Summary: Titus 1:8
JUST BE JUST
In his autobiography, Ma-hot-ma Gandhi wrote the during his student days he read the Gospels and seriously considered converting to Christianity. He believed that the teaching of Jesus Christ held the answer to the solution to the caste system which was dividing the people of India.
So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and speak with the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested to Gandhi that he go and worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned. He wrote, "If Christians have caste differences also I might as well remain a Hindu."
It is obvious that that usher’s prejudice was a far cry from what our Lord Jesus had taught concerning loving your fellow man. But as I read that I thought how many people have I turned away from Christ? Maybe not as bluntly as that user, but how many have I turned away through my words, my actions, or my attitude.
As Christian we all need to realize that how we treat people often well determine what they think of Christ. So with that I want us to turn to our passage for today, Titus 1:8. That is page 1032 in your pew Bibles. Again we are looking into qualifications of an elder that Paul is writing to Titus on the Island of Crete.
Titus 1:8 "but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,"
We have looked at what it is to be hospitable, a lover of what is good, and sober minded. This week I want to take a look at what it is to be "just". Now that just kind of goes along with the next word Holy.
Being "just" has to do with "performing ones duty toward man" and we will deal with that in the next two weeks, I tried to get it done in one but I had too much stuff I wanted to cover.
Now Holy has to do with "performing ones duty toward God", which we will deal with in a couple weeks.
Let us look at that word just. In a broad sense it means to "fulfill all claims which are right". In a narrower sense it refers to "rendering each one his due as in a judicial sense." In other words giving people justice. Being fair.
So in the context of Titus 1:8 elders must deal with the flock without prejudice. An elder must deal with the flock according to their fruit, and their actions, not according to personal likes or dislikes.
An elder is to realize that the local churches of Christ are made up of different types of people. Some are strong in the faith, some are weak in the faith. Some are new born babes in Christ, while others are mature Christians. Some are prideful others humble. But the elder must be impartial when it comes to dealing with the flock. He must love them all equally.
He must be just and fair, looking past personalities and make decisions on Biblical principals not personal preferences. All such be treated equally by the elder or bishops, of the church. In the case of our church that would equate to the deacons and the pastor.
I believe that there are four basic areas of being just. Now I need to say that while I am speaking of elders primarily, once again these are principals that apply to each one of us, we all need to be just.
First, to be just there must be a full recognition of the freedom of others that we have in Christ. We all need to realize that there is freedom in Christ. Not freedom to sin, but freedom to serve God.
One thing I have notices about many Christians is that we love to get grace, but we find it difficult to give. Many times we see thing only one way, OUR WAY! We don’t want to give any leeway, we don’t want to give grace.
There are a lot of peripheral issues in the church today. Now I am not talking about the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Things such as the Virgin Birth, Salvation by grace alone, the Trinity, the resurrection of Christ, and so one. Those issues make up the core of the Christian faith and most be maintained, and at times fought for.
But there are things that Christian have freedom in choosing to do or not choosing to do. There is motto in a church in Massachusetts which read;
"In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity."
I want you to turn with me to Romans 14:1-6 for a couple minutes here. That would be page 984 in your pew Bibles. Let me read that to you.