Titus

Titus 3:9-11 Godly Discipline.

As pointed out many times before in his various letters, Paul warns Titus that there were those attaching themselves to the church who had not put behind them the “foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law” (v. 9a). This does not refer to the law itself, but to the manmade traditions that surrounded the discussions on the law. For this reason these disputes were “unprofitable and useless” (v. 9b). As Paul had warned Timothy, these disputes did not lead to “godly edification” (I Tim. 1:4), which is the intent of the law. These kinds of disputes “only generate strife” (II Tim. 2:23). Those who engage in these kinds of disputes are “divisive” (v. 10).

In this case of a divisive man, Paul gives us a picture of how the church was to exercise discipline. In essence, their procedure followed the principles which Jesus affirmed when one had an issue with someone who claimed to be a brother, but were in the wrong. First one should go to the offender one on one, then if they do not change one must take another witness or two, and if they do not change then one must tell it to the church (Cf. Mt. 18:15-17). This is the same procedure which Paul lays down here (v. 10). If one does not repent after the invocation of these witnesses, this person is not condemned by the church or even the person bringing forth the case, rather the offender is self-condemned (v. 11).

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