Religious deceivers have always been common, even back in Bible days. That’s what prompted the Apostle Paul to warn Titus,
“…there are many… vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped…” (Titus 1:10,11).
But how did Paul expect Titus to go about shutting the mouths of these teachers of the Law? When one remembers what a tough man Titus was (cf. II Cor. 7:15), one shudders to think of how he might have chosen to shut the mouth of a deceitful vain talker! I hear Titus was so tough, he had a bearskin rug. The bear wasn’t dead, he was just afraid to move!
But while Titus was a tough man, he was also a saved man, and he knew there was a better way to shut the mouths of false teachers. Do you remember how the Lord did it when He was questioned by the chief priests, the scribes, and the Saducees (Luke 20:19-38)? He answered their questions so thoroughly that “after that they durst not ask Him any question at all” (v.40). In other words, He stopped their mouths.
And that’s how Paul expected Titus to shut the mouths of the vain talkers! He expected him to teach the grace of God so thoroughly and so convincingly (cf. Tit. 1:9) that it would leave these vain talkers men speechless. And that’s how God expects us to shut the mouths of deceivers who would teach the Law in our own day.
Now you’d think that would go without saying, but I know a lot of grace believers who try to shut the mouths of others by mocking them, ridiculing them, or belittling them. What an example of how “knowledge puffeth up” (I Cor. 8:1). Of such people, Paul wrote,
“…if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (I Cor. 8:2).
If you’re one of those who are busy shutting the mouths of others by being rude or condescending, you may know the grace message well, but Paul would say you know nothing as you ought to know it. You ought to know that the gracious way to stop the mouths of those who teach error is by a clear presentation of the truth.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.