Lesson 2 w/AnswersPaul’s Epistle to Titus: Part 2
In this lesson we will examine Paul’s teachings relative to the character and qualifications of Christian leaders. In this letter, Paul addresses those of Elders in particular. He also warns Titus regarding the specific challenges on Crete and the current leaders and members of the Cretan Church.
In this letter to Titus, Paul is very clear about defining the qualifications of a Christian Leader. I would propose that these are more than just the qualifications of an Elder within the church, and, moreover. that they are what we should look for from anyone in a church leadership position.
If we are fortunate, we will also find these characteristics in some of our secular leaders, as Jesus leads more and more of us to be leaders in our community and in the work place. However, specifically within the church, we are to avoid choosing leaders who do not meet these qualifications, period. To do so jeopardizes our ability to reach the lost for Christ.
Read Titus 1:6-9, in which Paul cites 13 qualifications of a Christian leader (Elder). List each below:
The Qualifications of a Christian Leader
- ANSWER: Must be one who is blameless
- ANSWER: Must be one who is faithful to his wife, and whose children believe and are not known to be wild or disobedient
- ANSWER: Must be one who is not overbearing
- ANSWER: Must be one who is not quick-tempered
- ANSWER: Must be one who is not given to drunkenness
- ANSWER: Must be one who is not violent
- ANSWER: Must be one who is not pursuing dishonest gain
- ANSWER: Must be one who is hospitable
- ANSWER: Must be one who loves what is good
- ANSWER: Must be one who is self–controlled
- ANSWER: Must be one who is upright, holy, and disciplined
- ANSWER: Must be one who holds firmly to the trustworthy message, as taught by Jesus and the apostles
- ANSWER: Must be one who encourages others with sound doctrine and refutes those who oppose it
In order to gain a better understanding of the challenges Titus was facing in Crete, read 1Timothy 1:1-11, as this provides a good example of the false teachers in Ephesus and why Paul positioned Timothy there. We will observe many parallels with the new church at Crete and Paul’s positioning of Titus at that location.
Now read Titus 1:10-16 and see the parallels between the church at Ephesus and the church at Crete. Specifically, what charges did Paul bring against the early church at Crete, including its leaders and teachers?
- Titus 1:10
- ANSWER: "Many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group."
- Titus 1:11
- ANSWER: These "circumcision group" of people were "disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach;" and, to top it off, they were doing it for "dishonest gain."
- Titus 1:12
- ANSWER: Paul had harsh words for those in the church at Crete: "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."
- Titus 1:13
- ANSWER: In rebuking these church leaders, Paul wanted to correct them and put them on the right path, and not send them out of the church body. Notice that in this verse he says, "This saying is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith."
- Titus 1:14
- ANSWER: Paul wanted the leadership there to "pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth."
- Titus 1:15
- ANSWER: Paul warned that, to non–believers who "are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." This is a clear mandate for the church to only commission leaders who are believers in Jesus. It is the most important instruction Paul gives—without the heart of a believer, a person will never be a faithful leader of God’s people.
- Titus 1:16
- ANSWER: Paul reiterates the above in verse 16: "They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."
I would submit that, today as well, Paul’s warnings to Titus and his instruction regarding the qualifications of church leaders are still valid. In point of fact, I would also submit that many of the warnings and criticisms Paul cites regarding the leaders and members at Crete also apply today in so many of our current "church" bodies. We need to be constantly on guard that we do not allow the teaching of false doctrine, church behavior for the sake of financial gain, gossip, and divisiveness to creep into the local church. It greatly hinders the ability of the Gospel to reach those God intended to reach through us.
In our final lesson, which follows this one, we will look at the behavioral guidance and standards that Paul addresses in his letter to Titus.
Thanks again for being faithful in studying God’s Holy Word.