Titus 1:10-16 – Falsehood and Faith

We have to remember with this section in Titus and the whole Bible that the things we read do not exist in isolation. Last week we looked at what a Christian leader, what the church should look like.

False Teachers / False Teaching 10-12

As God’s people, we need to be able to identify false teaching!

What did the false teachers teach in Paul and Titus’ day?

  • Adhering to the Jewish way of life
    • Dietary rules
      • Keep a kosher diet – no bacon
      • Don’t touch certain things
      Observance of festivals
      • Sabbaths, new moons, Yom Kippur, Jubilee
    • Circumcised
      • Physical sign of the covenant

These were things you must do to be considered an Israelite. These were the commands from God to Moses to belong to the covenant people Israel. In the minds of the Jewish people teaching this there was no other way to be connected to the promises of God. Judaism was not contextual. The Gospel in its beauty, simplicity, and focus on the person of Christ is amazingly contextual. And that was true.

That was true until Jesus came and established the New Covenant (agreement) by His blood:

“Cancel[ling] the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” Col 2:14

What was required is no longer required. Now what is required is faith in the Son of God!

if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

If you do this, you are part of the New Covenant

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” – Jeremiah 31:33-34

If anyone tells you that you need to do something more than believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to receive Him and be part of this New Agreement with God, then that is false, and they are teaching something false.

Now false teaching and false teachers is bad enough but these leaders in Crete were not just teaching false doctrine they were doing it for money. One is bad enough but the second makes it horrible. This is not something that is absent in our time. There are still those who teach false doctrine to make money. I will not name names, but we still have these people in our day and the antidote to false teaching is found in verses 13-14.

Silence false teachers so they will know the truth 13-14

As God’s people, we need to know the truth and why we speak the truth!

This is both silencing false teachers and proclaiming the truth. In doing this we follow God’s way of doing things. Read the prophets and you will find that God calls out falsehood to bring people back to truth. We silence, rebuke, and correct falsehood so those who believe it will know the truth. What does Scripture say?

“Rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith” Titus 1:13.

Any other motivation is wrong. We are calling people to repentance and reconciliation. We are to be reconciled to God and each other.

False teachers are not the enemy, false doctrine, false teaching, hypocrisy, and deceit these are the enemies. People who teach false teachings either by wrong motives or ignorance are to be instructed in righteousness so that they may know the truth. Do not make the person the enemy, but zealously combat falsehood and false teaching for the sake of truth and so that those who believe or think otherwise will know the truth for their good.

The motivation and the approach make all the difference. This requires a knowledge of truth and the way of righteousness.

Requires an understanding of the truth

To rebuke or silence false teachers requires that you have an understanding of the topic. It presupposes that you know how to handle the Word of God.

We have to remember 2 very important things when we read the book of Titus.

  1. Titus was written to Titus
  2. Titus was also written for us.

Titus was not a new believer or someone unfamiliar in the way of Righteousness. 2 Corinthians chapter 8 tells us that Titus had a history of working in difficult churches with bad or twisted doctrine. This was not his first rodeo. He knew how to rightly divide the Word of God.

How do we know the truth? We know the truth because we read the truth, and God’s word is true.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness 2 Tim 3:16

The Bible does not claim to be a helpful book, the Bible claims to be the Word of God given to us for revelation of who He is and what we need to know about Him.

We can rest in the fact that the Bible is reliable. We believe it because it is true and then we act in faith based on what it says.

How do we know the Bible is true? There are many ways. A few quick points.

  • When comparing manuscripts (copies) they have a 99.5% accuracy
  • There are over 20,000 New Testament manuscripts.
  • We have small manuscripts of the Gospel of John dated to about 100-150 AD
  • The Bible has been studied to show that it is an accurate record of what the original authors wrote.

This means we can trust that what we read is what was meant to be read!

“Faith is relying on what you have reason to believe is true and trustworthy. – JP Moreland.

Just an aside if you ever hear anyone saying, “oh the Bible was written at the Council of Nicaea.” That is 100% false. They did not talk about the Canon of Scripture at Nicaea, they debated Arianism

We need to know what the Bible says, believe what it says, and then teach what it says so that people will be sound in the faith! We must never shy away from the truth.

How does this Play Out?

There is truth, and Truth is important! We as God’s people must be students of truth. We must learn it to protect ourselves and others from falsehood.

  • There is truth
  • Truth is important
  • Truth leads to the way of life
  • Jesus is the way, truth, and the life.

We can read something like rebuking false teachers and some will shy away from that, and others will run to it because they like to fight. Either way, we must come at it from the right motivation. We must first have a desire to know the truth, to be students of truth, and then have a desire to share (in love) the truth of God.

This is not all there is because the Bible connects this idea of silencing false teachers with the right motivation and knowing the truth with a truth about us a people.

Your heart is revealed in your interpretation of life

To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled – Titus 1:15

As God’s people, we need to understand that our heart is revealed by the way we interpret life. If your heart is true and your desire is Christ, His righteousness, and His holiness, then that will be revealed by the way you interpret the world around you. If you have falsehood and deception, then that will come out too. You cannot hide what is in you.

Have you ever met someone who is always accusing someone of something? Usually, they are hiding something. The truth and guilt are trying to get out, so it comes out in perverse ways.

What is in you will come out and when it does it will either

  • set you free and lead to life
  • Come out as a perversion of the truth and keep you in bondage.
  • You choose.

The idea of being pure is of extreme importance. Jesus says that the pure in heart will see God. We need to be pure of heart to see Him because He is pure.

Your faith and works must match.

As God’s people, we need to understand that our faith and actions must match! In fact, your faith and your works will match because one informs the other.

They claim to know God, but they deny him through their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work. Titus 1:16

Just like your heart is revealed by your interpretation of life your faith is revealed by your works. The way you drive, the way you grocery shop, the way you interact with your spouse your kids, your boss, and your employees. If you claim to know God, then do your actions reflect that?

In the secret place, in the dark, is your faith showing?

Paul says to Titus that these false teachers claim to know God, but their actions disprove their claims. Our actions and our words must match.

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? James 2:15-16 (NIV)

Remember we have talked about the fact that we are human beings and not human doings. Our doing comes out of our being and our being shows in our doing.

A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:45

We cannot say one thing and then do something that is the opposite and expect everything to be ok. The truth will always come out. It always does.

Call to Action

We are to have the truth be real and alive in us just like Titus did before he went and called out falsehood in Crete.

We silence false teachers and false teaching because we know the truth. But that also means we silence the lies in our own life because the enemy has taught us.

  • You are not loved
  • You did too much
  • You cannot come back from that
  • No one likes you
  • You’re not pretty enough
  • You’re not smart enough
  • You’re not strong enough
  • You’re not enough

We rebuke the lies so that the truth will be known. Maybe today some of us need to stop looking around for false teachers and instead look at the lies we believe and tell ourselves to be silent and believe Jesus.

Just like we said with silencing false teachers; The motivation and the approach make all the difference.

Do not condemn yourself but instead tell yourself.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5

Before we run around and look for a false teacher to silence first make sure you kill the lies you believe!

Just a thought,


Scripture and You

66 Books

About 35-40 authors 

Covering everything from Creation to Final Redemption

About 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek)

Various professions from the writers: Shepherds, prophets, fishermen, and herdsmen.

A wide range of topics and genres. Prophecy, poetry, history, apocalyptic and more.

Depth that is almost beyond understanding. As St Augustine said, “the bible is shallow enough for a child to wade and deep enough for an elephant to swim.”

All with one central theme

He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Luke 24:44

The Word of God has brought down rulers and raised up the impoverished. It has been banned and celebrated. It is the most important book in human history but what do we do with it? 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to rightly divide the word of truth. 

Colossians 3:16 says “Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

I would answer the question of “what do we do with it” is this. We get into the Word of God, so the Word of God gets into us. The Word of God teaches us all about Christ and Salvation. It instructs us on righteousness and sanctification. It reveals truth and error. It is alive and it is active. The Word of God gives us access into the stream of God’s presence which is always there but sometimes hidden to us because God desires us to seek Him. If we want to encounter Jesus, if we want to put Jesus first, Scripture reading is an amazing way to enter the stream of God’s presence.

Why do we read it? 

Four brief reasons. 

  1. It is the Word of God. The Bible is everything we need to know regarding God and salvation.
    1. John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
    1. If we want to know God, if we want to know how to live a life that pleases Him, we must know what He has said?
  2. It is accurate and reliable. The Word of God has been studied, tested, and verified more than any other book in history.
    1. There are over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts cataloged, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages[i]
    1. Some of the oldest pieces date to about 125 AD.
  3. Because sometimes God is quiet when we pray and worship. But His Word, His record always speaks.
    1. In times of war, soldiers would write letters to their sweethearts. When they could not hear the voice of the one, they love they could go back and read what their beloved wrote. 
  4. Because it tells us who we are. The Bible, in addition to telling us what we need to know about God, and what we need to know about Jesus, tells us who we are.
    1. Outside of Christ you are lost and dead in your sins.In Christ, you are part of His body and live.
    1. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

We read the Word of God because it is everything we need to know about God, about us, and about the Messiah.

We must desire to read the Word of God. In marriage is it about devotion or service? Is it about love or provision? Is it about fulfilling needs or providing affection? The truth is it is about all of that. The same action can be done with different motivations and that produces different results. I can do the dishes or clean the house, so my bride does not have to because I love her, and I know she has a lot going on. Or I clean the house because I want to show her, I do things and I do it better than her anyway. The result is the house is clean, but the true result is my love either feels appreciated and loved or insecure because I made her feel that I don’t like the way she cleans. We can read the Word of God out of duty or out of reverence and love.

So how do we read it? 

Understand there are 2 basic ways of reading Scripture for the believer. You can read the Bible for information, and I have. But we are talking about interacting with the text not writing a report about it.

Devotionally & Instructionally – Generally people fall into one of two camps when it comes to Scripture. They either fall too heavily into devotion and look at the Bible as a source of inspiration or they fall too heavily into instruction where the Bible is wisdom. The truth is somewhere in the middle.


You can read the Bible devotionally which means you are devoting yourself to a time of prayer, transformation, receiving, correction, worship, healing, or communion with God. 


Reading the Bible instructionally is to read the Bible with a different set of questions. It is to ask what I am supposed to know about this and what do I do with it? Devotion can and does often overlap. When we need help, when we are confused, when we are seeking wisdom from Jesus we turn to the Word of God and read. Sometimes to see what He has said and done in other situations. Either way the point is this; To make Jesus first by turning our attention and desires towards Him.

Romans 12:2 says

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

To read the Bible is to place yourself in the hands of God and say, “transform me, Lord.” To read the Bible devotionally or instructionally is to read with an attitude and heart of Shema! Shema is Hebrew for Listen, but it is more than listen it is Listen and Obey.

The idea comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

It is to say I might not like what I read, I might not agree with what I read, I might not fully understand what I read, but I am willing to be molded by you Lord.

Practical Tools

Whether Devotionally or Instructionally I think these are two great tools you can use. These tools are just that tools. There is no magic formula. We must remember that the focus, the goal is Christ. Union, submission, and fellowship with Him. When we as followers of the Messiah read the Word of God we are reading because we want to place Jesus First and see Him first. We want to be with Him and more like Him.

We read it together

As we mentioned we are part of the body so one thing we can do is read it together. We read and study the Bible together in community. In Christ, you are part of His body and live.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 1 Peter 2:9

Understand Hyperbolic Discounting.

The larger or further away the goal the harder it is to achieve it. 

If you have never read the Bible or barely read it the challenge of reading the entire thing straight through can be such a great challenge you may fail, then feel defeated, then stop reading. 

Break It Up

Instead, break it up. Read a smaller book, and break that book up into chapters. Read sections. The Bible was not written with chapters and verses so while each book or section might be a cohesive thought it was generally not broken up the way we have it today. So, take chunks if you need to. If you are good at reading, then read whole books at a time.

Diver Deeper

  1. You can learn what different genres there are.
  2. You can read it with a notebook to write things down.
  3. You can highlight and write in it?

Information that Drives Devotion and Instruction 

When we read the Bible, we have to understand a few things.

  • Not everything written was written to you
    • It might be written for your information, for your understanding, for you to know history, or for God’s character but it does not mean it was written for you to do something.
  • Some things are prescriptive and some things are descriptive
  • Not everything in the Bible that is a promise is a promise to you
    • Not everything is a promise

We need to understand a few things as best as we can. I have heard people tell me “I don’t need to know all that stuff; the Holy Spirit will teach me.” True enough but God also gave you a brain and I think He expects you to use it.

I want to give you two tools that are amazing and can take your Scripture reading that capture the essence of what it means to read instructionally and devotionally. They are different but once you have been doing them for a little while they begin to bleed together and create something new and beautiful.  

You can learn The basic Interpretive Journey (Duvall and Hays) which involves five steps:

  1. Step 1: Grasping the Text in Their Town
    1. Question: What did the text mean to the biblical audience?
  2. Step 2: Measuring the Width of the River to Cross
    1. Question: What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
  3. Step 3: Crossing the Principlizing Bridge
    1. Question: What is the theological principle in this text?
  4. Step 4: Consult the Biblical Map
    1. Question: How does our theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
  5. Step 5: Grasping the Text in Our Town
    1. Question: How should individual Christians today live out the theological principles?

Second is Lectio Divina:

This method of reading is quite different but very valuable. Christopher Jamison, former Abbot of Worth Abbey said of Scripture and reading this way ““the text is seen as a gift to be received, not a problem to be dissected….. let the text come to you” The goal is to interact with God through His Holy Word.

In school, I struggled with reading the Bible devotionally this way because all of my time was spent reading to write papers. Reading for instruction, learning the authors, dates, main points, and so on. I read because I was required to read and because I needed to be able to produce a result. This method throws that out the window and asks God to make the Bible come alive for you. To do this is to take it slow.

  • Select a Scripture passage upon which to reflect. …
  • Read the passage — preferably out loud — two or three times. …
  • Meditate on the word or phrase that stood out to you. …
  • Respond to God who has been speaking to you. …
  • Still yourself and rest in the loving embrace of your Maker.[1]

Again, the main point of this endeavor is to seek God and enter into His presence. To place Jesus first in all we do and seek Him above all else.

Just a thought,


[1] https://www.pbrenewalcenter.org/blog/contemplative-prayer-the-five-steps-of-lectio-divina/

[i] Wikipedia