"Speak These Things"

In Titus 2:15, Paul admonishes Titus by saying, “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” The phrase, “these things” refers to “the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Soundness of doctrine can only be adequately measured by the inspired word of God. As teachers and preachers, it’s not our prerogative to invent anything new, nor to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6), but to adhere to the inspired teaching found in God’s word.

Occasionally and sadly, one hears preachers in gospel meetings and elsewhere, deliver sermons that contain less Bible truth than found in a bag of fortune cookies. A true preacher and teacher of the gospel is obligated and compelled to speak “these things” — not “those things” that might entertain and even inform in some material way, but have no "power" to save the soul (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18). Paul also tells Titus to “exhort.” Exhortation is urging someone to take action. The whole purpose of teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ, is to urge the listener to do what God’s word instructs him or her to do. We’ve all listened to plenty of sermons over the years that didn’t urge or instruct anyone to “do” anything. One could easily have walked away from such a sermon, never having a clue as to what he or she was actually supposed to “do” (cf. Matthew 7:21; James 1:22; 1 John 3:7). While we know that different sermons have different purposes, and not every sermon necessarily has to be a “call to arms,” we should expect that every sermon should motivate the listener to ponder this question: “Now that I know and have this information, what do I do?” Peter’s sermon on Pentecost certainly had this effect (Acts 2:37), and folks knew exactly what they had to “do” in order to be saved.

Paul then tells Titus to “rebuke.” While preachers and teachers of God’s word can’t possibly “fix” all things spiritually wrong with a congregation, it is our responsibility to address spiritual areas that may be weaknesses in the understanding of some. For example, there are some topics that need to be addressed in the church that are very rarely emphasized in our teaching, such as Bible authority, marriage, divorce, and remarriage, etc. Have we fully fulfilled our charge and obligation to “speak these things” whether our listeners agree with the sermon content or not? (cf. Acts 20:17-21,25-27). Beloved, whether teaching or preaching, let us pray that God will grant us the boldness to speak His word without apology or reservation, always with eternity in mind.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets


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