Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/mensupport/20060811.m.htm
MEN'S LEADERSHIP SUPPORT GROUP
Part XII: Functioning Effectively As A Leader In A Deteriorating Culture
B. Staying Fully Committed To Scripture Opposite A Decaying Culture's Errant Outlook
Lesson: In view of the cultural decadence of the area, and in view of the advantage that false, legalistic Judaizers were taking of that bent in the culture to peddle their errant Judaistic legalism to where they upset whole households of confused new believers, Paul urged Titus to appoint elders in every town who were TOTALLY committed in LIFE and THOUGHT to the PURE TRUTH of WRITTEN SCRIPTURE that they might COUNTER such religious error with GOD'S TRUTH!
- Isaiah 8:20 warns us that unless our basic focus in life is written Scripture, we function in utter darkness!
- In a decaying culture, such a truth is especially evident; Paul indicated to Titus that men who were fully committed to Scripture were needed to counter Crete's spiritually decaying cultural outlook (as follows):
- Staying Fully Committed To Scripture Opposite A Decaying Culture's Errant Outlook, Titus 1:5-16.
- Paul had noted that Titus lived on Crete among deceitful, abusive, intemperate folk, Titus 1:12-13!
- Such a situation demanded an effective practical antidote, and Paul suggested it in the form of the appointment of elders in every city who were fully committed to Scripture (as follows), Titus 1:5-16:
- Paul reminded Titus that he had left him on Crete expressely to appoint elders in every city, Titus 1:5.
- Now, these elders were to be totally committed to the Word of God in their lives and beliefs, 1:6-9:
- First, the elders were to be totally committed to the Word of God in their LIVES: (1) They were to have orderly personal reputations: they were to be without deceit, abusiveness and lack of self-control that was so typical of those in Crete's decaying culture, Titus 1:6a, 12-13a. This would require them not only to believe in Christ as Savior, but to depend upon the Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:3-4! (2) They were to have orderly homes: (a) they were to be husbands of one wife (b) with believing children who were not accused of being riotous or unruly, Titus 1:6b,c. (3) They were to have orderly ministries: instead of being (a) self-willed, (b) quick-tempered, (c) substance abusers, (d) violent or (e) dishonest in business, they were (f) to love hospitality, (g) to love what was good, (h) to be self-controlled, (i) upright, (j) separate from sin and (l) disciplined, Titus 1:7-8 ESV.
- Then, the elders were to be totally committed to the Word of God in their THINKING: (1) Paul wrote that these elders were to be men who held firmly to the trustworthy Word of God just as they had been taught in Paul's ministry, Titus 1:9a. (2) This firm adherence to the Word was needed so that these men might be able to use healthy teaching to instruct others and to stand against the errors of those who would contradict it in their lives and thinking, Titus 1:9b.
- The REASON for the appointment of such elders was the need to COUNTER the false teachers who took advantage of the decadent Cretian culture to upset whole households of naive, new Christians:
- Paul held that many "insubordinate", "empty talkers" and "deceivers" particularly of the Judaizing realm were to be silenced from upsetting whole families for false financial gain, Titus 1:10-11 ESV.
- Such activity took advantage of the cultural decay of Crete's culture with its bent for deceit, abuse and the lack of self-control; this bent was to be countered by men committed to the truth, 1:12-13a.
- Indeed, such elders were required to administer sharp rebukes unto those who upset whole families of weak, naive Cretian believers in peddling false Judaisitic legalism, for such weak believers in particular needed to be sure of the alternate, godly view taught by men dedicated to God's Biblical truth so that these new converts could overcome their decadent culture of darkness, Titus 1:13b.
- Such a rebuke was designed to shift men away from unhealthy teaching and extrabiblical views (myths) and rules of false Judaizers who were unbiblical, confusing and upsetting, Titus 1:14-16.
Application: (1) In today's decaying world cultures where legalistic deceivers abound, taking advantage of naive, weak, new believers, GOD wants MEN who are FULLY COMMITTED in LIFE and THOUGHT to SCRIPTURE to STAND for God's TRUTH before others around them! (2) May we then be "men of the Bible", and FIRMLY FOCUS on that in EVERY way for the sake of OTHERS!