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We are in our third day of Titus chapter 1. Today we will be looking at the qualifications of an Elder or pastor. We will be asking questions of the text such as,what are the qualifications of our pastor or elder, who decided the qualifications or characteristics of this position? Why are they important to the life of the church? Why does it matter that I know this?
Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine. Is it really that important? The answer to that question is, Yes, doctrine does matter and is very important. Most of us are looking for a message that will lift us up and encourage us as we struggle with daily life. Encouragement is important but there comes a time when our walk with the Lord must have balance. We do not need all encouragement with no doctrine and vice versa, we do not need all doctrine and no encouragement. It is not just about us and our felt needs. As a believer, there is a bigger picture. The glory and honor of God through our conforming to the truths in His word. Learning what is pleasing to Him. In Titus, we will learn what pleases God with respect to the church. Our first look will be at the Elders or pastors that are stewards of the church of God.
Paul has left Titus on the island of Crete with a very important work. He is to set in order what remained and appoint elders. There is order that is prescribed for the church. God has set in place His order and the way He desires the running of a church congregation. We cannot decide how we want to do things. We must go to the word of God and order it according to God’s requirements.
A Look at the Elder.
Right out of the gate Paul gives Titus quite a list of qualifications for the overseer or the steward of God’s church. The bride of Christ.
Titus 1:6-9-namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
In these verses, we see what our pastor/elder is to be and not to be. We have godly characteristics versus ungodly characteristics. These characteristics reflect a man who is a follower of Jesus Christ and one that is not. I am not saying that he is perfect, no one is perfect. But, his overall life should be in the “to be list” and not in the “not to be list“. The character of our lives reflects whether or not we are serious about our walk with Christ. Pastors are to be men who are serious about their walk with the Lord and desire to lead us to Him.
Titus 1:9 teaches that the elder is to hold fast the faithful word. He is to stand on it, grip it tightly because he knows that it is completely trustworthy and reliable.
Why Hold Fast the Faithful Word?
Verses 9-14 answer the question, why hold fast to the faithful word? The pastor/elder is to exhort, urge us on in sound doctrine. He is to encourage us and guide us to the pure word of God. He is also to refute, prove wrong, those who contradict the true word of God.
There are so many false teachers today. They are not holding onto the pure word of God.They are distorting it and letting go of its purity and trustworthiness to draw a crowd that wants their flesh petted. They are doing it to bring honor to themselves.This man is leading the crowd to himself, not to Christ.
Who decided on these characteristics?
In a word,God decided what a true elder/pastor is to look like. How he is to order his life and lead the church. God is the final authority in everything, not man. Especially when it comes to the church. Remember back in verses 1-3 we learned that God gave the proclamation of the word to Paul, not the other way around. Paul was committed to holding fast the word of God.
Why does it matter that we know the doctrine or teaching of godly leadership?
First and foremost for the glory and honor of God. We are called to be a workman, Bereans, those who study Gods word. I have a responsibility before the Lord in what I expose myself and my children to. We do not want to be led astray by false doctrine. God gives us His word to protect us. We need to protect that which was graciously given to us.
Praise God that He has given us true faithful words that guide us and teach us.
I pray that walking through this book of Titus is a blessing to you.
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