Instruct and Rebuke (Titus 1:9)
Paul had left his coworker and his true child in the common faith, Titus on the island of Crete. Paul was working for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth. He was working for their godliness. He was pointing them to the hope of eternal life. Titus had a similar role. While it was Paul’s job to plant in the field Titus was to water the field. One of Titus’s main jobs was to appoint elders in every town. Paul had given him a list of qualifications for the men that he was to select. They were to be above reproach both in their family life and in their personal lives. Their character was supposed to be godly. The list of qualifications would help ensure that Titus was appointing those that were actually Christians. Now some wolves wear sheep’s clothing and they can be very deceiving but the qualifications would help to identify those that were only pretenders. We can see that Paul has the false teachers in mind because in the very next paragraph he begins to talk about them. The reality of false teachers and false Christians was something that Titus would have to confront and he needed to be prepared. As we have looked at these qualifications we can see that they break down into three main categories. The first category was about relationships and how the man would interact with his own family. The second category was about the man’s character. What was this person all about? What quality of a person is this? That leads us to the last category. Does the candidate for Elder know God’s word, stand by God’s word, and use God’s word? As we will see this last qualification has many implications. It also contains two jobs that the Elder must do or at least be able to do. Remember that this list of qualifications it’s not just for those who are seeking to become overseers. It is all too easy for us to just look at the title or the office and say that since we’re not looking to do that then we can just dismiss these qualifications from our own life. But as we will see as we step back and look at all the qualifications they are just describing what it means to strive for a holy life. As Hebrews 12:14 says we need to strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. And so that is exactly what we see described here in this list of Elder traits. Everyone, men and women, the elderly, the parents of young children, the singles in their twenties, the children, and everyone in between should be taking these qualities and should be seeking to develop these in your own lives. Where we fall short we need to work on growing those areas. And so as we finish this last set of qualifications, I encourage you to examine yourself. Use this word of God as a ruler and measure your own life against it.