LEADERSHIP & RIGHTEOUSNESS
“If anyone is blameless, husband of one wife,
having faithful children,
(who are) not in accusation of loose behavior, or disobedient”
Religion has a way of circumventing truth. When men in leadership fail to live according to the standards presented in scripture there is a moral decline that permeates the household of faith. If the faith of a man does not work within his own house how can he be equipped to function within the local assembly? Titus and Timothy were commissioned to ordain Elders throughout the Church of God in their day. Paul gave instructions so that the quality of faith and wisdom would be passed along by men who had proved themselves faithful in their own homes and within the community in which they lived.
“…for if a man does not know how to rule his own house,
how will he take care of the church of God?”
In this day of apathy standards have been lowered to such a level that a few years in a Bible school is all that is required for leadership. When such low expectations are placed on leadership we must expect a compromised truth to be passed on to those they teach. This results in a subtle and downward spiral within the church with all manner of sexual immorality, divorce and remarriage and faithless lives. Congregations with unsaved men and women are impervious to the conviction of the Holy Spirit because the fear of God is no longer known by the people of God. Accountability has been replaced with a gospel of tolerance and men are no longer expected to live Godly and Righteous lives.
The leaders of the church today are often from somewhere else and not known by the local community of faith, contrary to the very instructions set forth in scripture. We end up with men who have no personal testimony locally (as they are brought in from outside the local community), they are not required to live righteously before they are qualified for leadership within the local church. The scriptures clearly teach that the leadership OF the local assembly is to be raised up FROM the community IN which they live. They are to be men who are known by the people locally; those who have proven their faith and wisdom; those who love their wife and raise godly children in a godless world.
It does matter how we live and it does matter that our faith works in our own home. Men who do not stand for truth in the home have no business being involved in the leadership of God’s people. The priesthood of every man starts in his own home. When we water down truth to be merely a teaching rather than a life of example, the power of God will be lacking in the community of faith. Truth is not a teaching. It is a life, and how a man lives reveals the truth he holds. Truth is a power that enables us to live righteous lives. It transforms men and makes them strong in Christ.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith”
The Gospel of Christ is meant to produce lives that reveal the righteousness of God from faith to faith. As our faith grows so will the revelation of the righteousness of God in our lives. That is why faith and righteousness are inextricably linked in the New Testament. Faith is the means by which we are enabled to live Godly in this present world. That is why the LEADERSHIP of the Church of God must be men who have proven their FAITH by how they live.
“Let a man so account of us,
as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”
We must return to the scriptures; we must repent from the ways of men that have produced worldly organizations rather than a living organism which is called THE Body of Christ. Let us examine our place in the home, in the workplace, in the fellowship of believers and in our personal secret lives. Righteousness is the product of a living faith. Sound teaching must come from a life that resembles the very truth it proclaims.
“But as for you,
speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate,
sound in faith, in love, in patience;
the older women likewise,
that they be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things—
that they admonish the young women to love their husbands,
to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers,
good, obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;
in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
sound speech that cannot be condemned,
that one who is an opponent may be ashamed,
having nothing evil to say of you”