Almighty God, help me to hold fast to the truth of Your Word.
Read Titus 1:5–16
Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good
10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Titus 1:5 Or ordain
Titus 1:6 Or children are trustworthy
Titus 1:12 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy should church leaders be sound in what they believe and consistent in how they live?
Titus’s key job on Crete was to appoint elders in every town (5)—to set in place leadership that will bring flourishing to the churches as they are led by godly men. In verses 6 to 9, Paul gives him a detailed list of characteristics to look for in those leaders. Try to summarize the big themes detailed in the list.
The overarching role of these leaders is detailed at the end of verse 9; they are to encourage people with sound doctrine, they are to teach them what is right and true. But they are also to refute what is false. They are to be shepherds who feed and lead their sheep in what is good, but also protect them from what is bad.
The following section adds weight to this role. It is an essential job because the Cretan church and Cretan society is fraught with danger. There are rebellious people teaching what is false (10,14,16), and the society in Crete is full of ungodliness (12,13). Without godly leaders this fledgling church will not survive.
The remedy to this precarious situation is godly leaders who will lead the church in godliness.
How can you encourage your leaders today? Can you write a thank-you note? Can you give a gift to show your appreciation?
Father God, help all of my church leaders to live godly lives and hold firmly to the trustworthy message of the Gospel.
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