Titus 1:5–16 (NIV84)
Titus’ Task on Crete
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of
but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness,
not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that
he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers,
especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets
has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands
of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions
they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Step by step, Paul outlines the requirements
for those who wish to lead as stewards of God’s Church. Then he turns his focus to the false teachers, who do not measure up in understanding or teaching the truth, in their corrosive behavior, or in their motives. As living, active members of God’s
Church, potential leaders should aspire to know and understand His truth and to serve in the roles He provides. They and their families need to live a godly life that avoids empty talk, deceit, and any teaching that turns away from God’s truth. Purity
is a tall order, though, and we cannot make ourselves pure. Yet God steps into our lives and purifies us by His Gospel. Thank God that through Jesus Christ, He makes us pure and leads us through His trustworthy Word!
I pray: Jesus, purify me with Your righteousness so that I may lead in my family and serve faithfully among Your people. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia
Publishing House, 2009), 2090.