This week I’m going to start a brief study Paul’s letter to Titus, who Paul charged with appointing Elders within each church on Crete.
In chapter 1 Paul starts off reminding us of the promise which God made before the beginning of time, after which he starts to give Titus his instructions. Starting with the characteristics of an elder, the verse which jumped out for me when reading this passage was verse 14 “not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.” [ESV] Which is similar to the warning he gave Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” [ESV]
In today’s current society the ‘myths and commands’ mentioned in Paul’s letter to Titus can be seen as peoples chosen lifestyles which are contrary to Scripture. It can be tempting for Christians to accept the secular world’s demands to be able to ‘live their lives as they want’ and slowly allow their beliefs and theology be altered based on these demands. Over time Christians if they are not careful may slip into the lifestyles of those around them, accepting ‘this new accepted way of life’ falsely believing ‘this is what Jesus intended all along’ and it took mankind 2000+ years to figure it out. Those who believe that God has changed His mind need to read Numbers 23:19 “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” [ESV] This text which is repeated in 1 Samuel 15:29 is telling the reader that what God considered to be a sin 2000+ years ago He still considers it to be a sin today and until the end of time.
When speak out we need to remember there are two groups, those who have knowledge of Scripture and have in some form accepted Christ as their Saviour, but have allowed the secular world to influence their lifestyle. And those who have either never heard of the Gospel or have decided to reject it. For the second group of people we need to be gentle, caring and understanding, if we start wagging the proverbial finger at them telling them that they are sinning and destined to hell they will accuse us of being judgemental as they don’t believe in our God.
For the first group I do believe we shouldn’t be afraid of challenging a person(s), providing it’s done out of love and is Biblical. If we are not careful we too could become apathetic to their sinful lifestyles, accepting their actions and thoughts as the new normal. For those interested in my thoughts on how we should challenge people, please feel free to read this blogpost https://dczy.org/2020/06/06/challenging-people/
This coming week take time out to think on how you are living your life, have you allowed the actions within the secular world or an influential activist affect your faith and walk with God?
All Bible quotes and links have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com