The Epistle To Titus
VERSES 1-4: “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
Each of Paul’s epistles starts with his name found in the first verse. That’s pretty common from antiquity, whereas today we will conclude a letter with our name, but here Paul opens Titus with his name. So we have no doubt that Paul wrote Titus, no doubt whatsoever.
Titus and Timothy were among a small group of Paul’s disciples, and they were privileged to work with him. They were privileged to see him preach the Gospel, witness his epistles being written, travelled with him, and here he is telling Titus to get things in order, which we find in the 5th verse. It’s quite a privilege for somebody like Titus to have been chosen for this task. Paul was obviously travelling to Greece at the time, and Titus was on his way to Crete, and therefore it was down to him to get things in order, as I say.
Scripture says that Paul was an apostle not chosen by the other apostles, not ordained by any synod but chosen directly by the Lord, according to Acts chapter 9. And one of the men that Paul ordained was Titus, and Titus is going to be ordaining others from verse 5 to go into the ministry. Now, I’ve said this in other videos, and I will just say it now very briefly, that in the New Testament, what you find is a typical house church. And I’ve been to Capernaum and I’ve seen the style. I’ve seen the measurements of a typical first century house, and they’re very small. So a typical first century church would meet in a person’s home, and in that home you’d have two or three elders, a father, possibly a grandfather, an uncle maybe, as well, or possibly three saved men who are from three separate families but nonetheless have come together to be elders in a local congregation. And every epistle in the New Testament excluding Timothy 1 and 2 and Titus is written to the church, the elders – not the pastor but the elders. And it’s important to point that out to you because when you go back through church history, especially to the Reformation, one of the things that the reformers retained was the priest/one-man pastor system unfortunately, and only very few Bible-based churches today have rejected this and gone back to the New Testament style of elders plural, not a pastor singular being the leaders over a local fellowship.
VERSES 5-6: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.”
Elders and bishop found in verse 7 are used interchangeably. Now, it’s true to say that if you have a typical fellowship where there’s three men who are leading a local congregation, one of those three will (a) have more knowledge and (b) have a stronger personality, and that is the reality. Even in the Catholic church, if you have a local presbytery and there’s four priests, the parish priest is normally the top dog, as it were, and the priests underneath him are in submission to him. If you had no parish priest at a Catholic level, then it would fall to the priests to allow the one with the strongest personality, really, to take the lead. And that’s pretty much the same in life, isn’t it really? If you work for an employer or if you’re a child in your family home, then you know what it’s like to be in submission to somebody that’s over you.
But the point I want to make here is elders plural. I’ve always found in the New Testament here an elder and a bishop are used interchangeably. The elder is to be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children. In reverse order, faithful children would mean that he is to be a family man and, if possible, that his children would be saved. It’s not mandatory to be married and have children to be a New Testament leader. Paul, to the best of our knowledge, wasn’t married, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that he had any children, and yet he was an elder. John the apostle, no evidence that he was married or that he had children either. Again, he was an elder. One wife here rules out the Mormons, rules out the polygamy – one man, one wife – and, of course, this goes into divorce as well. And if a couple gets married, there’s only three grounds for divorce, really: Desertion, death, or infidelity, and separation would normally be sought if reconciliation wasn’t possible. But here the elder has to be the husband of just one wife.
VERSES 7-9: “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
His testimony must be flawless, not a drinker found in verse 7, not violent, not given to filthy lucre – he doesn’t do it for money – a lover of hospitality – he has an open door – a lover of good men, saved men, sober – again, goes back to verse 7, which for me would be quite clearly defined as don’t even touch alcohol; that would be the best thing – just, holy, temperate, self control. And to have a clean testimony means that he can convince those that come against him. He can shine; he can rebuke those that are non-Christian. He can shame those that are not in the Lord, those that have filthy mouths, those that live filthy lives. His clean testimony – not perfect, not sinless perfection, but this remarkable saved man is a pillar in the local assembly. He stands out, and he’s known in the community, according to 1 Timothy, because he preaches on the street. He gives tracts out; he is known in his community. He doesn’t hide in his church. He doesn’t preach to the choir. He’s preaching to the lost in the street, and should the lost get saved, should the lost wish to be identified with him and the elders that are found in the local assembly as teaching elders, then that individual will join that church and participate with them. But the main theme here is that he has to be impeccable. And you look at some of the churches today, and you find it really difficult, really hard to find anywhere near what is laid out in the 6th and the 7th and the 8th verse.
VERSES 10-11: “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”
Again, the love of money is the root of all evil, and I’ve said this so many times in the past – and I’ve only been saved nine years. Next month is my tenth year as a saved Christian, and I’m still growing in grace. But one thing I’ve noticed since being saved, that if all the paid ministers weren’t supported by other Christians, if all of the men and the women, whether it’s these super-duper churches or down to a small assembly, if all of the paid pastors, if all of the paid elders were not given that lucre, you wouldn’t have all of this corruption. You wouldn’t have people being looked up to. You wouldn’t have these individuals being elevated as priests and fall into the priest craft problem which we find in the church of Rome.
But here Paul is ready, aiming his guns at the Judaizers, the men who have been plaguing the New Testament pretty much since the beginning. They plagued the Lord; they plagued the apostles, and they are condemned in the book of Revelation as a synagogue of Satan. And, of course, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If you get enough false teaching going around, it becomes contagious, and because the average Christian is very naive, very green, very superficial, not very knowledgeable in the things of the Lord, a well-talking, a well-presented Judaizer can completely turn a family upside down, and that’s why you were told in 2 John not to even allow these people into your home.
VERSE 12: “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”
Interesting that Paul would quote a non-biblical writer, and it’s not the only time in Scripture that a pagan source is quoted, but here it’s quoted because it must be right. And just because Paul says that this party is a prophet doesn’t mean that they were a prophet in the eyes of the Lord. Paul also said in 1 Corinthians chapter 8 that to the heathen, they had many gods, lower case “g,” and many lords, lower case “l.” But us, the people of God, there’s only one Lord, capital “L.”
VERSES 13-14: “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.”
Rebuking a party has to be done in order; it has to be done correctly. Matthew 18 told us that if a saved party fell into sin, you had to go to that party on your own. If the party wouldn’t hear you, you take a couple of elders with you, and if the sinning party doesn’t listen to you and the elders, the entire church should approach that party, and fail in that, that individual is put out of the church, excommunication or temporary exclusion from a typical assembly. That’s what would happen with a saved person. Paul also said don’t treat them as heathen. Treat them as a brother. So just because somebody has been put out of a fellowship setting doesn’t mean that you treat them with contempt. They are still saved. But until they repent, until they come back to the life which they should be living, it’s best that they be put out, as I say, from the assembly.
But here Paul is talking to unsaved people coming into the assembly like wolves, and it’s those people ‒ again, 2 John that comes to my mind ‒ that need to be dealt with severely and sharply. Also this expression “Jewish fables,” no doubt that was a throwback to the genealogies going back to Abraham. No doubt the Judaizers were trying to question the Lord’s credentials, question the apostles’ credentials, and that’s found still to this day, still to this day. The church of Rome goes on and on and on about the so-called papal line, and it’s so tedious. It’s so irrelevant to the average man or woman on the street who’s dying and going to Hell, and while all these “religious people” are fighting and bickering over this papal line and who has the keys and who wrote the Bible, 150,000 people are dying every day. And that’s why it’s best to be separated from that type of person, that sort of religious character. And here, again, Paul is aiming his guns at the Judaizers, but vicariously we can aim them at anybody today – the Mormons as well, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Any group that spends more time arguing over fables and the words of men, just discard them.
VERSE 15: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
If you’re saved and you’re walking with the Lord and you are in the Scriptures, then what you do is pure in the sight of the Lord. That should go without saying. But, of course, to those that are not saved, whatever they do is just filthy and it’s abhorrent, and even their so-called “good works” are as filthy rags to the Lord.
VERSE 16: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
Matthew chapter 7, verses 21 to 23, I believe is the cross-reference to here. Paul here is speaking again primarily about the Judaizers, and yet in Matthew 7 Jesus says that many will come to him and say, “Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, have we not done this in your name, have we not done that in your name?” And He says, “I never knew you” – never – never knew you. Here’s a picture of people that thought they were saved and were not saved and are condemned to eternal Hell. Paul says the Judaizers claimed to know God but their works deny Him.
You could easily look at this and go back to Acts 15 and say there were men in the early church that were still very Jewish, still very much under the law, still very much in the ritualistic aspects of Judaism, and they too could also be found here in verse 16 – religious people very much zealous for the law, and yet Paul says they don’t even know the law. They’re not saved. And this is why it’s imperative to know that you are saved, to make sure you have believed on Christ to be saved.
Come to Christ as a beggar. See yourself as a filthy wretch. Cry over your sins. Take a good long, hard look at the Lord. Read Isaiah 53. Go through the Ten Commandments. Every thought that you ever had, every deed that you ever did, every word you’ve ever said you will give an account according to Matthew chapter 12 – everything – hatred, bitterness, resentment, jealousy. If these things aren’t confessed to the Lord according to 1 John, your sins are not cleansed. You lose your fellowship with the Lord. And there’s nothing worse than a bitter, disgruntled, backslidden, carnal Christian, nothing worse than coming across someone like that. And I’ve known a lot of those people in my short ten years, nearly, as being saved. A lot of these people I have met, and they are really sour, really sour.
VERSES 1-2: “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”
Verse 2, elder material is being sought here. You don’t ordain a novice; you don’t ordain a new Christian who’s only been saved one to three years. He hasn’t matured enough in the Lord. He hasn’t got his feet under the table. He doesn’t know enough Bible yet. He’s still a kid. So you wouldn’t lay your hands on a novice. But here these are aged men; these are men that have lived, that have had families, that have had children, perhaps, and they are ready to be elders.
Now, I appreciate that Spurgeon was 16 when he went into the ministry, and Solomon was about 20ish. We’re not sure exactly how old he was, but he was just out of his teens when he was ordained and chosen as the king of Israel, so you do get exceptions in the Old Testament with Solomon and in the Church with Spurgeon, of course, back in the 19th century. But by and large, primarily that is the exception not the norm. As I say, unless you’ve lived, unless you’ve tasted life, unless you’ve been matured and been moulded by the potter, chances are you’ll fall into pride; you’ll fall into the condemnation of the devil, hence why Paul says don’t ordain a new Christian; don’t ordain a young man in the Lord. Let him grow, let him develop, and then if he still feels called to be an elder, a teacher, an evangelist – whatever – then that party will be recognized from within the assembly, and they will ordain him from within. So what you don’t do is import an elder or a “pastor” from outside of your church into your church and then give him a salary. No. If you have a decent, healthy-sized fellowship, you will see the men inside your fellowship, and you’ll recognize those men from within as being the elders, the deacons, or the teachers – whatever – found in Acts chapter 6; and those are the men that are then raised up, recognized by the congregation, and ultimately given the ordination through the Holy Spirit.
VERSES 3-4: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”
In verse 4 we find, once again, alcohol mentioned in a negative connotation, and this time it’s aimed at the women, the older women. And in the previous chapter we found alcohol again being condemned when used by elders in a teaching capacity. I would say that the best thing would be to abstain from alcohol, per se, if you can. It’s an absolute cancer in modern society today. And a lot of Christians that get saved have had experience with alcohol, and it’s just one of the quickest ways to damage your testimony if you have a drink problem.
But look at verse 3, “not false accusers.” That’s pretty broad, but that can go into gossiping, being idle, and, of course, if you have time on your hands, that does generate more opportunities for mischief. But these women are being commended to be keepers at home, and, of course, that’s how it was always up until probably the 1960’s, up until feminism, up until rock and roll. Women in all areas of Christendom, even in the apostate wings of Christendom, stayed at home. They didn’t go to work, and they certainly weren’t “in the ministry.” With the advent of the sixties, no doubt initiated by the Illuminati, no doubt encouraged by the devil himself, with that movement, which really began in the late fifties but took ground in the sixties, nearly every wing of Christendom has been affected. All of the so-called religious groups have capitulated and have given in to women teaching.
But here they are told to stay at home; they are told to guide the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. Too many women are stretching themselves. They’re trying to have a career and they’re trying to have a family, and it just can’t work. It doesn’t work. The children grow up not seeing their parents, and more likely than not will be raised by child-minders; they’ll be raised by extended family members or friends, and that’s not how it should be. God has given Woman A a child and He expects Woman A to raise that child. And, of course, the father has to be part of that too, but the father goes out to work, and the woman stays at home and raises the children.
Now, if she has no children – and Lydia always comes to my mind – Scripture with Scripture here. Lydia was saved. As far as we know, she wasn’t married, and as far as we know, she had no children, so therefore she had her own business. And Paul was able to fellowship with her. And there’s nothing in the book of Acts which suggests she had to give her business up, get married, and have a family. So don’t read this and think that it’s mandatory to get married and have children and stay at home. No. If you are saved and the Lord called you as a saved woman with children, then according to 1 Corinthians 7, you stay as you were. If you were called and you were single with no children, then you stay single with no children. In other words, you don’t need to change anything to better yourself. If you were single but with children and you got saved, then, again, you remain single with your children. And that doesn’t rule out the possibility of future relations with other people. That doesn’t mean you have to remain single and celibate the rest of your days.
But what Paul is saying is don’t try to rearrange the furniture; don’t try to change things around to be more accepted with God. No. You came as a sinner; He saw you as a sinner, and it says while we were yet sinners Christ died for our sins (Rom. 5:8.) So He’s already seen us at our worst state and still died for us, hence why we come as we are and we are then saved, and our positional standing is fixed. But like I said in previous videos, our practical standing will fluctuate, but that’s another subject for another day.
VERSE 5: “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
A saved woman must put her husband first. He is her number one priority even before her children. He comes first. She submits to him as he submits to Christ. And I guarantee you that a saved woman submitting to a saved man will get the same love and respect back that she has given to him. A woman should submit to her partner and vice versa. Also found in 1 Corinthians 7 – but that is more of a sexual union connotation – but here everyday life, the saved woman should submit herself to her saved husband. Also, I have to say this, that Peter said that even saved women should submit themselves to their unsaved husbands. And Paul said that they may stay in the marriage, they may depart from the marriage, and that if the saved party and the unsaved party are happy to live together, that’s fine. They stay as they are. But if the unsaved party wishes to leave, they can leave, and that exonerates the saved party. That allows separation and sometimes even divorce, and on those grounds, the saved party can remarry but only a saved person.
“Discreet, chaste, keepers at home,” again, the theme here would be that the saved woman is already at home raising her children, or if she’s older and she’s a grandmother, that she’s going to guide her daughters and the grandchildren. Why? That the word of God isn’t blasphemed. Again, they have to live a life which reflects the holiness of God and the purity of God. But here submission is the key. Women, put your men first, and a good man will put his woman first.
VERSES 6-8: “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
You should be able after growing in grace, after walking with the Lord for a period of time to be not accused of saying anything that is filthy or that is wicked. In other words, if you spend enough time with unsaved people, a typical unsaved person should say Person A or Person B never swears in my presence, never curses in my presence, never gossips in my presence, and although I don’t agree with Person A or Person B, that person is completely opposite to me. A saved person should always outshine an unsaved person. That’s just the way that it is.
VERSES 9-10: “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
The wife submits to the husband. The servant submits to the master. The Son of Man submitted Himself to the Father. Society submits itself to the state. The Prime Minister submits himself to the Crown, and the Crown submits itself to God, so we are told. A child submits itself to a parent, and a parent submits itself to the law. Submission is found throughout both Testaments. That’s the way that God has ordained it. We live in a universe which is controlled. It has laws. It’s not this massive chaotic system which exploded by chance and there’s no absolute truths. Everything is set and everything is tuned and everything works and functions for a purpose.
VERSES 11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Eleven, the atonement was provided to the whole world, but like I’ve said in other videos, only those that believe on the Lord are going to be saved.
Thirteen, the blessed hope is a reference, I believe, to the Rapture, and also Jesus Christ is called “the great God” and Isaiah 9 again, “the great God,” the El Gibbor, “the mighty God.” Jesus, of course, is God. If you sin against God, only God Himself can forgive you. Acts chapter 20 Paul said that God’s blood shed for our sins. Who died on the cross? Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. God’s blood has saved us from our sins.
Fourteen, He gave Himself for us. As I say, those that appropriate the atonement, those that receive it are going to be saved, but He also gave Himself to the false prophets in 2 Peter 2 that deny Him. Again, you can’t get limited atonement from the New Testament. That came in the fourth, fifth century with Augustine, was lost for some time and sadly rediscovered by the reformers at the Reformation. But here he gave Himself for us, those that have appropriated the atonement. You could argue that He would redeem you from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people. Now, what you do get are the two natures living side-by-side, and they clash, and they clash regularly. But here Paul is probably referring to a positional standing, that you’ve been redeemed from all iniquity, not just some of your sins – all iniquity, all of your sins, and you’ve been purified; you’ve been made right; you’ve been made perfect in the sight of the Lord.
Also 12, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Again, that comes post new birth. Once you are saved, you turn from all of your sins. You turn from whatever it was that plagued you pre your new birth. But post your new birth, you turn; you start to walk with the Lord, and you can only do that if the Holy Spirit lives within you. And only recently I had a conversation with a young party who was wanting to be saved and was telling me that he wanted to be saved, but he was still conscious, he was still wanting to hang onto his current lifestyle. And I said to this young party that when you are born again, you get a new heart, you get a new desire, you get a new nature, you get a whole new set of beliefs; things which you hated as an unsaved person, you now love as a saved person, and things that you loved as an unsaved person, you now hate as a saved person. You are a new creation. You are born again, born from above. This is your second chance.
VERSE 15: “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
Probably an age thing here. Timothy was a young man, and no doubt Titus was too, and he’s saying you have the authority to tell those who you’re writing to what I’ve told you and vicariously to all of us that have read the New Testament over the past 2,000 years.
VERSES 1-2: “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.”
Out goes your zealots; out goes your freedom fighters; out goes your marchers; out goes the left wing; out goes the save the planet; out goes the Greenpeace; out goes your sit-down protests; out goes your Occupy Wall Street; out goes your Occupy St. Paul’s Cathedral. And the list goes on and on and on. You are to be in subjection to those that are in authority. Romans 13 also says that. Again, the child submits to the parent, and the parent submits to the law. The employee submits to the employer. And as you can quite clearly see, that submission is found throughout society. Why do you submit to authority? Because God ordains it. God ordains it. He ordains the office. He ordains the power base which you can see, which you can experience, but the people that run, the people that stand, the people that rule, the people that enjoy that power are not necessarily chosen by God. So it’s the office that we submit to. Now, of course, if these people teach something or put something to us which is not found in Scripture like you find in Acts chapter 5, then you obey God rather than man. But here Paul is saying that you need to make it clear to the elders who are going to teach the others in the homes and beyond that they have to obey those that are in authority. So no hot heads, no freedom fighters, no Castros, no Che Guevaras, no Bobby Sands ‒ No. You need to be in submission to the authorities.
VERSE 3: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
How true that is.
VERSES 4-7: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Amen to that. You were saved not by what you’ve done but by what He did for us. And this washing of regeneration is not a reference to water baptism. This is a reference to being saved by the Holy Spirit. When you believed on the Lord, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 12, you were then baptized into the body of Christ ‒ no water baptism, no speaking in tongues, no circumcision, no confirmation, no first communion. Nothing whatsoever that you have ever done puts you into Christ. You got into Christ through your faith in Christ alone. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17.)
And, again, verse 4, “God our Saviour,” the deity of Christ quite clearly found there. And “justified by his grace,” again, justification means exoneration. You were saved by your faith in Christ. Christ died in your place. And I remember reading about a court case which took place in America, I believe, back in the 1960’s, and a criminal went to court, was found guilty of a particular crime and was fined for his crime. This is a true story, by the way. And the judge said to the guilty party, “You have two options. You either pay the fine or you do the time.” And the assailant realized that he didn’t have the money to pay the fine, so therefore he was going to do the time. However, at the eleventh hour, the judge decided to pay the assailant’s fine for him, and he got up, walked down from the bench, went to the clerk, got his cheque book out and paid the fine for this criminal. He then got up, walked back to his bench and sat down. And he said, “Case dismissed.” The penalty had been issued by the state in the person of the judge. The assailant couldn’t afford the fine, so the judge paid the fine for the assailant. The assailant had the option to either accept that or reject it, and he chose to accept it. By accepting it, justice was paid because the court had received payment for the crime. Even though the assailant himself hadn’t paid the fine, the judge had paid the fine on behalf of the assailant. So justice had been served.
And, of course, you know that’s a picture of Christ. Whether the judge knew it or not is academic, but what we get from that is a clear picture of a guilty party who wasn’t able to pay his fine and an innocent party – in this case, the judge – paid the fine for the criminal. The criminal was free to go. The judge went back to his duties, and as far as the state of New York – I think it was – was concerned, that was a closed case. And that’s what happened in Christ. He paid our fine on our behalf, and we either accept that or we reject it.
VERSE 8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
Ephesians chapter 2 Paul said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9.) You are saved by your faith in Christ alone, as I’ve already said, but the next verse is rarely ever even looked at. You were saved unto good works. And here Paul is saying that once you get saved, get busy. Don’t just be a hearer of the word; be a doer of the word. Get yourself busy. If you are a saved woman and you have children, young children in your home, that’s your congregation. Start preaching. If you are a saved man and you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, get some tracts; start giving them out. Go door to door. If you are a really bold Christian, get a sign, and if you’re even bolder, maybe start preaching. But the point is get busy. First Corinthians 15 Paul says nothing you do is in vain. So for goodness sake, get busy. Get busy. Honour the Lord. Honour the King. Get souls saved.
VERSE 9: “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”
Again, it goes back to the first chapter. Don’t waste your time with these people that want to argue all the time about manuscripts or conditional security or Catholicism versus Protestantism. By all means, a discussion is one thing. If somebody is sincerely seeking answers and wants to know the truth, that is something which we are all open to. All of us that have been saved for a period of time love discipling Christians, and we love to be discipled ourselves. None of us are above discipleship. But we don’t want to waste our time going down the same old route with these people. Once we teach something, once we affirm something, we want to move on. We want to build on the foundation. And this verse 9 is aimed again at the Judaizers, but you can so easily apply it to Sabbath keepers; you can so easily apply it to faith and works; you can so easily apply it to the holiness people, the Word of Faith movement. The list goes on and on and on. And here Paul says it’s vain. It’s completely worthless. You’re wasting your time.
VERSES 10-11: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
The only way to know whether a person is of the Lord or not is to go to the Scriptures and check him out, check him out in light of Scripture. If what he says is true, it will be found in the Bible, and you can retain it. If it’s not, discard it.
VERSES 12-15: “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.”