Temple Baptist Church - 10-19-2014
A. The Book of Titus is the third and last of the Pastoral Epistles. First and Second Timothy along with Titus were written to young preachers concerning the operation of the local church. Verse 5 gives the reason for the epistle: Titus is to set in order the things that were wanting and ordain elders in the local churches on the island of Crete.
B. The first order of business was to ordain qualified men for the work of the ministry and the operation of the local church. If the head is sick, the whole body will be sick. The pulpit is both essential and visible!
C. There are several names and descriptions given to the pastor of the church that explain the aspects of his ministry. The bible refers to him as:
1. Elder - This speaks of his wisdom and maturity.
a. He is a father figure - 1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; (By interpretation, this verse speaks of the older men of the church but, by application, the bible ascribes this title to the pastor of the church.)
b. He is an authority figure - 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (The same as the preceding verse: by interpretation, an older man but by application, a pastor.)
2. Bishop - This speaks of his office as an overseer of the work of the church. We get our word “scope” from this word. Bishop means to observe or to oversee.
3. Pastor - responsibility to care for the flock and to lead them in the Lord's will. Pastor or pastors are Old Testament terms that mean one who tends to the flock and are synonymous with the word shepherd. The only use of “pastor” is found in Ephesians 4:11, which reads, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”
4. Shepherd – We understand from the 23rd Psalm that the Lord is our Shepherd. In Hebrews 13:20, our Lord Jesus is referred to as the Great Shepherd. The pastor is the under shepherd that watches over the Great Shepherd’s flock until He comes to take His sheep home with Him.
5. Preacher - duty to boldly preach the whole council of God's infallible, inerrant and inspired Word. The word “preacher” is found only in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. The Book of Ecclesiastes is one continue discourse or sermon showing the cycle of life and the vainity of things that are temporal. The summation of the discourse is found in chapter 12.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Preaching brings about a conclusion to be either accepted or rejected but a decision is required! Remember what I have said so many times: teaching informs the intellect with a set of facts while preaching demands a decision to be made.)
6. Teacher - This reminds the pastor that he is to instruct those given to his leadership. The pastor-teacher is one of the two gifts that the Lord gave to His church. The first part of the Great Commission to win the lost while the second part is teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
7. Servant - to devote his life to ministering to the need of others. Servant means to be brought into bondage or to enslave. In Philippians 2, the bible says that Christ took upon Himself the form of a servant and was pictured as such in the washing of the disciple’s feet. A pastor who does not serve is not a pastor!
8. Steward - he is in the business of caring for the property of another: The flock of God! God has given to the pastor a trust: His little children! The pastor needs to be mindful of this and careful with his handling of the flock of God!
D. I want to look at verses 3-14 and take a look at God’s reason for ordaining elders in every church.
1. To preach the unsearchable riches of God’s Word – vs. 3
a. Preaching must be Corrective yet Compassionate - 1 Corinthians 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. (The Book of 1 Corinthians is a corrective book. Every chapter is a rebuke for their carnality and misuse of liberty and, yet, it is the only book that Paul concluded by telling them that he loved them.)
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
b. Preaching must be Doctrinally Pure - 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.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
c. Preaching must be Uncompromising but not Harsh - 2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (While preaching to and instructing those who will not hear and heed, God’s man is to be gentle.)
Isaiah 40:10-11 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. (11) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
d. Preaching must be Bible Based - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Jonah 3:1-2 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, (2) Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. (First Mention of Preaching in the bible.)
e. Preaching must be Relative to the Congregation - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (Seven times, Seven distinct messages, to seven individual churches. Each message was relative to the church to which it was written. Preaching to people who are not here may get a hearty amen but it does nothing to help our people.)
2. To oversee the work of the local church and to keep things orderly – vs. 5
a. Order has to do with priority. As Dr. John Waters always said, “Keep the main thing the main thing.” We are not to lean too heavily in one direction while letting up in another. Priority has to do with balance.
b. Order has to do with succession. Some things need to precede other things. There is an old saying, “Never get the cart before the horse.”
1. Orderly in Assembly – set times for worship; consistent times for worship. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (The bible does not tell churches how often to assemble other than on the Lord’s Day but I believe that churches need to be consistent in their assembly. Church services are canceled based upon the whims of people and the lost notice it. If a lost person wants to come to Temple, I want the doors open on a regular and consistent basis. I do not want them to come to church and find it dark and empty when it has been lighted and full. Most churches that do not assemble regular or often are full of people who do not want to go to church!))
2. Orderly in Chain of Command – Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church; the pastor, the overseer of the church; the deacons, servants to the church; the saints, the backbone of the church. Colossians 1:17-18 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (The bible sets the proper chain of command or authority in the local church. It is not to be run by deacon or trustee boards nor is it to be run by mob rule. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, the bible is the rule of the church, and the pastor is the overseer of the church. This is not rule by dictatorship but it is orderly under the authority of the bible.)
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;
3. Orderly in Worship – come with singing and praise (100) as these are preludes to worship; bring an offering; 1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. (We certainly need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our midst as we worship but He will never cause the child of God to get out of order! In many churches, you never know what to expect as people “worship” individually. I want you to have the freedom to worship as an individual but church worship is corporate worship! It is to be done orderly because it is to be done biblically! Not, if it feels good, do it! Pastors in our day are “leading from behind” as they find out which way the crowd is going and get in front of them.)
4. Orderly in Purpose – magnify the word of God; glorify the Son of God; edify the saint of God. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (You cannot glorify the Son of God without magnifying the Word of God and you cannot magnify the Word of God without glorifying the Son of God. These two things always work together. I have been told that we worship ink and paper. If you believe that we have the perfect word of God in the King James Bible, you are labeled a Ruckmanite. Liberals have always turned to demonization in order to discredit. Look at the politics of our day. We magnify the word of God because God does! As we magnify the word of God, we glorify the Son of God! You cannot have one without the other.)
5. Orderly in Priority – educate the saints; win souls in our Jerusalem; support world-wide missions. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Our first priority is to share the gospel and win the lost: both at home and on the mission fields of the world. Then, we are to baptize the believer and incorporate them into the local church. There, we teach them to observe all things as God commanded. We are not here to entertain “goats” but to feed “sheep!”)
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
6. Orderly in Operation – everything is to be done decently; everything is to be done orderly. The church is not to be run haphazardly. It needs to be run like a faith operated business. (The local church is God’s business and needs to be run as such. We are to be careful with God’s tithes and offerings; we are to carefully maintain God’s property; though the work of the Lord is faith based, it must also be planned in its operation.)
7. Orderly in Obedience – hear the Word of God; heed the Word of God; bear the Word of God. 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (Hear what God says; heed what God says; share what God says! We are ambassadors for Christ; epistle written of God and read of men; the only bible that most will hear, the only light they will see, and the only salt that will cause them to savor the things of God.)
3. To set a godly example for the flock to follow – vs. 6-9 – One of the important parts of the pastorate is that of leading. Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) You cannot and should not follow a man that you cannot respect!
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (The elder’s example exposes those who walk to the contrary.)
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (Paul admonished young Timothy to be an example of the believers. It is a qualification of the office of a Bishop: 1 Timothy 3:1-7.)
a. First of all, I want to admonish you not to expect perfection from God’s man. He is just a man; he is still an imperfect specimen. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (The Lord is still working on me just as he is on you.)
b. In 2 Timothy, Paul mentions 7 areas of life and ministry that God’s people need to “fully” know about the pastor’s life. 2 Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
1) His Doctrine – an elder or past must be doctrinally correct. His doctrine must conform to the bible, not the bible conform to his doctrine. I have often said that God never called a man to preach false doctrine. John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (A man who preaches false doctrine is not a God called man.)
2) His Manner of Life – This speaks of purity. 1 Thessalonians 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: (You should not be able to discern moral impurity in the life of the pastor. His life should be an example to be followed by both parents and their children.)
3) His Purpose – What does the elder or pastor desire? John 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (He is not there for the “filthy lucre: he is not there for the power or to be lord over God’s heritage; he is not there to be popular; he is there to be obedient to God’s call and for the spiritual prosperity of God’s people.)
4) His Faith – Does he quit when the going gets tough? 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (The pastor should be an example in endurance in hardship. It is easy to run and take another pastorate elsewhere but God’s man is to endure and remain faithful to his church and people.)
5) His Longsuffering – Does he get “short” with or “mad” at his people when things do not go as he wishes? 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (One of the greatest attributes of the pastor should be that of gentleness! People are people and sometimes they do not do as they should. My advice to every pastor is to just keep on keeping on and temper your relationship with the flock with the next on the list.)
6) His Charity – Does he love his people? 2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (The pastor needs to love you better than Butter Pecan Ice Cream! That statement says it all.)
7) His Patience – Does he have a right attitude when things go contrary to his desires? 1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (The end of the “commandment” given to Timothy was to continue in love, good conscience, and un-hypocritical faith. That takes patience!)
4. To watch for false prophets and doctrinal error – vs. 9-14
a. Over the past 4 decades that I have been saved, I have seen a constant, serious decline in the fundamentalism of the local church.
1) It amazes me, though I am familiar with what the Bible says on the subject, that we have come to the place where we now stand. Fundamentalism is a good word! Fundamentals are foundational things upon which we must stand and upon which we must build. The words “fundamental” or “fundamentalism” have become words much maligned by those who would lead us into liberalism.
2) At this point in our introduction on apostasy and apostates, let me draw a line of distinction between an apostate and an ignorant believer.
a) The heresy of the apostate is willful and destructive. The apostate is a teacher instead of a student and a leader instead of a follower. He cannot be taught doctrinal correctness because he has willfully rejected truth. He will not follow the teaching and leadership of the pastor because he is a leader looking for others to follow him instead of the pastor. These are to be rejected.
b) The ignorance of the believer. Often, people migrate to a good, fundamental church by ignorance or wrong reasons. By ignorance, I mean that they are looking for a church and find a good, fundamental one by “accident.” Or, they leave a liberal church for wrong reasons: i.e., something that is not a doctrinal or sinful reason. These are not leaders and they are not teachers. They are followers who have followed the wrong men out of ignorance and they are teachable when shown the clear truth of the bible. These are to be accepted.
b. 2 Thessalonians 2 uses the phrase “falling away.” It is from this phrase that we get the commonly used word “apostasy.”
APOSTASY – to defect from or to renounce a former belief or position.
c. One of the important works of the elder or pastor is to protect the flock and, therefore, the local church from the mutation from or the rejection of the fundamentals of our faith. Apostasy is a satanic conspiracy! It is a planned attack! It is a manned attack!
d. This apostasy has evolved through several mediums of which I will name two:
1) The arising of False Brethren and Prophets. We are now generations into the recruitment and infiltration of lost preachers who now permeate the pulpits of churches.
a) They are well disguised - Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
b) They are articulate and well educated - Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
c) They are well thought of in religious circles - Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
d) They are heretical - 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
1) They left the Word of God - Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
2) They left the Traditions of the Church - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
3) They left the Old Paths of Separation - Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Their churches are characterized by worldly dress, worldly music, worldly philosophies, and worldly “converts.”)
2) The advancement of the Laodicean Church Age and, therefore, the apathy of its people.
a) The “Church” has taken a back seat to the materialistic world and the temporal outweighs the eternal.
b) The apathy of the majority of Believers. Though they realize to some degree that things are wrong, they are comfortable in the pews and do not wish to be disturbed.
c) The acceptance of shallow, charismatic, philosophical “teachers.” God’s people no longer allow strong doctrinal preaching.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
d) The avarice of the Local Church Pulpits. Preachers are afraid of losing both members and money! Men who once stood strong in fundamentalism have allowed their churches to compromise and are strangely silent! Most of the old “bastions of the faith” are gone! Churches and schools that once stood for truth and separation are now gone.
e) True believers and churches are now defamed!
1) Bible believing churches are called cultic.
2) Bible believing churches are called divisive.
3) Bible believing churches are called unloving.
4) Bible believing churches are called ignorant.