Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20121202.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Titus: God's Directives For Church Leaders In Deteriorating Cultures
Part III: The Qualifications For Constituted Local Church Leaders In Deteriorating Cultures
Lesson: Local church leaders in a deteriorating culture must have the qualifications listed in Titus 1:6-9 that the church might be equipped to be God's pillar and ground of the truth in a needy world.
- The local church plays an incredibly important role in being God's light in a deteriorating culture, and a key component of the local church's ministry is its leadership.
- Accordingly, local church leaders in deteriorating cultures need to have specific qualifications for their key ministry, and Titus 1:6-9 itemizes these for our insight and edification (as follows):
- The Qualifications For Constituted Local Church Leaders In Deteriorating Cultures, Titus 1:6-9.
- Paul left Titus on Crete for ministry, and that Island was in cultural decay as seen in Paul's citation of Cretan poet, Epimenides in Titus 1:12 who wrote, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." ( Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, footnote to Titus 1:12)
- Thus, the local church as God's pillar and foundation of the truth on earth (1 Timothy 3:15) needs for its leaders to be spiritually qualified as torchbearers of that truth before a decaying world culture, and Paul provided those qualifications in Titus 1:6-9 as follows:
- They must be "blameless" (Titus 1:6a KJV), anegkletos, "irreproachable" (Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 63), the "absence of [even an] accusation" of wrongdoing, Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the N. T., 1973, p. 380-381.
- They must be "a one-woman-man" mias gunaikos aner (U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 739) in marital status. Some claim this means "only one wife at a time" to allow for church leaders to have a history of divorce and remarriage, but in 1 Timothy 5:9, the similar phrase used of a widow, henos adros gune, and translated "a one-man-woman" to describe a woman who had been wed only to one man can only mean "being married only once," Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Titus 1:6b. Thus, a local church leader in a deteriorating culture must have been wed to only one woman without divorce, though he may have remarried as a widower, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:39.
- They must have children who believe and who are not even accused (kategoria, Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 424) of asotia ("sensual excess," Ibid., p. 119; Ibid., Trench, p. 53-56) or of being anupotaktos ("disobedient, rebellious," Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 76), Titus 1:6c.
- They must be anegkletos, "blameless" as stewards of God, as those called to oversee the affairs of a local church that belongs to God, Ibid., p. 63; Titus 1:7a.
- They must not be authades ("self-willed," Ibid., p. 120), 1:7b.
- They must not be orgilos, "quick-tempered," Ibid., p. 583; 1:7c.
- They must not be paroinos, "addicted to wine," and by way of application, not a substance abuser of any kind, Ibid., p. 634; Titus 1:7d.
- They must not be plektes, "pugnacious," combative or be bullies, Ibid., p. 675; Titus 1:7e.
- They must not be aischrokerdes, "fond of dishonest gain," Ibid., p. 24; Titus 1:7f.
- They must be philoxenos, "hospitable," Ibid., p. 868; Titus 1:8a.
- They must be philagathos, "loving what is good," Ibid., p. 866; Titus 1:8b.
- They must be sophron, "prudent, thoughtful," Ibid., p. 810; Titus 1:8c.
- They must be dikaios, "righteous," Ibid., p. 194-195; Ibid., U. B. S. Grk. N. T., p. 740; 1:8d.
- They must be hosios, "devout," Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 589; Ibid., Trench, p. 328; 1:8e.
- They must be egkrates, "self-controlled," Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 215; Titus 1:8f.
- They must "hold fast to" (antecho, Ibid., p. 72) the trustworthy message of God's Word as he has been taught so that he can by sound teaching refute those who oppose it, Titus 1:9.
Application: (1) May those who lead in the local church adhere to these qualifications, (2) may we put such men into leadership, and (3) may the rest of the body apply these qualifications in their own lives.