Treating Truth Decay – Titus 1
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Titus was a young pastor that the Apostle Paul had stationed on the First century island of Crete. Crete was a place of many challenges because of the unsavoriness of its public life. The people of Crete were known for their self-indulgence, arrogance and deception. Paul cites one of the Cretan writers who describes his own people: “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:12). It was a society marked by what we might call “truth decay”. Not tooth decay, but “truth decay”.
First century Crete, you could say, was a lot like our modern America.
How can a Christian operate in a society like this? Well, because of the nature and power of the Gospel, the Christian does not need the support of a surrounding society to be cheered on to greater levels of truth and justice. No. Society doesn’t bring this support to the Gospel and to the church. The Gospel and the church bring this support to society.
In the face of such “truth decay”, Pastor Titus is called to encourage his people to live lives marked by self-control, sensibility, love, perseverance in good works, family faithfulness, reverent speech, purity, etc. In other words, the Gospel allows us not to be thermometers of society, but thermostats—to set the temperature of social engagement, not to be set by it. We must seek to adjust the social climate, not acquiesce to it.
The Gospel works this in us not so much by what it demands from us, but rather by what it did for us in Christ. It is the gospel of “Grace and peace from God” (Titus 1:4)—not what we do for Him but what He’s done for us. And it is this grace that changes us, and it is this grace we are called to give to others.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
Titus 1 (ESV)
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained….
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.