Summary: Titus 1:7
There was once a pastor who was frustrated because of one man who always seemed to fall asleep during the sermon. So the pastor devised a trick, a way he though he could embarrass the man so as to get him to break this habit of nodding off during the sermon. Near the end of a sermon concerning "hell", the Pastor, in a normal voice, said to the congregation, "Any one here today who wants to go to hell" - - then he raised his voice to a much louder volume - - "PLEASE STAND UP!"
Now of course this woke up the sleeping parishioner who quickly jumped to his feet. After collecting himself for a moment, the man then looked at the pastor and said, "Preacher, I don’t know why I’m standing, but it appears that you and I are both in the same boat."
This morning I would like to turn right to the book of Titus chapter 1, that is page 1032 in your pew Bibles. As you turn there let us remember that beginning in verse 6 Paul begins to give the qualifications of an elder in the church. Which would be our modern day pastors and in the case of this church our deacons.
Notice in verse 6 Paul begins by dealing with the elder home life. He is to be blameless, that is he is to be above reproach. He is to have but one wife, which is to say he is to practice faithfulness, and be a godly husband. A husband that loves his wife as Christ loved the church. He is also to be an parent worthy of honor. One who as his children in control. Children who are not unruly and respect the rules of the home.
Today as we move on to verse 7, we begin to look into the area of the personal life of the elder. Remember that if one is an elder in the church then these areas of his life are to be scrutinized. Please look at verse 7 as I read that passage;
"For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,"
Now the Greek word for bishop is "EPIS-KO-POS" and the basic meaning of the word is "overseer". This is the same church office Paul has in mind in verse 5 when he speaks of the elders, they are interchangeable terms. And again these words "elders" and "Bishop" refer to our present day pastors and elders and what we call deacons in this church.
In the New Testament churches there was not the hierarchy that we see in many churches today.
Today however I want to focus on the next phrase, "Blameless, as a steward of God".
Now we spent one Sunday a few weeks ago on the word blameless. And basically it does not mean that one must be perfect but that one must be above reproach, above serious accusation. Within the Word of God we are all called on to be "blameless".
In our passage for today we see why the elder is to be blameless, because he is "a steward of God". Which literally speaking states "a steward belonging to God".
You see a steward is one who oversees the property of another. Paul is here using a metaphor drawn from the secular world. He has in mind a manager of a house hold or estate. A steward does not own but manages all that the master puts in his charge. The most famous steward I can think of was Joseph who was the steward to Potiphar, he was given complete control over all Potiphar had.
Now God has give charge of his church to the elders of that church. They are the managers of the household of God. This church is not my church, it does not belong to me, it is not Harley’s church, it is not your church, it is God’s church.
When I use the term church I am not only referring to the building, but more importantly I am speaking of the people. Those of us who have professed Christ as Lord and Saviour we belong to God. The church belongs to God.
In the Scripture we are referred to as His sheep, and he is our shepherd. We are called His slaves, because he is our Master. We are His subjects, as he is our King. We are His servants, as He is our Lord, WE are His body in which He is called the Head of that body.
We can see that over and over again the Scripture point out to us that we belong to God, we have be purchased by God.
Listen to 1 Cor. 6:20; "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."