Paul’s instruction to the church

[Titus:1:1-16]; [Titus:2:1-15].
Please read this bible passage before reading the notes.

Notes:
This letter to Titus is said to be one of the last written by Paul. Paul was an old man now and had spent many years preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles.

We learn from [Acts:2:11] that there were Cretans in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost who heard the disciples speak in their own language the wonderful works of God. We have no record who founded the churches in Crete, but it could be that some of the converts from Pentecost carried the Gospel back to that island.

We learn from this Epistle that Paul had visited Crete, and the churches there were under his jurisdiction.

On this visit Paul did not have time to set everything in order among the churches, so he left Titus to finish the work, and appointed bishops and elders in the different places of worship.

God’s Perfect Plan
Paul’s standard in any line of Gospel work has always been the very highest. It was his desire to adhere closely to the pattern God had laid out.

In God’s great plan of creation, we can see how He worked systematically, orderly, and with a reference to the whole plan in view. Likewise, His Gospel was not something put together hurriedly to meet the needs of the hour, but with divine wisdom God planned a Gospel that could thwart every attack of the enemy and bring man out on the victory side. His plan has stood the test of ages, and is as fresh and effectual as it was when given.

Partaker of the Fruits To be a leader among the people one must first be a partaker of the fruits of the Gospel. How can one teach others if he has not first been taught?

Sometimes a young convert feels the call of God on his life and he immediately wants to go out and preach. He wants to become a teacher before he is taught; or, in other words, he wants to “run before he is sent.” His enthusiasm and zeal are admirable but he must have a knowledge of the deeper truths of God’s Word to be able to teach others the way of righteousness and also meet the many conflicts he will have with the enemy.

Inward Qualifications of a Minister
The first requisite is the new birth. Nicodemus was a teacher in the synagogue but Jesus told him he must be born again or he could not see the Kingdom of God. The heart must be changed. The Spirit of God must bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. The next step is sanctification, which eradicates the Adamic nature and purifies the heart from the principle of sin. After the disciples had those two definite experiences wrought out in their hearts, Jesus said to them, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” This was the mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, which they received on the Day of Pentecost. It gave them power for service. These are the foundation stones in a Christian experience.

Divine Help to Preach
Paul exhorted Timothy to “preach the word.” In order to preach the Word one must have a clear knowledge of the Word. That does not necessarily mean he must attend a theological school, but it does mean that on his knees he must implore divine help to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

One may have a thorough knowledge of the Word but lack the unction of the Spirit to impart that knowledge to others. It takes the “warmth” of the Spirit to stir souls to action. Just as it takes the sunshine to arouse little plants to grow, so it takes the Spirit to awaken hearts to the call of the Gospel. The language may be simple and plain but the power of the Spirit back of the words will be like a mighty derrick to lift souls out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light.

Outward Qualifications
The instructions Paul gave to Titus as a minister apply to all ministers, workers and members of the body of Christ. The living example is imperative before the message will have its effect on the hearer. One must walk uprightly before the world. His business dealings must be straight and aboveboard: no delinquent bills or debts, no underhanded way of taking advantage of anyone, no shady dealings.

Daniel is a good example of Christian conduct in high places. One hundred and twenty princes and two presidents could find no fault with the way he handled the king’s business.

Trustworthiness is admired alike by Christians and the world. It gives confidence to know that a man is what he professes to be -– a Christian in the true sense of the word.

To be called to the ministry is a high calling because the minister is the representative of the eternal God and a teacher of the eternal truths -– the Word of God. There is none greater than God, and no message greater than His Word, the Bible.

The Husband of One Wife
In our land today the society permits either bigamy or polygamy, and allows divorce for almost any trifling thing. But the Bible forbids both and grants divorce in monogamy for one reason only -– fornication, with no remarriage. A bishop must not have more than one wife. (Read [Matthew:19:4-9].) A man who marries and then divorces his wife and marries another woman disqualifies himself as a minister of the Gospel, and also disqualifies himself as a citizen of Heaven [Galatians:5:19-21]).

Obedient Children
God chose Abraham as a leader because He knew he would command his household. Does He not want leaders today who will do the same thing? The law gave implicit instructions how to teach the Word to the children [Deuteronomy:6:7]). The New Testament says, “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” It takes divine wisdom and a steady hand to train a child. Who admires an unruly child? Our educators today advise giving the child freedom. The Bible says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” [Proverbs:13:24]).

Not a Lover of Money
“Not given to filthy lucre.” Paul tells Timothy: “The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” [1 Timothy:6:10]). The love of money will cause some people to pamper the rich and neglect the poor.

When John the Baptist was in prison he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to know if He was the Christ. Jesus sent word back. “The poor have the gospel preached to them.”

Solomon said: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” [Proverbs:22:1]).

Paul desired to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, which would enrich other souls. “I would rather have Jesus than silver or gold,” should be every minister’s motto.

Hospitality
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” [Hebrews:13:2]). Who of us have not felt the warmth of hospitality when someone has said, “The latchstring is on the outside.” When a burdened soul enters the home of a minister, a warm handshake and a “God bless you” helps to lift the load.

Vain Talkers
A minister will meet false teachers, false brethren, many vain and unruly talkers and deceivers who will subvert whole houses unless they are stopped. Paul says, “Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” It takes wisdom, courage, and a knowledge of the truth to be able to rebuke the false.

In speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” No. A man who was fearless and strong, a man who could stand up to the Pharisees and say, “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

Closing Exhortation
Finally, “Preach the Word.” A minister’s mission is to win souls for Jesus. If he keeps the faith channels clear his ministry will neither be barren nor unfruitful.

The Christian life must be lived. It has been said that men do not read their Bible but they read your life. Give your heart to the Master and look for your reward in Heaven.

Questions: 
1. Describe the character of the Cretans.
2. How do you think they might have first heard the Gospel?
3. Why did Paul leave Titus in Crete?
4. Why is the calling to the ministry a high calling?
5. Name some of the inward qualifications of a minister.
6. Name some of the outward qualifications of a minister.
7. Why is a minister a servant of all?
8. What instructions does the Old Testament give for teaching the Word to children?
9. Tell how aged men and women should act.
10. Tell how young men and young women should act.

Adapted from; Apostolic Faith Church

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