Mouths That Must Be Shut

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

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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.

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