It is hard to believe that Little Feat took the place of my post last night…but they did and it was amazing. What a great band and what a great concert. Now back to Scripture and playing a little catch up. We are starting a new book of the Bible. It is called Titus.
Paul writes this letter to a co-worker whose name is Titus. We don’t see him mentioned in Acts, where many of Paul’s co-workers are mentioned, but we do hear about him in some of Paul’s other writings. We see him mentioned in Galatian 2:3, II Corinthians 8:6, 16-17, 23, 12:18, and II Corinthians 2:13, 7:6-7, 13-16. We find Paul encouraging this co-worker to not hesitate to plan a church in Crete which is the largest of the Aegean islands. He basically teaches Titus how to set up a church, correct false teaching and establish the elders.
On to the first chapter. Okay, so people didn’t really like Cretans in the day. In fact, if you wanted to call someone a bad name you would call them a Cretan. A Cretan is someone who comes from Crete. Look at the map below and you will find the island of Crete.
You will see that Crete is the largest of the islands of Greece and it was pretty important. Next to Athens, and we know about Athens, it was very important. Paul tells Titus in vs.5 that he left him behind so that he could establish and solidify the church. How do you build up and solidify the church you ask? I’m glad you asked.
Paul tells Titus the most important thing is not Titus himself. The most important aspect of the church, any church for that matter and this hasn’t changed in 2000 years, is the strength of the leaders. The strength of First Presbyterian is found in the strength of the elders. If we do not have a session that loves each other, that loves Jesus, that is devoted and loyal to the church and to each other, then we will have a weak church. I would guess, by the way, that the way things are going around here, we have an incredibly strong elder board. We praise God for that.
As Paul establishes prerequisites for deacons and bishops or pastors in I Timothy 3, so he sets up the ideals that we want for the elders of the church. Once again, it is a very daunting list, but an important one. You will always want to have a solid elder body, but especially when you are first starting out a church and need people who are well respected and known within the community.