“Set in order the things that are wanting.” [Titus 1:5]
Through Paul’s ministry, the Mediterranean island of Crete heard the Gospel, and many Cretans were converted. Later Paul left Titus on the island to nurture the young converts and supervise the church. Later, he sent a letter to Titus to help him establish order in the new work. It was a difficult ministry for troublemakers had tried to subvert the church from within.
This epistle is well worthy of detailed study by churches, for it gives God’s ideal for a church. There is to be soundness of faith and morals, practical works of piety, and all with orderly organization. For the individual, there is also God’s ideal for the Christian – a healthy and living faith, a love of order and method, modest appearance, and chaste speech.
Note Paul’s emphasis on order. The early followers of Christ were called disciples. It is a good word, carrying with it the idea of a disciplined life. That was what Paul was trying to impress upon the Cretan church collectively, and the believers individually.
One of the reasons so many Christians lead such poor lives is their lack of personal discipline. Living by faith in Christ does not remove the need for determined action. We must discipline ourselves to read and pray, to witness, to attend the church services, to be in our place on prayer meeting night. We must also discipline ourselves not to do those things that are Christ-dishonouring.
Paul’s secret for a sound church on Crete was sound faith [2:2], sound doctrine, [1:9, 2:1], sound discipline, and sound practice. And that is sound advice for us all.
ORDINATION IN ORLANDO
After being without a minister for a few years, Orlando Free Presbyterian Church welcomed Logan Elder on Friday January 13 as its new minister. The church was well filled for the ordination service that was led by the Rev. Armen Thomassian.(Greenville S.C.). Dr. Larry Saunders (Toronto) brought greetings from the Presbytery. The clerk of Presbytery, Dr. Stephen Pollock, (Philadelphia) put the necessary questions to the ordinand. The Moderator, Rev. Geoff Banister, (Indianapolis) conducted the ordination procedure and also preached the charge to the new minister,. The Rev. Logan Elder addressed the congregation before the people enjoyed a fellowship meal together.
THE STAND OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
How is the FPC similar to, and different from, other churches? For the next few weeks we shall highlight one of its main characteristics.
The FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH is:
PRESBYTERIAN IN GOVERNMENT being ruled by Presbyters or elders, and deacons as was the New Testament Church. Each officer is chosen from the people, by the people, to serve the people in much the same way as the representative government seen in most nations of the free world. It should be noted that the New Testament church formed the basis for worldly representative governments.
In the Free Presbyterian Church, the minister, elders and deacons are committed Christians, men genuinely born again of the Spirit of God, and dedicated to the extension of the Kingdom of Christ.
Next week: FUNDAMENTAL IN DOCTRINE
THE WORD OF LIFE F.P. CHURCH
It was a great day for the Free Presbyterian Church when, on January 15, the Word of Life Church in the Dominican Republic was officially received into the Free Presbyterian denomination. Its minister, the Rev. Ramon Sosa, was also ordained to the Free Presbyterian ministry.
Conducting the services of Constitution and Ordination were the Moderator, Rev. Geoff Banister, (Indianapolis) Clerk, Dr. Stephen Pollock (Philadelphia) and the Mission Board Chairman, Dr. Larry Saunders (Toronto). Rev. Jason Boyle (Mexico City), who made the initial contact with the Dominican Republic, acted as interpreter for the Spanish-speaking church.
The church also runs a children’s daycare centre. Anyone who would like to give financial help to this, or the new church, can route their gifts through the Toronto church.
C. T. Studd
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”