Tuesday Leadership and Development Meeting (4th August 2020)
THE DIVINELY REVEALED PATTERN FOR GODLY MINISTERS
Bible Text; Titus 2:7-10; Hebrews 8:5,6
Paul the apostle appointed Titus to oversee and strengthen the gospel work in the province of Crete. Now, he instructs him to show himself “In all things… a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity”. This admonition is particularly for ministers who oversee the people of God. They must show themselves as examples in all things to the flock and demonstrate the truthfulness of the things they have learnt. Their words must be weighty with sincerity. Sincerity cuts off all hypocrisy and eye service. Ministers’ speech and interaction with one another must be sound and without condemnation.
The life of a minister – family, professional, pastoral, and ministerial – should challenge others to holy living. Therefore, no area of life, character, and ministry should be left out in our pattern of good works. “In all things”, none should have any “evil thing to say of [us]”. We must please the Lord well in all things like Moses. In the old covenant, he was not allowed to use human wisdom to make the things showed to him on the mount. In the new covenant, Christ has obtained a more excellent ministry established upon better promises for us. In this better covenant, we are to pattern everything in life and ministry as prescribed by Christ in the word of God.
POINT ONE: THE PASTORAL PATTERN OF GODLINESS FOR EVERY SHEPHERD
I. The inescapable question on godliness in all things
Titus 2:7a; Luke 6:42; Romans 2:19-21; 14:22; 1 Timothy 4:15,16; 2 Timothy 2:15; Galatians 2:18
As a leader, “In all things”, you must show YOURSELF “a pattern of good works”. How can you correct, challenge, and put other people right as regards the required qualification, strength, courage, and commitment of leadership if you are not able to do the same? How can you challenge other people to remain incorruptible doctrinally when you do not practise what you teach? You must “cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye”.
ii. The inalterable qualification and godliness of all teachers
Titus 2:7a; 1:5-9; 2:1,3; 1 Timothy 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1 Timothy 6:11,12; 2 Peter 3:11-14
Every minister must show that he has the quality to teach, preach, counsel, and help other people to be what they ought to be. If you cannot appoint qualified teachers, preachers, and ministers, how do you expect those selected to choose qualified leaders as well? When you make your choices according to biblical qualifications, it will be both an example and a pattern for the leaders you have chosen to follow. These people must be capable, confident, and not have obvious blame before others. They must be persons who would hold fast “the faithful word” and not bring in false doctrine to the church.
iii. The impactful qualifier in godliness for all tasks
Titus 2:7a; 1:5,13; 2:1,3,4,6,15; 2 Timothy 2:2-6; Ephesians 4:11-13; Colossians 1:28; 2 Peter 1:12-15
The tasks in the church are many, and we need to engage people we can vouch for to perform them. After selecting and appointing them, we must make sure we influence them in godliness, whatever their task may be. Besides our preaching, people should look at us and see the message reflected in our lives. Wherever we are and whatever we do, the quality of our godly life in ministry should always manifest in our words, disposition, and character, which carry authority. If we need to correct others, we must do so, but not in anger or malice.
POINT TWO: THE PRESCRIBED PATTERN OF HOLINESS FOR HIS SERVANTS
There are three things to note here:
I. The incorruptible doctrine of holiness from consecrated pastors
Titus 2:7; 2 Corinthians 2:17; Romans 6:17,18,22; 1 Timothy 4:15,16; 6:3,5; Titus 1:9
The servants of God must show themselves as a“pattern of good works” in doctrine. To do this, our lives must be upright, blameless, pure, and holy. We must “Take heed” to the doctrine so that what we say and do will not contradict our ministry or negate the emphasis in the doctrine of the word of God. By so doing, we will save our hearers and ourselves.
II. The incontestable dedication to holiness by convicting preachers
Titus 2:8a; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 4:23,24; 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13; 4:7; Hebrews 12:10,14
Preachers are to be dedicated to holiness, which must be a result of personal conviction. Like Paul the apostle, we are to labour “Night and day praying exceedingly” to perfect what is lacking in the faith of our members. When we are passionate about helping, lifting, and encouraging others, they too will “increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men”.
iii. The inconsequential denial of holiness by contradictory priests
Titus 2:8b; Luke 13:17; 23:47; 1 Peter 2:12,15; 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:8,9
We ought to pattern our lifestyle such that “he that is of the contrary part may [have] no evil thing to say of [us]”. It is the will of God that we should be models in “well-doing” and thereby, silence the ignorance of foolish men. His grace is available and sufficient for us.
POINT THREE: THE PRINCIPAL PATTERN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR ALL SAINTS
Godly ministers are expected to carry on the ministry of exhortation to all saints on how they should live in their homes and workplaces. In this regard, there are three things to note:
(i). Profitable exhortation to scriptural obedience in all things
Titus 2:9; Colossians 3:22-25; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Acts 5:29; Romans 2:8,9; 1 Peter 4:17,18
“Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things”. We must exhort believers against selective, partial, occasional, and qualified obedience. Rather, they must show prompt, proper, and entire obedience in all things. They must not be satanically bold and rude like the people of the world. God wants His children to obey their earthly masters and superiors as they comply with His word and will. However, if any demand in the workplace will make us disobey the word of God, we must reject such.
(ii). Proper execution of secular obligation in all things
Titus 2:10a; Ephesians 4:28-30; Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7; 2 Samuel 15:6; Jeremiah 23:30; Luke 16:10-12; Romans 2:21
“Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things”. As saints, we should not allow money, covetousness, insincerity, or duplicity to soil our Christian garment. We must not steal. “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” who should have been loyal and obedient to King David. Like Absalom, those who steal the hearts, confidence, and trust of people away from their shepherd, parents, or spouses to themselves will not escape God’s judgment except they repent.
(iii). Purposeful exaltation of His sole ownership in all things
Titus 2:10b; 1 Timothy 6:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Romans 15:5,6; 2 Thessalonians 1;11,12; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 4:11
The purpose of our calling, consecration, and service is to exalt the Lord, the sole owner of everything. Therefore, our commitment and priority daily should be to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” so that “God in all things may be glorified”.