| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 215 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
me" (R.V.). The second statement may be a commentary on the first, but there may be
more in it than just a company of Christians in Asia were afraid to stay by the Apostle in
this time of danger. It appeared to be a definite act of repudiation on their part. Had the
truth for which he stood been held tenaciously and worked out in practice by believers in
Asia, such a situation could not have arisen despite the peril of the times. And when we
remember the one other verse in this epistle that uses the verb `turn away'--we are led to
believe that the Apostle is describing a falling away from the Truth that was then taking
place. "For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine . . . . . and
they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned to myths. But watch
then in all things . . . . ." Paul is forewarning Timothy of conditions he would have to
face, not of something that would take place centuries later.
When we bear in mind this departure from the `good deposit' of Truth entrusted for
this present age to the Apostle of the Gentiles, and also the leaven of false doctrine
actively working before Paul's death, we are not surprised that most, if not all that he
stood for, was soon lost. The early Christian writers of the first and succeeding centuries
exhibit little or no understanding of his distinctive ministry and a study of church history
fails to show any general recovery of such truth. The Reformation was a beginning, but it
was left to roughly 100 years ago for the Truth of the Mystery with all its wonder and
glory, to begin to come to the forefront again. Not that this truth has been completely
blotted out, for there must have been individuals all through the centuries who have
believed God's Word however dimly, regarding this distinctive heavenly calling.
Coming back to the Pastoral Epistles, we see there that I Timothy and Titus were
written after Acts 28: when the Apostle Paul had been liberated from his first
imprisonment. Hence we find in them no references to prison, but definite instructions to
two believers who were to take the lead at a time when the Truth was still organized in
Concerning Titus himself we know little. The strange thing is that he is not once
mentioned during the Acts by Luke and yet by Paul's references to him he evidently
stood high in the Apostle's esteem. We know of no satisfactory explanation of this.
In the second letter to the Corinthian church, he is referred to no less than nine times
(II Cor. 2: 13; 7: 6, 13, 14; 8: 6, 16, 23; 12: 18 twice).
Paul had sent him to investigate and report to him the state of the church at Corinth,
particularly after his first epistle had been received, and also to hasten the collection for
the poor brethren in Judaea.
He was a Gentile converted under the Apostle's ministry (Titus 1: 4), and was taken by
Paul and Barnabas to the council of the apostles and elders which was convened at
Jerusalem to consider the question of the relationship of Gentile believers to the Mosaic
law (Gal. 2: 1, 3). The reason was clear; Titus was uncircumcised and Paul was
determined not to allow any act of ritual to mar the glorious doctrine of justification by
faith in Christ apart from works.