The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 229 of 243
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in Gal. 6: 3. It is the very opposite of sophron, the sound mind that we have already
The mind of man is the battle ground between truth and error. Sin darkens and
enslaves the mind and its thinking, whereas salvation and redemption snaps the chains,
and the Holy Spirit renews the mind so that the things of God can be appreciated and
received in each person's measure. Satan uses many and various means to get control of
the human mind, but the object is always the same, namely its enslavement and
subjection to himself. Even for the believer in Christ there is the danger of giving place
to the Devil (Eph. 4: 27) and coming under his snare (II Tim. 2: 25, 26), and there is only
one sure safeguard and that is to `hold fast the faithful word' (Titus 1: 9). Directly a
Christian refuses to submit his thinking to God's revealed Word of truth he becomes a
prey to error and bondage, however fair and good it is dressed up externally.
Those concerning whom Paul is warning Titus were in such a position. They were
`insubordinate' (unruly); they refused to submit themselves to that pattern of truth which
had been committed to the Apostle and made known through him. They were chiefly
Jews (1: 10) and while it may not be possible to say in detail what was the error they were
propagating, one can judge from the references given in I Timothy and Titus that they
were largely misinterpretations and additions to the O.T.  Thus we have `endless
genealogies and fables (myths)' (I Tim. 4: 7; Titus 3: 9). They adulterated God's pure
Word with their own fanciful and pernicious idea concerning descent, human or divine,
so adding the `commandments of men' (Titus 1: 14) and destroying its truth. There were
`strivings about the law' (3: 9) all of which the Apostle describes as `unprofitable and
vain' (verse 9) only leading to contention and disunity. Paul also refers to `Jewish myths
(fables)' (Titus 1: 4). These were probably the seeds of Gnostic mythology already taking
root and which were later on in the second century to bear such evil results. As we
compare I Tim. 4: 3 and Col. 2: 16 22 it appears that these `commandments of men'
related to abstinence from meats and other things, seeking to promulgate a false standard
of holiness (I Tim. 4: 3). To such the Apostle's reply was `unto the pure all things
(including the question of foods) are pure'. Those who have the sound healthy mind that
the Truth brings can regard all legitimate things in this way. The differences in foods
clean or unclean belonged to a past dispensation and their introduction here could only be
a backward step that would lead to bondage and swerving from the good deposit which
had been made known to Paul by the risen and ascended Saviour.
Those who were promulgating such teaching might `profess to know God' (verse 16);
indeed they did, hence the term `gnosticism' which comes from the Greek word for
knowledge, but this knowledge was not in accordance with the sound pattern of Truth
ministered through the Apostle of the Gentiles. It was "knowledge falsely so called"
(I Tim. 6: 20, 21). The reader must remember that the A.V. `science' has no reference
to the modern usage of the term. Here it is again gnosis (knowledge) but a knowledge
derived from the lie (pseudonumou).
All error does one or both of two things to the Living Word and the Written Word. It
either adds or detracts, in either case taking away from the completeness of the Lord