Finally, the Elder is to convince the gainsayer. Gainsayers are people who contradict sound doctrine either on purpose or though simple unbelief. Convince means ‘to speak against.’ To change a persons thinking. As we see in verses 10 and 11, there are people inside the church like this, as well as outside. Elders need to be able to convince them with sound doctrine.
The Elder must be able to proclaim and defend. The Gospel is to be presented in church like a precious monument in a museum… clear for everyone to see and enjoy, but well protected. The Crown Jewels in England are a collection of five of the most valuable jewels in the Queen’s possession. They’re displayed in the tower of London for all to see…but in a heavily guarded room, and behind thick, bullet proof glass.
Elders must live above reproach, so they are able to exhort and convince with the sound, Biblical, apostolic Gospel.
With these verses Paul closes his recommendations for Titus on who should lead the church in Crete. Paul calls for good men, men of sound character and doctrine, men who every Christian should be able to look up to and trust. Men who are like Christ. That’s what has really stuck me while I’ve been studying this passage, how high the standard is for those who would respond to the call to lead a church. And it’s a high calling so it should be a high standard.
I think there are two ways we need to respond to what Paul has to say to us, one for us, and one for the Preacher. We’ve seen in this verse tonight how incredibly precious the Gospel is. How it needs the highest place in our hearts. As soon as we step out that door we’ll be buffeted on every side by a culture that wants us to tread the Gospel under foot. A culture that wants to convince us that the most precious thing in the world is a car, or a boat, or a bigger house. A culture that’s trying to sell us a lie so that we forget the greatest truth of all. Lets pray for our hearts, that we would continue to value the Gospel as we should. Lets preach the Gospel to ourselves every morning.
Also, it’s struck me how much in need of prayer and grace the leaders of our churches are. It’s struck me how much men who lead the church need to be men of the cross. Always thinking about the cross, always laying their cares at the foot of the cross, always going back to the cross for forgiveness and strength. It was on the cross that Jesus purchased us from the kingdom of darkness for His Father, and, among us, He purchased men like these for the church. And I’m so thankful for that. I’m so happy that because of what Jesus did on the cross we have men who are able to lead our churches. Men who can walk in holiness, men who can preach the Gospel, men who can bring our eyes and our hearts back to the cross. Men who, most of all can help us look to the greatest man of all, Jesus of Nazareth, and praise Him and worship Him and enjoy Him forever
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