Bible Reading Blog
“Put What Remained In Order”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Titus 1
“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained in order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.” (Titus 1.5)
One of the clearest needs in the church is to have elders. It is a role that ought to be discussed as a matter of importance because, according to Paul, there is something complete about having elders in a church. Why?
- It is God’s pattern (Titus 1.5). Paul directed the churches in every town appoint elders (see Acts 14.23). It is the primary service role we see in every NT church. Churches aren’t led by a board of directors or a men’s committee. They are led by spiritual men, living spiritual lives, practicing and teaching spiritual truths.
- The church needs spiritual leadership (Titus 1.6-9). Notice these “qualifications” are spiritual in nature. They don’t speak to a man’s ability to rally people to a cause or inspire them to be great. Instead, they emphasize his personal character that exhibits a profound respect for God’s word and the good of others. The church is different from every other organization on earth. Our mission is to follow Christ and fulfil his purposes. The church doesn’t need men with charisma or clout to lead them (although that can be helpful). It needs men concerned for the souls of people.
- Elders demonstrate the way to live our faith (Titus 1.7-8). These men are appointed because their character traits display a clear way of life. In his wisdom, God understood it is beneficial to have people to look at and model. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says: “Remember your leaders… consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13.7). The church needs leaders committed to living and loving like Jesus (1 Peter 5.2-4).
- The church needs defenders (Titus 1.10-11). This is the emphasis of Paul’s encouragement to Titus. Not everyone in the church has pure motives. There may be wolves in sheep’s clothing that have crept in unnoticed (Matthew 7.15-16; 2 Peter 2.1). There may be those who speak confidently but who are not correct (1 Timothy 1.6-7). This cannot be allowed to persist in the church (Titus 1.11). When evil begins to arise, the church needs to know who will stand up for what is right and good.
When elders are not present, the church is more susceptible to deception and heresy. It is more prone to wander away from truth and lose its direction. Elders provide stability and protection that every church needs. Having said that, we must acknowledge that these things are still possible without elders; but God’s design is that men aspire to these roles and are selected to serve the church in these ways.
This process should never be rushed but should be on our minds as the people of God. As we align with God’s patterns, we become more secure in our fellowship and our faith.