April 25, 2022 – Titus 1: 1-9 – Character

Today we’ll continue looking at Paul’s pastoral letters by looking at Titus 1:1-9:

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— 3 in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior,

4 To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: 6 someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7 For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8 but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9 He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

Titus is another of Paul’s spiritual sons. While he is not as close to him as he is to Timothy, he still deeply loves him and seeks to mentor him, giving him pastoral and fatherly advice.  We also see that Paul really trusts him, you could say that Paul looks at Timothy as so (take care of your stomach, bring my favorite cloak) he sees Titus as a lieutenant.  He gives Titus a tough assignment.  Crete.  Crete is a tough to place to do ministry and Paul knows that Titus is up against a lot.  But Paul also trusts him and knows that he can do it.  This letter reflects the truth that Paul has for Titus. 

Titus is in many ways building the church there in Crete. He is establishing leadership across the island. Paul directs him on how to do that, what the structure needs, and what does Paul insist is vital to leadership over and over again?

Character.  Not amazing preaching.  Not the most charismatic or dynamic. Not the rock stars. But servants with character. That is what the church needed to be faithful in that moment. People who have built their life upon Jesus. Even Paul says that he is not the most dynamic speaker, he preaches Christ, and him crucified. That is what the church needed.

And that is what the church needs today, as well.  Not rock star preachers, that has gotten us in trouble so many times. But simple, faithful people, who seek to love Jesus and love each other. Men and women of character.  Not the smartest. Not the funniest.  Not the great leaders.  Faithful. Faithful, good people, chasing after Jesus.  People whose heart has been changed by the love for their savior. Humble. Faithful.  Loving. Caring.  People where the fruit of the spirit is present in their lives. 

That is what Paul knew the church needed then. Character.  That is what the church needs today.  Character.

So, today, let us seek after that.  Let us seek to be faithful. To stand upon Jesus. To be men and women of character.  If we are that, if we are transformed by God’s grace into men and women of character, God will use us in amazing ways. 

And when we seek who to follow, let’s not look for the most dynamic or the fanciest or the most popular or the ones with the most tweets or followers.  Let’s follow men and women of character and integrity, people who follow Jesus, above all else. When we do that, we will not be led astray. 

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