Text: Titus 1:10-2:1
THE DUTIES OF ELDERS
As is true in any position or job, the pastor needs to know his duties, and he must also be faithful in performing them. The congregation likewise needs to know the duties of the pastor, and they need to insist that he carry them out, while at the same time not placing on him duties which are unscriptural and which will actually hinder him from carrying out the task to which God has called him.
Titus 1:9 - (9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Holding fast = cling to, being devoted to
The faithful word = the message which produces faith, or else, the trustworthy or reliable word.
The pastor who does not cling to the Word of God or who is not devoted to the Word of God disqualifies himself from being a Biblical pastor.
Titus 1:9 - (9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: (11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
That he may be able = That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.
By sound doctrine = according to his correct teaching
To exhort = to appeal to or to urge. To be able to do this, he must be able to handle the Word of God
What is he to exhort? The Scripture, the body of Christian doctrine.
To convince is to convict or refute and suggests such a convincing refutation that the convicted person is put to shame.
Gainsayers = those that contradict, those that oppose.
Gainsayers are not those in a local church who may disagree with a project being promoted by the pastor, but are those who are outside of the local church who are actually opponents of Christianity, and it probably includes those on the inside of the church who are being influenced by their false teachings.
Of course, the pastor is to be teaching believers also, but Titus does not specify this. However, I Peter 5:1-3 does,
I Peter 5:1-3 - 1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 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 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Whose mouths must be stopped = who must be reduced to silence
Who subvert whole houses = ruin entire families
For filthy lucre's sake = for the sake of dishonest gain
The pastor who does not by sound doctrine exhort and refute those that oppose Christianity disqualifies himself from being a Biblical pastor.
How can he do this without being militant?
Unfortunately, even in Bible-teaching churches, some people do not like it when a pastor speaks out; but he is required by the Word of God to do so.
Titus 1:12-16 - (12) One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. (13) This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (14) Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (15) Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
One of themselves = one of the Cretans
It is generally agreed that this prophet was Epimenides who was born at Cnossos on the island of Crete and wrote about 600 B.C.
Always liars = habitual liars
Evil beasts = dangerous animals
Slow bellies = lazy gluttons
The pure = the ceremonially pure, not necessarily the morally pure
It refers to persons who are clean or pure, i.e. to believers. It refers to those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. To them all things are pure or clean for their use. Nothing external will corrupt them internally because they are internally pure. Distinctions between what is ceremonially clean or unclean ceased with the completion of the Law at the crucifixion.
To the defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure.
Are defiled means are stained, and its tense indicates that some act of defilement took place in the past which has left them in a condition or state of defilement.
They are defiled in that they are unbelieving.
To this group nothing is pure or clean. No matter what ceremonies or rituals they observe, they are still lost in sin and totally depraved. They corrupt whatever they touch because they are impure internally.
Even their mind and conscience is not only their mind but also their conscience or both their mind and their conscience.
Mind refers to the way of thinking or, possibly, the attitude.
Conscience refers to their moral consciousness. It seems that they as a group have a collective mind and conscience. They are all generally alike in mind and conscience.
Is defiled means is stained or is polluted and refers to both their mind and their . . . conscience. This statement expresses an existing fact which has resulted from some historical action. Their way of thinking has been polluted in the past, and it remains polluted in the present as a result.
Profess means to declare publicly, acknowledge, or confess.
In works (i.e. deeds, actions) they deny (i.e. repudiate, disown) God
Their lives are sending a message which differs from what they are saying with their mouths.
Instead of their lives being characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, they are abominable or detestable.
They are also disobedient. They are not in compliance with the Word of God.
Instead, they are unto (i.e. with reference to, with regard to, or pertaining to) every good work (i.e. deed or action) reprobate (i.e. not standing the test, unqualified, worthless, disqualified, or unfit).
They do not practice good works. Their lives contradict their claim. The fact is that, despite their claim to know God, they do not know Him. They are unsaved and need to receive Christ as their Savior.
The pastor who does not rebuke careless living in the opponents of Christianity disqualifies himself from being a Biblical pastor.
Titus 2:1 - (1) But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Speak = assert, proclaim
Become = are fitting for, are becoming to, are suitable for, are appropriate for; not which turn into sound doctrine.
This is specified with relation to older men (v. 2), older women (v. 3), young women (v. 4-5), young men (v. 6), and slaves (v. 9-10).
The pastor who is not asserting the things which are appropriate for correct teaching disqualifies himself from being a Biblical pastor.
A pastor needs to know his Biblical duties and be performing them. The people of a local church also need to know the Biblical duties of a pastor, and be insisting that he carry them out, while at the same time not adding additional duties which are unscriptural.
By God's grace every Bible-believing pastor must earnestly desire to be carrying out his Biblical duties to the best of his ability.