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: ~Titus 1:5
The people who lived on the island of Crete were notoriously known for being liars, untruthful, lazy, and “evil beasts” (ferocious and savage). Paul described them as having minds and consciences that were defiled. They opposed the truth of God’s Word through wicked works and words. The lack of moral scruples and non-adherence to truth result in a decaying of the truth. Paul left Titus on the island of Crete to deal with this. Instead of taking the path of least resistance and abandoning the truth, he wanted Titus to fight this truth decay. Let us see Paul’s counsel on fighting truth decay.
We must fix.
“…Thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting.” Paul told Titus to make necessary corrections where there were deficiencies. First, they needed to fix the preaching. The best remedy for when things are lagging or deficient is to get back to red hot and fervent Bible preaching. Paul reminded Titus that God has manifested His Word through preaching. Preaching must exhort, but it also must expose. Second, they needed to fix their practices. There were things lacking. Foremost of the things they needed to restore was confrontational soulwinning and getting the gospel throughout the city. Everything about the church needed to be evangelistic and about reaching the unsaved.
We must furnish.
“Ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.” We must make a high priority the development and training of men as spiritual leaders and, specifically, preachers. They need to be qualified as preachers. They must be clean, or blameless, individually and in their families. They must be crucified (“not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine”). They must be Christlike (“a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate”). They must be courageous in confronting the issues at hand. We must raise up elders in every city.
We must be fastened.
“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.” If we are doubting the truth, we will not be successful in fighting truth decay. Today, we have a generation of men who have abandoned what they have been taught. They have compromised instead of gotten confrontational. We must be like Eleazar, whose hand clave unto the sword. Don’t let go of what you have been taught.
We must fight.
“This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Jude tells us that we must contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Those who err from the truth must be rebuked sharply. Paul said that those who turn from the truth are men who give heed to fables and commandments of men. They prefer hearsay, fads, and manmade standards and commandments instead of the authority of God’s Word. We have to fight to keep biblical doctrine and practices.
We must fulfill.
We do this by speaking the things which become sound doctrine. First, we must explain our doctrine. Then, we must establish convictions that we live out by standards to reflect our beliefs. Truth decay is a turning from the absolute of truth. People desire to heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. Be careful of truth decay in your life.
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1Kings 15-17