How would you describe your attitude and actions towards the word of God? Is it a treasure and an absolute need to you? Or is it simply one of the accessories of your Christian life that you sometimes put on and then take off when you feel like it?
In Titus 1:9, the prospective elder is one who is “holding fast the faithful word…”. As you contemplate the qualifications for elders, these characteristics are, generally, the marks of one who is simply mature in Christ and is striving to live in light of the glorious gospel. Of course, not all are called to serve as elders in their local church. But all are called to live growing, maturing lives for the glory of God and Christ. This really is the only reasonable response to all that Christ as accomplished for us and it is a thoroughly biblical directive (See Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:17 and 1 Corinthians 10:31).
In light of this, how are you doing in “holding fast the faithful word”? One who is growing in this characteristic of Christ-likeness will be marked by two distinct attitudes toward the word of God:
1. He will be one who delights in the word.
When you think about the Bible, does Psalm 1:2-3 come to mind? “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Would you consider yourself to be one who is delighting in the law of the Lord? Do you see it as a treasure and blessing from our most holy and gracious God? Do you look forward to when you can spend time in the word, reading and studying it? Do you look forward to being taught the word through preaching and teaching? These attitudes and similar ones will mark the one who delights in the word. A very real aspect of “holding fast the faithful word” is to really enjoy the fact that God has revealed Himself to us and desires to commune with us through His word. Reading and learning the Bible really should be a delight to us.
2. He will be one who knows that he has to have the word.
When we consider the greatness and holiness of God and our devastating wickedness, the fact the God would speak to us at all should inspire shock and awe. Indeed, the understanding of our own depravity and God’s holiness is central to embracing the gospel in a saving way. The fact that God reaches down to us and gifts us forgiveness and eternal life is absolutely amazing and transforming. This attitude will show up in the realization that we absolutely need the word. If I’m going to live and walk in a manner worthy of the glorious gospel, then I need instruction and guidance. God has abundantly supplied that instruction and guidance through His word.
Be encouraged to read through and meditate upon Psalm 119. As you do so, please note how the Psalmist balances the tension between delighting in and needing the word. Here are two examples:
· Delighting ~ Psalm 119:14, “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.”
· Need ~ Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me.”
As we walk with Jesus, we need to always keep this tension in mind. Let us be those who delight in what we desperately need! Spurgeon describes what it means to hold fast this great word in this way, “It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you.”
So, how are you doing in this area? In the grace of God, what are some ways that you could grow in your “holding fast the faithful word”? Pursue this in light of the glory of Christ!
Sola Deo Gloria!