Today we read Titus 1:5-9
v5: Titus stayed in Crete for two very specific purposes.
1)Some things in the church in Crete were incomplete or lacking and needed to be sorted out. 2) In every city there should be elders(overseers) who represent the believing community. Elders have authority – although this authority does not negate what we would call the “priesthood of all believers” (1Peter 2:5). We are all individually responsible to G-d, but we are also all called to submit to authority.
v6: Elders (also called bishops or overseers) are men. In this verse Paul is dealing with some of the characteristics or qualifications for those who would be eligible for eldership.
· The husband of one wife – a man who has never been divorced (this is disregarded by many churches today).
· Faithful children
· Dissipation means overindulgent in sensual pleasures (drunkenness and sexual pleasures) as well as squandering money, energy and resources. (IE improper, immoral or unethical in his behavior)
· Insubordination – this means someone who does not recognize or submit to authority. As believers we need to humble ourselves and submit to authority – G-dly authority and secular
(We obey secular authority completely – up to the point where it is in conflict with obedience to the Word of G-d. In this case, G-dly authority trumps secular)
v7: Elders oversee a congregation or a series of congregations.
· A steward is an agent – someone who is employed under G-d’s authority.
· Not self-willed, egotistical or full of himself.
· Doesn’t get angry quickly and lash out at others
· Someone who is not near wine
· Not violent – Someone who is violent settles issues by physical means or physical confrontation. An elder is not to settle things in this way.
· Money/profit. His decisions and behavior should not be motivated by financial gain.
v8: Hospitality includes a love of strangers and foreigners (Hebs 13:2)
· A lover of good – people who are committed to G-d’s will
· Soberminded – stable in his thought process. He makes decisions founded on truth.
· Just – renders fair judgement when needs to do so
· Holy – Pious. He is not casual about spiritual matters. He is deeply concerned about religious truth (dogma) and is also concerned about how he or others apply it to their lives
· Self-controlled – he is able to overcome temptation and is not easily defeated by the schemes of the enemy.
v9: He needs to hold tightly to sound doctrine/teachings, so that he himself is able to encourage others to remain faithful, as well as being able to convict/discipline or encourage those who are in error to turn away from their error. As elders they need to be men who are willing to confront those who speak against the truth of Scripture.