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Paul's Exhortations & Instructions to Brother Titus Volume 6
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Paul Gives the Qualifications for Elders to Brother Titus Part 3
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. KJV
Paul concludes his narrative to Brother Titus about the specific qualifications required by any man to hold the office of bishop or elder in the Church of our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ with these words, "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." (Titus 1:9) (KJV). The first of the final qualifications for the man who would be appointed to the office of bishop or elder in the Church of the Lord Jesus would be that he would be a man 'holding fast' to that which was handed down from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself to the first Apostles James, John, Peter, etc. So then, this English phrase 'holding fast' is translated by the Greek word antechomai meaning to adhere to; by extension to care for: - hold fast, hold to, support. When Paul writes, 'the faithful word', he means the words handed down from the Apostles to Titus and The Word who became flesh and walked among us, that is, the living Word our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude wrote to all of us brothers and sisters in Christ with these words, "Having made all haste to write to you about the common salvation, beloved, I had need to write to you to exhort you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3) (MKJV). In other words, the bishop or elder of any Church of Jesus Christ must be a man who believes the Bible is the inerrant, irrefutable, and infallible Word of Almighty God and not be a man wavering and being tossed to and fro with every other wind of doctrine or teaching that questions the infallibility of God's Holy Word (Ephesians 4:14).
Here is what Dr. John Gill had to say about the elder holding fast to the faithful word, "The doctrine of the Gospel, so called because it is true, and to be believed; it is the word of truth, and truth itself, and contains nothing but truth; and because it never deceived any, that gave credit to its doctrines, and its promises; and because it is pure, unmixed, and unadulterated, and is the sincere milk of the word; and because in it is a glorious display of the faithfulness of God to His perfections, to His holiness and justice, to His law, and to His covenant, word, and oath; and of the faithfulness of Christ, to Him that appointed Him and to His covenant engagements, and which has appeared in the discharge of His various offices: and this is not only to be held forth by the elder, but to be held fast, and tenaciously abode by; in opposition to all wavering about it, departure from it, dropping or concealing any part of it, and pusillanimity (contemptible fearfulness) concerning it; whatever temptations there may be to the contrary, through popular applause on the one hand, and reproaches and persecutions on the other; and though there may be many that may endeavour to wring it out of his hands." This holding fast to the faithful word should be as the elder has been taught the Word by faithful men or women who whole heartedly believe God.
This is exactly what Paul wrote to Brother Timothy in both the epistles written to him and in the first epistle Paul said these words to Timothy concerning this matter of adhering to the doctrine he had been taught, "Having suggested these things to the brothers, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the Words of Faith and by the good doctrine which you have followed." (1 Timothy 4:6) (MKJV), and then he wrote again to him this same concept with these words in the 2nd epistle to him, "But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from a babe you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:14-15) (MKJV). Here is what Albert Barnes had to say about as he hath been taught, "The sense is, according to that doctrine as taught by the inspired teachers of religion. It does not mean as he had individually been taught; but he was to hold the faith as it was delivered by those whom the Saviour had appointed to make it known to mankind. The phrase 'the doctrine,' or 'the teaching,' had a sort of technical meaning, denoting the Gospel as that which had been communicated to mankind, not by human reason, but by teaching."
When Paul writes, 'that he may be able by sound doctrine', he means that which was the truth handed down once and for all to the saints as declared by Jude above in the epistle he wrote. The English word 'sound' is translated by the Greek word hugiainō meaning (as used here) figuratively to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine): The English word 'doctrine' is translated by the Greek word didaskalia meaning instruction (the function or the information): - doctrine, learning, teaching. In other words, the teaching of the bishop or elder must be uncorrupt and holding true to what was handed down from the Apostles (Acts 2:42). The result of this true doctrinal teaching would be that it would positively exhort and comfort every true believer while at the same time it would serve to confute, convict, and convince those who disputed and spoke against the truth of God and the truth of the Gospel. Here is what Matthew Henry had to say on this matter of exhorting by sound doctrine and convincing gainsayers by that same sound doctrine, "To persuade and draw others to the true faith, and to convince the contrary-minded. How should he do this if he himself were uncertain or unsteady, not holding fast that faithful word and sound doctrine which should be the matter of this teaching, and the means and ground of convincing those that oppose the truth? We see here summarily the great work of the ministry - to exhort those who are willing to know and do their duty, and to convince those that contradict, both which are to be done by sound doctrine, that is, in a rational instructive way, by scripture-arguments and testimonies, which are the infallible words of truth, what all may and should rest and be satisfied in and determined by. And thus of the qualifications of the elders whom Titus was to ordain."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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