Our Guide and Goal

12 July 2020 AM – Titus 1:6-9 – Tit20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Titus to the missionary Titus. They shared a common faith in Christ, a common blessing from God and a common burden for the Christians on the Island of Crete. Titus had the job of completing the church planting work begun by Paul and making sure that every congregation had a pastor. The pronouns used for the elder or pastor are all masculine because God has chosen that men be preacher not women.
            In verses 6-9, the Apostle Paul outlines a guide for selecting pastors. While these qualifications form a required guide for a pastor’s character, they also form a practical goal for every Christian’s character.
Transition: This morning as we look at this guide for a pastor’s character, I challenge you to view it as a goal for your own character.
The first required guide and practical goal addresses…
  1. Domestic Character (v.6)
a.          Blameless: This does not mean sinless, but rather not charged with a fault. Context suggests that this may refer primarily to his marriage and home life.
b.          The husband of one wife. Jesus affirmed that marriage is for life. (Matthew 19:6) “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Only death truly breaks a marriage bond. A pastor must not be divorced and remarried.
c.           Having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
1)         The word “faithful” may mean believing. If this is the case, then his children must be Christians. The word “faithful” can also refer to being reliable and trustworthy. Either or both may be implied.
2)         While a child is living at home, he is to obey his parents. He should not be justly accused of being wild or unruly.
  • These are a required guide to a pastor’s domestic character. They ought also to be a goal for every Christian. If you have made family mistakes, confess them to God and seek to do right from now on.
2.        Public Character (v.7)
a.          Blameless as a steward of God.
1)         A steward manages all that his master puts into his hands. Joseph (Genesis 39) was a good example of a faithful steward.
2)         As a steward of God, the pastor must recognize that all that he has comes from God and he must use it for God. He must be blameless in his stewardship of his time, possessions, ambitions, and talents.
b.          Not selfwilled.
1)         A pastor must live by the Bible and defend it, but he must not demand his own way in non-biblical issues. He is to promote God’s Word and God’s way, not his own.
2)         He must receive suggestions and criticisms yet without compromising his biblical convictions.
c.           Not soon angry. He must not have a quick temper. (Proverbs 14:17) “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.” Anger us usually the result of selfishness because something did not go our way.
d.          Not given to wine. This phrase literally means “not alongside wine.” A careful study of wine in the Bible will reveal that the best choice for all Christians today is to abstain totally from all alcohol. Drinking is not wise.
e.          No striker. Not quick-tempered, explosive, or looking for a fight. (Proverbs 14:29) “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
f.            Not given to filthy lucre. A man who is greedy of money ought not to enter the pastoral ministry. Pastoral ministry is a calling not an occupation (cf., 1 Corinthians 9:16). The Apostle Peter wrote the following to pastors. (1 Peter 5:2) “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
  • God’s guidelines for a pastor’s public character ought to be your goal for your own public character.
The third required guide and practical goal addresses…
3.        Personal Character (v.8)
a.          Lover of hospitality. This phrase literally means “loving strangers.” There was a great need in Paul’s day to love Christian strangers. Many Christians were poor having lost their job due to faith in Christ. Many were Christian refugees. Many were widows and orphans (products of martyrdom). Itinerate preachers were common.
b.          Lover of good men. This applies not only to good men, but it also applies to anything else that is good (e.g., good books, good music, virtue). (1 John 2:15) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
c.           Sober.
1)         This depicts a serious attitude and earnestness about his work. This does not mean he has no sense of humor, or that he is always solemn and somber.
2)         He does not cheapen the ministry or the Gospel message by foolish behaviour.
d.          Just. He is upright in his dealings with all people. He is a man of integrity who sticks by his word and who practices what he preaches.
e.          Holy. He is separate from sin. He is different from unbelievers because he is a new creature by the grace of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
f.            Temperate.
1)         This word refers to one who is in control of his passions and appetites.
2)         He is “disciplined.”
a)         He must discipline his time (get his work done).
b)         He must discipline his desires (food, hobbies, materialism, etc.).
c)         He must discipline his mind and body (thoughts, lust, desires, appetites, etc.). (Psalms 101:3) “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
  • God requires that the pastor live an example so that those under him might follow his example. These personal character qualities are a required guide for a pastor but they are also a practical goal for you as well.
The fourth required guide and practical goal addresses…
4.        Pastoral Character (v.9)
The pastor’s ministry includes building up the church with biblical doctrine, and refuting the unbiblical doctrine and false teachers.
a.          Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught.
1)         This term “holding fast” literally means to “hold firmly” or “to cleave to.”
2)         The “faithful word” is the Word of God. It is faithful or reliable. It will never fail.
3)         A preacher must learn the faithful Word before he can cleave to it. Preachers as well as other Christians must learn God’s Word in two ways.
a)         We must learn God’s Word by personal study. (2 Timothy 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Do you schedule Bible reading and pray into your daily routine?
b)         We must learn God’s Word by personal listening. Being in church for every service enables you to listen and learn. Specialised training as in a Biblical Bible institute or Bible college is very valuable.
b.          Able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers.
1)         A gainsayer is one who speaks against, contradicts, or denies biblical doctrine. He may be a false teacher.
2)         The preacher must exhort (i.e., beg or admonish) the gainsayers through personal confrontation.
3)         He must convince (i.e., refute or correct) the gainsayers. To do this, he must hold firmly God’s Word.
  • Just as the preacher must know the Bible in order to defend it and deal with gainsayers, so this ought to be your goal as well. Do not settle to be an ignorant saint.
Conclusion: God has given us these guidelines for choosing a pastor, but they must also be goals for your personal life. (1 Peter 1:15) “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” I challenge you to review ponder these verses and ask God to help you reach these goals in your own life.
Song: Have I Done My Best – 368