Thursday, April 16, 2015

NTDS (73): Hold Fast

Titus 1:9  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.  NIV

Titus was one of the apostle Paul’s companions, who had served with him on his missionary travels. He was now the leader of the churches in Crete. Paul’s letter to Titus is one that he could have written to any pastor or church leader today.

In verse 1 of this letter, Paul says that there is knowledge of the truth that leads to Godliness. Some false teachers, who had gained an audience in the church, were already distorting this knowledge. Paul is telling Titus to appoint elders in each of the churches in Crete and that one of the requirements for these men is that they firmly hang on to the truth of God’s word, encouraging people with “sound doctrine.”

This exhortation, important as it was in that time, could not be more relevant in today’s church. In verse 10, Paul says that during this time there were many “mere talkers and deceivers.” What a description of what is happening in the church today.

Though this was written to elders, who were the pastor/teachers of the time, it should be true for all of us. Each believer needs to “hold fast” to the truth that has been taught. Paul was speaking of the message that had been proclaimed by the Old Testament scriptures and by Jesus and the apostles. This of course, is what we have in the Bible. This message never changes. Beware of teachers who claim that they have “new insight, new revelation or new interpretations” of God’s word. Paul sums them up in Titus 1:16,
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

Notice that when we keep within the confines of God’s truth, we can encourage others with that truth and refute those who oppose it. This is so important for us. We want to be able to encourage other people in their relationship with the Lord. We need to know His truth and apply it correctly in order to do that. All of us can be used in that way. You do not have to be a “leader” in the church to encourage others with the Word of God.

We should also be equipped to refute those who would distort His word for their own purposes. We must hold fast to “sound doctrine.” The Greek word used here literally means to “hold oneself opposite,” meaning opposite of those who teach false doctrine. It implies an “adherence to” or “caring for” the truth. That takes an effort on our part. We need study the Word ourselves and choose faithful teachers to instruct us. Teachers who do not stray from the truth laid out for us in scripture.

The great thing is that when we do this, not only are we able to encourage others, we are strengthened and encouraged ourselves. The more we study His word, the more we understand His love and grace. Nothing will encourage you more than that!
So study and learn His word. Hold onto it with everything you have. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you in your study. Don’t be swayed by anyone who does not hold to the message taught by Jesus and His apostles. It is the truth, it is inerrant, and it is infallible and reliable in every way!

God bless you,


No comments:

Post a Comment