The text for this lesson is Titus 1:1–2:1; 1 Timothy 1:3–7; 3:1–7; 4:11–16.
- As God called Paul to the preaching office for the sake of His elect and their eternal life, so He also called Titus and the pastors Titus appointed in Crete as gifts to His Church.
- Law: Congregations sometimes fail to respect the pastors God has given them. Pastors must be willing and able to rebuke false doctrine and sinful lives, but pastors sometimes shirk these duties, and members sometimes resent when pastors do what they must.
- Gospel: When a pastor speaks the words of forgiveness of sins in Absolution or proclaims eternal life by Christ in the Gospel, it is as “certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself” (Luke 10:16).Through His pastors, God speaks the Law to hardened sinners so that He can speak the Gospel of forgiveness to them when they repent.
- Paul lists the qualifications of a good pastor or overseer. What are they?
- How did God work through Paul and Titus, and how does He work through our pastors to care for His people?
- Read also 1 Timothy 4:11–16. In this passage, Paul explains to Timothy why a pastor should know and teach God’s Word. What he says applies to Titus and all pastors including ours. What does Paul say pastors should do? What does Paul say is the result? See verse 16.
- Read 1 Timothy 1:3–7. What does Paul say is the motivation of a pastor?
- In what ways do you think being a pastor might be a difficult job? What do you consider to be great blessings of being a pastor?
- Pastors are gifts of God’s grace. God has given us His Word. He expects faithful preaching and teaching of His Word. He assigns pastors a special responsibility in completing that task. Do pastors always perform their duties and live in their vocation as God expects? Can pastors always be blameless? How does God deal with them?
- Why is this called the Office of the Keys?
- How does God equip you for your role in His kingdom? (2 Timothy 3:14–17)
- Who among your family and friends needs to hear of the love and forgiveness Jesus has won for them on the cross? In what ways might you share the Gospel with that person?