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Titus A Case Study of The Importance of Embracing Godly Principles
Qualifed Elders & Sound Doctrine
~ TITUS: A Case Study in The Importance of Embracing Godly Principles ~
Titus is one of the Apostle Paul's trusted traveling companion. This marvelously succinct, brief, concise and powerful informative Pastoral Epistle was written by the Apostle Paul. It is here one can discover some pertinent necessary intrinsic virtues and godly principles. These are necessary helpful traits one needs in order to encourage others to become a part of the Body of Christ! The Church is made up of members from all over the world that forms the Body of Christ! We are the sheep and He is the Chief Shepherd! JESUS CHRIST is the GREAT HEAD of HIS Church! If you desire a role in leadership; here within Titus there is much spiritual wisdom to ponder.
If you want to live a holy life please read on. Paul was quite adamant that those desiring to lead must do so by example. It is important that we embrace the very principles that we teach! Titus contains a wealth of moral standards to help one become a wise, successful, gallant spiritual leader. Paul actually calls Titus; "A true son in the faith. He provides us with a list of qualifications for elders. This list is confirmed by a similar list in I Timothy 3.
Many want to lead In Preaching, Proclaiming, Teaching and in Worship & Praise! But some still do not want to submit to the Word of God in their personal lives. It is important to realize when this is the case a "seducing spirit" is actually in operation. Genuine worship takes more than mere skill. Therefore be prayerful when commitment to the Lord is shallow. This only encourages and influences carnality rather than spiritual growth. Keep in mind God always knows where we are coming from. It is important to consecrate yourself when rendering service for the Lord.
Here in Titus the Apostle Paul encourages strong committed and dedicated godly spiritual leadership. He also encourages him to confront rebellion as well as unruly false teachers. If our service for the Lord is not really sincere it is in vain. Instead of encouraging the Fruit of the Spirit to manifest, it will encourage the works of the flesh to rise. No doubt we are living in some interesting times in these last days. Some of everything is happening and fewer even respect what has been deemed sacred by God. There are those who will do and say anything anywhere. It is important to seek the will of the Lord in whatever we do in our efforts to serve Him. Truly God is faithful and He deserves the best from us.
Paul astutely and judiciously preached the uncompromising “Good News Gospel” of Jesus Christ in Crete. Crete was well known for its pervasive blatant carnality. “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons. This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith …” Titus 1. Our souls are filters through which we perceive something to be good or evil. As we walk in obedience we become more conscious of what is right and what is wrong, The Light of the Lord becomes brighter. Here we can see that it is or will be times to be quite direct in presenting the Gospel, especially when it is quite evident that one is walking contrary to what the Word of God teaches. This is not to pass judgment but to incite others to be led by the Spirit rather than to walk in the works of the flesh. It is time out for foolishness. Pray sincerely for discernment in order to discern what is of the Lord.
It was important to Paul that they become sound in the Faith! There was still much work to do in and about Crete and Paul delegated the work of the ministry to Titus whom he duly trusted! The noted key verse in Titus: “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town as I have directed you.” Titus 1. There are many similarities between I Timothy and Titus. They both give wonderful instructions and illustrations on how to become an effective principled servant and leader. There is much information here in regards to the organizational structuring of the Church. Implementing and personally embracing moral fitness, integrity and Christian character are important.
Titus was a Greek believer who was faithful to the Word of God. Paul was well aware that in order for the Lord’s Church to continue to grow that its foundational teachings had to be built upon Christ Jesus! Titus was mentored, trained and nurtured by the Apostle Paul. He was one of Paul’s most trustworthy traveling missionary associates. Titus was sent to organize and oversee the growing Church in Crete. Paul complimentarily refers to Titus as being a “True Son!”
Crete is a rather historically interesting place that has a rich intriguing history. It is south from the mainland of Greece. Crete had such a substantial Jewish population at this time. This is possibly why they were able to receive protection from Rome. It was a plenteous, bountiful venue for Missionary work! Paul assigned Titus to appoint qualified Elders in every town where there was a Christian congregation. He was to complete the work that Paul had started.
I must say that Greece is a very beautiful country. Here within this 21st century, we meaning my husband and I, as ministers/elders for the Lord have many very beautiful memories we shared here. It has been very beneficial to experience a plethora of cultures and their various customs. I am most thankful that the Lord has given us the opportunity to see much of this world He has created. It has served to further broaden as well as reinforce the depth of our belief in our Lord and Savior. The Lord has created a beautiful world for our eyes to behold. His creation is magnificent. It really helps you to holdfast even more to the Truth of God's Word. Yet there remains even so much more to learn, see and experience...
Here in Titus we find Paul has expounded upon the desired characteristics, qualifications and personality traits that one needs to become an elder. The term “elder” denotes that the person is qualified to wisely, teach, preach, proclaim and implement the principles of God’s Word within their own lives as well. Today it continues to remain debatable for some if a woman can be an elder. One needs to only familiarize themselves with the Scriptures to see that it was a woman who actually was the first to run and tell the “Good News Gospel” that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead! “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to ALL the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others that were with them that told the Apostles…” Luke 24.
It is important to know as a woman of God you have a right to Preach, Proclaim and Teach... When properly led by the Spirit you are not "usurping authority" but ministering in the Spirit. However, we are to do so representing our Lord as we also keep in mind our femininity is in tact as a woman. God made us equal yet different. "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3. Today as a man or woman of God it is and remains important to represent God in a manner that is pleasing in HIS sight even more so. Especially since there is much continuing ongoing spiritual warfare to attempt to undermine and blur our distinct roles as individuals.
Always keep in mind, God created man & woman to be joined as one in Holy Matrimony through a Covenant Marriage. This is the only marriage between one man and one woman He supports. He does not support the works of the flesh encouraged in same sex unions. This is becoming a common practice. However, if you choose to do so know that you are out of the will of the Lord. Read Romans 1 in detail for more spiritual insight. Again it is very important to know that Word of God is the pure unadulterated TRUTH. We as believers are to holdfast to the principles therein. A lie will keep you in bondage but; "THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!" Remember this as Paul says; "NOT giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the TRUTH. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, and even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. But speak though the things which become sound doctrine..." Galatians 1
The knowledge of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is essentially imperative for Christians! It is a marvelous extraordinary demonstration of authority and power to the principalities that be in both Heaven and earth. Jesus Christ conquered sin, death and the grave. The Word of God is infallible and foolproof! This is not a fairy tale… Jesus Christ actually was crucified on the cross, and then placed in a borrowed tomb! He triumphantly rose from the dead after being in the grave for three days. He then arose victoriously with all power! When you truly accept Jesus Christ into your heart you are given the gift of Eternal Life and the benefits of Salvation. Upon the professing of our faith, belief and trust in God we receive His Holy Spirit. He resides within us! The Comforter is the internal, eternal Spiritual Teacher and Guide that can direct us to ALL TRUTH! We no longer have to live in bondage by the proclivity towards sin that was welcomed into the world via Adam & Eve. We can call upon Him 24/7 to "SAVE" us from the power of sin reigning within our lives! Sin is anything that separates us from God and allows us to fall short and “miss the mark.”
Embracing the principles of God’s Word is the authority by which the Church can effectively witness to the world! We cannot of ourselves be saved. It must come through our acceptance and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Gospel will and can transform your life. As believers we are to uphold the Word of God as Sacred & Holy! It is here in this marvelous book of Titus Paul, outlines and gives us the necessary qualifications to organize, properly maintain as well as oversee a congregation of believers.
There was much of the world still existing within the Church at Crete! There were many devout Jews who still did not accept that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh. Titus was assigned to be on the lookout for the false doctrines that were being taught in error. This still remains the same in many of our congregations today. The opinions of others should never override the “Gospel” Nor should monetary gain be the motivating desire or the need to have authority over others be the driving force behind any ministry! The Church belongs to God. He promises to “supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus our Lord…” The spiritual blessings are unlimited and they are priceless! This is why it always will be so very important to develop and ongoing up close personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through His Word! You can only teach and embrace sound doctrine by knowing the Word of God for yourself. A strong believer and committed effective pastor/minister/teacher or one who simply proclaims the Good News Gospel of the Lord’s Word must be rooted and grounded in the FAITH!
Paul begins the Epistle to Titus by asserting a complimentary salutation: “To Titus my true son in our common FAITH: Grace and Peace from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Titus 1. Here from the very beginning Paul embarks by expressing his desire for Titus to carry out and complete the work of the ministry that he had started. The need for qualified Elders to be appointed was of the utmost priority! The listed qualifications of fidelity, patience, self-control, honesty, meekness, commitment and obedience to God’s Word are evident.
As a matter a fact Paul makes a brutal statement. “For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced; because they are ruinning whole households by teaching things they ought not teach and that for the sake of dishonest gain. Even one of your own prophets has said that Cretans are all liars…” Titus 1
Paul knew that Titus’ journey would be tedious. His calling to the Church in Crete would not be without difficulties, disagreements or persecution! He reminded him of the importance of embracing and modeling the very principles he taught! He was to be led by the Spirit of the Lord! It is through the redemptive work of the Lord we have the benefit of the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus! The Holy Spirit continually washes away our sins and renews us as we repent of any sin and walk in obedience in accordance with the principles of His Word!
Paul warns Titus not to get pulled in and bogged down by arguing the Truth of the Gospel. There were those who sought to be very divisive. This persists today as well. There are those who will do whatever it is that they feel is necessary, and go so far to manipulate others to submit to them. This goes against what God has said! We are to encourage others to draw closer to the Lord. When we assemble together it should be to worship the Lord "In Spirit and in Truth", hear the Word of God, fellowship and grow closer to the Lord, then share our belief with others! We are held accountable to God for all our actions. God is totally aware of all of our motives. This is why it is so important that we spend time with the Lord daily. God does not need any of us. We all need Christ Jesus as our personal Savior! He is the only Way to the Father!
It is here in Titus we are presented with the qualifications of an Elder. We are not to compromise the Word of God! There was some serious problems within the Church at Crete. Many false teachers and teachings were “ruining households.” Paul urged Titus to teach “sound doctrine!” The love between husband and wife and family life was important! He taught the older men & women, younger men & women the morals, principles and virtues of living a godly self-controlled life. Just look at the many households today that have become divided. God's design for marriage has not changed. He allows us the freedom to choose but there are consequences for our choices. If you want your marriage and or family to flourish apply or begin applying the principles of God's Word to your life. God will meet you wherever you are and can take you where you need to be! It is never too late to start anew! Christianity is meant to be a daily lifestyle. Customs and traditions change but the principles of the Word of God remains the same. “It will not return void.”
Divisiveness to gain control over others is contrary to the Word of God. It results in confusion, anger, frustration, and hurt. Using a ministry role to manipulate others or sanction the works of the flesh is wrong. It hinders spiritual growth and also renders one ineffective in their ability to properly minister to others as God intended! “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless, Warn a devisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him (her). You are sure that such a man (woman) is warped and sinful; he (she) is self-condemned.” Titus 3.
"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men..." Jude 3. Many often misconstrue meekness. God wants us to diligently exercise self-control God really does know what is best for each of us! As long as the Lord has us here on this side of Heaven it is to learn, grow spiritually and live our lives to please Him! There is always room for improvement. We are all forever “becoming!”
It is God that qualifies those that He calls. We are not to be; overbearing, quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, and one that does not pursue dishonest gain. We are to be; self-controlled, hospitable, upright & Holy. This does not mean that we can not have anything because God has many blessings in store for us as we seek Him above all else. Being holy does not mean being flawless... It means that God expects us to hold fast to the teachings of His Word and sin less! We must put things in their proper perspective! Many often confuse being Holy with being above others. Saints are supposed to embrace holiness. Being Holy means that we are consecrated and set apart for God. You do not just say or do anything, Nor do you allow others to push or manipulate you. Self control is an admirable virtue. We are dedicated and committed to living our lives to please Him above all others! "To whom much is given, much is required..."
The Gospel stands on its own merit. Titus is a rich invigorating, astute Epistle of vital and treasured infallible Scriptures that should be embraced! It contains a wealth of enriching, powerful, enlightening inspirational spiritual wisdom! Here you can discover vital Biblical principles of integrity for problem solving, daily living, being a responsible effective Christian leader and the work of the ministry! With God, "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!" as or when we continually allow HIS HOLY SPIRIT to continually renew our hearts and minds! Therefore we live each day; “To GOD be the GLORY!” ~