Confronting Falsehood

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If you have a bible open it up to Titus 1. I have tiled the message this morning. Confronting Falsehood. Pray with me.
So last week we talked about this idea For the sake of the faith God calls believers to know and follow him and pastors to show others him. And so working through this last book of our series here in the pastoral epistles we come to the text we are in today and Paul builds on that idea we had last week by confronting false teachers. AND I would argue to you that while pastors have a responsibility to call out and confront falsehood so do all believers. Because falsehood damages the faith that God has given us.
Let me read you the text we are in this morning. Titus 1:10-16
Titus 1:10–16 ESV
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Now what I want you to take away from the message this morning is this..

Christians confront false teaching in order that others may be sound in the faith.

Lets break down how that is possible.
First point is this…

Christians must confront those who are deceivers.

I think there is an idea by so many that Christians should not be confrontational. And I believe there is some truth to that, but when it comes to God’s church and God’s Words We must confront those who seek to deceive God’s people.
Paul is telling Titus there are going to be people he says many who are insubordinate, empty talkers, and deceivers, especially from circumcision party.
Gods word takes false teaching seriously. In fact you see throughout the pages of scripture that very thing. Now Paul says these false teachers work in a variety of different ways.
Studying this week I was reminded of a few that tie into the message today.
Matthew 7:15 ESV
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
2 Peter 2:1–3 ESV
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
1 John 2:18–23 ESV
18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
Two more.
Jude 3–4 ESV
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 17–19 ESV
17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
What do all these have in common this idea that false teachers will come looking like they are from God, but preaching something contrary to what God’s words teaches. They will teach things that their hearts and our hearts desire. If you listen to false teachers today alot of sounds good because they appeal to the flesh, and our flesh loves to be satisfied, and when we are not careful friends we can fall down the wrong path and be deceived ourselves.
Now you may have noticed Paul in this letter to Titus include something at the end of verse 10. He says especially those of the Circumcision party. Now we need to understand what this party was doing. They were going around saying you had to add to the gospel in order to be saved. There idea of salvation was Jesus plus something equals salvation, but we know its Jesus plus nothing. We are totally 100 percent dependent on him to save us, but the circumcision party was acting like this was not the case. Many of Paul’s greatest critics who opposed the gospel message the most were fellow Jews.
The message of Jesus plus something diminishes the finished work of Christ, and it does not save. So Paul says silence these people. Now I believe the silencing comes in the context of the church and God’s people. Because if we as a church put up with false teaching it damages those in it.
Paul focused here in the text how false teaching wrecks families. So he wants them silenced. Now the word silenced here aludes to the idea of being muzzled to shut them up. Because these people are using there teaching for shameful gain.
So Paul what he does is go to the context that Titus is in, and use an illustration that he would know and the people there would know. He says One of the Cretans a prophet of their own said Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Why does he say this? He is saying these false teachers are acting like typical Cretans. There just a bunch of liars seeking there own gain. He is just highlighting what he said in verse 10. Because false teachers are always lying even if a little truth is mixed in they still distort the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now what he says of the Cretans is what characterises a-lot of false teachers. They are liars. This is the testimony that is true. The text indicates that they could have been lying about several things. We have already talked about one that Jesus plus something crew. But there is more here.
Many of the false teachers of the day would go about attacking marriage, and certain foods. And when it comes to the text today we see that what they were teaching was affecting families. Its quite possible these teachers were prohibiting marriage causing families to wonder what to do. If you know about cults and there leaders one of the thing they like to attack most is marriage, some cult leaders would go so far and say all the women are mine, but anytime someone pushes away from the biblical mandate for marriage we need to be careful because they are most likely a false teacher.
Paul says these people are evil beasts and lazy gluttons. Thats some harsh language, but these teachers are driven by their own passions, not the word of God. False teachers tend to wet the appetite of there own passions as well as those who hear them. They want to get fat on their own laziness of how they handle the word of God.
Now you see some things these false teachers were elevating. Jewish myths and the law. Now if you remember this was something Timothy dealt with as well. 1 Tim 1:4
1 Timothy 1:4 ESV
4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
and 1 Tim 4:7
1 Timothy 4:7 ESV
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
When it came to Jewish myths people would come up with all kinds of things. AND WHAT they would do is elevate those things in an improper place. One example I got from John Macarthur said this..
Very much like what you have in secret societies today among those who believe they’re the initiates into the secret levels.  It's very much like Gnosticism, and certainly the incipient Gnosticism of the day of Paul and Titus would have fed into this, when people were believing that if you could ascend to mystical and transcendent levels of experiences with the deities, you would ascend and you would rise above the normal hoi poloi, the normal crowd.  So these Jews felt that they had insights into the secret meanings of the Old Testament.  They could read between the lines. They were stuffing things in the white spaces between the letters, between the words, the sentences, and the paragraphs. They were taking the genealogies - they're noted also in 1 Timothy - taking the genealogies of the Old Testament and sticking names in there, names of mystical characters that they invented, and concocting all kinds of stories about these mystical characters.  And all this secret knowledge allowed them to rise above the crowd.  It's really a sad thing, because they weren't true believers, because their lives really weren't given to God. Because they didn't possess the life of God, they were trying to fill the vacuum with these supposed ascending mystical things.  It was going on in Ephesus, and that's what Paul was talking about when he wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy, in 1 Timothy - and here it is going on here.  Fictitious names in the genealogies of Moses and all kinds of mystical speculations that caused them to believe they had transcended the normal people and they were living on a higher plain and knew God in a mystical way.
I remember when the Lord begin to call me to ministry I was dealing with people like this at lifechurch were was at years ago and they were arguing that the Lord gave them this revelation that went beyond the Scriptures and after see the effect it had I saw just the danger of wondering away from the perfect word of God. And when I understood that I tried my best to purge it from the church.
I have something you need to bury in your heart speculation does not lead to godliness or pure doctrine. It only leads you away from the Lord and his word.
Now going to the other thing. We see we should not devote ourselves to the commands of the people who turn away from the truth. This is legalism. This is the idea that you work yourself into heaven. Something we were already clear about in the message does not save.
Now scholars and myself ask the question why does Paul not tell us what these things are, and I believe if it did it would fill pages to the roof of all the things that people bank on as truth other then the word of God. What we need to know is we are to rebuke all those things in God’s house and amongst Gods people.
Next point is this..

Christians must confront those who deny God with their works.

Many of us might have tensed up a little bit because if we are honest many of us struggle with walking the walk and that includes myself. But it goes deeper here.
These false teachers were lacking character. Now something we have seen in the pastoral epistles is that yes you have to be able to handle the word of God when you preach. But there is a character aspect to being a teacher of God’s words.
As I have hammered home many times already false teachers tend to not have the most holiest of lifestyles. Paul tells Titus Listen these people are going to claim to know God, but they are going to deny him by their works. So much so that they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work. Paul is not holding back the punches.
Now v15 might stick out to you and ask what does that mean.. After careful study I found one mans words insightful he says.. The statement simply asserts that "the pure"— those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus —know that God has given them all of creation to enjoy (cf. 1 Tim. 6:17). The "pure" know that "everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:4-5). Thus, the pure do not regard the things forbidden by the false teachers as impure (cf. 1 Tim. 4:3, where Paul reveals that false teachers forbid "marriage" and "certain foods"). In that sense, to the pure, all things are pure. "But to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure." In other words, there is nothing "pure" to the Jewish false teachers. "Their minds and their consciences" are defiled in the sense that they do not evaluate God's creation correctly. They forbid marriage and certain foods as impure. Nevertheless, marriage and food are actually happy and wholesome gifts from God to every disciple who has eyes to see the goodness of God's creation.
Listen to Mark 7:15-23
Mark 7:15–23 ESV
15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
So tying that in to the overall message is this. If you want to find out how to live look to the word of God. The Jewish law over time manifested itself so much that they forgot the basics of what the law was. they forgot who wrote the law, and most importantly they forgot they themselves needed to be clean. And the heart was the greatest issue.
And those who are not pure look so often look to things to make it seem as though they are when the reality is v16. They are people who was detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.
Christians are to rebuke these kind of people in church and in the faith, because our the health of our faith depends on. But most importantly friends we rebuke or confront others so they become more like Christ.
Last point this morning is this.

Christians must confront so others become more like Christ.

Paul does not hold back the punches in this text we are in today, but notice despite the serious of the error of their ways he offers a way out. v13 is the key.
Titus 1:13 ESV
13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Our goal when we point out the truth to others is that their faith would grow to be sound in faith. I have won alot of conversations that people did not walk away sound in the faith. Now some of that may have been on me others may have been on theirselves. But Paul is telling Titus these people who are going to make your life and ministry really hard preach the gospel to them as well.
You know what the cure is to all the violence all the wrong beliefs in this world are? A relationship with Jesus Christ. One that is built on not empty words or legalism, but on the grace of Jesus Christ. We dont need a faith that is built on the ideas of liars we need a faith built on the word of God. We dont need the next new thing in order to be saved we need the word of God.
And we need the one who is the truth Jesus Christ who cleanses our conscience, and changes our path.
WE need to confront so others become more like Christ.
I want to read this story to you that I read this week. Some months ago a new pastor called from a major urban center where he hopes to minister with his young family. He reported that he had been walking in his neighborhood and saw a man trying to break into a home across the street. The pastor quickly ran to the door of the nearest house to report the crime in progress. He soon recognized that the people in this house were a couple to whom he had been witnessing. Though they were married, the man was having an affair with another woman who was carrying a child conceived with yet another man.
When the pastor told the troubled couple that someone was breaking into the house across the street, the man of the house did not call the police.
Instead, he headed out the door with a baseball bat and called over his shoulder, "Let's stop 'em." The pastor followed and then thought, "What in the world am I doing, following in the steps of this obviously unwise man?
Without even a baseball bat in my hands, I am running toward a burglar who may be armed. For the possessions in the house of someone I don't even know, I am running the risk of leaving my kids without a father." The pastor stoped dead in his tracks, but fortunately the burglar was intimidated by the bat-wielding neighbor and ran away.
Unfortunately, the pastor noticed that the direction the burglar was running put them in the proximity of the pastors house. So he quickly walked to his own house and circled to the back door to see if there was any evidence of a break-in. There was no sign of the burglars. Instead, what the pastor discovered behind his house was an adolescent sitting on a bicycle, shooting up on some drug. The appearance of the pastor scared the kid who sped away - dropping his syringe in the backyard where the pastor's children play.
Considering all the crime, immorality, sordidness, and danger to which this pastor had subjected himself and his family, and facing the reality of the opposition to the gospel evident in the people of the neighborhood to which he had come, the pastor came undone. He called me, disoriented from the assaults of his own fear and frustration. "Bryan," he said, "please pray that I will not hate these people." The words were said with a measure of despair, but they gave me hope because what they requested so reflects the gospel.
People who were focused on their own gain and the garbage of this world were causing this pastor much pain, but he was still desiring their good.
He was requesting prayer for the strength to restrain all the perfectly good excuses for turning his back on those who opposed him.
That is convicting isn’t it.
The guy I read that story from would go on to say this…
The Apostle Paul would surely commend this testimony of the gospel that so clearly reflects his own. Such a testimony instructs us of the importance and the necessity of caring for those who will oppose us and the gospel. As Paul's words make clear, even inside the church battle lines form, and factions press various agendas that will threaten the progress of the gospel. Still, to love the gospel, to fight for it and at the same time to desire that its truths capture the hearts of our enemies is what God requires of those who would differ from the world. The world understands hating those who oppose you. What contrasts those true to the Savior is the desire that all even our opponents-would "come to the knowledge of the truth" (of. 1 Timothy 2:4; Titus 1:1).
Today I wonder where you are at when it comes to confronting falsehood? Are you allowing false teachers to influence your beliefs? Are you confronting others when it needs to be done? But most importantly are you confronting yourself the falsehood that reigns in your own life. Its easy to be like so and so is really messed up they buy into the next new end times view they have the coexist sticker on their bumper, their views on every thing changes every week and they don’t know Jesus.
Well do you? are you so deceived that you don’t know the one who is the truth who is Jesus Christ. Who came and lived that perfect like that you and I never could dying the death that we deserve and rising on the third day so whoever believes in him can have life> If you dont know that today I pray the Lord opens your heart to see his goodness.
Let us pray…
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