For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,Titus 1:10(NASB)
Wherever gospel seeds of truth are sown, it is never long before the destructive tares of false doctrine are sure to be quickly spawned. Such was the case for Titus when he was working on the Isle of Crete, and Paul is quick to respond with wise advice to his fellow-worker, and offer Christian encouragement to this dearly loved co-labourer in Christ.
Titus was being bombarded with a range of different false teachings and destructive doctrines. Some legalists were mingling the Jewish Law (which had been fulfilled in Christ) with the glorious gospel of grace, in an attempt to place the liberty that Jews and Gentiles now enjoy in Christ's finished work at Calvary, back under bondage to the Law. Others were grossly perverting that same freedom we ourselves have received by grace through faith in Christ, by turning it into an ungodly license to sin.
"Preach the word and stand firm to the truth of the glorious gospel of grace, according to the faith of God's elect," was Paul's advice to his brother in Christ, and that wise instruction is as pertinent for us today as it was in the days of Titus. "Hold fast to the faithful Word of truth," he admonished. Paul knew that there were many unruly, rebellious, and subversive men who sought to enter into the Church through "vain and empty talk, deceitful words, and false teachings." And Paul went on to say: "This is especially true of those of the circumcision," those who could not differentiate between God's dealing with Israel in the previous dispensation of Law, and His current dealings with the Church in this dispensation of grace.
When man-made tradition and false spirituality causes religious teachers to turn from the truth of the glorious gospel of grace and dismiss the Word of God in preference for worldly authorities, Jewish mysticism, the commands of men, and monetary gain by teaching "that which ought not to be taught," they should not be given the credibility and acclaim that so many receive today.
Let us search the Scriptures daily to see if the teachings that are permeating Christendom today are founded on the gospel seed of God's Word or the destructive tares of false doctrine. Let us study the Word to show ourselves approved unto God, knowing that now, as then, there are "many rebellious men, empty talkers, and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision."
Heavenly Father, give me discernment to recognise false teachings and ungodly doctrines that have distorted the Word of God and twisted the truth of the glorious gospel of grace in some way. I pray that I will not be deceived by legalists, teachers, or ministries that give heed to worldly authorities, Jewish mysticism, the traditions and commands of men, or monetary gain, in preference to the truth of the Word of God. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.