This exercise is a continuation of a series we started at Grace with our leadership while I served as interim there. For those who are not pastors or deacons, but who lead in some capacity in any arena of life, these books are a tremendous resource in Scripture. I encourage all of those who would be called leaders or who oversee to take advantage of these notes geared specifically toward leadership or roles with much responsibility.
Paul had another student, Titus. Titus had a similar position with that of Timothy, only he was on the island of Crete. As Paul wrote to Titus, he did so for the faith of those who are chosen of God and for the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness.
We learn much about the Gospel and about mentorship in these two verses. First, the mentorship of leaders is meant for the faith of those chosen by God. When we train up leaders, we are doing something much greater than simply helping some kid pursue his or her dreams. We are training up leaders for the faith of the elect. We have, many times, failed to raise up leaders who will carry on the legacy of Christ- the message of the true Gospel at all costs. Thank the Lord that He raises up a faithful people for Himself.
The leader’s work is for the faith of those who are chosen of God. There is a focus in discipleship that must be inward. We want believers to grow to a greater maturity in the faith. We want to make real progress in the faith as local churches and pastors or elders, similarly with Paul, Timothy, and Titus, are tasked with the responsibility of leading that progress in the faith (not necessarily in methodology or the development of new ministries). Progress in the faith will lead to progress in other areas. The word of God affects the heart and mind first. That is where we must begin. If people reject the word of God, then they will not be open to the progress that is wrought by God’s word first in the human heart and then in methodology or ministry development. Form follows function follows affection.
The leader’s work is also for the knowledge of the truth. There is also an outward focus. The truth must be known. The truth is according to godliness and in the hope of eternal life. As we practice evangelism, being sure that the word of God flourishes through us as we preach it in the midst of the church and in the midst of our communities and around the whole world, we know that the message first accords with godliness. Godliness is wrought in those who are chosen of God by sanctification and is from God. As we grow in godliness that is from God, we are seen for the sinners that we are and the world sees godliness being produced in us. The world also sees the greater understanding that comes in accordance with that godliness by God’s word.
The knowledge of the truth is also proclaimed, in the midst of the church body and in the midst of our communities and around the whole world, in the hope of eternal life. As we practice such evangelism and lead the efforts of the church to share the Gospel outside the proverbial walls of the church, we do so with great hope of eternal life to those with whom we share. For God, who cannot lie, promised eternal life long ages ago.
The focus of the leader is two-fold: the faith of the body and the declaration of genuine faith beyond the walls of the church. Elders and deacons serve the whole world for Christ in this way.
At the proper time, the truth was manifested. The very word of God was manifested. It was manifested in the proclamation with which Paul was entrusted according to the commandment of God our savior. The preaching of the true Gospel is paramount to the faith of the elect and in evangelism. The Gospel is about the work of Christ, who is Himself the embodiment of truth. The word of God is the most powerful and heart-wrenching, and productive word that has been manifested for us. So, we strive to follow it and it will not return void.