by John Barnett

This content is part of a series.

Mothers Energized by Grace Love Their Children (5 of 23)
Series: Women Energized by Grace Series
John Barnett
Titus 2:4

Ministry in Christ's church was never easy even from the start. This morning as we open Paul's letter to Pastor Titus, missionary church-planter to Crete--we look at the description of the cultural background of the congregation Titus served two thousand years ago.

Titus 1:12-13 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith (NKJV)

Wow, just think of what a miracle it was to find group of believers saved out of such a godless society. They came from centuries of culture dominated by total (‘always') untrustworthiness (‘liars'), total out-of-control living (‘evil beasts'), and the total undisciplined pursuit of personal lust-filled appetites (‘lazy gluttons').

Again we see from these two verses that when the Gospel of Jesus Christ entered the Roman world of the New Testament the landscape was very bleak. Christ's church was born into a sin-warped, sin-darkened world of mixed-up marriages, sin-scarred lives, and confused families.

Paul here quoted a line from a poem by Epimenides, a poet and philosopher who had lived in Crete 600 years earlier. The quotation reveals basic character flaws in the Cretans, giving them a bad reputation for lying, violence, and laziness The reputation of the Cretans was so bad that the verb form of their name (kretizo) was used by the Greeks to indicate lying. Paul applied this familiar phrase to the false teachers.

But men and women who were gloriously saved did not automatically become great wives and mothers, or husbands and fathers. When they came to Christ and were forgiven, God graciously gave them everything they needed to become godly wives, mothers, husbands, and fathers. But, they needed something else. They need worship services that taught them ...

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