Titus 1:10–16 (NKJV)
10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, 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 giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.Titus 1:10-16
Paul follows up his list of elder and bishop qualifications in the previous passage with this rationale behind it. Good leaders are necessary in order to keep order in the church and proper doctrine and teaching before the people. Paul explains that there are people in the church that are guilty of many ungodly attitudes and actions, so therefore his instruction to qualify leaders is very much warranted. He identifies the ungodly practices of insubordination, idle talk, deception, especially among the Judaizer Christians. These words must be stopped before the false ideologies spread throughout the entire church, subverting entire families and taking them away from the true faith. Many of the false teachers are working so as to gain financially from these naive people in the church. The people of Crete, calls Cretans, had one of their own prophets characterize them as “…liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Paul declares this testimony to be true! While Paul is not necessarily saying that all Cretans are worthy of this characterization (although they did seem to have a reputation as such among neighboring regions), he does use this phrase as a vehicle to mark the false teachers and greedy men as being shifty and selfish.
Paul shifts to the cure for this spread of falsehood. He declares that Titus should rebuke them sharply, hoping to bring them back to righteousness and sound faith. Men and women should not listen to Jewish fables or believe the false doctrine of these evil manipulators. He lifts up the need to be pure in all things, especially the heart, so that one’s actions would be pure. However, those who are impure are deceived, professing to know God, but not demonstrating that faith. Instead, they are abominable, disobedient, and disqualified. Don’t allow yourself to be disqualified by your departure from the faith. Instead, stand true and faithful to the truth of God’s word, and let no one draw you away by some new thought or fable. God’s Word is forever true. Stick with the faith that saved you.
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