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Politically Incorrect, Part 2 - Titus 1:5

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2020 1:00 am

Politically Incorrect, Part 2 - Titus 1:5

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 14, 2020 1:00 am

Imagine a stranger walking into your church and announcing that he is going to make wholesale changes. He then proceeds to anoint new pastors and deacons, while delivering instructions on worship and teaching. Crazy, right? Well that is exactly what Paul is commanding Titus to do in Titus 1:5! As we'll learn from this passage, obedience to God might ruffle a few feathers.

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Leaders should be learning and growing, but they also need to keep in mind the priority of God's word in our generation ladies not on the average church leader" when he's Peter Drucker, but not the apostle Peter, they can easily bring out insights from John Maxwell for leadership.

The apostle John is nothing wrong Maxwell or Drucker but what you learn and what you graze upon as a leader is what you will see, God has blessed church with many gifted and talented people from whom we can learn and be challenged. However, church leaders need to always remember that God's word is the authority and its God's word that we need to focus on above all else.

In addition, it's important for church leaders who are selecting leaders to remember that while skill and knowledge are helpful. It's not the most important qualification for those who lead the Church of Jesus Christ today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davey concludes a lesson he began yesterday. It's called politically incorrect were looking at the biblical qualifications for elders and here's Stephen with today's lesson of the term point main speaks to the feeding of the flock theater pastor means past your itself is a feeder and it's interesting to me when Paul categorically speaks of men given to the church as gifts. He could've chosen anyone of these three titles, but he chose the term point made us in his plural form almost as if to say, look, of all the things that you can do.

Make sure you feed the flock feed the flock of God which is among first Peter five. Do you love me. I do then feed my sheep. Peter do you love me do then tend to my lamb's Peter do you love may I do Shepherd my she lead them in the green pastors well fed and taken care of as an optional for elders to deliver the word of the flock and expound on it and teach it and apply and exhort obedience to it because everything else is barren ground. This is the fertile field of green pastors for the sole of the flock I share with our guests of the wisdom banquet this past week, around 650 friends and got up most.

Many were part of this church. God is now beginning to use this ministry of the word to spread. It's almost as if he's been waiting. I view myself as a part of it not really the one leading as I step back and look at it it it. It's amazing to me. It's almost as if God is said, I've been I've been waiting and watching to see if you qualify the message. If you'd negotiate on the terms of of clear doctrine.

If you fudge on the truth of the word, and it's almost as if he said in the last 1224 months.

Okay now we can let the word run to and fro from this place. I shared with our guests. What are you be equally interested in hearing in the last four months was of a heart is revamped its website, which now makes available every sermon in transcript form and audio form free of charge to anybody who can download it or read it or print it is all being given away for free and in these last four months we have had sermons downloaded 264,000 times and wasn't just my mother. I know she likes getting but she doesn't have an iPod. I know it in her know we we don't know who really they are.

We do know the countries that are logging in from an all quickly very quickly read you the list just in the last four months, the USA, of course, Canada, India, Romania, England, Wales, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Belgium, Bolivia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Norway, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Philippines, Germany, Guam, Spain, France, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zambia, Australia, Ireland, Barbados, Ghana, Kenya, South Korea, Sudan, Ukraine, Uganda, Egypt, Guatemala, Croatia, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Capehart, Slovakia, Venezuela, Argentina, Aruba, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Tanzania, Uruguay, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan. Amen. You and I just tells me people are and I can't tell you how surprised I am overdoing is what everybody ought to be doing, but maybe the fact it is beginning to pick up so much speed is simply to our shame. Everybody in doing our country may very well.

I believe it probably is.

Be deserving of the condemnation of God delivered to the shepherds of Israel when he said they were feeding themselves instead of feeding the flock. This is our commission to preach and teach the truth to lead the flock to guide and guard and all those other derivatives of forms and function. So to summarize these three terms.

The term elder refers to the character of the office. The term Bishop refers to the authority of the office and the term pastor refers to the passion of the office and from these three terms, along with all the passages where these leaders appear. What emerges then is the role of the spiritual leader by way of very quick overview.

Let me give you four principal characteristics of this role.

First, the elders are plural is like helping a maid out there on the subject and I want to write all of it in here but I will say that in our effort to follow the New Testament. It is interesting that there is not one explicit reference to a one pastor single Elder ruled church every place where the term elder is used. It's plural except when John and Peter use the word to refer to themselves, which then of course would be singing that this doesn't mean that there weren't congregations ruled by one pastor or elder is just another mention proponents of a one elder rule say that there were elders in the city church that was composed of individual churches, house churches were single elders had oversight but that always house churches would would get together in the city periodically and then you had a plurality of elders and that's why you have plurality but the fact remains.

The church was seen as one church in that city. Decisions were made by collective processes of elders in reference to the whole church and not the individual parts. So even in that argument, you still have a plurality involved in decision-making. Still others refer to the letters sent by Christ to individual churches in Revelation 2 and three.

They argue that since the letters to the churches were delivered to a singular angel on the loss she could translated messenger that then this was a reference to that church. Having only one pastor or one elder. The problem with that view is is were guessing. In fact, if the angel was indeed a pastor in Revelation 23 just as easily reinforce the concept of a leader among leaders of first among equals since were not told that this elder didn't represent a group of elders, we are told he was the only one that we know that one of the churches that received the letter did indeed have more than one elder of the church at Ephesus was to the elders that Paul challenged them to be on the alert of the principle of a leader among leaders as illustrated in the church of Jerusalem with prominence of James, the pastor teacher who was the leader among the other leaders directing the church toward a final decision regarding Gentile converts were also told.

More specifically, the sum elders are deserving of greater honor than others in the same church.

Paul wrote to Timothy in first Timothy 517 and 18 that those elders who work hard at preaching and teaching are worthy of double honor word, the more likely refers to remuneration certainly respect which by the way also informs us that all the elders in a church body aren't necessarily preaching or teaching know they must be able to handle the work that one of the qualifications being an elder and also implies that ruling authority was given to some elders and a greater form or fashion, then other elder in the same church body what's important to understand and you and for y'all as I imagine some of it breath but I want to know this.

There's not one passage that explicitly says that one elder has all of the authority in the church fact, that would be a characteristic of a cult, not a church, when taken at face value set aside your denominational biases and prejudices become to the Scriptures in the New Testament epistles and try to figure out how exactly does this work, you find the Scriptures clearly indicating that elders are plural, even in and appointed in singular churches, and the sharing of responsibility and authority was the sign of a healthy church Titus here is what the churches need on the island of Crete elders in every city have these men lead with a woman, visit our church for several weeks before deciding to leave and have a lot of never know about which she wrote me an email telling me why she'd visited and why she was leaving, she wrote a number of things I can't repeat one of the things that she wrote was, and I quote the problem I have with your church is that there are just too many men in leadership.

I do know whether a writer thank you note for making that observation or what a blessing. Elders are plural. Secondly, the elders are providers very touched on the subject of teaching me just a few more things about. There are elders in churches that love the idea of ruling in power and authority and prominence.

In fact, the early church had to deal with one of the main doctor fees but shepherding and feeding is somewhere lower down on the list. I mean, that takes work that takes private obscurity in the study would rather do everything in public water. Kaiser points out the anemic state of affairs in the American church because of this issue. Any place the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of elders and pastors who are doing everything but studying and preaching and teaching the word of God, he says and I quote it is no secret that Christ Church is not at all in good health. She has been languishing because she's been fed junkfood all kinds of artificial preservatives in all sorts of unnatural subsidies have been served up to her and as a result: malnutrition has afflicted the same generation that is taking such giant steps to make sure it's physical health is never damaged by using food that is harmful to their body. At the same time of spiritual famine is resulting from the absence of any genuine preaching of the word of God. I would add my amen to that. In my own observation of church leaders in America now are becoming experts at dissecting the life and the human experience rather than simply treating the word of life as if it had meaning for today in our generation ladies not on the average church leader" with ease. Peter Drucker, but not the apostle Peter, they can easily bring out insights from John Maxwell for leadership but not the apostle John is nothing wrong Maxwell or Drucker but what you learn and what you graze upon as a leader is what you will feed the flock.

The Bible is being relegated down there to some better proof texting concordance that will pull out every once in a while as we talked about the human condition, and maybe say something about a Bible verse and all of the sweep of modern church leadership and manuals on how to pastor affected the philosophy of ministry. Now to were pastors even in the evangelical church refused to take a stand on anything, have mercy. They are refusing ladies and gentlemen. Frankly, to where the pants father and I were talking one occasion recently about how pastors were influenced by the material or reading for the week and I'm so blessed by this church, by the way, and giving me a library allowance that I've been able to build up over the years.

Good books, solid commentaries, good resources, history, culture, we are trying to have pastors or are reading all his leadership stuff and new ways of doing things and in the not the Reagan's new ways of doing things we do things new ways over time, but sort of relegating the philosophy of the church administrator. Maybe the latest fad being influenced how the stuff I said that you think that these men are being influenced by by the writings of popular men in more ways than they know it.

My father who is now inserting 54 years as a missionary said to me something I never forgot simply because it was so simple and yet so profound.

He said yes. Even when I was a boy growing up on the farm we could always tell when our cow, Bessie got into the onions. You can taste milk. We as leaders feed others. What we are grazing upon ourselves. Titus is going to call these men to an un-diluted unmixed on the soured truth which is the role of the elder to see the flock is fed the meat and the milk of the word, cared for and directed and guided biblically any not the greatest joy of any elders any genuine elder. The greatest joy is said seven overlays so well by the apostle John presented this with. I have no greater joy than the know that my children. My spiritual children are walking in what the truth that's the greatest joy that those under my care know and live and walk in the truth.

The elders are plural. They are providers.

Thirdly, they are protective will actually get into this point later on chapter 1 is Titus informs the elders there to refute those who contradict Dr. that'll be interesting. Our job is to warn and protect the flock. Just as fathers do in the home, so men do in the church you lead fathers and individual homes warn their sons many things right fathers in the home warn their daughters of young men right. I can appreciate the answer of Charles Barkley, the theologian basketball Hall of Famer who gave to a reporter once asked him. Here's his answer reporter asked him how is he going to handle his young daughters future boyfriend. He said well I figure if I kill the first guy word will spread my love that I never stopped warning you pulse be on guard. He says to the Ephesian elders for yourselves and for all the flock over room or among which the Holy Spirit is made you overseers, to shepherd, there's a word point to feed the church of God which he purchased with his own blood, for I now listen for.

I know that after my parts are after I sail away savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. That is, they don't care about the flock they don't they want their own following money or they will position our prominence. They really don't care about the flock, but wolves are coming. Get ready. He said therefore be on the alert Philip Keller's wonderful book taken from his many years raising and tending sheep Road. I quote this warning reminds me of the behavior of sheep when under attack from dogs, cougars, bears and wolves. He'd seen it all, often in blind fear they will stand rooted to the spot watching their companions being cut to shreds the predator then will easily pounce from one to another, raking and tearing them with tooth and claw. Meanwhile the other sheep may even act as if they do not hear or recognize the carnage going on around them.

It's as though they were totally oblivious to the peril of their own position in elder carries that as a burden on his heart, Charles Jefferson, who pastored in the late 1800s until I come telling pastors going to read several he really got to go back to the 1800s and everything in between. Just throw away most he wrote this the journey from the cradle to the grave is hazardous if every man is surrounded by perils if the universe is indeed alive with forces hostile to the soul, then watchfulness becomes one of the most critical of all the elder pastors responsibilities. Elders are to be protectors, watchmen defenders and guardians of God's people. Perhaps that's why one national Christian leader answered reporter this way when he was asked what is the most important quality for a leader, a Christian leader in the church to possess and his answer struck me as interesting. He said in a word, courage, courage may be true more than ever to discipline sin in the church to confront internal strife and division in the church. The names sin in the face of growing cultural approval to stand against doctrinal error to refute false teaching and challenge false teachers to literally lay down your life for the sake of the flock for the benefit of the flock for the protection of the flock demands among other qualities.

No doubt, courage is something you can pray for for us. Fourthly, the elders have priority. They are plural their providers. Their protective may have priority over they rule the flock they are to be obeyed. The church ladies and gentlemen, as counterculture, as this is going to sound especially to American ears. The church according to the New Testament is not a democracy.

It's not even a Republic. Elders are not elected officials so that they might represent their various constituencies that put them in office. The elders are not representatives of the people to bring the opinions of people into a board room.

In fact, they are not accountable to the people they are accountable to God, who is set them over in the leading the people.

So the apostle Peter would charge the elders to shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion and all words in there making you do it don't do it there a lot of things you can do. The church don't do that, but voluntarily according to the will of God first beautified to elders, do not speak for the people they speak to the people on behalf of Jesus Christ, who has given them a message that in any culture and in every generation never changes. Peter goes on to warn every elder the same time, encourage them and when the chief Shepherd appears, you speaking to elders, you will receive this unique crown of glory. In other words, the elders are going to give an account to him and his and reward them accordingly. The writer of Hebrews says that same line of thinking, obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls that tells us ladies and gentlemen, that none of you will ever give an account for my soul but I will give an account for yours are elders will give an account for Jonathan Edwards, the father of the great awakening believed that at the bema that he would be standing there next to Christ is everyone in his flock over whom he had been given authority and leadership responsibilities as they were reviewed and his ministry would be reviewed to them writer of Hebrews says, obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls, as those give an account and then he has this to the congregation. Let them do this with joy and not with grief me tell you something, beloved, after 25 years of ministry here at this church. I want you to know you have brought me great joy.

Great.

I speak on behalf of our elder team and and and or deacons. Nearly 80 of us in that wonderful 80 men committed to the word of God, the Spirit of God giving their lives for your benefit in your growth and your protection in your care. I know I speak for them to you. Have brought us great joy. I think we ought to covenant together and knew that we all made together bring our chiefs great joy, very little grief, courage and love and serve together that was Horton is done from God's today in the days ahead will continue looking at the role and qualifications of church leaders and particularly the office of elder. This is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen Davey is in a series called the shepherd's mantle. I hope you're with us for the entire series. If you're a church leader or if you think you'd like to be a leader in your church someday. Stevens written a book that will help you. It dives deep into this letter from Paul to Titus Stevens book is entitled Titus and it's part of our wisdom commentary series, this book is available on our website which is wisdom online.org once again, that's wisdom online.org if you prefer to call us. Our number here in the office is 86 648 Bible numerically.

That's 866-482-4253. We can give you information over the phone on this or any of our other resources.

The ministry of wisdom for the heart is made possible by the support we receive from our listeners, so from time to time we like to take a few moments and share with you how your investment is making a difference in the lives of many people here some correspondence we received recently.

Thomas from my home state of Michigan said I've been listening to wisdom for the heart since 2015 and I received your newsletter every month. The gospel is made clear through the preaching of Dr. Davey. I'm amazed at the peace that fills my mind as the program goes off in my day begins and this from Jeff in Georgia.

I'm a listener who recently spoke with a lady who shared how she's been struggling with caring for her unsaved husband.

He has advanced dementia. She's homebound and often feels the pain of isolation as she was sharing her prayer request with me, it became clear that one of the biggest blessings to her is her mornings listening to wisdom for the heart. She shared how caring you are when you take questions from your listeners while also having just the right bit of humor. You are ministering to her, and many others through the radio program. Thanks for sharing that and thanks for supporting us here at wisdom for the heart. Please join us to


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