Titus 1 - Church Leadership
1Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The apostle solemnly charges Timothy to be diligent, though many will not bear sound doctrine. (1-5) Enforces the charge from his own martyrdom, then at hand. (6-8) Desires him to come speedily. (9-13) He cautions, and complains of such as had deserted him; and expresses his faith as to his own preservation to the heavenly kingdom. (14-18) Friendly greetings and his usual blessing. (19-22)
People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.
The blood of the martyrs, though not a sacrifice of atonement, yet was a sacrifice of acknowledgment to the grace of God and his truth. Death to a good man, is his release from the imprisonment of this world, and his departure to the enjoyments of another world. As a Christian, and a minister, Paul had kept the faith, kept the doctrines of the gospel. What comfort will it afford, to be able to speak in this manner toward the end of our days! The crown of believers is a crown of righteousness, purchased by the righteousness of Christ. Believers have it not at present, yet it is sure, for it is laid up for them. The believer, amidst poverty, pain, sickness, and the agonies of death, may rejoice; but if the duties of a man's place and station are neglected, his evidence of interest in Christ will be darkened, and uncertainty and distress may be expected to cloud and harass his last hours.
The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ. Paul was guided by Divine inspiration, yet he would have his books. As long as we live, we must still learn. The apostles did not neglect human means, in seeking the necessaries of life, or their own instruction. Let us thank the Divine goodness in having given us so many writings of wise and pious men in all ages; and let us seek that by reading them our profiting may appear to all.
There is as much danger from false brethren, as from open enemies. It is dangerous having to do with those who would be enemies to such a man as Paul. The Christians at Rome were forward to meet him, (), but when there seemed to be a danger of suffering with him, then all forsook him. God might justly be angry with them, but he prays God to forgive them. The apostle was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, that is, of Nero, or some of his judges. If the Lord stands by us, he will strengthen us in difficulties and dangers, and his presence will more than supply every one's absence.
Verses 14-18:Ac 28
We need no more to make us happy, than to have the Lord Jesus Christ with our spirits; for in him all spiritual blessings are summed up. It is the best prayer we can offer for our friends, that the Lord Jesus Christ may be with their spirits, to sanctify and save them, and at last to receive them to himself. Many who believed as Paul, are now before the throne, giving glory to their Lord: may we be followers of them.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start in the book of Titus with Chapter 1 and in our text we see Paul writing to Titus on the Isle of Crete, instructing Him about Leadership in the Church with the qualifications for Church leadership and warning of false teachers. In making application we see the pattern for leadership the warning of false teachers who have other motivations than to preach the Gospel. Today, many false teachers fill our pulpits and preach for personal gain but true leadership will be in accordance to scripture and will be known buy the lifting up of Christ which will produce fruit in the lives of others. How about you? Do you see the guidelines for true Church Leadership? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of Paul who gives us guidelines for those who are going into the Ministry and those who serve that the Bibles gives us guidelines for our Church leaders to measure themselves and for the Church to recognize false teachers in our Churches.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.