People Of The Seal; A Study In Titus
July 1, 2005

C. R. Oliver

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July 1, 2005

People Of The Seal

A Study In Titus

A short while after writing 1st Timothy, Paul sent a letter to Titus. He instructed this young man of God to develop a "special people" for the Lord on a raucous island that was known for sinful pleasure. Right in the middle of a resort community, laid back and famous as the harbinger of cultural diversity, God wanted a "sealed" people.
Jesus, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us (the sealed)from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His Own Special People, zealous for good works. Titus 2:14
Jumping to the forefront in this verse are three significant truths aside from "zealous for good works." First, is the affirmation that Jesus gave Himself (His life was not taken by Jews or the Roman government) for "His Own Special People." These "special people" constitute a second major truth, for they are His possession. They are purified for Him. Thirdly, they are redeemed from "every" lawless deed. Their redemption is thorough. Indeed, the sealed are "special people." Paul considered himself in those ranks and every "we," "our," and "us," reflected that combination and inclusion.

In essence, Paul magnified two areas in the book of Titus: first, the necessity of having a pure people, who were not "warped" and "unfruitful," but were sealed[1] by the Spirit; second, having those people solid in sound doctrine.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (the elect, sealed) through the washing of regeneration and renewing (renovation)[2] of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
This renovation gutted every belief, every old unreliable timber of doctrine, all outdated schemes (plans), tore down every weak thing that would hinder "structural integrity," and replaced it with a new design and solid materials, turning something uninhabitable and ugly into something beautiful. That is renovation!

Because doctrinal and personal integrity were important to Paul, those who did not possess it and taught "another gospel," had to be silenced.
There are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, WHOSE MOUTHS MUST BE STOPPED…they profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Titus 1:10-11, 16
(Probably no one has heard a message in the past fifty years about stopping the mouths of subverters; nevertheless, the scripture stands! Perhaps the reason is that no one will take a stand as Titus was urged to take. Perhaps there are none pure enough who can stand. Nonetheless, the commandment stands!)
But as for YOU, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine. Titus 2:1
Paul's doctrine was important, and he felt all the churches he fostered had to be aligned with it. This, however, was not his only concern. Those who handled his message must align with his doctrine as well.

Again, Paul described those qualified and disqualified to minister to the sealed, but he added an ingredient. He was convinced that what stood good enough for leadership must manifest itself in all the membership in the church of the redeemed.
Titus 3:14 said, This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men…let the people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
These words were not excerpts from a "manual of church polity," for Titus was specifically told "to affirm constantly" that which he was given. (Perhaps in the next few weeks, it would be great for pastors and missionaries to hammer the subject of holiness and the necessity of pure hands honoring a pure message, along with good works.)

Paul used a phrase, "That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things (2:10)."
Although this passage was used in relation to his teaching on servants, it had significant "carry over" implication.

Things in the lives of believers who do not "adorn the doctrine" must be exploded, imploded and annihilated. There simply is no place for any of it among the sealed. That which "adorns the doctrine" must be embellished, improved upon and expanded, it's that simple! The sealed know this!

[1] NT: 341 Renewing: anakainoo (an-ak-ahee-no'-o); from NT: 303 and a derivative of NT: 2537; to renovate: KJV - renew.

[2] op cit

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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