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Christian Markle

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  1. Thought: How we treat our most stubborn enemy is a commentary on how well we understand how God has treated us. Sadly, I am still learning to put into practice what I say I believe about the Amazing salvation I have so undeservingly received.
  2. But why the walk down memory lane? Why is Paul reminding us what we were like before? Certainly we can develop a great gospel message on from vss 3-7. But may i suggest that Paul was not telling Titus to preach this to the lost, but to those that were already saints. Again, why the review of the Gospel? To what end is this line of thinking? If one gets this right, one will have a powerful tool in the sanctification process.
  3. My point is that the Scriptures never indicate that the pastor is any kind of "head" of the church. This designation is reserved for Christ alone. Certainly there is authority given to the pastor, but he is not a visible head. It appears that you were trying to say that he is the human (visible) authority (head). I may be assuming too much, but this may be neglecting to value the authority vested in the congregation, which is both visible and exactly what Christ seems to emphasize in Matthew 18. Clearly we have stepped far off the intended study of Titus 3. I am wiling to drop the matter here, or move the discussion to another thread, but we should probably get back to the passage in question, right? For the glory of His church, Christian Markle
  4. Brother Alan, I am thankful for your clarification on Matthew 18. I think you are on safer ground with that. I would like to press your view of the Pastor a bit. The Biblical text only gives headship in the church to one person, Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 2:10, 19). We pastors are not heads; we are overseers (ie managers). We do not preside as lords over believer-priests (1 Peter 5:3 cf 2:5,9); we are not the mediators between God and the church. We are the teachers of doctrine; this is how we lead, feed and protect the flock. The congregation makes the decisions in the area of discipline (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5). Christ died for the church; it is God's flock (1 Peter 5:2)., Christ is the chief shepherd (vs 4); we are simply His under-shepherds. I do not think it is an oversight by Christ to not mention church leadership in Matthew 18. This certainly does not exclude the pastor from the process, but it does not demand his involvement either. The pastor's role is to teach the principles of conflict resolution; he certainly may be a witness in the second step. He may also guide the church through the third and implementing the fourth step, but he certainly is not the "visible head" of the church...Christ is the church's ONLY head. For the glory of Christ in His Church Christian Markle :
  5. Does Matthew 18 actually teach that we are to take our unresolved personal conflicts to our spiritual leaders? It seems that if the first step (private confrontation vs 15) does not win back the brother then it is not time to get a Pastor, but to get other spiritual brothers to go as witnesses (Matthew 18:16). These witness do not need to be fully informed (so as to be "on the side" of one brother or the other, but come to hear the case. These witness appear to fulfill two purposes: 1) to be able to establish every word (vs 16) and 2) that they may speak into the situation so as to be heard (vs 17). This does not need to be a Pastor. I suggest that Paul saw the believers of Rome to be fully able to admonish one another because they had two characteristics: 2) full of goodness and 1) full of all knowledge (Romans 15:14). Jesus does not say go to your pastor, he says take two or three witnesses. If these are not heard, then one may take it to the church (again not to the pastor per se, but to the assembly). The congregation may then rule on the matter. If this ruling is then ignored then there is to be treatment such as a heathen and/or publican (vs 17). You are correct that not all matters are worthy of this progression. I think it is possible to allow love to cover and mercy to prevail at any stage of this process. The determining factors however, should be the potential spiritual damage if one backs off. We are indeed called to forbear one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). For His glory, Christian Markle
  6. Now that we have included vs 2 may I make some observations? In Titus 3:1-2 Paul commands Titus to regularly remind the Cretan believers of 5 responsibilities. Grammatically the list looks like this: Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 1) They are to have a submissive attitude toward governmental authorities. 2) They are to actually obey governmental authorities. 3) They are to be prepared (ready for immediate action) for all kinds of good works. 4) They are not to speak with the intent of malice toward anyone 5) They are not to be a brawler (ready for a fight, a chip on the shoulder) - instead they are to be gentile and displaying all kinds of meekness toward all. There is much to explore here. Like what does it mean to be ready for every good work? What does that look like practically speaking? What forms of communication are evil speaking and what forms of communication although not pleasant are actually right not evil? What does it mean to be a brawler? What does gentleness look like? Although I am interested in all of these questions, I would like to emphasis only one specific idea. Why the emphasis in the last phrase of vs 2 -- ALL meekness toward ALL men? This I believe really sets the stage for the rest of the passage (vs 3-8). May I suggest that the universal nature of this responsibility draws out from us a natural question? HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I DO THAT WITH EVERYONE? And the answer is found in our recall of our own evil depravity toward God (vs 3) and His merciful response to us (vs 4-8). Note that the notion of the preparation "to every good work" is repeated in vs 8 in the phrase "be careful to maintain good works." The point of vss 3-7 then is to help us know what to review constantly so we will respond properly when it very hard to respond properly. For the glory of His grace, Christian Markle
  7. I agree that the point of 3:1a,b is our submissive response to government. The emphasis on levels of government officials (principalities, powers, magistrates) certainly pushes us to respond with obedience and submission at each level of government. (There are exceptions, but these should be for clear and direct demands against the clear and direct commands of the Lord our God (cf. Acts 5:29).) However, vs 1-2 offer 5 subjects of responsibility which Titus was to remind his hearers of (that is 5 if we separate out subjection of principalities and powers and obedience to magistrates as 2 separate responsiblities). Ought we not also think through the last phrase of vs 1 as well as the we do the beginning of the verse?
  8. Sister, you have indeed seen a similar flow of thought to what I have also noticed. I would add that this is not just about our communication, but in how we behave. Further I would suggest that this passage offers us specific information on how we are to respond to those who are indeed "not nice" to us. I would suggest the following as a summary: "How to deal with people who irritate you." I am regularly reminded that I have been treated way better by God than I would prefer to treat others -- oh, how gospel grace teaches and trains us to live differently (Titus 2:11-12). Two things of significance for preachers: Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) is telling Titus what to preach on ("Put them in mind" has the idea of "remind them"); furthermore in vs 8, he tells him to regularly affirm these things so that we who are believers will be careful to maintain good works. We who preach should take note of Spirit inspired commands on preaching topics! There is much here for meditation toward sanctification of our character and behavior, but I sense that we are supposed to be focused on vs 1 for now.
  9. Thank you, I will indeed attempt to keep any disagreements friendly. Excellent, we are using Titus 2:11-3:8 as our passage for memorization for this year in our Adult Sunday School Class. It is my responsibility to lead a similar teaching/discussion. I look forward to the interaction. I appreciate the welcome and invite to go back to previously discussed passages, but this may unnecessarily bog down the present discussion. I do think that the broader "flow of thought" for this section of the book begins with 2:1, but that really is going back pretty far. 3:1-8 is a powerful passage on a number of fronts and is certainly worthy of our attention. Thank you again for the warm welcome! For His glory, Christian Markle
  10. I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I am not sure how this Bible Study format works. Are we on Chapter 3:1? If so, I would ask what everyone sees as the flow of thought from vs 1-8? For His glory Christian Markle
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