Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get The Church In Order

Titus Chapter One

It is apparent that Paul and Titus had been together in the ministry on the island of Crete. The problem is that the Bible does not record this time for us in the book of Acts, so we don’t know exactly how long they were there. This is proof that the book of Acts does not record everything that took place during those first years of the church. In fact the book mainly focuses on the ministry of two men. Peter at the first of the book, and Paul at the end.

We don’t have to read very deep into these scriptures before we discover that these were not the best people. Paul tells us that these people were known for being liars, gluttons and lazy. That’s a pretty rough description. Paul obviously left Titus in Crete. Sometime after departing he writes this letter to him. It has been estimated that this letter was written sometime around A.D. 64-67.

The Bible doesn’t reveal to us a lot about this young man named Titus. It seems that he was a little stronger person than was Timothy. Titus seems to be stronger both physically and spiritually. Paul expressed concern for the welfare of Timothy, but Titus seems more mature. We know that Titus was a Greek since Paul refused to circumcise him in Jerusalem. But that is about all we know.

Paul’s main reason for writing this letter was to tell Titus to establish order in the church. Everything God does He does with order. The church is no exception. I don’t understand why people feel like the church is exempt from this rule.

The world we live was created by a God of order. Nature and science teach us that the world is one of order. Mankind is a creature that needs order. If we were all just left to ourselves chaos would ensue. The church is built upon certain principles and rule. The church should be a place of order. The people in the church should conduct themselves in an orderly basis.

In the first chapter of Titus the main focus is on the need to establish elders in the church. It seems that there were men already acting as elders, but they had not been ordained for that work. These men had the gift of leadership, and they were exercising their gifts. Again, in order to keep the church orderly it is not enough to exercise your gift. These men needed to be set aside, ordained, for the work God had called them to do.

In order to be used of God for this work these men must be: blameless, they must have faithful children, they should not be self willed, not easily angered and not covetous. God sets for high standards for this high office.

Because God is faithful, He expects his man to be faithful as well. According to verse 9 the preacher and teacher must be faithful. They should be faithful in building up the church by teaching the word. They also must be faithful to defend against false teaching. It takes both these things to have a successful ministry and a successful church.

According to verse 13 Titus was going to have to be a little rough with these people. They were rough people; therefore they had to be treated roughly. I would imagine the man that preaches in the prison should preach a little rougher than the man preaching to a room of kindergarten students.

Lastly, Paul warns them about false doctrine. The biggest problem this church had, and is still a big problem today, was that they were trading the truth of the Bible for man’s tradition. When Jesus was upon this earth He warned constantly about trading scripture for tradition. The Pharisees had a problem with this. Many churches today have this same problem. It may surprise you, but many Baptist churches have trouble with this. Just because some man you look up to preached something does not make it right. You would be amazed at some of the things I have heard preached and taught. We as God’s people must be careful to side with the Bible, not with what some else has said.

This problem is more than just preachers preaching tradition or preferences. It happens in our families. “Well, I know what the Bible says, but Grandma said this…” “Momma always told me…” We must side with the Bible, not with Momma. This may seem like a little thing, and not worth discussing. This was the biggest problem Jesus was faced with in His day, and it is still a big problem today.

Let me finish by saying again everything God does He does with order. God desires order in your home, your church and in your life.

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