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i would say Trapperhoney thy His foreknowledge is His decree. The Greek word election is "eklogē" meaning 

  1. the act of picking out, choosing

    1. of the act of God's free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons

    2. the decree made from choice by which he determined to bless certain persons through Christ by grace alone

  2. a thing or person chosen

    1. of persons: God's elect (from Strong Greek lexicon)                

My point in all this is to point out that all things are to be God centered. All thing are a result of God's decrees, not of mans doing.

all things are not by God's decree.  If they were, god would not have questioned Eve or Cain...

 

Genesis 3:13 (KJV)
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Genesis 4:10 (KJV)
And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

 

God did not plan for Eve to eat the fruit.  God did not plan for Cain to kill his brother.  But God knew these things would happen.

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all things are not by God's decree.  If they were, god would not have questioned Eve or Cain...

 

Genesis 3:13 (KJV)
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Genesis 4:10 (KJV)
And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

 

God did not plan for Eve to eat the fruit.  God did not plan for Cain to kill his brother.  But God knew these things would happen.

do you mean that God asked Eve or Cain because he didn't know? That Gid had no idea what was going on? That God isn't omniscient?

thats called God being anthropomorphic in dealing with man. For you to assume that God  had to look into the future to learn something or who would get saved is ridiculous, you are essentially saying God had to learn who would get saved. That at some particular time their was something God didn't know, so he had to look into the future. 

Its an "you meant it for evil but God meant it for good" kind of thing. Also Eph 1:11

Also see the Crucifixion for another example.

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the problem we face here is that we as mankind take things to extremes.  for man it has to be one way or another.  in our fallibility we cannot find true balance.  God is a God of Wrath, but he is also a God of Love.  to man, that makes no sense whatsoever.  that is why most men capitalize on God's love and say a loving God won't send someone to hell.  We do not understand how two things that in our fallen nature are direct opposites can be in one being.  God is also a God of justice but also a God of mercy.  We can see in our human courts that those two things rarely work together.  God is a God of balance.  All his attributes work together in harmony.  The argument I hear for "election" -- for God picking and choosing on his whim -- is because God is sovereign.  For man to have free will, it limits God's sovereignty and makes him at the mercy of fallen man.  But God is not limited by man, he is still working his plan, laid out from before the foundation of the world, because of his foreknowledge.  God has chosen to work through man.  He has also chosen to work through men who are willing to serve him.  Man does not limit God, God has chosen to limit himself in what he does and how he does it in order to carry out his plans through willing men.  That is the balance in his nature.  Because God is who He is, only he can operate in perfect balance attributes that man finds contradictory.  In the end we are accountable to God for what we believe and when it is all said and done that is between you and God.

Brethren,

Any thoughts or comments on the other sections of Titus 1:3 and 4, such as: The Warmth of Paul or Grace, Mercy, and Peace?

Alan

I think we should look a little closer at grace, mercy and peace :)

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"I think we should look a little closer at grace, mercy and peace"

That would be a good idea especially since all three these days are often misrepresented by various preachers and churches. Many Christians have their view of these points installed by the media more than by Scripture. Thus they have warped views.

As mentioned above, men tend to go to extremes by over-focusing and over-emphasizing certain aspects of God while limiting or leaving out others.

The biblical meaning of these three is what's important, and what people need to know and understand.

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I did a quick look and this is what I've gleaned so far.  Just in the beginning stages:

Grace

Thayer definition:

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2 are almost identical with Titus 1:4, but addressed to Timothy

I did a word search for "grace" and the first occurances I found were in reference to Christ --

Luk_2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Joh_1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Joh_1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Joh_1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

These were the only occurrences I found in the gospels. The rest start in Acts.

Mercy

Thayer Definition:

1) mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them

1a) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show ones self merciful

1b) of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ

1c) the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life

i also did a word search for "mercy" it is first mentioed in the Beatitudes, and interestingly there is no mention in Revelation.

Peace

Thayer Definition:

1) a state of national tranquillity

1a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war

2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

4) of the Messiahs peace

4a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Peace seems to be evenly spread through the New Testament, with only two occurrences in Revelation, in chapters 1 and 6

(as clarification, I only searched in the NT, perhaps shortsighted of me....)

Edited by trapperhoney
clarification of statement

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tapperhoney,

I want to thank you from all of us for your research into Grace, Mercy and Peace. All three subjects are worthy of our attention and discussion.

Leonard Sylvia,

No problem.

Brethren,

Any other thoughts?

Alan

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I love the phrase "manifested His Word through preaching".  

 

A trucker, always carries in his cab, a manifest.  It is documents that show what he has inside his trailer.

 

Preaching should always bring to light that precious Word of God.  The one bearing it is more effective if it is evident in his life.

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The following study on Grace, Mercy and Peace is through the request of tapperhoney.

“Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father”

As one studies the scriptures, we can see the grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father in the Old Testament before the Law and during the Law. Faith in the grace and mercy of God was needed for the salvation of the soul is the same in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament.

Before the Law

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8 Noah trusted in the grace and mercy of the LORD for the eternal salvation of his soul and preached repentance to the lost. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Noah preached that God will punish all sin in hell, and that only by the grace of God can a person escape the damnation that every sinner deserves. Noah preached that only those who will trust in the mercy of God will obtain eternal salvation. Every person from Adam to the last man upon the face of this earth deserves to spend eternity in hell for the just punishment of his sin.

During the Law

The scriptures are very clear that God gave the Law to Moses and to the nation of Israel to show them, and the world, that all of mankind has sinned against the Holiness and Righteousness of God and that the entire world deserves to spend eternity in hell for violating the commandments of God. The commandments of God are just and holy. The Law clearly shows mankind that we cannot keep the Law for righteousness. Therefore, the Law shows us the necessity of a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24 Before the Law, during the Law, and after the law; justification is by faith.

Moses, and every honest and sincere Jew knew that they, in some manner, whether unintentionally or intentionally, violated the Law. The whole reason for the sacrificial law of Leviticus was to provide a sacrifice to the Jews because of their sins.

God gave the Law, the Ten Commandments, to Moses in Exodus 20:1-17. After God gave the Ten Commandments, and after God gave Moses the remainder of the Law in Exodus 20:18-31 through 31:18 we read this amazing statement concerning the mercy and grace of God.

“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the third generation.”

Exodus 34:5-7

When a person who wants to get saved in the New Testament Age of Grace, they obey “Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” My dear brethren, Romans 10:13 is a quotation from under the Old Testament Law; Joel 2:32. Joel 2:32 is a prophecy that is directly in reference to the 1000 Millennial Reign of Christ. Also, with a slight variation, by the testimony of David.

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of LORD shall be delivered:  for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Joel 2:32

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:2 and 3

Peace in the Old Testament

“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Isiah 45:7

Great Peace in the Old Testament

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165. The Christian is not under the Law for salvation. But, my beloved brethren, we need to love the Law as it brings us to a saving knowledge of Christ and the wonders of His salvation.

“And the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8 and 9

The eternal salvation of our soul from an eternity in hell, for the just condemnation of our sins, is through faith in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins and are declared righteous in the sight of God. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Peace in Christ

The Christian has eternal peace with God at the moment of salvation: Romans 8:1 As we walk with Christ, and abide in Christ, we can have peace in the midst of this world of strife, persecution and tribulation. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

Brethren,

 

We will continue our discussion of  the mercy of God, and the of the Lord Jesus, later on in the study of Titus; in Titus 3:4-6

 

I guess I better give all of you an assignment in our study in Titus. Read Titus 3:4-6

 

Alan

I love the phrase "manifested His Word through preaching".  

 

A trucker, always carries in his cab, a manifest.  It is documents that show what he has inside his trailer.

 

Preaching should always bring to light that precious Word of God.  The one bearing it is more effective if it is evident in his life.

Great illustration.  :clap: Thanks!

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I went back and searched for "grace" in the Old Testament, and the first occurrence was Noah finding grace in the eyes of the Lord.  Grace has been there from the foundation of the world.  It is what tempers all other of God's attributes and allows Him to give favor to we humans who fall short every day.  Praise the Lord!

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Alan said

Moses, and every honest and sincere Jew knew that they, in some manner, whether unintentionally or intentionally, violated the Law. The whole reason for the sacrificial law of Leviticus was to provide a sacrifice to the Jews because of their sins.

  Reminds me that about a year ago we had a speaker from Christian Witness To Israel.  He is in contact with many Jews, and one he was speaking with said he thought he would be save by keeping the law. " How sure are you that you keep the law" said Mike.  I am 99% sure I keep the law said the Jew, but Mike replied, "I am 200% sure that you don't keep the law and I think the Post Office will agree with me because when I write to you, you steam the envelope open read my letter, write a reply and put it in the envelope reseal it and write, 'Return to Sender, then post it.'   

Isn't that like people we meet who think that God will not judge them because they are a 'good person'?

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Edited by Invicta
Added bible text

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So many people have heard the twisted, untrue teachings of "God is love" (which they teach as meaning God loves everyone and it's the type of love that will let everyone get away with whatever they do so they can all go to heaven) and the more recent "God of grace" (which they teach much the same as they do the other).

There are many around here who have told me they are better than other people so they believe they will go to heaven. Some add in they have been baptized or are a member of a church or they try to keep the ten commandments (which they don't even know all of them or what each one means).

Then there are always those who seem to think only Hitler, Manson and people like them will be sent to hell.

Try pointing out even one area of their lives or one outstanding sin in their lives to help them see they aren't good as God defines good and they become defensive and accuse us of being judgmental.

I really dislike a popular local Christian Church because most of their pastors over the years have taught salvation by baptism and there are so many around here certain that since one of those pastors told them getting baptized would assure them of heaven, they know they are going to heaven and won't listen to anyone else. :(

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Office of the Pastor

Verse 5-9, “ For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

Paul and Titus had an excellent relationship with one another and with the Lord. Paul saw the need in Crete of a man of God to pastor the local church and to set in order the spiritual needs of the area. The most important spiritual need in the mind of Paul was to make sure that qualified men of God were to be in charge of the local church. It is also of utmost importance to see that the title of elder, bishop and pastor are interchangeable terms for the same office. Please note in verse 5 Paul states, “... and ordain elders in every city...” then in verse 7, in speaking of the same office, Paul states, “... For a bishop...” And, in talking about the offices of the church, Paul in Ephesians 4:11, says “... pastors and teachers.” Please note that Paul said in Ephesians 4:11 “...pastors...” instead of the word bishop or elder for the same office.

The current tradition of having bishops or elders, like the Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, and other denominations, over several churches is not of the Lord. It is a tradition of man. It is not a New Testament doctrine or tradition.

And, because the office of the pastor is that of a steward of God over the flock of God, the qualifications of a pastor are very strict. These requirements that a man must meet in order to be a pastor are still in force in these last days.

Titus had already known the qualifications of a pastor from Paul earlier writing in First Timothy 3:1-6, so Paul is now emphasizing some of them and expounding on some others.

In verses 6-9, Paul lists 15 characteristics that the candidate must have before he is ordained as the pastor in the local church. We will try and comment on each one in due order. We must remember that Paul told Titus that the man in question must have these characteristics before he is put in the position of pastor. It is obvious that Paul was more concerned over the characteristics of the man then in filling the position of a pastor. If a man does not meet these qualifications, than he should not be in the ministry.

And, in my estimation, due to the fact that Paul does not give any qualifications for the missionary or evangelist, then it may be safe to assume that the missionary and evangelist must meet these qualifications also. This is due to the fact that they are representing the Lord Jesus Christ in the pulpit of the churches. They also are leading the flock of God in their respective ministries as the pastor is.

The Fifteen Characteristics are:

     1. He must be blameless.

     The definition of blameless is; Free from blame of fault. The man who aspires to be a pastor is an overseer in the church of God and as such, he must be blameless when it comes to the affairs of the church. The man of God needs to be blameless when it comes to his character, dealing in finances, dealing with the world and his family. He must be of utmost integrity.

     2. The Husband of One Wife.

     The office of the pastor is only available to men, not women. And, it is open only to those men who have had only one wife, not divorced, nor a bigamist. Only when a man wife is dead can he remarry and still occupy the office of a pastor.

     The current practice of having women as the pastor of a church, for any reason, is not justified in the scriptures. God can give Godly women many gifts that can be used of the Lord, but being a pastor is not one of those gifts, or calling.

     And, just as important, the current excuse of divorced men, divorced either before or after salvation, as a pastor in the church is not justified in the scriptures. How in the world can a man take care of a local church if he cannot control his actions at home? He cannot.

     3. Having Faithful Children.

     The man of God ought to be able to handle his children to the extent that they are out of control. It does not mean that they are perfect. Furthermore, we must remember, that when a child becomes an adult, and leaves the household, he, or she, is not under the authority of the parents; therefore, the man of God is not held accountable for their actions.

     4. Not Self-willed.

     As a disciple of the Lord Jesus, the pastor needs to crucify the flesh and do God will, not his own will. The Lord Jesus is our prime example of this characteristic. The whole duty of the Lord Jesus was to do the will of His Father, including dying on the cross of Calvary for our sins.

     Even as Christians, a lot of times we do not want to do God will, but we want to do our own will. The duty of the pastor requires him to do God’s will, not his.

     5. Not Soon Angry.

           We must keep in mind that the man of God, as the Lord Jesus, can have righteous indignation and Paul clearly states, “not soon angry.”

     If a man is quick to get into verbal arguments, fistfights, blowing of steam too quickly, or he has other fits of anger, perhaps he should hold off getting in the ministry. Patience is not only a virtue for the pastor, it is a requirement. We need to remember 2 Timothy 2:24, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.”

     Proverbs 16:32, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. King Solomon goes on to say, “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

     6. Not Given to Wine.

     The wine here is an obvious reference to alcoholic beverages. The man who desires to be in the ministry is not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages at all, except in the case of genuine medical aliments. And, as a note in our day and age, even this exception is generally taken away due to the availability of modern medicine.

    7. No Striker.

     This goes beyond just getting angry with someone, it is letting your anger get the best of you and actually hitting, or striking, a person. If a man is in the habit of getting violent in his emotions than he is not qualified for the ministry.

     8. Not Given to Filthy Lucre.

      Covetous is idolatry, Colossians 3:5. The motive for serving the Lord as a pastor, evangelist or missionary, must be pure. Covetousness was one of the sins of the Pharisees, (Luke 16:14), and God does not want it to defile the pastor. The man of God, in any position in the ministry, must love God, not mammon, Luke 16:13.

     One of the saddest things to say is that some men are in the ministry for the love of money, and or religious recognition. Those who, in their hearts, are in the ministry for money are like Balaam, (see Numbers 22-24). “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15

The motive for the serving the Lord must be one out of a heart of love and devotion. If it is not, than the man does not have any business in being in the ministry.

     9. Lover of Hospitality.

     As the Lord Jesus loved all men, so should the pastor love all people. The pastor needs to be friendly to others, whether or not they are church members, or Christians.

     As you follow the life of the Lord Jesus in the gospels, you start to notice some things. Such as, He had meals in believers’ homes and in the homes of the Pharisees and scribes. He went to lost men where they were. He visited the lepers in their colonies; He went to poor people’s homes and those of the rich. He spent nights in the disciples homes and in gardens. He preached in poor hovels and in kings’ palaces. The Lord Jesus was friendly and hospitable to people. We also need to friendly and hospitable as much as possible.

     10. Lover of Good Men.

     Since we need to be hospitable to all men in order to show them the love of Christ it is obvious here that Paul is referring to personal fellowship that we all have with our close friends. When it comes to close friendship, or fellowship, we need to seek out those men who love the Lord and have good testimonies. Our companions that we select are an indication of our own characteristics.

Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

     King David said, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.” Psalms 119:63

     11. Sober.

     The original meaning of sober was not only to not to be drunken with liquor, but, to be: (1) unhurried; calm, (2) marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor.

     Brethren, this characteristic should be true to all of us, not only to the man of God who desires to be a pastor. Every Christian should have the calm assurance that God is on His throne in heaven and has everything under His control. The saint that is close to God does not have much of the anxiety that marks the lost man with no hope and like the foolish individual who thinks that life is just one pleasure trip. We need to be sober-minded in this world that is going mad with delusions.

     12. Just.

     The meaning of just is: (1) Conforming to spiritual law; righteous especially before God. (1) Righteous or equitable in action or judgment; impartial; hence, as of punishments, merited.

     The man who is interested in the office of a pastor must be just. He must be just in the sight of God and in the sight of man.

     In order to be just before God he must be saved. This justification for all is through the redeeming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. All who come to Christ as a sinner, seeking His forgiveness, is justified, or just, in the sight of God.

    A study of the Book of Romans, and Galatians, will explain this doctrine more thoroughly. Briefly stated, Paul wrote in Romans 3:34, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Our justification is in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Now, Paul is not only talking about being justified in Christ, he is talking being just in the sight of man, being blameless, in his actions towards others. Being a man of God, the pastor needs to seek the face of God and have God develop His characteristics in him.

     Moses said, “Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32: 3 & 4. “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 3:3.

    13. Holy.

    God is Holy. His Book is Holy. The office of a pastor is a holy office. Therefore, the man who desires to be a pastor must be holy. This is not a suggestion; it is a commandment. 1 Peter 1:15 & 16 says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

     Leviticus 19:1 & 2 says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.”

     God wants His men, yea, and all His saints, to be holy. Holiness is a separation from the world to God.   Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.”

     14. Temperate.

   The definition of temperate is: (1) Moderate; not excessive; as: (a) Moderate in the indulgence of the appetites or passions. (b) self-controlled; restrained.

   The man who desires to be in the ministry needs to have self-control in this actions, zeal, appetite, and desires. He needs to have his spirit, and bodily desires, in control. “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” 1 Corinthians 14:32. Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it under subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

     15. Faithful to the Word.

     The pastor, yea every man of God, is required to be faithful to the word of God.

     “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1 and 2 A steward in God’s work is required to be faithful to the word of God; it is not a suggestion. If a man is not faithful to the word of God then he should not be in the ministry. Please take note that Paul said this to the Corinthian church with Sosthenes, (1 Corinthians 1:1), as an Apostle and a missionary. Therefore, he is requiring all those in official capacities in the church to be faithful to the word of God.

     And, please take note, that when a man is faithful to the word of God, he is then able to convince others, though sound doctrine, the things of God. The fruit of faithful studying the scriptures is the knowledge of sound doctrine. If a man claims to be a man of God, but does not know, nor does he teach sound doctrine, then, in my estimation, he is not a man of God and should not be in the ministry in any capacity.

     God gave us the scriptures in order for us to know sound doctrine.

     The Authorized Version of the Bible of 1611 is the preserved word of God. The newer versions of the scriptures, starting from the Revised Version of 1881, are perversions of the word of God. They are corrupt texts.

     The Word of God is, “...faithful...” God also preserved it for time immortal. We can depend on the written word of God being faithful. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12: 6 & 7

Conclusion of the Fifteen Characteristics

In conclusion, the qualifications for a pastor are very rigid. The reason why so many churches are going liberal, Charismatic, denominational, and having other spiritual problems, is due to the man who is leading them. They are false ministers of the gospel.

Paul warned the Corinthian church, and all the saints of God, that we should not be surprised when we see these false pastors. Satan is against the work of God and he will counterfeit everything that God has in order to deceive the lost and to confuse the saints. Paul said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

The end of the false ministers, apostles, pastors, evangelist, missionary, is judgment. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon them- selves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1

The end of the true minister, apostle, pastor, evangelist, missionary, is a reward by the Lord Jesus Christ. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4

 

Edited by Alan
addded a hyphen to Self-willed Aug. 20, 2016

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As far the ministry is concerned, Paul said, "...the husband of one wife..." When a man is divorced, in the sight of God, not man, he has two wives. In the requirements of the office of the pastor Paul does not dwell on whether or not the divorce was the fault of the wife or the man. Or, whether or not the man was the wronged and forgiven. Or whether the wife left the man due to his following the Lord.The issue is not who is at fault with the divorce the issue is that the divorced man cannot keep his household in proper order.

So Paul wrote, "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" 1 Timothy 3:5 A divorced man is not a good example to the church if he cannot keep one wife, and his family in proper order. If he cannot take care of his family properly how in the world can he take care of the church of God?

The office of the pastor is a holy office. The man in the office of the pastor is the under-shepherd of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The example of the qualifications of the office of the Pastor is found in the requirements of the Priest in Leviticus 21 As the office of the Priest was holy so is the office of the Pastor.

When Paul dealt with issues in the church that were questionable he gave examples of the Old Testament Law to follow. "Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?" 1 Corinthians 9:8 Let us read one of the requirements for the office of the priest found in Leviticus 21

"They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God." Leviticus 21:7

 

 

Edited by Alan
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That still doesn't touch on the actual point of divorce and the listed pastoral qualifications.

Paul doesn't say if unsaved Fred and unsaved Stacy get married at 18, Fred gets born again at 19, still unsaved Stacy wants nothing to do with Christ or a Christ follower so she divorces now saved Fred, a couple years later saved Fred feels called to be a pastor, prepares for this, marries a saved woman, so now he can't be a pastor.

 

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Regarding point #2, where does it say anything about divorce with regards to the husband of one wife aspect?

Would anybody like to explain it more futher, or better, or clearer, than I did?

That still doesn't touch on the actual point of divorce and the listed pastoral qualifications.

Paul doesn't say if unsaved Fred and unsaved Stacy get married at 18, Fred gets born again at 19, still unsaved Stacy wants nothing to do with Christ or a Christ follower so she divorces now saved Fred, a couple years later saved Fred feels called to be a pastor, prepares for this, marries a saved woman, so now he can't be a pastor.

 

I would like to note that the above illustration is somewhat being discussed in the thread by brother Jordan and I am hesitant to continue this line of reasoning in my own thread. Here is the link to brother Jordan's thread on marriage and divorce: http://www.onlinebaptist.com/home/topic/23739-if-a-divorced-person-marries-are-they-in-adultery/#comment-411404

Brethren,

Is there any other points in the Titus 1:5-9 section that need to be discussed? So far we have only discussed one of the qualifications for the office of a pastor. As brother tapperhoney previous mentioned we need to have a proper balance in discussing issues and I would like to give time and space in this thread to cover any of the other 14 characteristics that a man must have to pastor a church.

"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." Proverbs 11:1 In order to give a  just balance, (or a just proportion of time and space to this section of scripture), we need to press on to other areas of discussion.

Alan

 

 

 

 

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We can move on to other points if there is nothing in the qualifications for pastor that speak to divorce. There are other points that need discussion too and I'll read through the list again later. I only posted on #2 because that was the first one I came to with a question.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

"Thus saith the Lord", with regard to the 2nd point is "husband of one wife". By itself, that's clear, but add in "can't be divorced or married to a divorced woman" and now we've added to the "thus saith the Lord".

That is very different from the issue of women being accepted as pastors since Scripture is totally clear pastors are to be men: "Thus saith the Lord" using male pronouns and referring to the pastor as being a husband.

As to the other issues mentioned, the Lord didn't give us a list of qualifications for music or Bible versions/translations, those are matters we must address through other biblical means.

One of the major problems with regards to many pastors today is the lack of calling. If a man isn't called of God to be a pastor, then he shouldn't be a pastor. Yet many men (and now women) go into the pastorate for reasons other than being called of God. Some because they see it as an easy career choice; some think it's a way for them to "do good", others for various reasons. Only men called of God to be a pastor can serve properly as a pastor.

Then, somewhat coupled with the above, is the problem with the schools prospective pastors attend which are filled with unsaved teachers and professors that confuse and corrupt the minds of future pastors.

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I just wanted to add that I hadn't realized there were so many qualifications for the pastorate. It shows that God is serious about this position and it shouldn't be taken lightly by those who are pastors or who are thinking of becoming a pastor. In regards to the 2nd point that was brought up, that line of reasoning could actually be applied to all of the 15 of the listed qualifications, all you have to say is: "well, God/the Bible doesn't specifically mentioned my unique circumstances, so it must be okay for me. But it wouldn't be okay for so-and-so because their unique circumstances are different from mine."  This is why women are now accepted as pastors. This is why "Christian" rock music is sung in churches. This is why immorality is running rampant and accepted in churches. Because Pastors are becoming lenient. They are not taking their office seriously. They are not taking the Bible seriously. The Bible is being changed to suit the changing times (and I don't just mean the different versions, some who are KJV only will pick and choose what they want to preach and what they don't touch with a ten foot pole because they themselves might be convicted of something). The Bible does not need to spell out every little thing in our lives. We just need to understand "Thus saith the LORD." and not say "well, everything isn't all black and white. Look at this shade of gray, so pretty." while stepping closer and closer to that black area that used to be so obviously black. The Bible gives multiple warnings about this sort of thing, yet they're continuously ignored or glossed over.

Yea and amen! Thank you for your posting concerning the aspect of all the qualifications listed by Paul to Titus. :thumb: I agree with every word and every thought. One of the major reasons our IFB, and other churches, are lacking in holiness is due to the pulpit lacking in holiness and is full of worldy reasoning and leniency in just about all matters.

 John81 said, "One of the major problems with regards to many pastors today is the lack of calling. If a man isn't called of God to be a pastor, then he shouldn't be a pastor. Yet many men (and now women) go into the pastorate for reasons other than being called of God. Some because they see it as an easy career choice; some think it's a way for them to "do good", others for various reasons. Only men called of God to be a pastor can serve properly as a pastor.

Then, somewhat coupled with the above, is the problem with the schools prospective pastors attend which are filled with unsaved teachers and professors that confuse and corrupt the minds of future pastors. "

John81,

Thank you for very for your posting. Excellent anyalysis and correct flow of thought concerning the linkage to part of the problem is the schooling that some of these men receive. We apprecitate your comments very much.

Alan

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"Thus saith the Lord", with regard to the 2nd point is "husband of one wife". By itself, that's clear, but add in "can't be divorced or married to a divorced woman" and now we've added to the "thus saith the Lord".

Now, I believe opposite. To me, personally, "husband of one wife" has a crystal clear meaning and saying "divorced men or a man married to a divorced woman are still qualified to pastor" is adding to the Bible. You and the majority of folks here on Online Baptist disagree with me and see a gray area where because God allows divorce under some circumstances, it's perfectly okay for pastors, under some circumstances. I will not debate or discuss this anymore, as there is already a thread dedicated to that subject (and I doubt it will be a fruitful discussion as we are both firm in our belief). And since this thread is dedicated to the study of Titus, I'll not belabor the point.

As to the other things you brought out, I agree there aren't qualifications for certain standards, I was just pointing out that when a pastor doesn't take his role seriously, doesn't take the very words of God seriously, and allows certain things to slide into gray areas in his own personal life, he's leading the church down a dangerous path. So because the pastor allows certain things in his life (whatever it may be), those same or similar things start slipping quietly into the church and the pastor doesn't address them because he himself would be affected, and soon there is less and less preaching against sin and more and more acceptance of sin. Things that used to be crystal clear are now gray and God's people are confused about what is right and what is wrong. Pilate's question to Jesus is becoming commonplace among Christians today - "What is truth?" 

If God holds pastors to a higher standard than laypeople (15! qualifications!), than so should we. A pastor should be above reproach. A pastor should not lead the church God has called him to down a path that leads to sin. God will hold that pastor accountable for everything he says and does behind the pulpit and as a pastor.

#15 - Faithful to the Word. I believe this qualification is very important, but sadly becoming increasingly rare. Titus 1:9 -  "holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." 

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I have no intention of trying to start debate (I believe they are pointless anyway) but I wanted to state my viewpoint of this topic. For some time my husband and I been bothered by people taking "bishop" to mean "pastor."  Greek is a very precise language, and Paul was a "lawyer" before his salvation, so I believe that he chose his words very carefully.  Ephesians 4 has been cited above as "proof" that bishop and pastor is interchangeable.  However, if we look at the context (Eph. 4:8) it is clearly speaking of gifts given to the church members.  Pastors and teachers is a gift given to certain individuals for the building up of the body.  The Greek word used refers to a "shepherd."  These are people who are best suited for discipleship -- they are nurturing and able to instruct in an effective way.  Now, in Titus, the word bishop is from a Greek word meaning superintendent or overseer.  That indicates an administration type role.  Also, there is a parallel passage in 1 Timothy 3 where Paul states that the bishop is an office.  So a pastor and a bishop are not the same thing.  I do believe that for someone to hold the office of bishop they need to have the gift of pastor, but not everyone with the gift of pastor should hold the office of bishop.  I fear that because of the association of the word bishop to religions we take strong issue with -- such as the Catholic church, and the cult of the Mormons, we have "thrown the baby out with the bathwater" and have misconstrued scriptures to support our justification for not using that term.  A gift is not gender specific.  I know many women who have the "gift of pastor" -- I think it is somewhat innate to the female to be a nurturer and teacher.  I also think this is why many women mistakenly go into "pastorates" when clearly scripture indicates that the overseer of a church is to be a man.  An office can be gender specific and this one clearly is. 

My husband and I taught a class on spiritual gifts, where we took all the passages we could find dealing with those and compared and studied them very deeply and came to this conclusion for ourselves.  We realize that it is not a popular Baptist belief so we generally keep quiet about it, but I did want to put it out there for other to consider. 

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Thank you for your viewpoint.

Ephesians 4:11 and 12, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." This, in my estimation, "pastors and teachers" is clearly referring back to the office 'overseer, bishop, in 1 Timothy 3:1and 2 and Titus 1:5 and 7 as generally believed and accepted. I still accept as all three terms; bishop, elder and pastor meaning the one and the same office: commonly called pastor.  The pastor is the overseer of the church and is the office of the bishop. Due to the misuse of the word, and office of the bishop, I feel there is no harm done is using the title pastor instead of bishop.

 

 

Rebecca said,"If God holds pastors to a higher standard than laypeople (15! qualifications!), than so should we. A pastor should be above reproach. A pastor should not lead the church God has called him to down a path that leads to sin. God will hold that pastor accountable for everything he says and does behind the pulpit and as a pastor.

This statement is entirely true. The qualifications for the office of the pastor is more stingent than the qualification for the priest under the Old Testament Law. The pastor of the church will be held more accountable for the direction of the church than the members of the church.

 

 

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