False teachers were telling the early Church that the gentiles couldn't be God's people. He had declared that He was against them. If God were to include the gentiles in the Church now, then God would be a liar...and they had the Scriptures to prove it.
This is part of a series on mirror-reading the books of the Bible. You can view all posts in the series here. They are only cursory mirror-readings, and although I give evidence for their validity, further research is desired for support.
Mirror-Reading Titus Gives Us A Greater Understanding
One of the Biblical text that the false teachers used to "prove" that God would not accept the gentiles was Isaiah 28:16:
Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation... "
The context there is that God had declared to the leadership in Jerusalem at that time, that they should repent, or else God would destroy the city and exile them. The leadership in Jerusalem responded by trying to make alliances to avoid God’s judgment. However, God says that His word, what He has declared, is like a cornerstone and cannot be avoided.
The false teachers said that there was no salvation for the Gentiles on earth and God had declared it in the Scriptures. If He changed his mind now, that would make Him a liar. Here's another verse in Isaiah that show that once God made up His mind, there was no turning it back.
This is the plan that is determined for the whole earth. This is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For Yahweh of Armies has planned, and who can stop it? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
Since God had said that He would destroy the Gentile nations, He cannot change his mind and save them now.
How Paul Proved That God Was Not A Liar
When Paul writes Titus, he addresses the "Lying God" issue:
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
Paul alludes to the "cornerstone" in Isaiah to make the same point in Ephesians.
being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone;
The New Testament makes clear that the inclusion of the Gentiles was the plan from the very beginning and that God did not change His mind, thereby making Him not a liar.
Ephesians 1:4 (see also 1 Peter 1:20, John 17:24, and Revelation 13:8)
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Paul states later in Titus that God's grace is for all people...including the Gentiles:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
What Do You Think?
What do you think of this mirror-reading of Titus? Was Paul trying prove that God was not a liar for the inclusion of the Gentiles? What other situations do you think Titus was responding to?