HOLD Firm          Titus 1: 1-10

I crouch in the shallow water waiting for the wave to approach. Lying just inside the impact zone ready to capture the violence and turbulence as the wave first spends its energy as it breaks. Here there is a mystery and beauty beneath. I must hold firm hold my ground to capture and preserve it. If I go forward to escape the breaking wave out into the depths I miss it; if I retreat to the shoreline the energy is spent and the wonder and beauty is lost.  No I must hold firm my position and hold fast to my camera or it will be ripped from my hands.

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. Abraham Lincoln

In the opening chapter of Titus Paul issues the call to hold firm to his young disciple his 4 true child in common faith…  Titus was to accompany Paul to Corinth and this was of Titus’s own initiative and desire.  2 Cor 8: 16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.

Yet here in the letter to Titus we find that on that Journey Titus has been left in create to oversee the churches there… Titus 1:5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

Paul outlines why he left Titus in create to appoint elders and to put right what remained… Paul in his description of himself and his role gives illumination to Titus’s role also.

…an apostle of Jesus for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Saviour; 

Titus is to ensure and put right the church, Gods elect. To assure their ‘knowledge of truth and godliness.’ This is the theme of the book of Titus Truth of word or message and truth in actions or deeds.  These two things must go hand in hand the truthful message from God not from man promised before the ages began and then manifested through Jesus and the Gospel message. Paul has been entrusted with this and has now passed it on to Titus to ensure its continuance in Crete. He appoints Titus as the overseer and tasks him to appoint others.

Paul then outlines what an overseer should be like : 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.  Paul also gives a family, social contract for this role… 6b above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. He must hold firm to the teaching and the teaching must have a firm hold on his life displayed in his actions and character…

Its important to note that its the word as taught not as we like it or perceive or interpret it. Some bend and contort the word to suit circumstance or their particular religious beliefs. This is who Paul warns Timothy of next, insubordinate empty talker & deceivers.

I’m not talking about contextualisation here for we can speak the same message in a contextually relevant way as Paul Did in Athens Acts 17.

its this idea of a new message a different interpretation of understanding an new version of the bible to fit todays beliefs…. this is stretching straining contorting there word of God.

  • Do you hold firm to the word the message of God or do you push and pull at it making it fit your interpretation?
  • Is the word reflected in both what you say and what you do? or do you not do what you say or not say why you do what you do?

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. Harold S. Geneen

Life is a web of trials and temptations, but only one of them can ever be fatal, and that is the temptation to think it is by further, better, and more aggressive living that we can have life.   Robert Farrar Capon

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.  Leonardo da Vinci

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

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