The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Titus 1:1-16
A continuation in our study of the Church As It Was Supposed To Be
Family Leadership Titus 1:1-16
1 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, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
We change gears here now and start into a small but the packed epistle to Titus, one of Paul’s companions and seemingly a pastor/elder in Crete. Paul had planted a church there with the preaching of the Gospel, but like every start up it was time to give that assembly of new believers some leadership and some order (See Titus 1:5). Titus, like 1+2 Timothy are written to pastors and they were written later than Paul’s earlier epistles. They contain instructions to Timothy and Titus to “Order” the Church with proper and qualified leadership, as well as other commands to create healthy church plants.
In our passage we see that Paul is instructing Titus to “Put what remained in order” the Church in Crete. Biblical Churches have order and qualified leadership. There are many that point to verses like 1 Corinthians 14:26 advocating a more chaotic series of events with no clear leadership or teachers/preachers. Like any other passage context means everything and the 1 Corinthian passage is not dealing particularly with church government, but the un-orderliness of the Corinthian gatherings. It’s evident in Paul’s later writings to Timothy and Titus that it was time to order churches so that they could remain healthy, and give them theologically strong men with good character to “give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it,” which is one of the roles of biblical elders. The qualifications of an Elder in our passage include Character, Chemistry with one another and competencies such as theological acumen in order to guard the truth well. There is one more thing to note; notice the plural “Elders.” Churches are not meant to be run with one person in the lead, but a team of qualified persons to lead the church in a godly manner.
Questions For Study
- What are some of the things that make for a healthy Church?
- What is the role of an Elder?
- What is the role of every member?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?