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Politically Incorrect, Part 1 - Titus 1:5

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2020 1:00 am

Politically Incorrect, Part 1 - Titus 1:5

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 13, 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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What would you say is the most important criteria by which church leaders will be judged here. Stephen Dave those while you leave the church want to give an account of the souls of just another chart you have a question for you. A good Baptist or Presbyterian or Episcopalian method is whatever leader did you follow the traditional expectations of your nomination know that we all will be asked as elders, were you faithful to your role as revealed in the Holy Spirit here denominational help to clarify, find some of the doctrinal differences in the Christian church for church leaders. The primary allegiance lies in something far more sick again than a denomination. In the days of the early church.

The apostle Paul left a young man named Titus on the island of Crete and gave him some instructions on establishing the church part of those instructions involved developing godly leaders called elders. Today we begin a series from Titus one called the shepherds mantle were looking at the qualifications for church leaders.

This is wisdom for the heart and hear Stephen Devi with today's lesson from God's word never had the idea that we live in a strange confused culture where religious beliefs are more bizarre than believable. If you come to the personal conclusion that the gospel is desperately needed to both liberate and redeem a culture that is decaying and depraved now is that time fact it's always been time. It's always been that time you go back integration history you travel back 2000 years ago. If I could travel a flourishing civilization that once was on the island of Crete where the worship of Dionysus was prominent and you'll come to the same conclusion remains of a temple to that particular grade God are still visible. His father was Zeus the chief god of the Greeks, the birth of Dionysus, was anything but normal act, almost too bizarre to believe while his mother was carrying him. Zeus decided to kill her. But first snatched from her womb. The pre-born body of Dionysus and then before incinerating the mother with his glory Zeus had the baby sewn and was owned by can make that up canyons really would believe it, but that is strange it up just after the infant is born.

He's kidnapped by the sons of the earth, known as the Titans didn't want to be ruled by this God so they cooked little Dionysus and aid him.

However, his heart just the last minute was rescued in time by Zeus who swallowed Dionysus his heart and then reconstructed the body of Dionysus and then Zeus blasted the Titans with lightning and from there ashes mankind evolved, which for centuries was the Greek theory of origin.

I can believe that get you Dionysus grows up to create a religion of ecstasy and emotionalism saturated with drunkenness and sexual immorality. In fact, wine was such a critical part of this religion. The Dionysus became known as the god of wine, the Romans picked up on this religion, they, like, didn't so they came up with her own a few versions or attachments, and they named him Bacchus, the Roman name same God Roman god of wine people involved in the religion engaged in ecstatic orgies of demonic possession and and sexual perversion and all the while in this state of drunkenness.

They believe that religion was transcendent experience and that drunkenness allowed you to lose control of your mind and just sort of open you up and drop all any and all inhibition and come in contact with the deity. Anything that's really weird. X-rays known it really is not even new just read the personal testimony of Steve Jobs's biography.

I recently finished his version of Buddhism and is his search for elevated spiritual conscious experiences involve dropping acid and other mind altering drugs that he could he believe enter a state of mind where he believed he engaged with the spirit world joy that a new practice for the followers of Dionysus and Bacchus.

Their drug was alcohol and they sorta lost all forms of restraint in their so-called connection with deity back in one excavated temple you can see in the main section of the temple remains of a well-built circular pit in the middle of the floor there on the main section. The well is beautifully tiled you can still see in pictures great vines and naked figures. It was located. Therefore worshipers engaged in one of their drunken sexually saturated orgies to literally go and vomit their food and drink into that well they been gorging themselves upon so they could simply go and do it again literally throwing out was their view of offering a sacrifice to their God. 30 years or so earlier before the gospel came to the island of Crete through Paul's ministry, several Jews had traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. And while there on that day the church was created they heard a message preached by a converted fisherman named Peter and they were born again by faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They returned to their island and begin to spread this truly liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. 30 years after Pentecost. The apostle Paul visits the island with a young pastor named Titus.

More than likely Paul was visiting Crete after being released from his first Roman imprisonment. He was given parole for about 2 to 3 years visiting Crete during this particular time before he was rearrested and ultimately executed at the command of Nero were not told how long Paul was on the island of Crete, but you can only imagine the mission field. You can only imagine this island where its winemaking was world-renowned work drunkenness was an epidemic where deception had become the reputation of Cretans throughout the civilized world there sexually driven religion would surely alert someone's interest in the motion, far more than a gospel message that required repentance and self-restraint that holy living. But the gospel had taken root by the power of God spirit, the spirit of God to transform the lives of people who had seen enough of Dionysus he has to know that peace and satisfaction were found at the bottom of a bottle, so to speak, that sacrifices to him were nothing more than self-destructing acts that one orgy after another and only left them more empty and more alone than ever before church starts bringing assemblies are devoted to the bits and pieces that they could recall information. Perhaps missionaries come along as well in the church and begun to grow they were in serious jeopardy. However, your spiritual health is hanging in the balance. Teachers had already begun to infiltrate the churches with their myths and speculations they were pulling back in from the religions of Dionysus and others leaderless congregation were open, pray and unprotected what the church on the island of Crete needed was spiritual leadership. So Paul tells Titus in chapter 1 and verse five. If you don't have your Bibles open your turn to Titus 15 will cover this verse I think most this is the reason I left you in Crete Titus that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you this in the church in Crete needed the same thing the church needs today men led by God spirit committed to the Scriptures uncompromising in their gospel fearless in their doctrine blameless in their patterns of living and pure in their personal relationship. What the church needed then and what she needs today is the same thing the church needs shepherds men who aware of the mantle of leadership understand the gravity of it all. Accepting responsibilities of the law manual feed the sheep and shepherd and protect and guard and nurture the flock of God to call to men. I couldn't help but chuckle over the courage of a recent at a red for Levi Strauss. I found it hard to imagine that a secular company would be so willing to be so politically incorrect, especially our confused culture where sexual identity is blurred if not completely erased and arena to you will believe it.

Once upon a time men wore the pants and wore them well. Women rarely had open doors and little ladies never had across the street alone. Men took charge, because that's what they did but somewhere along the way the world decided it no longer needed.

Men disco by disco latte by nonfat latte that's convicting will forget that part men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood, and androgyny which means neither masculine nor feminine nothingness with the ad, but can you believe the writings continues.

But today there are questions our genderless society has no answers for the world sits idly by as cities crumble children misbehave, and those little ladies remain on one side of the street for the first time since bad guys. We need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork step away from the salad bar and on and on tying the world from the tracts of complacency. I mean I mean this is a commercial by resume pants. They and that it finishes it's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of manhood. It's time to wear the pants unsurprisingly didn't sue the pants off them for suggesting that men on only in nurturant health and there are some unique call demand. My goodness Paul is going to tell Titus to identify men in the assembly who are effectively willing and qualified to, as it were, where the pants in the assembly over whom God has granted authority and leadership and care is at the very outset of this letter you got to get ready for politically incorrect message.

In fact, today ladies and gentlemen, if you want talk about male headship. If you want to talk about male leadership, not only in home, but in the church.

You are becoming.

By that, even more politically incorrect not only in the world out there, but inside the evangelical church in here you're not a step, but if Paul could tell Titus to create this kind of culture inside the church of the redeemed located on the island of Crete surrounded by sexual confusion identity confusion religious perversion is certainly he certainly can expect that we can do the same thing today by the redeeming life transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

They have to get ready for some politically incorrect messages you might notice in this verse the all is not well among the Christians in the church is on the island of Crete. You might notice again in verse five, the Paul tells Titus to set in order. What remains set in order comes from the Greek verb to compound were actually part of it is worth thought, oh, from which we use. We use that word often the same idea for ortho paddocks straightening the bones the word or thought is a more predominantly understood in the use of the word orthodontics. My wife and I invested heavily in that practice.

You've had braces at some point look at all of the money we spent on land braces growing up to date myself here, but back then when I was a boy.

I'm old enough to say that now, when I was a boy back way back then. None of it was flexible or plastic. You didn't choose colors for spacers you had one color and it was shiny metal you were called metal mall for a very good reason. Right uppers and then lowers II had a really pronounced overbite and by the time I was in middle school. One of my two front teeth stuck out so badly that I could hardly close my lips.

My friends joked that I could eat watermelon through picket fence and those were my friends fact I'll tell you this. Several years later when I was in high school.

My younger brothers used to love and go and get that one particular picture of my middle school schoolbook picture and there I was, big years. First thing the girl in my whole body big ears, red hair, freckled face, and I want to stick it straight and they laughed and they laugh and they live.

I'm okay now.

10 years of counseling of health of the person so I was really glad for braces.

I was very grateful to my parents sacrifice if you had braces though. You know they they were a pain. They hurt quite like the smack of a basketball when you're wearing upper and lower braces in the face but it was worth it word Paul uses here.

In fact it's found here in the New Testament, only this one time. Titus I want you to go and straighten out crooked things.

There are things that need to be set in order. In fact, Paul adds the little phrase they remain they remain in other words, he had been able to finish the job. It's never really finished setting in the place.

Proper leadership structures organizing the assembly relationships between the offices of deacon and elder and the congregation itself. There were broken things. The men church been around for 30 years. Their work crooked things to straighten out and by the way, it would be painful.

It would require extra attention. It would be emotionally costly and the problems just like you are braces would not be fixed overnight. It's going to take a lot longer than you want, but it would be worth it.

But can you imagine Titus having this is in production with his job. Can you imagine him arriving in an established church in Oregon to say to him will just what do you intend to do what is he say I intend to straighten you out and it's going to hurt.

Well great, come on, let's get started now they're going to say and and and and and why do you think you can do that you have this letter giving them apostolic authority and he turned about that verse we call verse number five. And he'd say will look Paul left me here in Crete to set in order. What remains and appoint elders in every city is a been directed by him. The word Paul uses here in reference to these men who will serve in each church is this word elder. It may not be as familiar within the Baptist congregations as it ought to the term elder was adapted from the life of the synagogue elder can be translated bearded refers to age the owner was a common term for leadership. And since the early church was primarily Jewish, they immediately understood this term and it was perfectly suitable. In fact, when the timing attack. Chapter 14 Luke is writing that they are appointing elders in every church.

These would be the leaders who would determine church policy acts chapter 15 they would oversee the church affairs acts chapter 20 they would rule and teach and preach for 75 they would exhort and refute false teaching. Titus 19 they would act as shepherds setting an example for all the flock.

First Peter five that we dig a little deeper will find that there are actually three terms that appear in the New Testament for this one office.

The term present view terrace is often translated elder from the earliest beginnings of of the church. It was clear then that these present view to Roy were spiritually minded elders who are identified as having responsibility and end development and directional responsibilities in the church. The passages that use the term present view terrace seem to focus on the character of the office and the character of the man more than anything else. In fact, if you ransack your New Testament you'll find a lot less about what an elder does as you do about who and elder is another New Testament term for the office is Episcopal costs usually translated to ship Episcopal house was a term the Greeks would immediately understand where present view terrace would be a term that the Jewish converts would immediately understand bishops would have been immediately understood by the Gentile converts, as someone who in their culture was given responsibility by the Emperor to lead newly conquered city states, the bishop was responsible not to the people conquered, but to the Emperor who delegated to him the right to lead fact that phrase that term. This composite is used of Jesus Christ in first Peter two or he is called the Episcopal costs of our soul's the wonderful phrase he has the right to rule over our newly conquered lives wonderful new so present view terrace and Episcopal costs were to terms that emerged in the early New Testament church referring to the men who guarded and guided the church under their delegated authority and their accountability which was the chief Shepherd Jesus Christ that you can easily see by the way just in these terms of amusing, but even greater.

Not how the presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations created their names by simply transliterate in these Greek terms Episcopal costs equals Episcopalian present view terrace gives us the term presbyterian, which is probably why Baptists have been so reluctant to use perfectly biblical titles for the office only to say it's a lot more important for us to be biblical than presbyterian or Episcopalian or Baptist right. After all, we ought to be committed to the words of Scripture, rather than in an above anything else. I met people say want to Baptist or tiny have elders, you're not out here on the Presbyterian Church of the directors know.

We hope to be a biblical church and those terms are biblical those by the way you lead the church when they give an account for the souls entrusted to their church cannot really ask the question know where you Baptist or Presbyterian or Episcopalian method is whatever leader did you follow the traditional expectations of your denomination know they had. We all will be asked as elders, were you faithful to your role as revealed in holy Scripture. Did you do in the 21st century what I the spirit of God commanded the shepherds to do in the first century seen the cultures changed, but the role didn't. The cultures shifted but the objectives didn't. The goal never moved. Did you wear the mantle of a shepherd. Well, there's one more term. The third, when the clearly defines this office its use less often. It's translated pastor or Shepherd is the term point main in its plural form point main also used of Christ by Peter who calls Jesus the shepherd of our souls. First Peter 225, the apostle Peter also use the term again when he referred to Jesus Christ as our chief Shepherd first Peter 54 all the under shepherds, elders, bishops, pastors are underneath the authority of the chief Shepherd. We as leaders are accountable not to the flock, but to him. We don't speak for the flock we speak for Christ to the flock and that of course can be distorted and misused and misapplied. Therein lies the protection of a group of men committed to the Scriptures and the spirit of God holding one another accountable and of the authority of Jesus Christ. Little wonder that such care than would be given. In fact, the solution for the churches on the island of Crete would be found in these men so burdened and qualified for such a task is 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 have chosen any one 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 Peter 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 it in exhort obedience to it because everything else is barren ground.

This is the fertile field of green pastors for the sole of the flock member woman meeting with the pastor in town. She eventually came into town and was concerned about the church she would attend to your list of questions asked the head pastor made an appointment with him and she began a mealy down her list to behold the Scriptures what doctrine they believe did he teach the Scriptures. Verse by verse. After couple minutes he actually interrupted her and said I know what kind of church are looking for. Let me tell you were not into that. But I recommend you visit colonial. I hear they do that over there and that was the end of the appointment and she came here that is in a complement necessarily to me alone is a commendation of this entire body of elder that we have here whose passion is to deliver the word of God to our culture.

In this generation.

I can't begin to tell you how incredibly blessed in the last 25 years to serve with men stayed the course remained committed to holy living that have met the qualifications Titus one that have held to sound doctrine and the biblical philosophy of ministry and with humility and graciousness have given their lives over to serve the flock of God. We have been as a church is much more for us to learn regarding the office of elder. We need to stop here. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. This was the beginning of a series called the shepherds mantle. Today's lesson is called politically incorrect and will bring you the conclusion to this lesson tomorrow, if you're a leader in your church. I encourage you to take a look at the book, Stevens written called Titus. It comes from our wisdom commentary series, we can give you information about this book called Titus if you call us today at 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 will also find it on our website which is wisdom wisdom for the heart is a disciple making ministry. These broadcasts are made possible by the support we received from our listeners. If you're able to help us this month we be grateful thanks for joining us today. Please come back tomorrow for the conclusion of this lesson right here on wisdom

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