The scripture for today, January 6, is Titus 1:6f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless ~ not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, nor pursuing dishonest gain.”
This is quite interesting. God does not leave us to guess the qualifications of a church leader. We don’t have to hold conferences or synods to decide on qualifications for this office, because God has already given them.
Something surprising here is that the word elder is used interchangeably with the word overseer (sometimes also translated bishop). The word elder comes from the Greek word presbyter. The word overseer/bishop is from the Greek word episcopos. Elder and overseer and bishop all are the same in this passage referring to the same office!
Here’s something else interesting about the elder/overseer/bishop: The word pastor comes from the Greek word for shepherd, poiman. In Acts 20:17, Paul sent for the elders of the church in Ephesus to talk to them. When they arrived, he said, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds [pastors] of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.” He called them by three titles.
Do you see the overlapping of the same office being called by different names? It’s kind of like father and papa being the same.
Titus 1:6f uses elder and overseer for the same office. Overseer is the same in Greek as bishop. Acts 20:17 uses elder, overseer, shepherd (pastor) for the same office.
In our daily lives, we have different words meaning the same person; such as father, parent, dad, papa ~ all names for the same position in the family.
So, too, for the family of God ~ the church ~ all these words overlap as names for the same office! And the qualifications for this office are found in our scripture for today, Titus 1:6f. Indeed, how interesting!
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