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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Titus 1

Verse 1


Just like both previous letters which are addressed to a person (Timothy), this letter is also addressed to a person: Titus. Timothy and Titus are not random people. They belong to the fellow workers of Paul. You have already learnt some things about Timothy from the book of Acts. If you want to learn about Titus in that book you will search in vain in it. He is not mentioned there. As a matter of fact you can learn about him in some letters of Paul. As you will notice, Paul mentions him in his second letter to the Corinthians. If you read there what Paul says about Titus you will notice that he very much appreciates him.

The work of Titus at Corinth is an example of his devoted service. From references to Titus in the mentioned letter we can conclude that he became a mature believer through spiritual growth and experience. Paul desired the support of Titus (2 Corinthians 2:12); he experienced comfort through Titus (2 Corinthians 7:6); he knew the joy of Titus and the refreshment of his spirit about the good that he saw in the believers (2 Corinthians 7:13); he knew about the love that Titus had for the obedient believers (2 Corinthians 7:15); he testified to the willingness of Titus of committing himself on behalf of poor believers (2 Corinthians 8:6, 16).

He calls Titus his ‘partner and fellow worker’ with the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:23). Titus has the same goal like Paul, that’s why Paul appreciates Titus very much in the work for the Lord. He also sees the same unselfishness with Titus which characterizes himself (2 Corinthians 12:18). In both the work and the motives Paul has an exceptional co-worker with Titus.

Because Paul calls Titus his “true child” (Titus 1:4) we may assume that Titus heard the gospel from Paul and came to conversion. It is not clear whether he went together with Paul immediately after that.

The first time we find Titus together with Paul somewhere is in relation to the issue whether believers from the Gentiles have to be circumcised (Galatians 2:1; Galatians 2:3; cf. Acts 15:1-Exodus :). In that way Titus is quickly confronted with the legalistic pressure that the Jewish believers want to exert on the believers from the Gentiles. He experiences and learns how Paul deals with that. The great opponent of the law is grace. Titus gets a great impression of that too. One and the other appear to be a good preparation for his task at Crete of which you learn from this letter.

The last reference of Titus in the letters of Paul is in his second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:10). Without any further explanation Paul writes to Timothy that Titus had traveled to Dalmatia. Most apparently Titus went there to serve the Lord.

When Paul has been in Crete is not to be concluded from the Scripture. It has been assumed that he was accompanied by Titus at Crete after his first imprisonment in Rome. He left after churches came to existence there, but not without leaving his co-worker Titus there, out of his concern for the newly founded churches. The churches have been founded, but still need many instructions with a view to their daily practice. In this view Paul has not been able to finish his work. Titus had to do that. Paul already gave orally as an apostle the authority to Titus and now he does that in writing too.

The order to Titus is twofold. He has to set in order what is lacking and he has to appoint elders in each city (Titus 1:5). The letter therefore deals with the maintenance of order in the local churches of God. This order is not seen here so much in relation to the gatherings of the church; it is more about the daily believer-to-believer relationships and their conduct in the world.

Sender, Faith and Knowledge

Titus 1:1. Paul starts his letter with mentioning his own name. It is not that he wanted to put his own person in the foreground by that. The important thing for him is the service he was called for. For that reason he relates his name with two tasks, that of a bond-servant and that of an apostle. He starts with “a bond-servant of God”. By that he puts himself next to Titus and you. He is first a bond-servant of God, like you also are in the first place. If you take the humblest place you are most able to serve (cf. Luke 22:26).

After he introduced himself as bond-servant he calls himself “an apostle of Jesus Christ”. As an apostle he took a position of authority. Therein he doesn’t stand next to Titus and you, but above. It is a good thing to repeat that he calls himself first a bond-servant and then an apostle. Exercising authority according to the will of God can only happen in the mind of a bond-servant. If a person wants to be a good leader he ought to know first what it is to be a bond-servant or a servant. But he also calls himself an apostle. As an apostle he has a position and a task that grant him authority that demands obedience.

Then he delivers the proof of his apostleship. Nowhere else than here does he do that so extensively and strongly. It is remarkable how close he relates his apostleship with the believers. You will see that in Titus 1:1-Leviticus :. The particular way in which he introduces the believers is also remarkable.

His apostleship is above all “for the faith of those chosen of God” (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12). That rules out an apostleship according to the law or in relation to an earthly nation. The apostleship of Paul does not belong to the law but to faith. Law and faith exclude one another (Galatians 3:12).

Paul doesn’t submit his apostleship to the judgment of the law, but to the judgment of faith. The important thing for him is not obedience to rules and laws, but obedience that comes from faith. This faith is present in “those chosen of God”. Because it is about the church here, it is clear that you may think of the election that took place “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). You believe, don’t you? And you are elected by God, aren’t you? Then you will surely acknowledge Paul’s apostleship.

Application: Today you can say that each spiritually minded leader considers the faith of the elect and exerts his authority accordingly. He doesn’t impose a yoke on them but stirs them up to obedience of faith. Thereby he doesn’t focus in the first place on the outward of the believers but on their heart, their inward spiritual life.

There is a second character of Paul’s apostleship. It is also to (or: in accordance with) “the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness”. You can also put the apostleship of Paul to the test by verifying the way he presents the truth. He doesn’t present the truth about God and the Lord Jesus and the church, etc. as a doctrine, as truths for you to learn by heart. With Paul you see that he relates all his teachings to a life in Godliness. That means that you see the true acknowledgment of the truth being implemented in a life that shows a deep reverence for God and everything He has said.

Application: Today you will recognize a spiritual leader by the fact that he lives to the honor of God by practicing the knowledge of the truth in his own daily life. Such a leader doesn’t demand a submission to a theory, but presents the truth in his speech and his deeds. Today there are many who claim to be bond-servants of Christ, but who want to serve ‘according to’ the latest so-called knowledge of science of the latest arguments of unbelief. But the faith and the knowledge that are meant here are not the faith and knowledge of the world, neither that of Christianity, but of ‘God’s elect’.

Now read Titus 1:1 again.

Reflection: Which criteria for spiritual leadership do you discover in Titus 1:1?

Verses 2-4

The Promise of Eternal Life

Titus 1:2. A third test of Paul’s apostleship is that it belongs to “the hope of eternal life”. Here eternal life is presented as something you still are to receive. That seems to be in contradiction to what John writes about that. John speaks about eternal life as something you already have now (1 John 5:11). Still, that is no contradiction. Life is actually presented in two ways.

Briefly said: John speaks about the life through which we live, Paul about the life in which we live. The one is the life in you, the other life is about the life around you, your environment. In the first case you may compare it with living a healthy life and in the second case with an urban or rural life.

You have eternal life in you, but you still live in a world that lies in sin. When you are in heaven, then the whole environment and atmosphere wherein eternal life is being lived and enjoyed, will perfectly fit with the eternal life in you. Eternal life doesn’t indicate only the duration or length, but also the quality.

Application: Today you recognize the true spiritual leader by the fact that he encourages the hearts of the elect by presenting to them the heavenly glory at the end of their journey.

You can be sure that you will enjoy eternal life in that life atmosphere, for it is promised by “the not-lying God” as it is literally said. God cannot lie, He is not able to, it is impossible for Him to lie (Hebrews 6:18). That stands against the character of the Cretans who apparently cannot do other than lying (Titus 1:12), and against the deceitful nature that each human has (Romans 3:4). God is perfectly faithful in His promise of eternal life.

I almost wrote: the eternal life is promised to you. Actually there is nothing wrong about that. You are after all elected before the foundation of the world. The promise is indeed for you, though it is not written like that. It is said that God has promised “before time began”. When I think of that I actually prefer the thought more that God has promised this eternal life to the Lord Jesus, for only He was there then. Not that eternal life was promised to the Lord Jesus as something He didn’t possess, for the Lord Jesus is the eternal life (1 John 5:20). No, God promised Him the eternal life that He will give it to His elect (John 17:2).

You wouldn’t have known anything about that promise if God had not revealed it. Isn’t it impressive that God makes you familiar with something that has been an issue in eternity about which the Father and the Son have been talking? Isn’t it mind blowing if you consider that your name was mentioned by the Father to the Lord Jesus for giving you eternal life?

To manifest this promise God waited to do that “at the proper time”, that is His own time. First the heart of man towards God had to be revealed. That has become fully clear at the cross. There man let the Lord Jesus, God revealed in goodness and mercy, die the most horrific death.

That lowest point in the history of man is at the same time the moment that God fully exposes His heart and reveals the width, the length, the height and the depth of His counsels (Ephesians 3:18).

Titus 1:3. And how does God do that? Through “His word, in the proclamation”. This proclamation was entrusted by Him to the apostle Paul (cf. Romans 10:14-Esther :; 1 Corinthians 2:7-2 Samuel :). That Word we have now in the Scripture (Romans 16:25-Daniel :). In that way the revelation also reaches you (1 Corinthians 2:10-2 Chronicles :).

Paul has not drawn this ministry to himself or fulfilled it in his own way (Galatians 1:11-2 Kings :). His apostleship and the ministry that is related to it, is “according to the commandment of God our Savior”. This name of God shows Him as the One Who brings salvation or redemption (is a Savior) to all men (cf. Titus 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:3-Numbers :). The preaching that was entrusted to Paul is therefore twofold. On the one hand he preaches the gospel to all people through which they receive salvation. On the other hand he unfolds the full truth to all who have received the gospel and have been saved.

Application: Also today something has been entrusted to each spiritual leader to pass on to believers. What they pass on must cause that believers learn to live with one another to the honor of God.

Titus 1:4. Paul addresses Titus whom he calls his “true child in a common faith”. The word ‘true’ actually means ‘legally begotten’. That doesn’t mean that Titus is physically his own son. The addition ‘in a common faith’ makes clear that it is about a spiritual conception (cf. 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Corinthians 4:15; Philemon 1:10). Titus came to faith and was born again through the ministry of Paul. The Gentile Titus and the Jew Paul confess the same faith (cf. 2 Peter 1:1). They both belong to the church where there is no Jew or Greek (1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:11).

Paul concludes his introduction with the usual blessing of “grace and peace”. ‘Grace’ is at the front. Titus can only do his work when he is aware that he needs God’s grace for his task. He will never be able to execute his duty by his own strength. When he is aware to be dependent on the grace that God is giving him, he will be able to do his duty with the ‘peace’ of God. He will not easily be discouraged when he continuously faces adversary or when there is no cooperation or when his work doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit.

Grace and peace are wished to him from “God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior”. That puts Titus in the relation of a son to his Father and to the Lord Jesus as his Redeemer. The one gives confidence and the other works commitment and efforts.

Application: A spiritual leader knows God as his Father and entrusts himself totally to Him. He also knows the Lord Jesus as his Redeemer Who has set him free that he may live for Him. The price the Redeemer paid and the awareness that in that way he has been redeemed is the greatest exhortation to serve Him.

Now read Titus 1:2-4 again.

Reflection: Which criteria for spiritual leadership do you discover in Titus 1:2-Numbers :?

Verses 5-9


Titus 1:5. After his introduction Paul comes to the main point of his letter in Titus 1:5. He has founded some churches at Crete. That he speaks about “every city”, gives the impression that the gospel has been accepted on a large scale on that island, due to which possibly in every city on the island a church has come into existence. However, Paul has not had the opportunity to build up and confirm the churches in the truth. There was still something missing, regarding the teachings.

If you read the next chapters you may think for instance of the teaching on the relationships among the believers (chapter 2) and the attitude towards the government (chapter 3). Although Paul himself is not able to provide what is lacking, he provides in the person of Titus someone who is capable to replace him.

Besides, it is not the intention that Titus stays at Crete. Paul will have him to be replaced by someone else (Titus 3:12). Every ambassador of the apostle will be of great support to the believers in order to live their lives as Christians. But there is also qualified leadership needed among the believers that will not be changed. Therefore Titus receives another order and that is to appoint elders in every city where there is a church. That’s what the greater part of chapter 1 deals with.

The Cretans are very wicked people by nature (Titus 1:12). Paul knows them. Therefore he knows what qualifications elders should have to be able to lead the churches at Crete so that they meet the will of the Lord.

In order to keep them in line or to bring them into order, Paul doesn’t develop a church order. He doesn’t order Titus to introduce church regulations that seem to be most suitable for their way of life on the island. That has certainly happened in church history, but that is not in accordance with the Bible. I will try to explain what it takes to appoint elders.

There has always been a lot of discussion about appointing elders. There are continually questions like: ‘Who is going to appoint?’ and ‘Do we still have elders nowadays and how do you recognize them?’ In order to find correct answers to these kinds of questions, you should consider some things. Therefore it is important to bear in mind that elders occupy a position of authority and that they are put in that position by a higher authority.

You notice that where you read about the appointment of elders in the New Testament (that is in three places: Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28 and Titus 1:5) they are appointed by apostles or their ambassadors. Therefore the appointment is not to be done by the church. It would be strange when the church itself determines who exercises authority over it. That’s why this letter is addressed to Titus and not to the church at Crete. No, authority always comes from above.

Titus receives the order to appoint elders on behalf of the apostle. The appointment of elders is necessary here because the church doesn’t have the complete New Testament yet. An official appointment gives the authority to elders to take action against people who pretend to be spiritual leaders, but who actually are deceivers. The church ought to listen to the elders and will therefore experience the blessing. In our days it is not necessary to have that official appointment, for we have the complete Word of God.

The question whether elders are still to be appointed is not that difficult to be answered if you consider that elders can only be appointed by a higher authority. There are no apostles anymore and neither are there people who can act by the order of an apostle. Therefore it is not right to appoint elders in our days. But that doesn’t mean that they are not anymore to be found. The Bible more often speaks about elders without reporting that they are officially appointed (e.g. Acts 11:30; 1 Timothy 5:17; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1-Exodus :).

The word ‘elder’ indicates in both the Old Testament and the New Testament a mature person with life experience. In that sense there are fortunately still ‘elders’, including those who have a leading position, pastors, the gift of leadership (Acts 15:22; Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:7; Hebrews 13:17Hebrews 13:24). They all have no formal authority, but you are willing to submit yourself to them if you notice that they act in accordance with God’s Word.

Titus 1:6. Then the qualifications follow that an elder should comply with. Before I deal with those I want to point out to you that those qualifications do not only apply to an elder. It is a good thing to ask yourself to what extent they are present or absent with you. You may say that what is required for an elder as a qualification, is required to you as a rule of conduct.

The first qualification is that an elder must be “above approach”. That means that he shouldn’t be accused of anything, that he is not to be blamed for anything. The first area where that applies is his marriage and family. He must be “the husband of one wife”. When he has more than one wife, as a result of his life in sin, he cannot be an elder. And in case he has children, they also have to be believers. And not only that. Those children ought not to be known as money wasting people with little restraint, who cannot be controlled by their father.

Therefore the family of the elder is not be blamed for anything. For if he doesn’t rule his family well, how will he be able to rule the church (1 Timothy 3:5)? Does it seem to ask too much of you? It may be, but can you imagine God to lower His standards to fit our practice? That’s not possible.

It is absolutely grace when the children come to faith, for faith is not a heritage. But there is also the side of human responsibility. God assumes that the result of a family with believing parents, the children also believe. It is God’s intention to save a person with his house (Acts 16:31; Joshua 2:18; Exodus 12:3; Genesis 6:18; Genesis 7:1).

Application: Spiritual leaders are responsible for causing their children to desire to follow the Lord Jesus.

Titus 1:7. After the family the personal qualifications of the overseer follow. Have you noticed that Paul spoke about ‘elders’ in Titus 1:5 and about “the overseer” in Titus 1:7? As it has been noticed already (see the explanation of 1 Timothy 3:1-5) this clarifies that the elder and overseer are the same person.

1. As the first personal qualification, now apart from his family, it is said again that he “must be above reproach”, therefore not to be accused of anything.
2. He must be aware that it is about a task in God’s house. He is a “steward” there and not the owner. He has been entrusted to manage something that belongs to Another, God. Therefore he is also responsible, concerning his conduct, to Him.
3. When an overseer is conscious of that, he will not act “self-willed”. He will not claim any authority and obedience without any reason.
4. He recognizes the right of the others for explanation whether something is good or bad. When questions rise he will not respond “quick-tempered” like being stung by a wasp, even if he has the presumption of evil intentions. He is not quick to anger, but has self-restraint.
5. That self-restraint is also concerning his lusts. He is not to be tempted by alcohol, he is “not addicted to wine”. There is nothing wrong with drinking some wine at times (1 Timothy 5:23), but to desire it is wrong.
6. An overseer is also not a brawler, he is “not pugnacious”. He doesn’t seek to overpower other people, neither with his fists nor with his tongue.
7. He is also “not fond of sordid gain”, which implies that he doesn’t exercise his service, in order to make financial profits.

Titus 1:8. After the characteristics in Titus 1:7 (of which six are negative) Paul reminds Titus of a number of positive characteristics in Titus 1:8-1 Samuel :. Being a Christian is not only characterized by the absence of negative things, but especially by the presence of positive things that are also to be developed. Instead of seeking his own interest and profit the elder ought to seek to be meaningful to others.

1. That is especially expressed in being “hospitable”. He not only invites friends for a cup of coffee, but he has an open heart for needy believers who may be unfamiliar to him.
2. As one “loving what is good” (or: ‘a friend of the good’) he has a heart that is wide open for everything that is good and useful. That doesn’t make him thoughtless, a person who gets excited about everything, without distinction.
3. He is “sensible” or thoughtful, well-balanced in his view and deeds.
4. He acts “just” towards other people: he deals fairly and uprightly with others.
5. He is “devout”, which means that He is focused on God and lives in devotion to Him.
6. As far as he himself is concerned, he is “self-controlled”. That includes more than only with regard to the consumption of alcohol. It is about a person who can control himself and who is able to control his desires and lusts.

An elder must therefore be just towards people, holy towards God and sober-minded towards himself.

Titus 1:9. An elder also has to deal with contradictors, especially from the Jews (‘those of the circumcision’, Titus 1:10). These people are always and everywhere active against the truth. They try to confuse the thoughts of people in a devious way. The overseer is not to try to resist these people with his own words, but with a word that is in accordance with the doctrine of the apostle. He ought to exhort and convict with a word that comes from the Word that is only really faithful, because it comes from God and which is transmitted by Paul.

The overseer is actually a man with authority, but he himself is also under authority, that is the authority of the Word of God that has been taught by the apostle. This is called “sound doctrine”. It is sound in itself, not mixed with strange, human thoughts. Its effects are also sound. Therefore you will grow sound in faith when you listen to it.

Now read Titus 1:5-9 again.

Reflection: Which of the characteristics do you want to be seen in your life? What do you think you could do about it?

Verses 10-16

False Teachers

Titus 1:10. The work that Paul has achieved at Crete was much blessed. In many cities churches have come into existence. However, where the Lord is at work satan also becomes active. The adversary has not only sneaked a few insubordinate people into the churches to destroy the work, but “many”. That’s why formal authority at Crete is so useful and necessary.

These “many rebellious men” are people who are baptized and who confess to be Christians. They have taken their place in the church, but they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They openly resist the truth that is revealed by God and preached by Paul. By rebelling against the sound doctrine they reveal their insubordination. These people have no respect for authority at all.

Paul also calls them “empty talkers”, who spit out only empty words that lead to no good at all. They possibly are very eloquent people, who have a ready tongue. Believers who have no spiritual discernment are being deceived by this idle talk. That’s what it is all about for this people. They are “deceivers” who fool the thoughts of the believers, misguide them and lead them in the wrong direction. They are not people who sincerely think that they are right, but swindlers who confuse the believers inwardly.

Most of these false teachers are “of the circumcision”, so from Judaism. They are Christians who are originally circumcised Jews. They have never been totally freed from the law and are trying to impose the law on the Christians at Crete. Also today there are many of such people to be found in Christianity where there is so much Jewish religiosity present from the Old Testament. There is a spirit of Judaism going on around in Christianity of outward formal service and legalism. But that is in contrast with the spirit of the Scripture to introduce elements of the Jewish religion, especially the law.

There had been a controversial issue due to this in the early church. This controversial issue had come to a solution at an apostles’ meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15:5-2 Samuel :). There it was decided that the law is not to be imposed on the believers ‘from the nations’. The law cannot be the rule of life for the Christian. You actually are not legalistic when you live strictly for yourself and at the same time give room to the other. You become legalistic only when you impose your rules of life on others.

Titus 1:11. We should combat legalism radically, for it permeates whole families. In the letter to the Galatians Paul also sharply responds to these false brothers (Galatians 2:4-Deuteronomy :). Their doctrine is just wrong and is being proclaimed from evil motives. Paul commands here in general, so also you, that their mouths must be stopped. ‘To stop the mouth’ is to muzzle the mouth, that it is not able anymore to do any harm. It means to silence somebody. That is only possible through the power of God’s Word and through His Spirit (cf. Matthew 22:34).

You cannot take a passive attitude towards false teachers. The moment they get an entrance in a family, when for instance a member of a family joins them, they disrupt the whole family. They destroy families by sowing confusion, regarding the sound doctrine. The motive that is hidden behind it, is the greed for money (cf. Acts 20:33).

Titus 1:12. These Jewish false teachers easily find entrance because of the depraved national nature of the Cretans. When somebody comes to faith, he fundamentally doesn’t belong to a certain nation anymore. Still he bears with him the national nature with its evil characteristics. He always has to be alert that it will not control him again. Paul point this out to Titus. It is necessary to take a stand and act with authority against the expressions of this evil national character, that the believers may remain sound in faith.

This assertion about their national character is not just a view of Paul, but is confirmed by one of their own prophets (a certain Epimenides). He states without circumlocution that Cretans always lie. Their mendacity is even proverbial. ‘Speaking like a Cretan’ means lying.

Their own prophet compares them also with an evil, wild beast. Such a beast doesn’t want any bridle, for its nature is rebellious. It wants to bite and has a propensity for cruelty. A ‘lazy glutton’ thinks of nothing else than the satisfaction of his own lowest needs. He has an uncontrollable gluttony. Paul underlines the truth of their own prophet. Although Epimenides is not a prophet of God, God acknowledges his testimony through the mouth of Paul.

Titus 1:13. The false teachers are being led in their evil practices by this depraved national character. Paul knows what he is talking about. He has experienced during his stay at Crete that they are troublesome people. Therefore he tells Titus to act sharply against the outbreaks of that national character in the church. The goal of this action is that they will be sound in the faith.

Titus 1:14. Paul connects another goal to this action. Titus must severely rebuke fantasies, human statutes and traditions. They are evil plagues in the church of God that stir Him up to jealousy and that are in contrast with His grace, for they exalt man. That applies to the believers at Crete and that applies to all believers at all times all over the world.

It concerns in the first place “Jewish myths”. Those are all kinds of fantasies and fabrications about the origin of spiritual beings like angels and demons. Those are all speculations without even a modicum of truth. It may seem very interesting and books are written about it that also find readers. But to be sound in faith the believers should turn away from it. We must not pay attention to that, we must totally ignore it.

In the second place it concerns “commandments of men”. The commandments of men put man in the middle and make him imagine that he can earn salvation by complying with certain traditions and rituals. That can happen by additions to a commandment of God or by a distortion of a commandment of God. Jewish scribes are excellent masters in that. The result is that people neglect the commandment of God, while they keep the traditions of people (Mark 7:5-1 Chronicles :).

In both cases there is mention of a “turn away from the truth” (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3-Numbers :). You recognize it today in many protestant churches where human statutes (reverends and pre-programmed services) play a major role and in the roman catholic church where traditions (fables, mystics and idolatry) also play a major role.

Titus 1:15. The Christendom that the Scripture shows us, doesn’t know any external rituals, except baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It comes down to the inward man (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalms 51:7). He, who is inwardly pure, is allowed to freely make use of all things, without any fear to get defiled. Such a person is not guided by his fleshly lusts, but by love (Romans 14:20).

“All things” doesn’t refer to morally evil things of course, but to external things like eating and drinking. Nothing of that is impure in itself (Romans 14:14; 1 Timothy 4:4). But those who have defiled themselves by sin and the unbelievers, defile everything they come into contact with. That’s because their mind and also their will and all their desires and goals have been blemished and defiled. That goes also for their conscience, their inward consciousness. They have lost the ability to discern between good and evil. Where the mind and the conscience are defiled, there can be no purity.

Titus 1:16. It is not about plain apostates. They claim to be fully informed about God and join just like that the circle of believers. But confession and practice with these people are opposites. If you see what they are doing, it has got nothing to do with God. This denial of God with their works makes them “detestable” or ‘abominable’. The word ‘detestable’ is also used for an idol image and then it is indicated by ‘abomination’ (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). Here lies a close relation with the performance of the antichrist. These false teachers are breathing his spirit.

Another characteristic is that they are disobedient to God and His truth. They do not want to bow to it, but resist against it. There is not “any good deed” (i.e. everything that is useful) of such people to be expected; they are totally “worthless” for that.

Now read Titus 1:10-16 again.

Reflection: How can you recognize false teachers and how should you protect yourself against their influence?

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Titus 1". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.