Volume. XXXV, No. 49
Sunday, 06 June 2021

From the Pastor’s Heart: Paul’s Epistle to Titus

We celebrated our beloved church’s 35th anniversary last Sunday.  Probably we have diverse thoughts and emotions as we think of the Lord’s grace upon our church for the last three and a half decades.  Rev and Mrs Paauwe may think of prayers, concerns, and hopes they had while preparing for a new ministry, and the worshippers who joined them during the early years of our church may have memories of changing worship venues from place to place and of the Stone Mansion – purchasing it, fundraising efforts, renovating and lots of repair work.  Don’t we miss our famous lunch specials every Sunday after the service?  Some of our loved ones went to be with the Lord after many years of faithful service and are now in glory.  Our Sunday School classes have grown up, and the YAF has grown into the Sparks, the YAF, and the VFG in order to meet the needs of people at different stages of life.  The Ladies’ Fellowship has been faithfully gathering nearly every week for Bible study and prayers.  The newly formed WoH strives to continue the ministry that the current Ladies Fellowship started and has been doing faithfully.  The Seniors and the AFG are also our valuable assets.  In fact, we had a special event for the seniors just over a week ago.  I have read Bible study materials our young people have prepared for themselves and seen their efforts to study the Bible, and I cannot but be impressed.  If they will continue to do this, their understanding of the Scriptures will be sounder and better than even many preachers.  The M2M Bible study continues with hopes that someday they will teach others.  GIC Bible study on Monday evenings is a real delight to my own heart.  Deacon Kevin has put a lot of efforts into leading Chinese Bible study regularly, for which I am thankful.  I cannot but make a comment about our church music and musicians.  I thank the Lord for our hymn singing and choices of church music.  I hope and pray that we will never change the standard we have set for our worship music.  There are volunteers for the LH (we must remember their efforts week after week), the AV team (they know what they are doing!  They have used their skills and knowledge immensely during the lock-down and currently are continuing their services). The Kitchen Committee (their work behind the scenes is immense, and we benefit from them), all volunteers for working bees, visiting the sick, being hospitable, offering helping hands to the ones who need them, and praying for the church.  In particular, Covid-19 has posed lots of problems to church ministries.  Going into totally unknown territory last year, the Session had to make many new decisions and to act on them swiftly.  I personally think that this current Session will be remembered for their hard work and wisdom to get our church through the times of storm.  There are many other ministries worthy of our commendations, though I am not going to elaborate any further now.


Having written about our church’s past and present times, I’d like to share some of Paul’s instructions to Titus in order to learn some lessons for the church of God.  The book of Titus is a part of the Pastoral Epistles. (Since the eighteenth century, the letters to Timothy and Titus have been known as the Pastoral Epistles, because they are largely concerned with the duties of those who are called to lead the flock of God).  Although Paul wrote this letter to Titus, it was not a mere personal letter, because it was intended to convey through Titus a message to the church.  By gleaning through the book of Titus, we will be able to learn about Paul’s ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church.  We shall learn what Paul thought about church and Christians.  From his instructions to Titus, we will be able to have some thoughts for our church and our future.  There are three particular areas of instruction.


First: Paul instructed Titus about church leadership or administration in chapter 1.  In particular, he wrote about the selection of elders in 1:5-7.  As believers’ communities, local churches have administrative affairs.  In order to take care of such matters, they need leaders – elders.  Elders could also refer to bishops or pastors.  Though only “elders” are mentioned in the book of Titus, we know that there are also deacons in 1 and 2 Timothy.  Therefore, when we consider elders now, we also think of deacons.  The foremost concern Paul had for local churches was for their “leaders.”  (1) Hence, we must pay serious and utmost attention to what Paul said about their qualifications.  Their qualifications can be divided into five categories.  (a) They must be blameless.  In other words, they must have good reputations.  They must be blameless not only within the church but also outside the church.  (b) They must be good Christians at home.  They must be faithful in their marriage and godly leaders for their families.  They must earn respect from their wives and rule over their families well.  Their children should not be unruly.  (c) They must be good characters.  They should not be self-pleasing, not be angry easily, not drinkers, not violent, not greedy, but hospitable and lovers of goodness.  Good character must come before anything else, including efficient business skills or social status.  (d) They must be sound-minded, so that they can make sound judgments.  (e) They must be spiritually and morally excellent.  They ought to be righteous, holy, temperate, and holding unto the Word of God.  They must know the Scriptures.  (2) We must know the primary reason of why Paul wrote about the selection of elders.  Fundamentally, it is to protect the church from false teachers (1:10-16).  False teachers are characterised as unruly and uncontrolled and ones not allowing themselves to be placed under any authority.  Church leaders should be able to warn and rebuke them.


Second: Paul instructed Titus about the believers’ conduct in chapter 2.  Paul wrote about five groups of people in the church.  (1) The older men are to set examples of spiritual maturity which is in keeping with their age.  They ought to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in patient endurance.  (2) The older women ought to conduct themselves in a manner which is proper to their holy calling.  They should neither be slanderers (unguarded speeches) nor enslaved to drinking.  Instead, they should be mentors for younger women.  (3) Younger women should learn and listen to older women in church.  (4) Young men should be sound-minded and present themselves as good examples.  They should learn well and be dignified.  (5) Employees should be good and faithful in their employment and to their employers, and their work should reflect their beliefs.  All Christians must conduct themselves well, based on three reasons in 2:11-15: the grace of God which brought salvation, the divine teaching for the present age, and the blessed hope of the second coming. (Kent, The Pastoral Epistles, 226-29) 


Third: Paul instructed Titus about the believers’ conduct in the world, in chapter 3.  (1) They must fulfill their obligations toward the civil government as good citizens, by keeping the laws and by being ready for every good work.  (2) They must fulfill their obligations toward fellow citizens by being gentle and meek to them.  (3) They must understand that their present condition is an unmerited blessing from God.  They should be constantly reminded of God’s love for mankind, the gift of salvation, everything they have in Christ - justification, heirship, and hope of eternal life.  (4) They must avoid unprofitable things like foolish questionings and genealogies and strife and battles about the law.  And also (5) They must avoid heretical persons. 


Someday, I would like to expand each point even further.  However, all I hope for now, is that we will learn from Paul’s thoughts concerning local churches and prepare our church for the future. 


Happy birthday to Hope Church and Thank God for His grace upon her!



Pastor Ki

More Lively Hope



  • All committee, ministry & group leaders: please prepare annual reports for 2020-2021 financial year and submit them by Mon, 5 July 2021.
  • Please RSVP for Sunday School Quiz Night & Dinner by Sun, 4 July 2021.
  • IF Winter Camp (5-9 July) registration forms in the foyer. Please submit forms by today.
  • Sunday School teachers’ training: Please indicate if interested.



  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & all others who are unwell.
  • Settling down in Singapore.
  • COVID-19 situation in Victoria, & all affected.
  • Exams for Year 12 & university students.
  • Journey mercies: those who are travelling.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • All church activities this past week.
  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence for the past week.
  • Improving COVID-19 situation in Australia.
  • Journey mercies: all who have travelled.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041