Sunday, March 18, 2018

Paul's Epistles – Titus – Part 2: Appointing Elders who love what is good

Paul's Epistles – Titus – Part 2:
Appointing Elders who love what is good
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

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Unlike some of the other epistles attributed cautiously to Paul, nearly all agree that without a doubt, Titus is most definitely Paul’s workmanship.

Some thought that because of its strong emphasis on “works”, Paul did not write it. (1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14 ), however Titus 3:5 gives the answer to that objection, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”

It is clear Paul is pressing the issue of works, not for salvation sake, but in an effort to promote “godliness” which comes from knowledge of the Truth, a godliness which “produces” works naturally as its fruits.

Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

This letter was written approximately the same time, and more than likely the same place as I Timothy.

Introduction to Titus

Appointing Elders who love what is good

Titus 1:2-9 (65 AD, written between I Timothy and II Timothy)
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
God’s ideal for the Christian Church and Christian Workers

a. Paul was in Crete with Titus preaching the gospel for a period of time
                                      i. Paul then left to attend to other matters leaving Titus to establish and build churches in Crete’

b. Paul trusted Titus to continue the mission after he departed
                                      i. Paul instructed Titus to appoint Elders in every city

                                   ii. In other words, establish a church in each town its own Pastor

c. The meaning of Elder
                                      i. Elder, Bishop, Shepherd, Overseer, Presbyter, Pastor are all interchangeable words and simply refer to the Pastor of a local church

                                   ii. Churches can have multiple Elders serving on a board, but there is usually a single Pastor in charge of leading the church with the board of Elders serving as Spiritual leadership and for guidance.

a. The qualifications for Elders is listed in a few different places in scripture
                                      i. Titus 1:5-9; I Timothy 3:1-7; I Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28

                    ii. Various references to different aspects of Eldership qualifications and examples as well as explanations of duties are also found in many various places in scripture as well.


a. Their desire and calling to Eldership is from the Holy Spirit
                                   i. Acts 20:28; I Timothy 3:1; I Peter 5:2

b. Moral and Spiritual character requirements
                                   i. Desire is not enough, sometimes desire is a false desire or the result of a dominating personality, who wants to rule over people.

                                ii. So to protect the church from false desire and unfit men, the Holy Spirit gives us practical objective qualifications for testing the desires and qualifications of candidates.

c. The test

                                   i. A GOOD REPUTATION
1. Above reproach - I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6
2. Respectable - I Timothy 3:2
3. Well thought of by others - I Timothy 3:7

The wall of China is 1,500 miles long and 15-30 feet high, costing the government of China a lot of money, equivalent to 1,359 BILLION dollars of today’s money.

Yet, that wall was breached 3 times because guards accepted bribes.

The Chinese government invested billions in the construction of the Great Wall, but failed to test the moral character of guards, making the wall worthless.

                                ii. FAMILY LIFE: MARITAL AND SEXUAL LIFE
1. The husband of one wife - I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6
2. No polygamists, adulterers, fornicators
a. One wife only
b. No cheating on spouse with married people
c. No cheating on spouse with unmarried people
3. This is a “key” test in a sexually immoral world
4. God demands His shepherds be men above reproach in their marriage and sexual life

                             iii. FAMILY LIFE: CHILDREN
1. He must manage his own household well - I Timothy 3:4
2. His children are raised believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination
3. His children are well behaved and obedient with “all dignity” - I Timothy 3:4-5
4. Meaning, they obey him out of respect and love, not because they were beaten, belittled, or abused into submission
5. Children are a test of a man’s leadership, no father is perfect, but a Christian father who is an Elder must be above reproach as a father in the eyes of the community.
6. Despite normal family issues and problems, he should consistently show that he is a concerned and involved father.
7. No child is perfect either, but we keep them subordinate in “all dignity” and in a respectful manor.

                              iv. PERSONAL LIFE: SELF-CONTROL
1. Sober minded - I Timothy 3:2
2. Self-controlled - Titus 1:8
3. Not greedy for gain - Titus 1:7
4. Not quick tempered - Titus 1:7
5. Not quarrelsome - I Timothy 3:3
6. Not a drunk - I Timothy 3:3
7. Disciplined - Titus 1:8
8. Self-Controlled is a FRUIT of the Holy Spirit, i.e. evidence of His presence - Galatians 5:22-23
9.  Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
10. The biggest wall in China will fail to protect you if you lack in moral character, and if you are a leader in church, like a guard at the great Wall, your lack or morality can put the entire city (church) at risk of attack.
11. Self-control is a good test in many ways and is needed today in many areas;
a. Alcohol
b. Abuse of Authority
c. Anger
d. Money
e. Quarrelsome
f. Balanced Judgment

                                 v. RELATIONAL SKILLS WITH PEOPLE
1. Gentle - I Timothy 3:3
2. Upright - Titus 1:8
3. Not quick tempered - Titus 1:7
4. Not quarrelsome - 1 Timothy 3:3
5. Not arrogant (prideful, conceited, self-willed, self-pleasing) Titus 1:7
6. i.e. “I think”, “I believe”, “I feel”...

                              vi. HOSPITABLE AND LOVING
1. Hospitable - I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8
2. A lover of good - Titus 1:8
3. Inviting people into your home, and being a person who does kind deeds for others, helpful, generous to needy brothers and sisters.
4. John 13:34.35 “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

                           vii. SPIRITUAL MATURITY
1. I Timothy 3:6, not a new convert or he may become conceited and fall into condemnation of the devil.
2. According to the scriptures, an elder needs to be saved for a period of time and have the opportunity to acquire a good reputation among people.
3. Be an example to the flock - I Peter 5:3
                        viii. He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:9
                              ix. Able to teach and define aspects of faith - I Timothy 3:3


Then let them serve. - I Timothy 3:10

The sins of some men are obvious, going out before them for all to see, while others may not appear until later. I Timothy 5:24-25

Paul also warns of “hasty” appointments. Without the testing and qualifications the Holy Spirit tells us to look for, hastily appointing a leader puts the entire church at risk.

 Next week we will see Paul’s instruction to the Elders on rebuking those who fail to do good.

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