Monday, December 31, 2012

Behold the Fullness of Grace and Truth!


Behold the Fullness of Grace and Truth
John 1:14-18
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

‘Full of grace and truth’: Grace indicates God’s unmerited favor that brings blessings and joy of salvation to undeserving sinners. His messages were filled with unmerited favor for the guilty and lost humanity. His truth was the final reality in contrast with shadows, types that preceded His coming. ‘Grace and truth’ most likely recalls the Hebrew behind the phrase “Steadfast love (hesed) and faithfulness (emet) in Exodus 34:6, 33:18-19), where the expression refers to God’s covenant faithfulness to His people Israel.
The contrast is not that the Mosaic Law was bad and Jesus is good. Rather, both the giving of the law and the coming of Jesus Christ marked decisive events in the history of salvation. In the law, God graciously revealed His character and righteous requirements to the nation of Israel. Jesus’ coming, however, marked the final, definitive revelation of God’s grace and truth. He was superior to Abraham (8:530, Jacob (4:12) and Moses (5:46-47; 9:28) and John (v.15). The law was preparatory in character – revealing man’s sinful character and lost condition, foreshadowing man’s deliverance as well! The purpose of the law was to reveal sin, restrain sin, and show the need for the Saviour. But the law was not the reality, in that it did not have grace through which the transgressors could be pardoned and helped in their needs. Christ merited grace and he fulfilled the types fully furnishing both grace and fulfilling its reality.
So as we consider the birth of Christ we are reminded of the fullness of the grace and truth with which He came and brought us so that today we joyfully acknowledge that we have all received, grace upon grace by the coming of Christ. This is our joy today! In this is our glory! In this is our hope of glory.

1.    Behold the fullness of grace and truth of Jesus Christ in His glory as God

The fullness of the grace and truth that Christ came with is only a reality because of His eternal glory and existence as God. John acknowledges and rejoices in this truth when he says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” in v.1. The point he is underscoring here is that the beginning of time found Jesus already there – in existence with God the Father, being the very God of the very God so as to be the Creator of everything in verse 2.
The glory of Christ as God is in the fact that He is the exalted One as the Saviour. He is exalted above all angels and prophets, and sustains a very special relationship with the Father. He being infinite, powerful, eternal and glorious, outranks John the Baptist who was a finite and mortal man (v.15).His exaltation is particularly significant as the Saviour of sinners in that He brought the necessary ingredients of salvation – grace and truth. This is what sinners need to be saved. No single sinner can be saved without it – so if Noah was saved it was by grace, Abraham was saved by grace and everyone who has known salvation from sins has to have been a beneficiary of both the grace and truth as brought by Jesus Christ.
According to John, God’s covenant faithfulness and love for sinners found ultimate expression and fulfillment in His sending His son, His one-of-a-kind Son, Jesus Christ (1:14). ‘The only Son from the Father’: Jesus is the Son of God, not in the sense of being created or born (1:3) but in the sense of being a Son who is exactly like His Father in all attributes, and in the sense of having a Father-Son relationship with God the Father. The Greek Word underlying “only,” monogenes, means “one-of-a-kind” son in Heb. 11:17 (in contrast to Ishmael; Gen.22:2, 12, 16). Thus “only” is a better translation than “only begotten” (popularized by KJV). Jesus is the Son of God in a metaphysical sense, i.e. by nature and from all eternity.
Therefore, in In Christ we have seen God’s glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. Christ is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature (Heb. 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God … (Col. 1:15). Christ is the King of ages, immortal invisible, the only God, who is worthy of all honor and glory forever and ever (1Tim. 1:17). For us who have seen His glory, it is only because by His grace, God has opened up our eyes to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2Cor. 4:4). And so we are thankful, and rejoice with joy inexpressible, we worship Him with sincere hearts, we serve Him with gratitude and sincerity of heart, we fear Him because of whom He is and what He has done to secure our salvation.
We have seen his glory, this indicates careful and deliberate vision which seeks to interpret its object. It refers, indeed to physical sight, yet it always includes a plus of bewilderment and admiration of the radiance of his glory shown in His grace and truth
The Christian life is completed transformed by the fact that Christ has come. It is marked by a life of worship to Him like the manner of magi who visited Him as a baby and fell down before Him and worshipped, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matt. 2:11). It is to be a life of sacrifice to the King of kings all that is valuable to us like Mary who anointed His feet with the most expensive ointment made from pure nard and wiped His feet with her hair! (John 12:3). All those who have beheld His glory will find it difficult to give some things to Christ. So is it time that you struggle offering to the Lord and so you are ever too busy with your own things that you have no time for the Lord? Is it money? Is it your abilities? What is it that is too much for you to give your Saviour who has lavished divine favours on you even to save you? What will you not offer to the Lord who has come full of grace and truth for you?

2.    Behold the fullness of grace and truth at His incarnation

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us: The incarnation of God the Son is the most amazing event in all history. It is beyond our human comprehension to fully understand that the eternal Creator, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely holy Son of God, took on a human nature and lived among humanity as one who was both God and man at the same time, in one person! The Creator became His own creation! What a glorious thing it is that God came to be man? He assumed our human nature, weakened for a while by the results of sin, though in itself sinless. He became Immanuel, pitching tent among us so that we beheld His glory – the radiance of His divine attributes shining through the veil of his human nature. This glory was the kind that no one could reasonably expect to find in Him, for it was glory as of the Only who proceeds forever from the Father, and possesses a fullness of grace and truth.
That He dwelt among us means more literally that He “pitched His tent” sort of alluding to God’s dwelling among Israelites in the tabernacle. The verb became has a special meaning here – it is not that he became in the sense of ‘ceasing to be what He was before’. E.g. when Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt she ceased to be Lot’s wife but when Lot became the father of Moab and Ammon, he remained Lot. So also here the word became flesh but remains word, even God. The second Person of the Trinity assumed the human nature, without laying aside the divine – so the divine and human nature of Christ became fully united without being fused but this remains a mystery to all of us and so we can only confess that the One and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ remains, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood … to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably (Chalcedon)
In the past God had manifested His presence to His people in the tabernacle and the temple. Now God takes up residence among His people in the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ (v.17). Thus, the coming of Christ fulfills the Old Testament symbolism for God’s dwelling with man in the tabernacle and the temple. Later, through the Holy Spirit, Christ will make into a temple both the church (1Cor. 3:16) and Christ’s body (1Cor. 6:19). The references to God’s glory refer back to Old Testament passages narrating the manifestation of God’s presence and glory of God in theophanies (the tabernacle, or the temple, like in Ex. 33:22; Num. 12:10; Deut. 5:22).
What does the birth of Jesus mean to you? Is it a time for you to reflect on what happened in the fullness of time, in accordance to God’s calendar of redemption, when He sent His Only Son to come on earth, having prepared a body for Him, in order that He may die for your salvation? It is my sincere prayer that this causes you to think what the coming meant for Him (It must have a more important mission than creation, don’t you think?). There was no change on the part of God when He created the universe but when He came in redemption, He had to send His Son, and the Son had to become what He never was by taking the human nature, being born in the likeness of men, taking the form of a servant, making Himself nothing! (Phil. 2:7). This calls for us to learn humility! It calls us to count others more significant than ourselves because that is exactly what Christ did in becoming a man.
Is it that you struggle to serve others because you ever want to be served? Is that you feel dishonored when you serve? For example, for wazees, you would not want to cook or wash dishes for your family because that is dishonoring? God expects you to make yourself nothing and be willing to take the form of a servant in all things. Ladies, is it demeaning to be submissive to your husbands? The Lord has told you so and so it is actually to the Lord that you submit! Children, is it hard to obey your parents in the Lord? Because you forget that it is the Lord who has told you to do it because He did more than that He obeyed His Father to the point of death on a cross!

3.    Behold the fullness of grace and truth that He brought us

“From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace”: believers are constantly receiving grace in the place of grace. One manifestation of the unmerited favor of God in Christ is hardly gone when another one arrives; hence, grace upon grace – the nonstop supply of grace, indicating grace that is ever sufficient for its beneficiaries – such an unlimited outflow of grace! What a thing to relish – a glut of grace! That saved us and that remains to keep us in all eternity. Grace that has power to overpower all sinfulness and wickedness. No one is beyond the grace of God. Look at Paul for example, this is what he confesses to a younger Christian Timothy:
 I thank Him who has given me strength, Jesus Christ our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of which I am the foremost. 1Tim. 1:12-15)
No one has ever seen God: No one has seen God in a full and complete way (6:46), but some people did see partial revelations of God in the Old Testament. To see God in Christ would be far better for He is the exclusive way to the Father (14:6). Jesus is the Word is God, and He has revealed and explained God to men who come to faith in Him. Those who have known Jesus Christ as their Saviour come to the true knowledge of God for Jesus has not only brought divine favors but also divine truth.
Have you trusted in Jesus? Have believed in Jesus Christ? Only and only those who believe in Him obtain eternal life. Do you want eternal life? you can have it now – all you need is trust in Jesus Christ. All you need is plead with Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. All you need is Jesus to have Him as yours because He is willing to have you as His for all eternity. He promises to never reject anyone who goes to Him in repentance and faith. Will you go to Him now?
For many of us, Christmas is not Christmas, because it restricts our thoughts to only think about the birth of Christ on December yet it is a truth that we relish every day. May the Lord give us the sufficiency of His grace that we may be those who are made of His grace that we may ever say, “BY GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM” (1Cor. 15:10)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dr. Owuor: True or False Prophet?

Have you ever stopped to consider if there are true prophets in this generation or if the Word of God is sufficient and final, authoritative word of God? I would like you to consider this:

NTV hosted Dr. Owuor on  morning of 30th November 2012 and since I couldn't get through to call them, I decided to respond this way:

I personally believe that Dr Owuor is a false prophet - a man out to exalt himself above the knowledge of Christ. I say this based on three reasons: one theological, his ministry and the last moral.

1. Theological:
Jesus is the last prophet - Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Heb. 1:1-2, ESV). The point is that dreams, visions and other various ways are gone. Thankfully, we now have a perfect way in which the Lord Jesus speaks to his church. Secondly, the Bible says that the church is founded upon the apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20). Any foundation is laid only once, and every church (from Pentecost to Christ's second coming) depends on it - this is the word of God. That which is written for us and our children to obey forever (Deuteronomy 29:29). Owuor's ministry is founded upon predictions - not prophecy. Prophecy is the word of God, NOT the word of Owour! Lastly, Kenya is not the Israel of the old covenant for him to demand blanket national repentance. Where in the New Testament do we have an example of a national repentance? The plan of God under the new covenant is realized in the body of Christ - the universal church.
Repentance is to be done by an individual sinner. One acknowledges sins committed and goes to Christ in faith seeking the forgiveness of the sin or sins. When you demand a corporate repentance, will you also demand corporate salvation?
His understanding of repentance is not Scriptural. He has a way of using the word, when really what he means is moral transformation according to his own standard. When people hear of his repentance, they believe that he is referring to the Biblical repentance where a sinner, by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, realizes and acknowledges sins, is remorseful about them, confesses them to God depending an trusting upon the merit of the finished work of Christ on the cross and turns away from the sins, renouncing them and living a life of godliness. Henceforth a believer engages in daily mortification of sin, by the help of the Holy Spirit employing the means of grace such as prayer, Scriptures, Christian fellowship found in the church and suffering that are like the fire that God uses to clean away the dross (1Peter 1:6-7).

2. His ministry
While he claims to have predicted so many outstanding things, who's confirmed all of them? Who's seen the emails he supposedly sent to the Far Asian countries that warned them of Tsunami or to the US warning about Katrina? I remember being involved in the organization of his coming to Maua town in 2006 when he threatened that miraa was to dry in two weeks time because the Meru community didn't repent. He also predicted that the Njuri Nceke council of elders was to be disbanded and be forgotten in a year - none of these things came to pass! Clearly, the Bible says that when a man speaks presumptuously (like the way Dr. Owuor spoke then), because it didn't come to pass, even once, then it proves that he does not receive anything from God because God is always truthful - check this out in Deuteronomy 18:15-22. Apostle Peter quotes this in Acts 3:22-26 as a reference to Christ - not any man purporting to be a prophet. This confirms my first point that God now speaks to us by His Son. Because Owuor made this specific error that I have identified, even if it were once, in Maua, publicly, that disqualified him from being God's spokesman (I doubt he ever was). A prophet is God's mouthpiece or spokesman, Not just a foreteller but a forthteller saying things that have happened in the past - like Moses going all the way to creation, like David or Jeremiah or Daniel telling his contemporaries what was happening and going to the future predictions. But the benchmark is that he speaks from God carried along by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:19-21). His 'prophetic ministry' is not anchored on the Scriptures, it is apparently tethered on his own dreams, visions and other extra-biblical revelations and in effect poisoned. Do not drink it, if you care for your soul!

3. Moral considerations
While Owuor tells the nation to repent, when he preaches and wants to 'lead people to salvation' he repents on their behalf! Where is a single instruction in the Bible that you can repent on another person's behalf? Where is a single example of a preacher or a prophet telling the sinner repeat this after me? "... Dear Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, please forgive me all my sins ..." Then, "You're now saved!" You can quickly interject and say that everyone preacher you know does it, but remember that other preachers are not the standard - the Bible is. This is a Charles Finney residue that the devil has appointed as his talisman for deceiving the world. It is a complete spiritual dishonesty, where a preachers require sinner to repeat their own repentance on the sinner's behalf. Let it be clear that this practice has no mandate from the Word of God.

It's shocking that people have continued to listen to Owuor, when all he does to get authority is to raise his profile by repeating what he's supposedly predicted - "O Tsunami, O Katrina! I did this I did that" - this is not God at work, it is Owuor at what he calls prophecy. This is pride that doesn't resonate with faithful and genuine servants of God. This is what this man needs to do - repent of his own presumption and pride. Most recently he has paraded his prosperity materially as a way of attracting the masses to himself. He claims that he does not ask for money from them - really? Find the truth from his followers. You will know them by their long robes.

Conclusion
There's is no question that there's much immorality in this country, and so Dr. Owuor is right that Kenyans need to repent, but not on his own terms. Repentance comes where the Holy Spirit has worked in the heart of a sinner. This way, a sinner receives the Gospel by turning from their sins and turns by faith to Christ.
About the rot in many 'churches' he's again right. But the solution is not to turn to his subjective messages of personal or private dreams and visions but a more sure word (2Peter 1:19-21) ... it's to call back all people to submit to the Word of God as the only rule of faith and practice for all.
While a message of holiness is always a good message to tell people, holiness has never been achieved for the whole nation (after Israel of old) - its now upon an individual, by God's Spirit. Holiness is only possible for true believers who have been transformed by the saving grace of CHRIST. Holiness is only experienced by those sinners who have had their sins forgiven, and given the Holy Spirit to make them holy as God is holy (1Peter 1:16). This process of being made holy will be completed in glory and this is the hope of all genuine Christians.

Prayer
May the Lord give us a spirit of discernment to know the wolves in sheepskin and distinguish truth from error.
May the Lord raise up genuine preachers of his Word who instead of alarming people with terror of post election violence (like Owuor did on NTV's show (30/11/12). Those who will instead give the right diagnosis of all men - that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ... (Romans 3:23). But more than that, prescribe the right medicine - ".... are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in CHRIST JESUS, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by FAITH. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has FAITH IN JESUS. (Romans 3:24-26)

Appeal
Have you trusted Jesus yourself? If not, then the wrath of God rests on you if you remain in ungodliness (Romans 1:18). But the Good News is that if you would go to Christ, personally, even privately, pleading with the Lord Jesus to be merciful to you, as a sinner, then you could be saved.

Finally
This nation is in the hands of the sovereign God. I assure all Kenyans that God knows the outcome of election. Moreover, HE determines the course of history of ALL nations. You need not panic because Owuor has said that there will pev ... if that is what God wants then he's made provisions for his people. My emphasis is that it is in God that we must put our trust and confidence - He is the sure refuge in times trouble. Let us pray in faith knowing this - that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials (2Peter2:9). Furthermore, he's declared that he'll not destroy the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18:22-33).
To God be the glory.



You comments and questions are welcome.

Monday, September 17, 2012

THE FALSE TEACHERS: UNFIT FOR ANY GOOD WORK!




Titus 1:10-16
Are you disturbed by the prevalence of so many false teachers in our day? Listen to the radio, watch the television preachers, listen to those who preach in buses, go to most of the churches in this city and all over the world… it is deplorable and disgusting that many of those of those who speak in the name of God are false! One can very easily conclude that there is no one preaching the truths of the Bible! Do not be tempted to go the Elijah way and conclude that you are the only one who has not bowed to Baal. God has promised us that He has many who are His and this is the reason why are we are to ask this evening, what is our role in combating the false teaching of our day? Have ever wondered if there is anything you could do to deal with the false teachers and teachings of our day? What is the remedy and strategy given in the Bible as the manner of combating false teachers and their false teachings?
One of the basic reason why the church has to have godly leaders on the eldership, who are sound doctrine and so hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, is so that they may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also rebuke those who contradict it. The elders have to be able and willing to combat false teachers and their wicked teachings, if they will be faithful stewards of the church of God. No one should aspire to the office of the elder, if he does not have the spine or the guts to do this murky work. While you are appointing the elders to the church we have to be sure that he is a man who is able and committed to this task. You notice that there are many false teachers. Therefore, there must be many more elders who bring sound teaching to deal both with the errant and their errors.
The passage before us seeks to expose these false teachers – their identity and character as well as the influence they have on people. It also exposes the basic tenets of false teachings and its foundations are shaken. And finally we are given the manner in which we are to deal with these menace. Clearly, the Lord has not tell us to remain idle or silent on the ground that everyone has a right to express himself, has He? He has given us this word so that we may not only know who are false teachers and what falsehood they propagate, but He has given us clear instructions on how we are to deal with these liars, before He ultimately deals with them.

1.    Exposing false teachers’ identity

Their character (v.10,12):Paul describes them as insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers. This means that they are rebellious, they refuse to submit to the trustworthy word. They instead talk empty words, they are full of big and astounding promises which come to nothing, they are full of fruitless teachings. Unproductive talking so that even if you sit down with them, you rise up with nothing of substance that you can remember although you might have spent your full day! Even worse that empty talking, they deceive. They lie and cheat and con people! This is verified by their own poet whom they had given the title of a prophet and so Paul calls him a prophet as they did.
He said that that always liars! Their lies were every time they opened up their vile mouths. They make big claims for themselves, as being apostles and prophets. They claim big titles for themselves such as reverends and bishops and dress, and dress in a way that will deceive people. Furthermore, they were lazy-gluttons! What a contradictory character of people who want to eat and yet not work! Such must not eat as God has said he who does not work must not eat.

Their identity (v.10, 14): These people belong to the circumcision party. So the false teachers were Jewish, not the Judaizers who were arguing that circumcision was necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1) because these were sincere. These were people bent on deceiving others, by teaching Jewish myths and endless genealogies (1Tim 1:4). This helps us to know their identity as Jews.

Their motivation (v.11):Their basic motivation to the work they do is not to preach Christ or the gospel. These people are motivated by shameful gain. The basic reason for so many false teachers is not to honor Christ, it is not win souls to Christ, it is not because they would like to see sinners converted by Christ, by His gospel and conveyed to His kingdom of light. That is far from the truth. The truth is that they want to draw as many as possible to themselves, so that they can have them give as much as possible in order to enrich themselves. Why do they many of them preach error, it is to provide for themselves a quick means to gain.
True, there are many who are sincerely deceived, and we know that the Lord will deliver them. But there are many more who are doing it as a profession in order to make money. The effect of this is that they are upsetting many families. Many families have been torn apart by the greed of these false teachers. Be on your guard for people who have unending demands for money. Watch out for those who flash their M-pesa lines bank accounts so that you can send them money. Do not even listen to them, otherwise they may make a wonderful promise that you will struggle to resist, and then you will be in their hook!
Their end (v.16): Since they are neither subject to the Chief-Shepherd nor to His Word, they are false or foreign to His church, impostors who are leopards in sheep’s-clothing. Therefore they have to be unclothed! Their lies and deception has to be exposed, you have to know them and we are supposed to do everything to unveil their identity as deceivers who must not speak in the name of the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord has promised in His word, “they will not get far, for their folly will be plain to all…” (2Tim. 3:9).Clearly, they are unfit for any good work andtheir teachings are futile (1Tim 1:6). Do you notice many of the churches that have come up they have no confession of faith, they do not follow a traditionally accepted doctrine – their pastors invent their doctrines in the pulpit! Beware!

2.    Exposing the tenets of their errors

This passage seeks to help us expose the errors of false teaching by giving us threefold test to the teachings we here.
a)     Theyemphasize the commands of people (v.14)
First of these people have many commands that appear to be from the Bible. But they are not. Secondly, their commands are from human origin – following traditions of men. They tell their hearers, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” and all these in reference to thing that all perish as they are used like food, clothing, places etc. according to human precepts and teachings. (Col. 2:21-22). The point is that these are commands of people and not of God. They emphasize blessings that their hearers could get from preachers (themselves as the ‘servants’ or ‘men of God’) if you could meet some conditions that they set and with the same breath, threaten with curses if you do not follow the recipe that they provide! Is this familiar?
You notice that in devoting themselves to commands, myths and superstitions construed by people, in effect, they turn away from the truth. People who are ever talking about what so and so said, whether from a vision or dream or revelation, reject the word of God of God. First because the place words of men at the same level with the Word of God and also because their attention is to the words of men rather than God.
b)     They have false understanding of purity  (v. 15)
These people who have much to say from men invent their own form of godliness. The reason is because both their minds (what they know and believe) and consciences (what they will and are able to do) are defiled, or corrupted and so unfit or unacceptable.Their understanding of holiness is not the biblical one, although they might talk about holiness as if they know what they are talking about. God’s word says, “These have indeed the appearance of wisdom in promoting self made religion and asceticism and severity of the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” (Col. 2::23)
Because they are defiled, nothing is pure to them, they think that the problem is what they eat or touch or handle. They look at food, places and things as agents of sin. The truth is that what defiles a person comes from the heart: things like evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy slander, pride, foolishness – all these are from within and defile a person (Mark 7:21-22) – sin is internal, in the heart and this is the problem. What defiles a person is not external. Since they have an erroneous understanding of sin they fail to have the right understanding of holiness and purity.
c)      The profess to know God, but deny Him by their actions (v.16)
All false teachers do not do what they teach – they are hypocrites. They even act contrary to their own consciences and knowledge. They live a lie because they do not have the light of dawn, of the word and the testimony. Their lives are characterized by this violent division of creed and conduct – what they say is not what they are, their words and deeds do not march – they profess God in word but deny Him in deed. Their faith is a dead faith since good works does not accompany it.
John Stott provides a very good conclusion regarding false teachers and their disciples. He says that we have to ask three questions about it.
·         First, is its origin divine or human, tradition or revelation?
·         Secondly, is its essence inward or outward, spiritual or ritual?
·         Thirdly, is its result a transformed life or merely a formal creed?
True religion is divine in its origin, spiritual in its essence and moral in its effect.

3.    Dealing with false teachers:

There are two ways prescribed here of how we are to deal with the false teachers. In both ways, their erroneous teaching has to be impacted. You cannot divide the false teachers and their false teachings and so whatever you have to do has to impact both. Undoubtedly, Christian leaders must not tolerate such.
a)     They must be silenced (v. 11)
With such dangerous men purporting to speak for God, in His name, using His word, enriching themselves to the detriment of whole families being destroyed, we have to get together to do what we must do to stop them. The way to stop them is silence them. Their mouths have to be muzzled. A gag is what will help the situation because laissez-fare will not do.  There is a need for the church to have leaders who will rise up to stop them from continuing to do what they are doing. By teaching things they ought no to teach, there are ruining the households. When they demand money from people, there families who go angry and yet others end up in great debts. But it is even worse than that because, eternal destiny of people is affected by teaching them things that do not bring any eternal profit but bring eternal ruin to people. This is the reason why we cannot remain unmoved.
The basic way provided in the passage on how to silence them is by having elders who hold firm to the trustworthy word and so are able to rebuke those who contradict them. Truthful teaching has to be preached far and wide. Elders who are able have to deal with the false teachers. In church history we know of such godly men like Augustine of Hippo who dealt with the false teaching of Arius in the 4th century, Asahel Nettleton who dealt with Charles Finney in the 18th Century, etc. we are to be concerned to publish the truth far and wide, by raising faithful men who are to take the gospel farther. This is our aim in the Pastors’ Theological Course. It is our prayer that the Lord may be pleased to bring more to be taught, and add more teachers to instruct the students in sound teaching. The church has to be very quick and active in raising preachers.
But the passage does not tell us exactly how to stop them although the rest of the Scripture has something to say about it. In 3:10, Paul instructs Titus, “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once, and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.The first thing to with those in error is to warn them and admonish them so that they may be won over by truth. If he refuses, he must be sharply reprimanded and told to desist and if he persists then he has to be disciplined by the church and be handed over to Satan (1Tim. 1:20).
I am persuaded that the best manner to deal with the prevailing false teaching is by being more vocal in making the true gospel known in this city and beyond. I have been praying that the Lord may make it possible for us to get into the media by having our own radio broadcasting station, so that we could propagate the truths of the Word of God far and wide.
b)     They must be rebuked sharply (v. 13)
False teachers have to be rebuked sharply or decisively by the elders, when the Lord provides the opportunity. A sharp rebuke is the dose recommended by the Lord for false teachers. Such a rebuke will get through them. We must not give them an opportunity or tolerate them at all. How can they become what they are not if no one is going to withstand them to the face and tell them that they actions are unacceptable? This is done out of concern for them and their hearers. They have to change in respect to the truth, they have to stop saying and teaching what they are teaching and we must do all we can to admonish them who come our way. One day I was in a bust where a man was preaching false teaching and afterwards he came to sit by where I was and I got the chance to tell him that if he wants to preach, then he has to use the Bible and not his own imaginations! Though he did not like it, I told him.
v  We must not give up the false teachers as no one is beyond the reach of the grace of God – there is hope for them because God is very gracious and patient with people. Paul told Timothy that the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2Tim. 2:24-26).It is my prayer that the Lord may help us all to be exactly like this so that the Lord may bring even false teachers under the authority of His Word, and under the lordship of Christ.
v  This evening we rejoice that the Lord has granted us a church that is committed to the Word of God. This is not something that we should take for granted there are many people who are looking for a church that is founded on the Word of God. The many people who have come to this church from other churches are a witness to what they have gone through.
v  Please pray for us in the eldership that the Lord may help us to remain faithful to the word of God – first of all to preach nothing but the truth of the Word of God to you. secondly, that we may be ever willing to rebuke and silence those who contradict the word of truth. And thirdly, to be able to identify and raise faithful men who are able to pass the truths of the word of God to others so that there will be continuity and propagation of the truths of the word in this city, in this country and beyond.
v  Let us be willing to give ourselves fully to combat the false teachers and their teachings by investing our time and resources towards the propagation of the knowledge of the truth that accords to godliness. Prayerfully consider what we as a church should do to combat the false teachers and teachings and be supportive. Meanwhile, our commitment is to the gospel and the preaching of truth because the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2Cor. 10:4-6)