God’s people are described in the Bible as one big family spread across the world. Churches are like family gatherings—where spiritual relatives meet.
The family of God is the most wonderful family to be a part of, and when we relate to each other as God intended, we show the world the goodness of our Father. When we live in the way God calls us to in his Word, we provide a living picture of the truth.
The book of Titus in the Bible is a letter written by Paul to a pastor named Titus. Paul instructs Titus to have a necessary family meeting to put his church in order, so that his church will faithfully display the goodness and truth of God.
The letters 1-2 Timothy and Titus are referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles,” in which God instructs pastors on how to care for and nurture local churches. God has given intentional instruction to his family through these letters. For “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV).
When we live in the way God calls us to in his Word, we provide a living picture of the truth.
Titus’ job was to ensure the health of the churches in Crete. Paul left Titus in Crete so that he would “put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town” (Titus 1:5 ESV). In the New Testament, elders are those who are responsible for preaching and teaching in local churches. They are also called “overseers,” which helps us to understand their function: they provide spiritual oversight and direction for the churches. In other words, biblically sparking, elders are what we often call pastors, and pastors care for the souls of those in the church.
An important aspect of an elder’s ministry is to “give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9 ESV). You could also think of an elder like a doctor: someone who is able to diagnose sickness and administer the proper treatment. This proper treatment is “sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9 ESV). The pastor’s job is to grow the church in spiritual maturity through the preaching and teaching of the Bible (Titus 1:2-3).
Underneath the leadership of these elders are the church members themselves. Paul has a job description for them, too. Relationships between church members ought to be honorable and respectable (Titus 2:1-10). Titus provides an extensive list that details how church members can love one another and treat one another “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10 ESV).
Paul envisions warm, familial relationships in these churches. Like love that bonds human families together, God’s love and grace unites all these different people into one family.
Part of Paul’s family meeting included rebuking false teachers who were upsetting the church and promoting disorder. In all of Paul’s instruction, the Holy Spirit aims to bring relational order to God’s people so that their lives glorify God.
Open the book of Titus to see how God desires his family to relate to one another, and how you can be obedient to God’s role for you in his family in a way that will bring glory to him.