Titus was supposed to appoint men to serve in the ministry as elders. And these men had to meet certain requirements. This morning, we see in verse 8 that any men considered for this position must be...
Titus 1:8 ...sensible...
The Greek word translated "sensible" here is "SO-frone." It comes from the word for "mind," which is "frane," and the word for "wholeness," which is "SODE-zo." Thus, "sensible" literally means, "to have a whole mind."
There are some guys you meet that just don't seem to be "all there." It's like they're not playing with full deck. God loves them, and they are valuable in the kingdom of God and to the church body, but they are not to be appointed as church leadership.
But there is far more to see in "whole-mindedness." You see, there are several words that derive from "frane," which give us an indication as to what God regards as a whole mind. I see four basic Biblical categories which entail having a "whole mind," and each of them would be a requirement for anyone who would be serving in ministry with Titus. These categories are: 1) Having a mature mind; 2) having a humble mind; 3) having a God-set mind; and 4) having the same mind.
First of all, being sensible, or having a "whole mind," entails being mature in our thinking, as opposed to being immature. Children are immature thinkers, often thinking in a self-serving and sensual way. They desire excitement over life's daily grind. They want Twinkies and Cotton Candy rather than healthy, bland foods. In the same way, the spiritually immature mind desires self-serving, sensual excitement over daily discipleship.
When the Corinthian church was full of immature people who were pursuing the excitement of everyone speaking in tongues, Paul told them,
1Cor. 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
So we should be like children in our innocence toward evil things, but our minds must be matured. He also told them,
1Cor. 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
The church cannot be led by immaturely-thinking Christians, and so we must put that away and put on maturity of thinking.
The second aspect is to have a humble mind. Romans declares,
Rom. 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think...
It is very easy for us to be legends in our own minds, thinking of ourselves as something more than we are. But that kind of thinking clouds our judgment. In that state, I am no longer able to make sound decisions, because I'm filtering everything to be about "me" - I'm thinking more highly of myself than I ought. The Bible says,
Rom. 12:16 ...do not be haughty in mind ... do not be wise in your own estimation.
Having a whole mind includes having a humble mind, not thinking that we are "all that," having pride and haughtiness.
Thirdly, a whole mind consists of having God's mind towards matters. Too many people are "worldly-minded," thinking about things in the world's way instead of God's way. But Christians are told to...
Col. 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
When Jesus began to show His disciples that He was going to suffer and be killed, Simon Peter rebuked Him. He thought that this was a bad plan, and certainly wouldn't be of benefit to himself, who was hoping to have a throne next to Christ's in the new kingdom.
Matt. 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
At that point, Peter had the mind of man rather than the mind of Christ. His mind wasn't set on God's interests, but his own. To have a whole mind means that we must have our minds set on God's priorities, and be tuned into His thinking.
Rom. 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
We must set our minds on the things of the Spirit, for the Spirit knows the mind of God.
Lastly, the fourth item on the list is having the same mind as one another. Romans 15 says,
Rom. 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus
We will inevitably disagree on interpretations and issues. But we can still have the same mind as one another. How? Paul said,
Phil. 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Being united in Spirit and of the same mind is essential, not only for the leaders, but for any church that is alive. And a church which is intent on one Biblical purpose will be a place where God is free to move mightily.
Acts 2:42-47 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The early church had a unified purpose: Continually devoting themselves to Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and the breaking of bread. As a result, signs and wonders were taking place among them, outreach to the poor was happening, worship was flowing, the church's reputation was increasing, and God was entrusting to that church more and more of His newborn children.
How essential it is that we be whole-minded, that our thinking be mature, humble, God-focused, and unified.