As the Apostle Paul came to the end of his list of qualifications for the ministry, he closed by insisting that pastors should always be
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
Here we know that Paul is talking about the faithful Word of God that Pastor Titus had been taught of him, for he told Pastor Timothy to “hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me” (II Tim. 1:13). If you’re a pastor, and you’re not holding fast to the form of sound words found in Paul’s epistles, you’ll never be able “to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (1:9).
Of course, if you’re not a pastor, you’re probably wondering, “What’s a gainsayer?” A gainsayer is someone who contradicts what you say. A gainsayer in the Bible is someone who contradicts what God says in His Word. And each time the word gainsay is used, it is used of men who opposed God’s Word dispensationally.
For instance, Jude talked about “the gainsaying of Core” (Jude 1:11). If you don’t remember who Core was,
“… Korah… and Dathan and Abiram… gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them… all the congregation are holy, every one of them… wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation…?” (Num. 16:1-3).
In the Law, God had made it clear that He had sanctified Moses and Aaron, setting them apart from all others in Israel as holy unto Himself. But Core chose to gainsay His Word by insisting that all the people were holy. This was a dispensational error. All the congregation of Israel will be holy in the coming kingdom of heaven on earth. God has promised that they will be “an holy nation” and “a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). But they weren’t in Moses’ day!
Over in the New Testament, the Lord promised His followers, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Lu. 21:15). He made good on that promise at Pentecost, when “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4). Stephen was one of those who were filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:5), “and they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (v. 10).
But the people of Stephen’s nation stubbornly clung to the old dispensation of the Law, and refused Peter’s offer of the new dispensation of the kingdom (Acts 3:19) when they stoned him. That’s how they became “a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Rom. 10:21), people who contradicted God’s Word dispensationally. Only men like Peter seemed willing to change. When the Lord told him to go minister to a Gentile, something that was “unlawful” under the Law of Moses (Acts 10:28), Peter obeyed this new dispensational command “without gainsaying” (Acts 10:29).
The gainsayers in Crete, where Titus was stationed (Tit. 1:5), were the “unruly and vain talkers… of the circumcision” he mentions in the next verse (Tit. 1:10). They were “unruly” because they refused to recognize Paul’s new dispensational “rule” (Gal. 6:16) that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision” (v. 15). They were making the dispensational error of thinking that circumcision was still part of God’s program, and contradicting the faithful word that Titus had received from Paul.
Beloved, the only answer to dispensational error today is “holding fast the faithful word” that we have heard from Paul. Pauline truth alone can save us from any and all other dispensational errors. Let’s hold it fast!
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.