William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 1:12 - 1:12

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William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 1:12 - 1:12


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The next argument St. Paul makes use of to excite Titus to take great care how he behaved himself at Crete, and what bishops he left there, is drawn from the quality and nature of the people in that island of Crete, where God's providence and the apostle's care had placed him: he tells him, that one of their own prophets, or poets, Epimenides, had given this character of them, that the Cretians were a lazy and a lying people, ready enough to be misled by the false teachers, particularly the judaizing doctors, who imposed circumcision and other ceremonial rites upon them, which were now old fables, but tended to pervert men from the truth; therefore he charges Titus to reprove sharply and cuttingly, that they may be sound in faith. The word is a metaphor taken from surgeons, who cut out dead flesh to the quick, but it is in order to healing; cutting words have done great cures: many a diseased, festered soul has been made sound, both in faith and manners, by severe reprehension.

Learn hence, That although, generally speaking, we ought to temper our reproofs with much gentleness and meekness, yet there is a time when we must reprove sharply, that men may be sound in the faith. We may, we must, speak cutting words, when kind words will not do.