For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,Titus 1:5(NASB)
Titus was Paul’s spiritual son in the common faith. He was a valuable assistant who was entrusted to oversee the establishment of the Church in the island of Crete. Titus was to appoint godly elders who were equipped to maintain doctrinal purity and support those in their care.
We discover that wherever Paul founded a Christian Church, false teachers quickly infiltrated the congregation and false doctrines were rapidly introduced, to undermine the true gospel of the grace of God.
Titus was chosen, by Paul, and assigned oversight of the church congregations in Crete. Paul directed Titus to guard the flock and expose false teaching, through the establishment of a doctrinally sound leadership of elders throughout the island of Crete.
Paul’s letter to Titus reaffirms, in writing, the responsibility that was laid on his shoulders: "It was for this reason I left you in Crete," the older apostle wrote to his younger assistant, "that you would set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city – as I directed you."
We discover from other passages, that Titus was a Greek by birth who was born again through the ministry of Paul. There were times when Titus journeyed with Paul and Barnabas on their missionary travels, and his responsibility in Crete demonstrates Paul’s confidence in his ability.
He even accompanied them to the Jerusalem Council, where it was agreed that Gentiles, like Titus, did not have to do be circumcised or adopt Jewish practices following their conversion – because Jew and Gentile alike, were part of the One New Man. They were a New Creation in Christ and were equal members of His Body.
The little letter to Titus gives important information on the appointing of godly elders in the congregation, establishing sound teaching, correcting doctrinal error, setting out appropriate Christian behaviour for men and women alike, and encouraging all believers in their faith during our brief sojourn on earth.
Although we don’t know when the Church in Crete was founded, this comprehensive letter to Titus gives clear instruction on the important issues of governance and guidance within the Body of Christ.
By God’s grace, we all have the Word of God as our plum-line for truth. May we read, mark, learn, understand, and apply its wisdom in every area of our lives – and may we become so in tune with the will of God, that we are enabled to identify and, if necessary, challenge areas of church life and doctrine that do not line-up with Scripture.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am a member of the Body of Christ and that we are all one in Him. Thank You for the joy of Christian fellowship and the opportunities we all have of meeting together in our local gatherings. Raise up leaders like Titus who stand firm on the authority of Scripture and carry out their responsibilities by speaking the truth in love. Raise up elders who are able to identify and address incorrect teachings and are willing to deal with issues that compromise the truth of the gospel of God. Keep each one of us low at the Cross and broken before You. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.