William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 1:5 - 1:5

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William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 1:5 - 1:5

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Observe here, 1. The erection of a power in the person of Titus: I left thee in Crete to ordain elders; "I, who am an apostle of Christ, and have received a commission from him thus to do, I left thee, thee who wert so dear to me, so useful to me; yet for the church's service did I deny myself, and part with thee.

Behold here, a blessed pattern of our ministerial imitation. St. Paul did, and could most cheerfully, sacrifice all his private advantages, the tenderest and inmost of his affections, to the benefit of the church, and the interest of religion; let us go and do likewise.

Observe, 2. The end of this institution, or the use and exercise of this power: to order, and to ordain, to correct and constitute;

1. To set in order things that are wanting; the ship of the church is never so well rigged, but something is wanting that might be added; whilst the tabernacle of God sojourns here below, some pin or other will be lacking in it.

2. To ordain elders in every city, such as might govern and teach, and administer to God in holy things; wherever a church is planted, there is an absolute necessity of a settled ministry, and a succession of ministers, without which it is impossible that religion should either prosper or long continue: and care must be taken that such ministers be duly qualified, and regularly ordained. I left thee in Crete to ordain elders.

Observe, 3. The limitation of these acts, according to the apostle's prescription, As I had appointed thee. Titus must do nothing but according to commission, and by special direction.

Where note, That the ordering and governing of the church was not left arbitrary, no, not to Titus himself; but whatever he did, was done by apostolical direction: For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest ordain elders in every city, as I appointed thee.