For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. Titus 1:7-9
Titus was charged with the duty to appoint leaders/elders in the churches on the island of Crete. This was no small undertaking because false teachers and others wanting to take financial advantage of the new believers had already infiltrated the churches. So Paul gave Titus a list of criteria for selection and consideration. One of those of interest to me is that they had to be “able” to exhort in sound doctrine and refute contradictory teaching. These men had to know the old testament scriptures, the teachings of Jesus and of Paul as well (basically what we call the new testament). I think the same criteria is very useful as we appoint leaders in the church today.
How well can I defend the faith and exhort others in accordance with sound doctrine? Can I spot false teaching when it occurs?
God, as this day begins, thank you that Your Word is the safeguard for our lives and the church as well. Help me hunger for it and daily read it.