Dealing With Division by Multiplication
Almost the entire book of Titus contains instructions on how to function in the life of a church body. This is not very easy. Whenever you attempt to work together you have to work through the inevitable differences that come from different beliefs and different circumstances of life. In Titus 3 Paul continues to counsel Titus with this. Here is what Paul writes as part of this process: 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. 9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. I think that the key to successfully following verse 9 is doing verse 8. When we are doing good works, not to be saved but because we are saved, we stand a very good chance of not getting bogged down in foolish disputes. No church that is seeing people saved and transformed argues about the color of the carpet. But when no spiritual activity is happening, the color of the carpet can split a congregation in two.
What’s the challenge for the church? The challenge is to preach the gospel and do good works. A church does have to deal with conflict and division. A church does need to work through these problems; but these problems will be so much easier to work through when a church is expanding the kingdom of God. When a church is multiplying, division just doesn’t seem as important.