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Rebellion Must Be Confronted

Scripture: Titus 1:10-16

I. You need leaders who will silence rebellion.

A. The rebels in the church of Crete are described in vs. 10. They were actively spreading false teaching in the church (vs. 11). Disorder then had entered the church. They deceived the people in the church by giving the impression that they were following Jesus and the Gospel while actually the rebels were leading people away from Jesus. What exactly was the false teaching of these rebels? Jesus plus teaching. You need Jesus plus something else to be right with God.

B. 1 Timothy 4:1-3: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith… who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” Jesus plus teachers added manmade rules to the truth that we are saved by Jesus alone. The false teachers said you needed Jesus plus other rules to save your soul. “Silence them!” Paul taught in Titus 1:11.

II. You need leaders who will rebuke rebellion.

A. Paul tells Titus why he should rebuke the people in the churches of Crete in vs. 12. They were worldly people. They were not living lives that gave evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. “Rebuke them sharply” Paul tells Titus in vs. 13. The goal of these strong words from Titus was so that the people would be sound in the faith (vs. 13). He wanted to win the people in the church over to the truth of the Gospel and to live godly lives.

B. One command of people (vs. 14) taught that Gentiles like Titus had to be circumcised if he wanted to be right with God. But Paul said Jesus alone makes us right with God. Manmade rules, manmade commands, cannot make anyone right with God. Legalists and rebels ask God, “How much must I do?” The right question is, “How much can I give?” You are declared right with God not because of anything you do but because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross. 

III. You need leaders who will identify rebellion.

A. What does rebellion look like? It’s harder to spot than you think. Verse 16 says that the false teachers in Crete “profess to know God.” But the grace of God is meant to change our lives so that we turn away from sin and live godly lives. We see this in Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Real Christians produce real fruit and not continued rebellion against God.

Silence and rebuke and identify rebellion, both in your home and in your church.        

The letter to Titus
Commentaries by Andreas Köstenberger, Denny Burk, Robert Yarbrough and Tim Chester.

Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. How seriously do you take the issues of rebellion and false teaching? Do you confront it or do you just look the other way?
  2. Why can’t you reduce Christianity to a list of do’s and don’ts? How can you live a more grace-based Christian life?
  3. In what areas of your life do you need to stop thinking, “You should not” and start reminding yourself, “You need not”?