I would like to continue the discussion about ministers/deacons by talking about Titus and his role in Paul’s ministry. He was a Greek, an important member of Paul’s ministry team and was later ordained by Paul as the first bishop to the church of the Cretians (Gal 2:1, 3; book of Titus).

Paul described him as his brother (2 Cor 2: 13; partner and fellow helper (2 Cor 8: 23)and his son (Titus 1: 4). It seems that he and Timothy were the closest to Paul in the ministry. Here are Paul’s descriptions about Titus:

* He also, like all of the ministers, was an important liaison between Paul and the churches. Paul was greatly distressed when he went to Macedonia, but Titus arrived from Corinth, bringing news of the believers’ responses to the letters of correction written by the bishop. Titus reported about their “earnest desire … mourning …fervent mind” toward Paul, causing Bishop Paul to rejoice greatly that they had repented for their errors (2 Cor 7: 7).

* Paul also shared with Titus (as with the other ministers), important information about his care and love for the believers, helping the junior to develop the same affection to them (2 Cor 7: 14).

* Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reflected (in chapters 7 and 8) the attitude that Titus had towards the ministry and his deep love for the saints. I believe that these caused him to excel to the point where he was counted faithful and trustworthy to be the Elder over many churches.

* Titus shared the same care for the churches that Paul had. This was reflected in his joy that the Corinthians had repented (2 Cor 7: 13)and Paul’s report that he possessed “the same earnest care” in his heart for the believers (2 Cor 8: 16). Moreover, he was so concerned about the spiritual state of the Corinthians that he went to them voluntarily, taking Paul’s letter and helping to restore them back to righteousness (2 Cor 8: 17). Paul called him his son because he was the exact replica that he hoped to produce in ministry.

* Titus was held in great respect by the brethren. Paul, in writing the second letter to the Corinthians, told them that Titus’ love for the brethren deepened when he remembered the fear and trembling with which they had received his arrival with the letters of correction and their obedience to the correction (2 Cor 7: 16). Titus was a very seasoned minister and must have conducted himself in a manner worthy of his calling. He was truly an ambassador of Paul and of the Lord Jesus. He did not have to threaten the brethren in Paul’s name or use bribes. This tells us how we ought to train the believers to respect the leaders and the manner of leader who God is looking for in His house.

* Paul told the Corinthians that he never exploited the brethren and that Titus also did not “make a gain” of them when he came on his mission from Paul (1 Cor 12: 17, 18). He was continuing from previous chapters in which he spoke about their giving to the ministry. Paul always worked to support his ministry teams and usually did not demand a salary although he was entitled to one. He did this for several reasons, mainly that he would not hinder the gospel. Titus was just like him. Paul said that he and Titus walked “in the same spirit” and “in the same steps” (2 Cor 12: 18). This is an important confession for us to note, indicating that Titus had followed the leader. Heaven help us if our example is not the kind that will edify another, but lead them astray.
* Titus was a trusted ambassador to the churches. Like Timothy and the others, he was an independent minister, functioning under the leadership of the bishop. Paul entrusted to him the care of the Corinthians and others like those in Dalmatia (2 Tim 4: 10).

* Paul called him and his other ministers “the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ” (2 Cor 8: 23). He could not do the work alone and delegated the work to faithful ministers. I believe that Titus’ example is clear and will say no more. Blessings!

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