In today’s passage, Paul gives Titus guidelines for selecting church elders. At the end of a list of desirable conduct and character traits is an essential qualification that applies to every believer: holding fast to Scripture. It is necessary that we, like the first-century elders, demonstrate an unwavering commitment to God’s Word in order to nurture and guard the church.
We can’t use the Bible to defend our faith and assist others unless we study. And knowing its truths isn’t enough; for them to be effective, we must apply them.
Christians appreciate Scripture’s power to encourage, comfort, and heal, but too often we keep our knowledge to ourselves. We may feel uncertain about sharing, but God provides courage and brings to mind pertinent verses when we’re willing to speak. As we practice His ways, our wisdom will increase. We’ll begin to recognize hurting people and will learn how to exhort them in sound doctrine, as Paul suggests. The apostle also bids believers to confront those who contradict true faith—this requires courage and discernment. When we study and live out sound biblical principles, we will quickly recognize false doctrine. And the better we know God’s Word, the more readily we will be able to find passages that challenge counterfeit teachings and support our own beliefs.
We can’t all be elders in the local congregation. But each Christian is a member of God’s church and responsible to gain biblical knowledge. In that way, we can discern correct doctrine, defend our faith, and encourage the downhearted.