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.
Apostle Paul left Titus in Crete so that he can lead the gospel work. Paul writes to Titus from Prison. Paul tells Titus to appoint assistant leaders or elders who will help him. After that, Paul tells Titus to firmly and fearlessly deal with opposition within the church.
The church always had opposition from the outside. Jews of Judaism hated and opposed the church. Roman government officials were incited by Judaizers to persecute the church. However, Paul didn’t worry about external opposition, he only asked for the church to endure. Paul’s greatest worry and concern throughout his epistles was opposition from within the church. Opposition by people who call themselves fellow church members was Paul’s greatest concern even in this epistle to Titus.
Those opposing the church from within were in categories. First, those who opposed the teachings. Secondly, those who opposed the leadership. Thirdly, those who just opposed anything and everything because they thrive in anarchy. Paul insisted that they must be dealt with firmly or else the church will never progress.
Titus 1:9 tells us that elders or leaders assisting Titus must uphold sound teachings as they were taught. Emphasis on “as they were taught.” If you no longer like what you were taught and the church upholds, you respectfully get out. Paul tells Titus that when elders understand sound doctrine, they will help refute those who oppose sound doctrine.
An elder or church leader must understand sound doctrine as it was taught. That understanding will help them detect heresy and refute it. Unfortunately today we have elders and leaders who do not understand sound doctrine as it was taught. We have elders and leaders who teach heresy unknowingly. We have elders and leaders who support heretics and give them prominent opportunities to spread heresies in the church. Elders and church leaders should be chosen based on their understanding and commitment to sound teachings as it was taught. But we choose elders and leaders based on education, wealth, tribe or race, or even gender, which are not biblical basis.
Titus 1:9 and Titus 1:11 tell us that opposition from within the church must be refuted and silenced. Quite a strong language here. In the church, we can disagree on various issues but still remain united in vision and purpose. Disagreeing on issues is not a problem. The problem is when we are on permanent opposition mode. That must be refuted and silenced.
Paul explains why they must be refuted and silenced. Titus 1:9 they oppose sound teaching. Titus 1:10 they are rebellious, full of meaningless talk, and full of deception. Titus 1:11 they are disruptive, they teach what they shouldn’t, and they do it for dishonest gain. Dishonest gain could be to win followers or make money by collecting offerings. Titus 1:16 they claim to know God but deny him by actions, they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good. For those reasons, they should be refuted and silenced!
Then at this point which is our main text today, Paul reveals something that is profound. He reveals why some people are ever opposing and why some are supportive. Paul is inspired to tell us that those who are pure see purity around them. Those who are corrupt see corruption around them. What are you seeing?
Ever heard a person permanently complain about problems in the church? Nothing seems right. Paul is inspired by God to tell us that, what people see continuously is who they are within themselves. The pure see purity, the corrupt see corruption. You continuously see what is in you. What are you seeing?
A thief who would steal from the church if they had the position and opportunity will always accuse those in the position of stealing. The accusations are because it is within them. They see theft because they are thieves. The pure see purity and the corrupt see corruption. What are you seeing?
and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it. ”
When there is corruption we should be concerned and address it or distance ourselves from it. It is wrong to use the corruption we see as an opportunity to push our own agenda to bring teachings that are not sound or to get to leadership. Where there is corruption it must pain us enough to address it and not use it to push another agenda.
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Judas Iscariot complained about expensive perfume being wasted on Jesus. He saw wastage. He saw corruption. The reason was that he was a thief and that is all he could see in others. His concern was not to rectify the problem but get an opportunity to steal for himself. He saw what he was. The pure see purity. The corrupt see corruption. What are you seeing?
People who are ever complaining about problems and see nothing good could be reflecting who they are. Situations can be bad, but we should also see good things and acknowledge the good. To ever see the wrong and thrive in pointing them out makes us dishonest and consequently reflects who we are. The pure see purity. The corrupt see corruption. What are you seeing?
God of heaven, save me and change me from within, so that where there is wrong I May rectify it and that it may not be all that I see. Make me pure so that I focus on the pure in this corrupt world. Give us leaders who understand the sound doctrine and will refute and silence those who distract us from the mission, in Jesus’s name, Amen!
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