the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #10

Posted by on Jul 13, 2008 in as we live it, scripture | 6 comments

Here is the tenth installment of “Scripture… As We Live It“:

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned – unless, of course, you are the divisive person or you agree with the divisive person, in which case, make sure that you and those who agree with you separate yourselves from other brothers and sisters who disagree with you – oh, and talk about them from time to time to remind yourselves that you are right and they are wrong. (Titus 3:10-11 re-mix)


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  1. 7-13-2008

    Ouch. Now what is the pratical application of this Allen? I am very curious. I believe this divisiveness had to do something with the law and other things like it. How would you teach this passage?

  2. 7-13-2008

    …to remind yourselves that you are right and they are wrong…and then go start your own church based around your disagreement with he other body.

    (I like this series, btw, Alan.)


  3. 7-13-2008


    It looks like that Paul reminds his readers of the grace (mercy, lovingkindness) of God that leads to salvation (Titus 3:4-7). This grace also leads us to do good deeds (Titus 3:8). However, some people choose instead to argue about inconsequential things that are not related to the gospel (Titus 3:9). These are the divisive people that we should warn and then stay away from (Titus 3:10).

    I think Paul is talking about people who want to add to the gospel, as in salvation in by grace and something else. These people want to argue about the “something elses”.


    I think you’re right. This kind of divisiveness has led to denominationalism, as well as divisions within denominations.


  4. 7-13-2008


    It’s interesting to see that the Greek word here used (haireticos) is not used anywhere else in the New Testament, but the noun (hairesis) is used in Acts 5:17, 15:5, 24:5 Acts 26:5, 28:22, where it is translated as “sect”.

    In Acts 24:14; 1Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; 2Pet 2:1 the word is translated as “heresy”, and “heresies” in 2 Pet.2:1.

    It seems to me that the passage is speaking about one who is causing divisions in a church, instead of developing a spirit of unity, for the purpose of creating a sect or party. It is about such a one that Paul instructs Titus.

    The argument has come to my attention several times that one who would argue the accepted evangelical soteriology, is regarded as such a man.

    I (and yourself)have been accused as such because I am convinced of a different view of ecclesiology.

    As we have seen historically those who aspire to positions of authority often develop sects personal opinions, interpretations of doctrine, or custom on which he differs from others, to deliberately develop a ground of distinction from his brethren, for the purpose of creating a new institution or “true church”.

    Paul deals with a similar situation in Rom. 16:17.

    It is far too common (at least in this country) to hear this passage of Scripture applied to those who would strongly defend historic, evangelical doctrines, such as salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, and that not of works.

  5. 7-13-2008

    Aussie John,

    Are you suggesting that some continue to divide based on particular leaders in the same way that Paul rebuked in 1 Corinthians 1?

    I think you’re right. And, it is very interesting that the word “heresy” comes from the Greek word that originally means “divisions”. I’ve said many times that when we divide ourselves from people because of “heresy” but who are in reality brothers and sisters in Christ, we are the ones being “heretical” because we are being divisive.

    I know that many times people ask me if I associate with other believers who do not agree with my ecclesiology. My answer? Absolutely!


  6. 7-16-2008

    Me too!