The Two Voices of The Pastor-1
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
May 21, 2006
Titus 1:9-11 "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
I took the title for today’s message from a paragraph written by John Calvin in his commentary, The Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus (1548-5-1550).
A pastor must "strongly cling or hold to" the "faithful word." Lógos is the Greek word translated word in verse 9. Often, lógos is used as a synonym for the Scriptures, the written Word of God. It is the Word of God that is in focus in Titus 1:9. A pastor needs to respect the Word of God. He needs to study the Word of God. He needs to believe the Word of God. He needs to obey the Word of God. Having said that, I must also tell you that God expects all believers to do the same thing!
Let’s look at several passages of Scripture that make that clear.
Psalms 119:5-6 "O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments."
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
James 1:21-22 "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity [abundance] of naughtiness [evil], and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
Overview of Today’s Message
This passage reveals two reasons a Pastor needs
to be "holding fast the faithful word." First, he is to
exhort believers in sound doctrine, or as Calvin said, "to gather
the sheep," and I would add to teach them. Second, "convince
the gainsayers," or as Calvin writes, "driving away wolves and
thieves and refute the enemies of the truth."
"…that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort."
Old Dr. John Gill said, this means to "exhort" the members of churches to their duty, according to their age, sex, state, and condition.
The word translated exhort is a translation of the Greek word parakalein – parakalein (para-ka-leen) which means to instruct, entreat, admonish or, as the word is accurately translated, exhort.
One of the reasons Christians are so easily deceived and led into error today is because pastors are not doing their jobs! The pastor’s objective in his preaching and teaching it should be to teach them sound doctrine.
That brings me to the word sound is actually a translation of the Greek word that means healthy. Here’s the point. Teaching healthy doctrine protects and preserves the spiritual health of believers who listen and heed it. You could compare the teaching of sound biblical doctrine to immunization. If a person is immunized he will remain healthy when he is exposed to disease. Is a believer is taught sound biblical doctrine, when he is exposed to error he will not be deceived by it. Paul refers to believers who were easily deceived in Ephesians 4:14 "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
So-called evangelical pastors today are disobeying the Word of God! 2 Timothy 4:2 says, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." More and more these pastors are refusing to preach anything that controversial. They assert that doctrine divides and deadens and so they will not teach doctrine.
What is the result of refusing to preaching anything controversial or to take a solid doctrinal stand? -- Confused, compromising Christians that disobey God’s Word.
Christians like the Hollywood film composer who that took me to task in an email because I quoted Psalms 74:18 characterizing The Da Vinci Code as blasphemy. The verse reads -- "O LORD… foolish people have blasphemed thy name." Here what he wrote in part --
His response is characteristic to many Christians who have been exposed to preachers who do not feed their flocks sound biblical doctrine but rather preach messages that are non-directive and non-judgmental. They will not call sin, SIN!
I wrote back and asked him if The Da Vinci Code was blasphemy or not. I also told him that as Pastor I was obligated to warn my flock and follow 2 Timothy 4:2 and Jude 1:3.
In summary, the key objective of a pastor is to preach and teach
sound doctrine to his flock. I must add this. What you have learned
from your pastors, you are to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2;
Titus 1:9b "that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
Before we dig into this verse you need to understand what a gainsayer is. A gainsayer is a person who is obstinate and who contradicts, opposes or denies God’s Word.
A Pastor is not only to has the obligation to preach and teach sound doctrine to his flock, but he also must be able to defend the Word, refute false doctrine and drive away the enemies of the Truth.
Look for a moment the word convince. It means to refute. Satan sees to it that there are always false teachers within the professing church who try to sow false teachings to cause trouble and bring confusion into the congregation. Paul warned the Church of Ephesus that they could expect this to happen after he left. We read in Acts 20:29-30 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
That’s exactly what Paul is telling Titus in chapter 1:10-11 & 16 – "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
A pastor must not tolerate false doctrine and teaches his people not to tolerate it either. But, by the world’s standard and sadly by the standard of many compromising Christians, to expose and denounce false doctrine, and especially false doctrine taught under the guise of evangelicalism, is judgmental, divisive, unloving and pharisaical. As one preacher put it, "Compromising Scripture in order to make it more palatable and acceptable—whether to believers or to unbelievers is not ‘speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 5:15). It is speaking falsehood and is the furthest thing from godly love. It is a subtle, deceptive and dangerous way to contradict God’s own Word."
The 2 voices of the Pastor are for – 1)
Teaching The Sheep 2) Refuting The Enemy