Titus 1.6-8-The Candidate for the Office of Overseer Must Meet Certain Domestic and Personal Qualifications to be Ordained
Wenstrom Bible Ministries
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Sunday January 12, 2014
Titus: Titus 1:6-8-The Candidate for the Office of Overseer Must Meet Certain Domestic and Personal Qualifications to be Ordained
Lesson # 5
Please turn in your Bibles to Titus 1:1.
Titus 1:1 From Paul, God’s servant indeed an apostle of Jesus, who is the Christ for the purpose of producing faith in God’s chosen out ones resulting in an experiential knowledge of the truth, which is for the purpose of producing godliness 2 resulting in the confident expectation of eternal life, which the truthful God promised before eternal ages. 3 However, He has manifested His message at His own appointed time through the proclamation which I myself was entrusted with because of the decree originating from God the Father, our Savior. 4 To Titus, a legitimate spiritual child on the basis of a mutual faith: Grace resulting in peace from God the Father as well as the Christ who is Jesus, who is our Savior. 5 For this purpose, I left you behind in Crete so as to set in order that which is lacking, specifically, so as to appoint in each and every town elders as I myself commanded you. (My translation)
Titus 1:6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. (NASB95)
Titus 1:6 If and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that any man is of a good reputation, a one-woman man, possessing faithful children, who are not accused of dissipation or rebellion, then you are to appoint them. (My translation)
Titus 1:6-9 contains what scholars call a “duty code” or we could call it simply a “code of conduct” and corresponds and parallels the duty code in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
There are fifteen qualifications listed by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and 17 in Titus 1:6-9.
Many of the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 appear in Titus 1:6-9, therefore, when we don’t count the duplicates we have twenty-five qualifications listed by the apostle Paul.
Of these twenty-five qualifications listed by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9, seventeen are positive and eight are negative.
The qualifications in Titus 1:6-9 can be categorized as follows: (1) Domestic qualifications (verse 6) since they pertain to the relationship between the candidate and his family. (2) Personal qualifications (verses 7-8) since they pertain to the candidate’s personal character. (3) Doctrinal qualifications (verse 9) since it pertains to the candidate’s adherence to the apostolic teaching.
Verse 6 is a first class condition that indicates the assumption of truth for the sake of argument and does not mean “since” but rather, “if-and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that, then...”
Here the protasis is “if and let assume that it is true for the sake argument that any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”
The apodasis which is omitted but implied is “then you are to appoint them.”
With the first class condition, he is portraying men as meeting these qualifications and then infers from this that they should be ordained.
He is not saying that there were men who did meet these qualifications only that when and if there were some who did, they were to be ordained.
“Above reproach” is the adjective anenkletos (ἀνέγκλητος), which means “good reputation” since it describes a person who “affords nothing that an adversary could use as the basis for an accusation, one against whom it is impossible to bring any charge of wrong doing such as could stand impartial examination.”
The word speaks of being free of any charge of any wrongdoing with respect to the unsaved in the community, within the church, within his home and personal life or in other words, he has a good reputation inside and outside the Christian community.
“The husband of one wife” indicates that the man who aspires to the office of overseer must be a one woman man and not a polygamist and does not mean that if a man is not married he cannot assume this office since Paul and Timothy were both unmarried.
When Paul says that a man must be a one-woman man, it does not imply that only married men can become elders.
This expression “husband of one wife” emphasizes the avoidance of any sexual immorality on the part of the overseer and denotes that if he is married he must be faithful to his wife.
“Having children who believe” does not refer to the children of the candidate having exercised faith in Jesus Christ but rather it describes the children of the overseer as being submissive to his authority as their father since the adjective pistos means “faithful.”
This is indicated by Paul’s parallel statement in 1 Timothy 3:4 which also speaks of the children of the overseer.
If the children of a man with the gift of pastor-teacher aren’t submissive to his authority because they don’t respect him, which is the result of not training them according to the standards found in the Word of God, then how can one expect this man to train God’s children so that they grow up to maturity spiritually?
So here in Titus 1:6, Paul is basically saying that if a man cannot manage his own household, then he cannot be expected to manage the household of God, which is the church and he says the same thing in 1 Timothy 3:5.
“Not accused of dissipation or rebellion” expresses the fact that Titus and the Cretan church are to ordain those men whose children can not be accused of living in the state of dissipation or rebellion.
The word for “dissipation” is the noun asotia which refers to behavior, which shows lack of concern or thought for the consequences of an action, thus it means senseless deeds or we would say that it is “non-sensical behavior” or we could simply say “reckless behavior.”
“Rebellious” denotes that the children of the man who is to be ordained must never be accused of being “rebellious” in the sense of rejecting different types of authority ordained by God.
Now we must qualify Paul’s statement here.
Of course, both Christians and non-Christians can accuse Christians of certain sins but Paul is speaking of accusations which are found to be true as a result of testimony from two or more witnesses.
Also, there are children of Christian parents who were trained in the Word of God but are nonetheless rebellious and involved in reckless immoral behavior.
Paul is not addressing these parents but only those who have not been faithful in their duties of training their children according to the Word of God.
Titus 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain. (NASB95)
Titus 1:7 For it is, as an eternal spiritual truth, absolutely imperative the overseer as God’s steward be of a good reputation, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not an alcoholic, not violent, not greedy. (My translation)
“For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward” presents Paul’s reason for his previous statement in verse 6.
It expresses the necessity that the man with the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher must possess a certain characteristic in order for him to be ordained to the office of elder or overseer.
“The overseer” is the noun episkopos (ἐπίσκοπος), which describes the responsibility of the pastor-teacher in that he is responsible for the protective care of the spiritual life of the Christians assigned to his care.
He is to keep watch over their souls through the consistent daily communication of the Word of God, which roots out any false doctrine that has invaded the souls of his congregation from contact with the cosmic system.
Notice that the overseer and the elder are referring to the same office since Paul reminded Titus in verse 5 of his task in Crete to appoint elders in every city on the island and then here in verses 7-9 he gives his delegate the qualifications that must be met by the overseer.
He doesn’t say these qualifications are to be met by the elder but rather the overseer making it clear that they are one in the same.
Furthermore, the fact that Paul employs the causal use of the conjunction gar in verse 7 and repeats from verse 6, the adjective anegklētos, “good reputation” indicates that he is reminding Titus that an elder must be of a good reputation because an overseer is God’s steward.
“Above reproach” is the adjective anegklētos (ἀνέγκλητος), which again means “good reputation” and speaks of being free of any charge of any wrongdoing with respect to the unsaved in the community, within the church, within his home and personal life.
“As God’s steward” is expressing a comparison between the overseer possessing a good reputation and being God’s steward indicating that they must go hand in hand or in other words, you can’t have one without the other.
It describes the candidate as one who possessed delegated spiritual authority over a particular local assembly of Christians he has been assigned to implying he has been given responsibility for which the Lord Jesus Christ will hold him accountable.
Paul is picturing God as the master of a household with the church as His household and the pastor or overseer as God’s manager of the household.
It implies that the pastor has the enormous task of managing the affairs of a local assembly of Christians which will require that he be faithful in carrying out his assigned duties.
“Not self-willed” denies any idea that the overseer be arrogant since the noun authadēs (αὐθάδης) means “arrogant” in the sense of being overbearing as a result of stubbornness.
“Not quick-tempered” denies any idea that the overseer be prone to anger.
“Not addicted to wine” denies any idea of the overseer being an alcoholic.
“Not pugnacious” denies any idea of the overseer being a violent person.
“Or fond of sordid gain” denies any idea of the overseer being greedy, which corresponds to the qualification with respect to the overseer in 1 Timothy 3:3 that he must not be a lover of money.
Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled. (NASB95)
Titus 1:8 but rather hospitable, loving what is divine good in quality and character, sound-minded, righteous, holy, self-controlled. (My translation)
Verse 8 presents a strong contrast between the previous five negative personal qualifications listed in verse 7 with the six positive personal qualifications which are listed here in verse 8.
“Hospitable” indicates that candidate for the office of overseer must be an individual who tries to meet the needs of displaced members of the body of Christ through his own financial means or even opening his home to them.
“Loving what is good” describes the candidate for the office of overseer must be one who is characterized by loving what is divine good in quality and character, which means that he loves anything which is divine good in quality and character.
It would indicate that he loves the Word of God, which is divine good in quality and character because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and also would indicate that he loves divine good in other members of the body of Christ.
Lastly, it would mean that he loves divine good as a result of the Holy Spirit reproducing divine good in his life.
“Sensible” refers to one who is of sound mind, one who has control over their emotions and desires and is wise from the application of the Word of God.
It denotes one who uses discretion, and has self-control, and discipline, thus one who is sober-minded, wise or of sound mind we could say because one is under the influence of the Spirit.
“Just” is the adjective dikaios (δίκαιος), which means “righteous” and describes the state of the overseer who is characterized by righteousness which is the direct result of fulfilling their obligation to both God and their fellow human being.
“Devout” is the adjective hosios (ὅσιος), which means “holy” since it pertains to being holy in the sense of being dedicated and devoted to God as a result of being obedient to Him.
In other words, it describes the Christian who is characterized in life as experiencing sanctification, which is accomplished through fellowship with God.
“Self-controlled” indicates that the candidate for the office of the overseer must be characterized as someone who possesses self-control in the sense that he exercises restraint with regards to his emotions and desires.
The list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 indicate that the man with the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher had to demonstrate that he possessed these qualifications and that they must stand out as prominent and consistent in his life before he can be assigned to oversee a local assembly.
In other words, even though he had the gift of pastor-teacher, he was not promoted until these characteristics were prominent and consistently being manifested in his life.
This is the reason for Peter’s statement in 1 Peter 5:5-6 where in the context of addressing pastors, he teaches the younger men with the gift to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God in order that He might promote them at the proper time.