When preaching a sermon, there are natural time limitations that make it difficult to cover everything in a given passage in a complete way. The purpose of this blog series is to more fully address the list of qualifications for Elders (which are also things that all Christians are called to be) in Titus 1:5-9. Some items in the list were covered more extensively in this sermon, so I won't be covering those items here.


During the Sermon On The Mount, Jesus made a strong statement about how the Christian is supposed to view money:

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

Paul likely has this statement in mind when he declares that an Elder must not be greedy for gain. No Christian should be so controlled by their love of money that it supercedes their devotion to the Lord and to His Word, but this is especially true of those who would serve as an Elder. Christians should not have lifestyles that reflect a love of luxury, not because having nice things is sinful, but because the temptation to make ministry decisions based on money rather than the Gospel looms large.

We see this both in the words of Jesus:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

And in the words of Paul:

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:7-10)

In addition to these passages, one of the major themes of the Bible's wisdom literature is the danger of idolizing money and wealth. But we shouldn't take this to mean that money itself is a bad thing, or even that the Bible only speaks negatively of it. In reality, the Bible's overall message about money is that it is a gift from the Lord which He intends for us to use for His glory. All of which brings us to the real question - How can we do that?

In a word? Generosity. God intends for us to give freely out of what He has blessed us with.

The first and primary area where we should be generous is Christ's Church. Christians should give generously to the work of God through the local Church, and if you are not doing so then you are in sin. Beyond that, though, we should hold loosely to money and cling tightly to Christ. Give out of what the Lord has blessed you with, and love Christ first. Because your money, as the Bible says, "makes wings and flies away."

Christian, you must not be greedy for gain.

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