Titus 1 mentions some people who were extremely rebellious. Were these people believers or unbelievers?
Only God knows hearts. I would hate to give a blanket statement and state that these Cretans were all unbeliever or all believers. Perhaps verse 16 is the key: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him.”
Profession is one thing; possession is another. One can assent to the Christian faith without experiencing the new birth. This passage suggests the truth that false teachers and mere professors can get into local church situations, so it is a lesson to all to beware and to exercise proper church discipline.
Many of these people had a problem with Jewish legalism; they were promoting circumcision as a requirement for salvation. We know that down through time people have tried to add to the gospel of grace and distort the clear teachings of Scripture. This danger, too, has to be closely monitored and swept out when discovered in the local church. Those spiritual rebels who are believers must be restored after being silenced and rebuked sharply. Dealing with error immediately is far easier than trying to do something about it after it becomes monstrous.
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