Presentation on theme: "The churches of Christ in the New Testament 5 of 17 “the church in Crete” Don R. Taaffe, Gospel Preacher, Dunedin, FL November 8, 2009 Acts 2:7-12 Titus."— Presentation transcript:
The churches of Christ in the New Testament 5 of 17 “the church in Crete” Don R. Taaffe, Gospel Preacher, Dunedin, FL November 8, 2009 Acts 2:7-12 Titus 1:10-16; 2:11-14
Cretans Acts 2:7-12 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" (NRSV) Acts 2:7-12
"Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons." That testimony is true. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. Titus 1:10-16 10 There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. 12 It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons." 13 That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (NRSV) Titus 1:10-16 Titus 2:11-14 I will end this sermon with Titus 2:11-14
Churches of the island of Crete The chief source of our knowledge of the churches in Crete is Paul’s letter to Titus in the New Testament. There are other references to the churches in the islands, shortly after the time of Paul. (Acts 17:34) Shortage of information about churches of Crete, but lots of information about the island itself.
The island of Crete The island of Crete is bound by the Aegean sea on the south with Cythera on the north, and Carpathos, and Rhodos, on the northeast. It formed a continuous bridge between Greece and Asia minor. And island of considerable extend, 156 miles long, and from 7 to 30 miles wide. Mount Ida on Crete, was famous in Greek legend as the birthplace of Zeus; 8,193 feet above sea level.
Map of Crete
The island of Crete Acts 27:8 The ship on which Paul was being taken to Rome stopped here. “At a place which is called Fair Havens; nigh where unto was the city of Lasea” –( Acts 27:8). Luke says, “Much time was spent there.” There were over 100 cities (per Homer the poet); the chief of which was Gortyna, and Cnossos.
The people of Crete The ancient civilization of that Cretans goes back some 3000 years B.C. The culture of Crete dominated the Agean area, throughout the early Minean period (3000 to 2000B.C.). But in the classical age of the Greek Cretans never held a leading position.
The people of Crete Deuteronomy 2:23Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7 Crete is identified with Caphtor of the Old Testament - Deuteronomy 2:23 (Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7) 1 Samuel 30:14 Ezek. 25:16; Zeph. 2:5 The Philistines are called Cherethities, which is taken to mean Cretan – 1 Samuel 30:14 (Ezek. 25:16; Zeph. 2:5). It is believed that the Philistines came from Crete. There was a large population of Jews in Crete, in 141 B.C. Deuteronomy 2:23 23 As for the Avvim, who had lived in settlements in the vicinity of Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their place.)(NRSV) 1 Samuel 30:14 14 We had made a raid on the Negeb of the Cherethites and on that which belongs to Judah and on the Negeb of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag down." (NRSV)
The people of Crete Josephus the Jewish historian at the time of Christ, speaks of there being a large number of Jews in his day. Many occupied places of influence, like the family of the Cretan wife of Josephus. Titus 1:10 This would account for Paul’s warning in his letter to Titus against “deceivers – of the circumcision.” Titus 1:10 Titus 1:10 10 There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Acts 2:11 The actual starting of the churches is not known – however, there were Cretan Jews mentioned among the strangers present at the day of Pentecost that most likely obey the gospel and were saved - Acts 2:11 Rome under the pretense of seeking civilian pirates from Crete made war on Crete and annexed the island in 67 B.C. Acts 2:11 11 Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." (NRSV)
The churches of Crete When the Cretans returned home from Jerusalem, after the day of Acts 2:11 Pentecost (Acts 2:11)and the persecution of the church, they must have established congregations in many city! Titus 1:5 These congregations must have been established for a length of time, because elders were appointed in them - Titus 1:5 Titus 1:5 5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Acts 14:23 The apostle Paul, and the young preacher Titus, must’ve been responsible for planting some of these congregations, and strengthening the others – Acts 14:23. Acts 28:30 Phil. 2:24 Philemon 1:22Rom. 15:241 Tim. 1:3 Titus 1:3 After Paul’s release (two years)from prison in Rome – Acts 28:30 He visited Philippi (Phil. 2:24), Colosse (Philemon 1:22),Spain(Rom. 15:24), Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3), Macedonia, and Crete (Titus 1:3). Acts 14:23 23 And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe. (NRSV) Acts 28:30 30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Paul and Titus preached from city to city and made many converts. Titus. 1:5 Many churches were there, because Paul left Titus to establish elders in every church – Titus. 1:5 Titus 1:11 The fact that “whole houses” (families) were subverted by false teachers, would imply that there were many converts and several cities with congregations of sufficient number and size – Titus 1:11 Titus 1:5 5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: (NRSV) Titus 1:11 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Their problems fall into three general categories: Organizational Doctrinal Moral (1) Organizational Titus 1:5) Titus was to “set in order the things that are wanting, AND ordain elders in every city” – (Titus 1:5)
The churches of Crete Titus 1:10-16 “things that are wanting” –(Titus 1:10-16 Our Text) Titus 1:11 Turning whole households away from the truth – Titus 1:11 Titus 1:10-11 How? By “idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision”– (Titus 1:10-11) Titus 1:12-13 “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttonous” – Titus 1:12-13 Titus 1:11 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. (NRSV) Titus 1: It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons." 13 That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Titus 1:5 “appoint elders in every city” – (Titus 1:5). Titus 1:5-9; 1Timothy 3:1-7 Every church (congregation) must have elders! It is unscriptural for a church to be organized without the intent of having elders. (Titus 1:5-9; 1Timothy 3:1-7)
The churches of Crete Titus 1:5-9 Qualifications of elders (Titus 1:5-9) Positive: Blameless (in and out) Husband of one wife Faithful children – insubordination Good stewards Hospitable Lovers of what is good
The churches of Crete Positive: Sober-minded Just Holy Self-controlled Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught Able by sound doctrine, to exhort and convict those who contradict
The churches of Crete Titus 1:5-9 Qualifications of elders (Titus 1:5-9) Negative: Not self-willed Not quick-tempered Not given to wine Not violent Not greedy for money
The churches of Crete (2) Doctoral: Titus 1: Many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers in Crete – Titus 1: Titus 1:14 “Give heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men – Titus 1:14 Titus 1:13 Titus was told to “rebuke sharply” – Titus 1:13 Titus 1: There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. (NRSV) Titus 1:14 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. (NRSV) Titus 1:13 13 That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, (NRSV)
The churches of Crete From these statements, we may conclude that the very nature of false teaching was twofold: Paganism and Jewish. 2 Corinthians 12:21 The commandment of men had to do with licentiousness – 2 Corinthians 12:21 Jewish fables had to do with the “deceivers”. 2 Corinthians 12:21 21 I fear that when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and that I may have to mourn over many who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced. (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Titus 2:7 The charge to Titus, to show uncorruptness, gravity, and sincerity in doctrine, would imply this was what was lacking in the false teachers – Titus 2:7 The elders that were to be appointed were to “hold fast the faithful word – be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict the gainsayers” – Titus 1:9 Titus 2:7 7 Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, (NRSV) Titus 1:9 9 He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. (NRSV)
The churches of Crete Titus 3:9-10 Much positive teaching was needed, because of “foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law.” -- Titus 3:9-10 Titus 1:9-11 The gainsayers were to be convicted. Their mouths were to be stopped.– Titus 1:9-11 Titus 3: But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions, 11 since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned. (NRSV) Titus 1: holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 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. (NKJV)
The churches of Crete (3) Morals: 2 Peter 2:1 The morals of the people were the chief problems for Titus. Organization was needed. Whenever false teachers are encountered, they must be defeated– 2 Peter 2:1 Titus 1:12 Remember Paul’s concern, that the Cretans were liars, evil beast, lazy gluttons – Titus 1:12 2 Peter 2:1 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. (NRSV) Titus 1:12 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." (NKJV)
The churches of Crete (3) Morals: Titus 2:3 Titus was to teach the aged women that they be in behavior as becoming holiness-Titus 2:3. Titus 2:2 Likewise, to teach the aged men to be grave, temperate, sound in the faith – Titus 2:2. Titus 2:4-5 To teach the younger women to be sober, love their husbands, love their children – Titus 2:4-5 Titus 2:3 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — (NKJV) Titus 2:2 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; (NKJV) Titus 2:4-5 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (NKJV)
Lessons for the us today The need of the church today is not much different, if any, from the needs of the churches in Crete. Our problems are basically the same: Organizational. Need for qualified leadership. Doctoral. Faithful stewards of the souls men Moral. Eliminate desires for pleasure and leisure, spend time more studying the Scriptures
Lessons for the us today There is a great need for doctrinal unity and soundness. We need to learn the lessons of this great book of Titus. How can we make the local church grow? 1 Corinthians 2:2Acts 2:36; 3:16; 4:12; 8:5; 8:35 The church in Crete grew when the preachers preached Christ – 1 Corinthians 2:2 (Acts 2:36; 3:16; 4:12; 8:5; 8:35) Today’s motivation in the church is popularity and monetary gain. 1 Cor 2:2 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (NRSV)
Lessons for the us today 2 Timothy 4:3-5 Preachers and teachers today, teach what others want to hear, rather than the word of God – 2 Timothy 4:3-5. Their teachings will not stop at one or two persons, but will impact entire families! How did God treat this insubordination and create teaching? Titus 1:11 Their mouths were to be stopped (Titus 1:11) Titus 1:13 They were to be rebuked sharply (Titus 1:13) 2 Timothy 4:3-5 3 For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. (NRSV)
Conclusion: Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11- 14