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21st Century Stewards, Part 1 - Titus 1:7

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2020 1:00 am

21st Century Stewards, Part 1 - Titus 1:7

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 20, 2020 1:00 am

If you were on a church board looking to hire a new pastor, what questions would you ask the interviewees? What qualities would you most want to see? Paul has given Titus the weighty responsibility of anointing new elders in Crete, and his checklist may surprise you.

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When people are given the authority it's tempting to forget that it's God's authority that matters. This was the downfall of Satan was not what he do, he became blind in his arrogance so that he said I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars. Isaiah 14 I will I will I will I will I will see Satan that grade of the he just for God as well. Matter is an aspect of pastoring a church that involves authority. That's why the character of man who pastor is so important. Bring up the subject of pastoring, and most people will immediately talk about what a pastor does the apostle Paul instructed Titus that the beginning point of pastoring is who pastor is. Only then does Paul reveal the life-threatening Christ exalting fruit seeking truth telling ministry of what a genuine pastor, Shepherd is actually supposed to do when the mantle of leadership falls upon his shoulders. Welcome to wisdom for the hearts today. Stephen Devi continues his series called the shepherds mantle. Let's get started. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes series of five novels decided on one occasion to pull a practical joke on a dozen prominent businessmen in the community and some of his own close friends. He sent them all the same telegram anonymously and all the telegram said on it were the words.

All is discovered without ever intending for this to happen, it created quite a scandal because within 48 hours half the recipients of his telegram had mysteriously left the country without a word is in any problem or challenge is a Diogenes go back to the fourth century BC, that philosopher who became famous as he walked around Athens with a lantern burning brightly whenever he was asked what you doing, he would say, I'm looking for an honest man and I can't seem to find one.

One wears be the former pastor of Moody Church in a prolific author wrote in his little volume that I have in my library home book called the integrity crisis and I quote the church has grown accustomed to hearing people question the gospel simply because the message seems foolish, but today the situation is reversed. For now, the messenger is suspect.

The reason this kind of issue matter so much to the church is fairly obvious cynical world is is today basically asking the same thing. They're asking the same questions why should we listen to you. Why should we listen to the church how we know you're telling the truth. Do you really believe all that stuff. And if you do shouldn't you be living it out. Can the church be an institution worthy of being trusted Paul the apostle would believe and teach that the solution to this conundrum is been going on really since the age of the church began, he began to teach that holding a spiritual office in the church ought along to someone who is submissive to the holy spirit one is critical questions to ask and answer is, who is leading the church and what exactly qualifies them to lead this wonderful little new series of books are a little directly large hardback Chuck Swindoll, the Chancellor Dallas seminary is written, then there called insights and I have his insights on the book of Titus at home in my study and he said this, he said that Paul is demanding leaders to be men of character. Regardless of their age, regardless of their wealth, their experience, their power or their position. Leaders must demonstrate proven Christian maturity, but without that everything is suspect. Without that the church is hindered and the name and cause of Christ is hurt. I share with you. Number of years ago. Most of you probably won't even hear but I remember telling about a leading Christian statesman coming to colonial number of years you pastoring the Christian leader man of integrity effective. So another if I told you too much about me figure out who it is too easy for the Lord. I don't disparagement anyway. But I never one occasion when he was visiting. I was showing them around Terry at the time, population 32,700 a lot. A lantern is a religion of that land in this land and we need to build renting the school and any said as we drove along. He said you know what you need to do is put well-known wealthy men on your board. Their influence in their financial resources will provide for the vision that God is giving you to do what you need to do while I thanked him for that advice. Something in my heart said I don't know about that didn't ring true. You don't find business connections and financial portfolios as a list or among the list of qualifications for those who will lead in the church.

It was tragically ironic that years after this man passed away. A gentleman who had served as his board chairman for decades, a prestigious and well-known banker and landowner died in his wife died in a car accident they were involved in a tragic accident. The funeral attended by thousands of people. But then the news came out a few months later it impacted that city and that ministry in an entirely different way when this man's will was being probated by the court, a young woman in her early 20s, showed up the family, of course, wanted to know what she doing here and who is she, she claimed to be that deceased board members illegitimate daughter and she had all the proof that she needed to prove that in fact was true that he had been secretly providing for her paying for her education and needs all those years living in the very same town that family was devastated the church in the ministries and most important of the name of Christ and the cause of Christ which you can only imagine how it was solely because of that news and with more all the major decisions. This man had made were now in question. I say that in and don't run to this to this implication that if you're a banker you can't be an elder or if you're wealthy, you're hiding something, you know you got a secret, or to know my point is in that in choosing leaders. If we choose them according to worldly standards of success. They may not be meeting the standards provided by God which truly matters. So, as Paul writes to Titus, his young protégé and pastor on the island of Crete. The qualifications you find in chapter 1 have nothing to do with a financial portfolio.

She does and how much a man earned as to whether or not he can lead how much he owns does not qualify him for oversight. So what does Paul continues to spell it out for us. You'll notice you writes in verse seven of Titus chapter 1 will be left off in our last study for the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, the overseer, the over ruler any changes. The term in fact from Prez Butte Arras administrator verse 52 Episcopal costs or over ruler. So the elder administrator has to fit qualifications now shifts the term because this man is not going to be seen as an over ruler. That is one he was in charge of ruling and in that comes the shift in term and I want to spend just a few minutes on this issue. It might be a little tedious for you but it's important we address it. The Catholic Church maintains that a bishop is higher up on the food chain, then an elder that Paul is now going to give different qualifications for a separate different office of the office of elder and any of the office of bishop. What that does is it conveniently separates the bishop in verse seven. From the qualifications of an elder in verse six, where he must be a faithful what husband and father obviously allowed to be married and have children. If he is married as children in her toes. The management of the Roman church maintains that Paul gives us one list for married elders mollified in verse six and then Paul gives us a new list for the office of celibate bishops in verses seven and nine where there is no reference to a wife or children course if that's true then you're off and running up the celibate food chain. Eventually, the Cardinals and openly to cope.

The problem with all of the tradition in all of that hierarchy is this verse itself. The Bible just gets in the way of all that verse seven begins with the little Greek word for org are translated forth for the overseer.

The guy had been talking about must be above reproach. In other words, Paul is continuing his thoughts and is not even taking a grammatical breath is in changing the subject dramatically.

There's no break in the flow of these characteristics, he simply giving some requirements now reminding the elder pastor Bishop that you also happen to be one who rules over so because you rule over the assembly.

Here's a little more explanation of what that leadership needs to look like. I find it ironic, by the way that it is the apostle Peter, consider the first pope, who just so happens to be the biblical writer uses the terms pastor Bishop an elder in the same text for the same man and for the same office first Peter chapter 5, verse two, and Peter was a married man. At least I would be a clear assumption since Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law were told in Matthew 814 that Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law over fever. I don't how many men to be willing to have a mother-in-law that I getting a wife out of same deal right Megan to go any further with that, by the way, to say that I had a wonderful mother-in-law who is with the Lord now she's probably listening, so let's move on to verse seven, Paul is reemphasizing the categorical characteristic of blamelessness you're not only an administrator year and over ruler.

So you gotta be blameless and I'm in a reemphasizing member of our former study. This doesn't mean a church leader is flawless that were true, I wouldn't be here nor with any other leader. While he isn't flawless he must be faithful. Paul is not demanding perfection. But someone who demonstrates a pattern because you're going to be imitated because your your leading is the nature of leadership. So first here in verse six. This man must be faithful and worthy of imitation in the private life of his marriage and home and now. Secondly, in verses seven and nine. He must be worthy of imitation in his public life and his character. That's the shift from private to public, and in so doing Paul as an interesting word here in this opening phrase notice were 70 and he must be above reproach as what is God's steward, the word steward is a compound word. It comes from or economize boycotts house name us a Ranger. He is the Ranger of the house steward is the keeper of the house steward in Paul's day would have more than likely been a slave who had risen up through the ranks because of his trustworthiness. Now, given the right to rule over the estate of this man. The estate owner and manage this estate steward does not own his master's estate. He just manages he's steward's it. He stewarded the managers like the stewardess on the plane now call the flight attendant. She doesn't own the plane which she manages everyone inside the plane. She arranges the plan on behalf of her employer for the benefit of those who are flying in this on the long trip or short trip. The idea steward is interesting as Anglo-Saxon etymology comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word Stig word which we change to steward over time. It literally man, originally a Stig word was a keeper of the stye. He was the keeper of the pig stye that other that's all that flattering sheep and pigs. But in this case. What this idealizes that this position was so critical because the survival of the estate depended upon somebody honest and faithful in the management of what was their primary meat supply. We got to make sure the guy in charge of pigs was honest when I have any need to be hidden. This is the idea here you can of course think of one of those famous stewards. The most famous in the Bible is Joseph Jim susceptor 39 Joseph was sold into slavery and belong for a time, to Potiphar, and because of his trustworthiness. He sorta rose through the ranks until Potiphar placed him as the manager of the steward of his estate. Joseph own nothing. He managed it on behalf of the estate owner, so when Paul writes to Titus, he's talking with that in mind.

In fact I think is interesting that he introduced himself in verse one as a slave of God on by the way, I'm just a steward of stuff that really that long to me that Paul told Timothy earlier Timothy and a young elderly said listening case on delayed. I write to you so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God. God's house the church not so much the buildings with the people and you could certainly claim the sacred space that we dedicated to him as part of the household of God, the elder Bishop pastor is stewarding God's house, which is a reminder again that that the church belongs to God and I want to be very careful in my stewardship of that. I don't even use the phrase nice dinner before you and call you my people. You are God's people stewarding God's possession.

The elders with me. Leaders, deacons and end leaders and teachers were were literally managing God's possession. The church on his behalf for the benefit of those who are on the strip together so we fulfill his will, as we feed and lead in training counsel and discipline and encourage and equip guard the household of God, not about you, and I'll use the analogy I use lessors. They calibrated the day. But if you've ever left her kids in the care of some babysitter somebody was about to steward your estate, your house, your children, you'll find yourself telling her some negative things. First, don't do this don't do that all of the kids do that please all of the kids do this and you do that before you ever get around to telling positives because you want their focus of attention on you to not miss any of the adults lets exactly what Paul is going to do here for us is going to give us five negatives about who the elder is to be before giving us seven positives were in a deal with the negatives today is for seven for the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pug tenacious, not fond of sordid gain. Let me outline these five negative characteristics.

This way because an elder Bishop pastor Natalie administrates but rules over the assembly.

It is God's household and he is put in charge.

He cannot be, and we need our focus on this because this is first out of the gate.

He cannot be one blinded by arrogance to control my anger three influenced by alcohol for recognized as abusive or five driven by affluent those of the five negatives. Okay, ready to go unpack these one at a time. First, an elder can't be blinded by arrogance. No, Paul writes God steward is not self will, and I think the reason this is first in the list is because it's the exact opposite attitude of a steward steward doesn't own anything steward. Furthermore, doesn't do his will.

He does the will of the master it is and on the household. He's just a little under the household. In fact, everything that is get a manages on loan to him. If you take that analogy a little further, you wouldn't expect to come home and find out the babysitters use your makeup and put on your closing painted the living room, wine, green, and admitted that all that would be fine and that the dog thing unless she said she could. She's probably not to be invited back. This is in her house or make up she can get rid of the dog.

She was brought to the house to do. You are well. So, he had quickly here that this word self-willed probably comes across as a little more mild to us English readers is more so than Paul intended. He's actually referring to somebody so given over to their will. So given over to their self will their self serving arrogance that that person literally gives off a spirit of entitlement and everybody knows it.

Entitlement he doesn't exist for the sake of the church gives everybody the impression the church exists for him in the analogy of the babysitter.

This refers to you coming home only to find out that the babies exactly change the locks thrown are your close out on the front porch and change the name on available this kind of person says this is all mine mine will matters above everybody else's. This kind of person doesn't walk through ministry. He struts through ministry is caught up with his own arrogant self-importance. He's blinded by his own reflection and this was the downfall of Satan was not given great responsibility as the highest order of the angelic host in managing them what he do, he became blinded in his arrogance so that he said I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of assembly. I will ascend onto the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the most high. Isaiah 14 I will I will I will I will I will see Satan that great authority. He just forgot his will matter most. One author said in an elder never says this is mine because all he has comes from God's time, possessions talents are all loaned to him by the Lord, and he must be faithful to use them to honor God as he works with Christ. As Christ builds his church. So Paul says right out of the gate or Titus. Make sure you grant power only to those who aren't in love with. Certainly those who are in love with themselves. Secondly, there's another negative and elder is not controlled by anger.

Paul described in verse seven is quick-tempered to important to understand Paul in these is referring to a way of life. This is their character and factor two primary Greek words for anger. One word translated anger in your New Testament is the word through my we get a word thermos from it. It refers power to something differently.

The wind we would use a thermos for bit refers to fire that that quickly blazes out and just as quickly subsides like bike throwing Strahl or newspaper modifier you get that and as quickly. It's going the second word is Ornelas which is in anger that a man actually nurses internally so that he can keep it warm. That's the word Paul uses Paul is referring to someone with an occasional burst of anger, but to a person with a propensity to anger.

In fact, he enjoys it and he enjoys it so much he keeps it on the stove so the speed is warm, ready to burst into flame and know is this is a person known as an angry man.

He has an internal inclination toward anger more than any other emotion. That's I kind of response to life with anger and the reason this is so critical is probably obvious among them only simply say that working with people provide so many wonderful opportunities to get what angry right you serve in the classroom you coach that team you manage that department. You've got more than anybody else thousand good reasons to lose your cool and of losing your cool is your propensity everyone loses because the role of leadership means are going to be able add present Kirk upon her anger appointing is one author said, even when everything in the church seems to be going in the wrong direction people are critical or indifferent qualified elder must guard himself against a spirit of hostility and resistant and doing stuff like, and conclude this lesson tomorrow. Stephen has more to say on the role of elder but were just about out of time for today so will come back tomorrow at the same time so Stephen can bring you the conclusion to this lesson.

21st century stewards. Stephen, I know that in your class at Shepherd seminary are teaching, pastoral theology right now in teaching young pastors about the role of being an elder. Yeah frankly it's it's both enjoyable/fun, but it's also weighty subject because were talking about training shepherds who will tend the flock of God entrusted to their care and so this is a very very serious matter, and as I in fact I I was teaching my class last night. The Bible really doesn't tell us a lot about what a pastor elder does kind of interesting. There's not a passage that says on Monday.

Do this on Tuesday do that here so you do weddings hearsay conduct funeral service with counseling is going to look like a many sessions you you'd taken and then this is how many times you are to preach.

There isn't anything this is Sunday morning Sunday night and Wednesday night. So how do you do what you do well, that has to be developed as God develops that particular local church. However, the Bible says in an awful lot about who we are over and against what we do 2324 different qualifications, depending on how you number them.

We covered today a really important one and that is losing your cool and tomorrow you're going to cover more characteristics like what is the elder's relationship to alcohol yeah can't wait to find out what I say on the afternoon say, well, you won't cover thou. And that's another is another weighty subject as relates to what is it mean to be a 21st-century steward friends. If this is a topic that you'd like to go a little deeper in your study of or maybe you'd like to provide a resource for the elders in your church, Stevens written a book entitled Titus that's part of our wisdom commentary series. Paul wrote this letter to a young pastor and it's filled with practical wisdom for all of us in particular church leaders would love to give you information on how you can get a copy of this resource. So call us today at 86 648 Bible numerically. That's 866-482-4253. Now if you are a pastor and you call us today working to send you a complimentary copy of Stephen's commentary on Titus. This is a beautifully bound hardback book over 300 pages of practical wisdom that will be a great resource for your past our library so pastors call us today at 86 648 Bible as Steven and I mentioned a moment ago. He's going to bring you the conclusion to this lesson at this same time tomorrow, so be sure and join us for that right here on wisdom for the heart

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