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As stewards of God, we’re supposed to be sound in the faith.
This faith of ours is a universal/common faith world over. It’s birthed from us acknowledging the truth which is after godliness, and of that we preach.
When you preach, Paul says a bishop must preach, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9), and in verse he says, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.”
Two things stand out in this chapter; ethical and unethical behaviours, and let’s decode them.
1. UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR
He says, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Titus 1:10
These evil workers; look at their behaviour, they’re unruly, vain talkers, deceivers, gainsayers and false prophets and all sorts of unethical behaviour. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” Titus 1:16. They preach in the name of the Lord but God has not send them.
These must be stopped!
Unethical behaviours are practices, codes, standards, or what Paul calls ‘another gospel but truly not another’ but is designed from hell to mislead believers, such are;
- All manner of allegations of ministerial incompetence, and inadequate knowledge of the truth, and lack of skill.
- Lack of integrity, moral commitment, sound judgement and adherence to acceptable standards of right and wrong action.
- Violating confidences or exceeding the level of competence.
- Ministers must recognise their strengths and limitations in serving.
- Imposing values on clients.
- Creating dependence on the part of the believers to meet the pastor’s own needs, e.g., sexual relations and social interactions, and
- Improper advertising, especially wrong claims that presents the pastor as one who has the skills, competence and/or credentials that he, or she, does not actually possess.
2. ETHICAL CODES
“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate.” Titus 1:7-8
These are standards designed to provide guidelines for ministers for good behaviour.
These guidelines serve several purposes:
- They protect pastors from practices that may result in public condemnation.
- They provide believers with a degree of protection from cheats and the incompetent teachers.
- They are there to protect pastors from the public.
Ethical codes serve one purpose, two rather; to be true witnesses and that “you may be sound in the faith.” Titus 1:13