God’s will of proper things of Christian character includes the respective roles of men and women as He has defined them in His design. His design for young women in their relationships with Him, their husbands, and their children is essential to the well-being of their families, their churches, and their communities. His design is not a ball and chain of bondage, but a great blessing when rightly understood and applied.
We started with the character of older men, and now we follow Paul, likewise, to the older women. As I stressed with the older men, the engagement of the older women is important, and in this, their character is also essential. Likewise, the value of their character to their own walk with God and to the well-being of the church is not to be discounted. It is in that conviction that Paul addresses them.
“But you.” That’s the crisis of calling that each true man of God faces in facing the rebellious deceivers. Stand up and hold up the clear contrast of truth—the things coming out of and aligning with sound doctrine—proper things. Those proper things are what we turn to study now—proper things of Christian character, working through the different age groups, Christian work ethic, and godliness as the people of Christ doing good in this fallen world. We now focus on older men.
As a right man, Titus was commissioned to appoint other right men as elders/pastors, and the final requirement for their qualification was their grip on the Word of God. Why? As we will see, because of the work God had to do through them as His right men against the wrong men.
As we continue looking at the right man for the job of pastor, we go from studying his required character as a family man and God’s man to studying his required conviction on God’s Word. A man must be pressed on where he stands on God’s Word. Even with a man coming out of seminary, it cannot be a foregone conclusion that he believes and lives by the Bible.
We continue looking at the right man for the job of pastor, studying his required character to be qualified for this ministry. In this message, we are focusing on his required character as God’s man. We turn from looking at his home to looking at his heart—the fruit we see growing on his branches. Can he legitimately step out in leading God's people to be who they really are?
I am preaching this series with the prayer and in the hope that we will indeed be a church that is in order and doing good, just as Paul wanted the Cretan churches to be under the leadership of their pastors. What kind of men were those pastors to be? What kind of men are to be pastors now? We are now looking at Paul’s instructions to Titus on what kind of man is fit to be appointed as an elder—as a pastor.
After Paul did some evangelistic work on the island of Crete, the Lord moved him on, so that he had to leave some things unfinished but not unattended. As Paul was filled with the Spirit of God to press on in his mission, he was not content to leave things out of order. He had a reliable man to leave behind for the work of God yet to be done in establishing order and appointing elders for the health of the Cretan churches. And this is essential for the health of our churches.
Imagine you were given an open letter from me to my son and how your attention to it would change if you realized I was talking about something concerning you. You would lean into my words with much sharper focus. That is how we need to study Paul's words to Titus in this pastoral letter with instructions for teaching and leading God's people forward in His will. And starting with the opening verses, we can see why it's for us all.
"To Titus, my true child according to our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."