PAULíS EPISTLE TO TITUS
TEXT: TITUS 3:7-15
1. One of the things I have learned both as a student and as a teacher is the importance of repetition. When I was a boy in school we had drills – spelling drills, math drills, etc.
2. And so it is with the Bible. We must keep at it. We saw in our Sunday evening study in the book of Isaiah that it is, “precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:13).
3. The emphasis in the Pastoral Epistles is on doctrine (1:9; 2:1, 7, 10). So tonight as we complete our series in the book of Titus, we are again reminded of the need to keep at it. Paul wrote to Titus (and to us), “And these things I will that thou affirm constantly” (3:8).
I. SOUND DOCTRINE MUST BE AFFIRMED CONSTANTLY
1. The word “doctrine” or “doctrines” is found 17 times in the Pastoral Epistles (I Tim. 1:3, 10; 4:1, 6, 13, 16; 5:17; 6:1, 3; II Tim. 3:10, 16; 4:2, 3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10). If you add in similar terms, such as “wholesome words” and “sound words,” etc., there are 59 references to doctrine in the Pastoral Epistles.
2. Doctrine simply means teaching based upon the Word of God. The same Greek word translated “doctrine” is also translated as “teaching” in Romans 12:7, and “learning” in Romans 15:4.
3. These words, translated “doctrine” or “teaching” are found more than 140 times in the NT. This indicates the importance of Bible doctrine.
4. Paul says these things must be affirmed constantly (Titus 3:8).
5. Other words used to refer to doctrine are “the truth” (I Tim. 2:4), “the faith” (I Tim. 3:9; II Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:13), “wholesome words” (I Tim. 6:3), and “sound words” (II Tim. 1:13).
6. One important doctrine found in our text tonight is the doctrine of justification (3:7). The Bible says that sin disrupted our relationship to God and estranged us from Him. But then when we received Christ as our Saviour we were justified, i.e., declared righteous.
7. God declares us just and we are then brought into His favor. This is an act of God’s grace – we are “justified by His grace” (3:7).
8. Justification is bestowed upon us in virtue of our union with Christ by faith (cf. Rom. 3:24-28; 5:1, 2, 9-11).
9. This doctrine must be constantly affirmed. Many churches are drifting away from the Bible. There is a big effort underway to scramble together all the churches, and to unite this big hodgepodge with . Therefore we must constantly affirm that we are justified by God’s grace, not by works or by sacraments.
10. Another doctrine that must be constantly affirmed is found in the latter part of Titus 3:7. We are heirs of eternal life. Eternal life is ours now, but its consummation awaits the rapture (cf. 2:13).
II. GOOD WORKS MUST BE CONSTANTLY AFFIRMED (3:8, 14).
1. In Titus 3:5, Paul declares that salvation “is not by works.” Now here he says in 3:8 and 3:14 that we should be careful to maintain good works. This is not a contradiction.
2. We are saved to serve. Good works should follow a genuine conversion (cf. Rom. 12:1, 2; Eph. 2:8-10; James 2:20).
3. This should be understood because many religious people are confused over this. Church members (or Masons or people in other organizations like AA) who do good works in the flesh are often harder to reach than irreligious sinners who are not concerned about good works (cf. Luke 18:9-14).
4. There is a connection between good doctrine and good works.
∑ The ungodly profess that they know God, but “in works they deny Him” (Titus 1:16).
∑ In Titus 2:7, Paul told Titus, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity.”
∑ Titus 2:14 says we are to be, “zealous of good works.”
∑ Titus 3:1 says we are, “to be ready to every good work.”
∑ Titus 3:8 says we are to, “be careful to maintain good works.”
∑ Titus 3:14 says, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”
III. WE MUST CONSTANTLY AVOID FALSE DOCTRINE (3:9-11).
1. False doctrine does not lead to Christ-like character and good works, but to carnality, selfishness, worldliness, and strife.
2. Our Lord said in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
3. Titus 1:1 says, “the truth…is after godliness.” Error produces ungodliness.
4. There are many preachers teaching false doctrine today who used to preach the Gospel. There are many liberal churches and schools that used to be sound doctrinally.
5. We must avoid error (3:9; cf. II Tim. 2:23), and reject those who teach error (3:10).
6. A “heretic” is literally a factious man (only time this word appears in the NT). It means a person who stirs up trouble, and forms factions through erroneous opinions.
7. A heretic is a person who is determined to go his own way and forms factions or cliques (e.g. Peter Ruckman, Harold Camping).
8. After two admonitions heretics are to be rejected (Titus 3:10). If the heretic will not change his ways he is “subverted” (3:11), i.e., his thinking is perverted.
9. He is “sinning” by promoting false teaching and by stirring up dissension (3:11). Heretics split churches and hurt many people.
10. Heretics are “self-condemned” (3:11) because they reject God’s Word, and they sin against the light God has given them. They stubbornly persist in going the wrong way, and must there fore be rejected.
PAUL’S CONCLUDING REMARKS
1. Artemas (3:12) – only reference to him in the Bible. He was to replace Titus, who was to meet Paul in Nicopolis.
2. Tychicus (3:12) – was a close associate of Paul.
∑ a native of (Acts 20:4); he traveled with Paul
∑ he was the bearer of the Ephesian and Colossian epistles, written by Paul from a jail in Rome (Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7).
∑ Paul sent Tychicus on a subsequent mission to Ephesus (II Tim. 4:12).
3. Zenas the lawyer (3:13) – the only Christian lawyer mentioned in the Bible.
4. Apollos (3:13) – the preacher from Alexandria (cf. Acts 18:24-28).
∑ Some misguided believers in Corinth formed an “Apollos clique” (I Cor. 1:12).
∑ Apollos later became an associate of Paul (I Cor. 16:12).
∑ Note: II Cor. 16:12 refutes Romanism. Paul greatly desired Apollos to go to Corinth but Apollos did not want to go. Furthermore, Paul rebuked Peter (Gal. 2:11). Also, Acts 15 teaches the autonomy of the local church.