Is He Ready to Lead? By, Voddie Baucham

When we talk about being godly women, we go to Proverbs 31 or Titus 2 for our instruction. But there isn’t a “Proverbs 31 man”. So where do we go to find what the Bible says about being a godly man? In Voddie Baucham’s sermon “The Four P’s: Is He Ready To Lead”, we find that the Bible has a lot to say about what being a godly man looks like in Titus 1:5-16.
~CM

Titus 1:5-16

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop[b] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

The Elders’ Task

10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

The Bible says that one of the consequences of not following these guidelines is that a husband/father will not have his prayers be heard.

What are the Four Ps?

  1. Prophet- to instruct
  2. Priest- to pray for and with
  3. Provider- responsible to provide home, food..etc. for his family
  4. Protector- willing to die to protect his family (women and children first)
            The first qualification of an elder includes; modeling a godly family life. (Titus 1:6) Paul says that this man must be “the husband of one wife” meaning he must be a one-woman kind of man. He also says that “his children are believers and are not open to debauchery and insubordination”. In his sermon Dr. Baucham believes that, “his children are faithful” is the best translation for this particular section of this verse. No father can guarantee the conversion of his children, but he can ordinarily ensure that they act in a “faithful” way.  Therefore this qualification is not focusing on his children’s disobedience, but rather how he reacts to the child’s disobedience. Overall this man must have one wife and faithful children in order to qualify as a potential elder.
 
The next qualification is; modeling Christian character. (Titus 1:7-8) To be above reproach does not mean that he must be perfect, which is not obtainable in this life, but he must be, “blameless in his outward conduct.  He is to be upright and just in his dealings with others. The elder is to be the kind of man that no one suspects of wrongdoing and immorality, the kind of man that people would be surprised or shocked to hear charged with such acts. It’s certainly not that he is sinless, but that his demeanor and behavior over time has garnered well-deserved respect and admiration from others.”
“He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain…” (Titus 1:7) If a man is above reproach then, the aforementioned deeds would less likely be seen in his character. What you would notice about him is that he strives to be “… hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” (Titus 1:8) The attributes for sons and potential spouses for daughters shouldn’t be far off from these.
 
The last qualification of an elder is; to hold to, teach, and defend sound doctrine. (Titus 1:9) ”A pastor or elder must have the ability to teach. This includes both teaching what is right and correcting error. The reason for this emphasis is clear from what follows in verses 10-16.” (Titus:9) As Dr. Baucham put it, many may think that this particular characteristic doesn’t apply to parents raising sons but it does. If a young man is holding firm to the word of God, defending it, teaching it, and all the while applying it to his life, the other qualifications (such as verses 7-8) will fall in place.  Dr. Baucham says in his sermon, that a Christian man’s job is to wash his wife in the water of the word (Eph. 5:26) and bring his children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).

Ultimately these qualifications, characteristics/character traits  are important for every Christian man, not just elders. Paul wanted Titus to go to the home, find an ordinary family man who is walking out the Christian life as a husband and father and then appoint him as an elder in the church. By reading the Old Testament we can learn a thing or two from the Patriarchs and many other men who did their duty as a husband and a father.