not fit for the office in our day and age but that still does not change the order of the New Testament, local, Independent, Baptist church.

And, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders, pastors, who rule "well," are worthy of double honour. Those pastors who do not rule "well," will be denied the crown and taken care of accordingly at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The pastor is the under-Shepherd of the visible, local, church and is to "rule," the church in the absence of the Chief Shepherd. The pastor is to rule the church as the personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, those pastors who are faithful "rulers," will receive a crown as a reward for doing so. "And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 5:4

Alan

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The Lord Jesus is the head of the church; that is indisputable. But, at this time the Lord Jesus is not, "visible." Please note in my post I made careful note that He is not visible at this time and that the pastor of the church is the "visible," head of the local church.

In the qualifications for the pastor we read, "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For is a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 1 Timothy 3:4 and 5 The pastor is to rule the local church as a man rules his household.

This does not mean being a dictator or other forms of miss-rule. I fully understand that many pastors are not fit for the office in our day and age but that still does not change the order of the New Testament, local, Independent, Baptist church.

And, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17 The elders, pastors, who rule "well," are worthy of double honour. Those pastors who do not rule "well," will be denied the crown and taken care of accordingly at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The pastor is the under-Shepherd of the visible, local, church and is to "rule," the church in the absence of the Chief Shepherd. The pastor is to rule the church as the personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, those pastors who are faithful "rulers," will receive a crown as a reward for doing so. "And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 5:4

Alan

My point is that the Scriptures never indicate that the pastor is any kind of "head" of the church. This designation is reserved for Christ alone. Certainly there is authority given to the pastor, but he is not a visible head. It appears that you were trying to say that he is the human (visible) authority (head). I may be assuming too much, but this may be neglecting to value the authority vested in the congregation, which is both visible and exactly what Christ seems to emphasize in Matthew 18.

Clearly we have stepped far off the intended study of Titus 3. I am wiling to drop the matter here, or move the discussion to another thread, but we should probably get back to the passage in question, right?

For the glory of His church,

Christian Markle

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Clearly we have stepped far off the intended study of Titus 3. I am wiling to drop the matter here, or move the discussion to another thread, but we should probably get back to the passage in question, right?

For the glory of His church,

Christian Markle

We will heed the admonition of Christian Markle and just discuss the items pertinent in Titus 3:2 We may need to remind ourselves that the passage in question is primarily dealing with controling our tongue and having grace towards others  and not primarily with the position of the pastor.

Alan

 

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Titus 3:3

Our Sinful Nature

     Verse 3

     (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Expected Characteristics of the Saints

In the book of Titus Paul the Apostle wrote to Titus, and to us, the expected characteristics of those saints within the New Testament church.

In Titus 1:5-9 the Apostle Paul gave to Titus the Qualifications and Characteristics of the office of the Pastor and/or Elder or bishop.

In Titus 2: 2 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the aged men.

In Titus 2:3-5 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the aged women.

In Titus 2:6-8 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the young men.

In Titus 2:9 and 10 Paul gave us the expected characteristics of the servants.

Characteristics of the Saints before they became Saints

The scriptures plainly teach that man has a sinful nature. Romans 1:17-32 and 3:10-23 give us a true picture of the heart of man. In conclusion Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The Lord Jesus plainly said that the problem of all the filth and evil of mankind comes from the heart. Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Paul says that we, and the entire human race, are sometimes; foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving our sinful pleasures are envious and full of hate.

Foolish

“The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3

Disobedient

The law was written to show how disobedient we are to God, His Righteousness, His holiness, and His commandments. “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [homosexuals and lesbians], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 1 Timothy 1:8-10

Deceived

So far, in the book of Titus Paul the apostle has told Titus 6 times to be sound in doctrine: i.e., 1:9 and 13; 2:1, 2 and 7 and 10. Six times in just two short chapters! Why did Paul warn Titus that sound doctrine is paramount in the church? Because before people are saved and taught the true doctrines of the bible they are deceived in their religious beliefs.

The Mormons are deceived, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are deceived, the Buddhists are deceived, the Catholics are deceived, and various denominations are deceived in numerous religious doctrines.

The Apostle Paul, in Titus 1:10-16, listed, “The Characteristics of Reprobates or False Teachers.” I would suggest that the reader re-reads these characteristics of the reprobates, or false teachers. The false teachers are deceived in their religious beliefs and some of these false doctrines listed are in our independent, fundamental Baptist churches today.

Serving Divers Lusts

For examples of the lusts of the flesh the reader is directed to Galatians 5:19-21 and Romans 1:22-32

The Apostle Paul had already taught the grace of God teaches us to deny the lusts of the flesh; Titus 2:11 and 12 When a saint is living in the lusts of the flesh he has not been taught by Grace.

Serving Divers Pleasures

The pleasures of sin, the flesh, and the world are just for a season. Hebrews 11:25

Living in Malice

The definition of malice is: 1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; spite.

A person living in the lusts of his old nature has malice; the desire to see others suffer and has a spiteful attitude. Because Haman (Esther 3:1-6), had anger and malice in his heart towards Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy, out of spite, the Jews.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31

Envious

Our old nature is envious of the blessings in other people’s lives and can cause a root of bitterness to spring out of our hearts. Because of our envious nature, we covet other people possessions, wealth, fame, and even their mates. Exodus 20:17

Hateful

Our old sinful nature is full of hate. At times, we hate God, we hate our neighbor, we hate our mates, we hate our children, we hate our rulers, we hate the Law of God (the Law is perfect and good), we hate man’s laws, and we hate those who try and do good.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come ... Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” 2 Timothy 3:1 and 3

Hating Others

God is love and loves the whole world and the Lord Jesus loves the world and gave His life for the sins of the whole world: 1 John 4:8-10 While on the Cross of Calvary the Lord Jesus died for all men.

Our old sinful nature not only hates those who we perceive are against us but it hates others out of spite.

Guilty Before God

In the above list Paul clearly shows that all of us before we are saved are sinners guilty before the Holiness and Righteousness of God and deserve to spend eternity in hell. Romans 1:32, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Romans 3:19

Sin is a worldwide problem.

The Chinese race, through the false philosophies of the teachings of Confucius, Buddhism, and Taoism, believe that they are without a sinful nature. They feel that they are without sin and that any bad habits that they may have are through a lack of knowledge. They do not believe that man, at least the Chinese race; does not have a sinful nature. A favorite Chinese saying is, 人自初性本善。 Roughly translated, that means, “The nature of man at the beginning is good.” This goes in direct contradiction with the laws of nature and the word of God. The Confucian philosopher Mencius, (372-289 B.C.), is credited with being the Second Sage, or holy person, after Confucius. Mencius is also credited with the teaching that all men born at their birth are good and that evil is a product of our lack of knowledge.

Even though a number of their philosophers believe that they are without sin, there are some notable exceptions to this rule. Hsun Tzu, (fl. 298-238), was a notable Confucian scholar and a high official in the Chinese kingdom. His background is somewhat obscure do the lack of record keeping at that time. Hsun Tzu took the opposite school of thought of Confucius and Mencius and taught that, “The nature of man is evil: his goodness is acquired.”[1]

Paul now gives Titus an example of why we should have a non-judgmental attitude towards those who do evil. The example? Our own lives before we got saved. Lehman Strauss points out in his commentary, Galatians and Ephesians that, “The old nature, which is present in every believer, is subject to every form of impurity.”[2]

Conclusion

The apostle Paul is using this treatise on the sinfulness of the old nature to show us that we deserve to spend eternity in hell. Paul is also about to express the wonderful kindness and grace of the Lord Jesus in the next section of Titus.

Thank the Lord, once I got saved, the Lord Jesus started to clean up my life; as He does to all those who are saved. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. As Paul is expressing to Titus, the evidence of a man having salvation is his personal testimony. Sinful old habits, such as foolishness, disobedience, serving lusts and pleasures, envying and a hateful attitude are washed away and Christ gives us new characteristics as we walk in Him.

After a person is saved, Christ develops in us a loving attitude, a thankful attitude, and a desire to know the truth, a love for God, the Bible, the church, and the lost who need to get saved. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

 

[1] De Bary, Wm. Theodore. Sources of Chinese Tradition. (Vol. 1. New York: Columbia University Press, 1960) Page 104.

[2] Strauss, Lehman. Galatians and Ephesians. (Neptune, N J: Loizeaux Brothers, 1957) Page 193.

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But why the walk down memory lane? Why is Paul reminding us what we were like before? Certainly we can develop a great gospel message on from vss 3-7. But may i suggest that Paul was not telling Titus to preach this to the lost, but to those that were already saints. Again, why the review of the Gospel? To what end is this line of thinking? If one gets this right, one will have a powerful tool in the sanctification process.

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