Tag Archives: office of Bishop

Could I Be a Bishop?

Titus 1:5-9

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are 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 left Titus in Crete for a specific purpose.  He was to get the church in order so it could minister effectively to the people. Crete had been a stopping point on the way to Italy, the last harbor they left before they were shipwrecked many days after.  We don’t read of any revival or preaching that Paul did in Crete, but there must have been a church there and, if so, Paul must have had some influence on that island.  It seems everywhere Paul went, he left behind the gospel.  Oh, how I wish I was more life that.  Always telling people about Jesus and about the salvation only he can bring

I was listening to a radio program yesterday and heard the story of a Muslim man who converted to Christianity.  He told about his disgust for the Muslim religion because it had been taken over be zealots who were giving it a bad name, and he was tired of the hypocrisy of the whole religion.  In fact, he decided he wanted no religion at all if this is what religion is.  He was going to become and atheist, but then he heard about something different., He heard the story of a Savior who came to set all people free.  That Savior wanted a relationship with all people, and it was as simple as asking Him.  This was not a religion; it was a relationship.  This is what His heart longed for, and this is the story Paul told to all those people he met in his travels.  This is what I need top be better at sharing.

How better to share than to live a life that shows people who Jesus is, and how much He loves them?  To be a light in their darkness, a voice in their wilderness, a way in their loneliness and a peace in the storm.  We can be all those things to others if we show them the way to have this relationship.  How better to show them then to live a life that points to Jesus and exemplifies what Jesus wants for them?  How do I do this?  Simple! I live the life of an elder and deacon, described above.

It is intriguing to me that the first characteristic he lists is blameless.  I have not looked up this word but want to give you what I see as the definition of blameless.  To me, it means that no one can point to me and say “There is a sinner, a mocker, a backbiter, a gossiper, a slanderer, a thief.  There is someone who murmurs and complains all the time.  There is someone who is not happy with life but is always spreading sorrow and tears.  There is someone who does not have their life together, who walks in pride and arrogance, who thinks he is better than me.”  Blameless on all counts.  Blameless of having a negative effect on people.  Blameless in doing anything that would cripple my testimony for Christ.  I can understand why Paul puts this qualification first.  This is the first thing people see.  They see our demeanor and disposition.  They see how we live our lives, react to situations and walk through storms.  They see us at out best and at our worst.  They draw conclusions on what they see.  If we are not blameless, they blame us for their lack of interest in Christ.  They see our hypocrisy and want no part of it.  We Must be blameless!

My family life must be in order.  Polygamy must have ben a thing back then, so Paul says a man must only have one wife to qualify.  Many use this verse to say a man cannot serve as a bishop if he divorces and re-marries. I do not read it that way.  It simply says he should have one wife now, and that his family must run effectively and spiritually.  There should not be a riotous atmosphere or unruly children.  I failed miserably here and am so thankful God keeps His word about our children – that they will return to the teachings of their youth.  My children were very unruly, but God forgives and forgets, and so should I. If God will lovingly take His children back when they have sinned and done Him wrong, how much more should I do the same?  It’s time for fathers to stand up and do what is right, and reconcile their families.

Third, he should not be self-willed.  I should not let pride run my life.  I did this for many years and hope I never return to that lifestyle.  I don’t want to be self-willed.  I want to be God-willed.  God centered.  God minded.  I want the fruit of the spirit running through my veins and overflowing in my life.  I need peace and joy not anger.  I need temperance, not drunkenness, or violence or greed.  These lifestyle choices are mine to make and I should make them wisely.  They affect my testimony.  They affect everyone around me.  Instead, I must be hospitable, holy and just.  I need to like people and have a desire to see the best for them. Lastly, and most importantly, I must make sure I am following sound doctrine and I have a good grasp of scripture.  After all the goal here is to be a bishop and a bishop, I must be a good witness, and must be able to answer questions about the faith. I must make sure I am teaching sound doctrine and not running after false teaching.  There is a multitude of false teaching out their right now, and we must do our best to show people the right way, and they only way, to God.  It is my responsibility to know why I love Jesus and what that has done for me.  As Paul said in our last lesson, God has committed these things to us so we can share them with others.  Let us now be weary in well doing!