“Trouble-Shooting With Titus”
“Sharp Rebuke & Salvation Purity” (1:12-16)
Paul’s description of the Cretans is hardly flattering. It comes from one of their own prophets, poets rather. He is warning Titus of the temperament, the disposition he will be dealing with. Yes, there is a time for gentle persuasion, but there is also a time for sharp rebuke. This is of course something this generation of Christians, by and large, will not tolerate. They will walk first. But the sharp rebuke is intended to bring them back to the truth without which they would perish. However, this is the task and responsibility the one who would be and elder. pastor of a congregation and who would lead them to the purity that God’s salvation produces.
All things are pure to those hold to and live by God’s good, wholesome word. Because their minds and hearts have been washed by the word (Ephesians 5:26). For true salvation makes us want to be good. The rebels, the corrupt had departed from this wholesome word, and therefore denied God by their actions and attitudes which spoke loud and clear v16. Some today with their dedication to buildings, past memories (you know, how we used to do it back in the day), oppose evangelical teaching with awesome bitterness. A truly evangelical ministry which glories in God and his salvation grace leads to purity. Alas so many there are who rest their hopes of heaven upon their own works. Titus will need to be a man of prayer, so will we too, if we are to find such men as these to lead us.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1998)