Archive for the ‘Titus’ Category

Titus 3

Study of God’s Word (walk through the Bible) – Titus 3

Titus 3 has Paul coaching him on how to remind Christ Followers he was shepherding to treat each other, and in particular authorities.  The word for remind actually means “keep on reminding” meaning this isn’t a once and done sermon, but something all of us struggle with so we need continual reminders to stay the course.  Paul shares this list of things Titus should remind them about: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people”.

He begins with a topic that many of us chaff at – submission to authority.  Somehow that carries a negative connotation today.  The reality is that submission provides a lot of benefits, the main one being that the authority you submit to becomes responsible for many things.  Whether it is in a marriage, with parents, a government, or whatever authority you consider, remember that being in authority carries a lot of pressure that we should be shielded from as one under submission.  Paul quickly add though, that we should not only be obedient, but “ready for every good work”.  The concept of submission does not make us passive, particularly as Christ Followers.  We can’t just sit back and let those in authority do all the work.  God wants us actively in the game.

His other directives involve how we get along with other people.  All of us are in the people business in some way or other.  We don’t live on an island alone, and we need to interact and play nicely with others.  Paul admits he came from a place that was not aligned with God and His plan.  Then he met Jesus.  “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life”.

Salvation is not about you or me, or what we do.  It’s about the Savior and His righteousness.  God pours out His mercy freely on us through Christ.  All we can do is receive it. Here’s the reality of salvation and the road to eternal life.  It goes through Jesus, and that is the only road.  Paul ends by reminding Titus to challenge the people to “let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful”.  He reinforces that we are not saved by our good works, we can’t earn our way to heaven, but we need to be involved in doing good works and bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God!

Titus 2

Titus 2 has Paul giving Titus some direction on how to speak to five different segments of the church.  He makes sure that Titus puts first things first though by saying “teach what accord with sound doctrine”.  It doesn’t matter who you are talking with – speaking God’s truth has to be priority one.  But then he goes on to differentiate between five different types of people:

  1. Older men
  2. Older women
  3. Younger men
  4. Younger women
  5. Slaves

Titus then gives specific direction to each group:

  • Older men – are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
  • Older women – likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine….teach what is good, and so train
  • young women – to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
  • younger men – to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity,  dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
  • Slaves – are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”

Very specific guidance as to how Titus was to prepare each group to live successfully as a Christ Follower.

Around the word steadfastness for older men, it means a steadfast and active endurance, not a passive waiting.  We are to be in the game and not on the bench. To older women, he warned of a common problem of his day around wine, and gives them something positive to live towards, instead of the negative things of slander and alcohol abuse.  Titus was not to make it his ministry to teach the young women directly but to equip and encourage the older women to teach the young women. And Titus had to be more than a teacher, he also had to be an example. His guidance to others would not be taken seriously if he himself was not walking with the Lord.

Then Paul takes a different tact and instructs Titus about slaves or bondservants.  Titus was to teach bondservants about their specific duties as Christians.  Christians had shocked the larger culture by mixing slaves and masters in the social setting of the church service.  So Titus was to address this potentially charged situation.  And then Paul ends this chapter by telling Titus to “redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works”.  Paul wants Titus to remind Christ Followers that they have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and as a result should be zealous to live righteously and focus on doing good works!

Titus 1

In Titus 1, Paul has some strong words for his partner in the ministry, Titus, whom he had left behind in Crete to continue the work after Paul was called away.  They were sharing “the hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised”.  We have the opportunity to share that same message today because it is just as valid now as when Paul was preaching it almost 2000 years ago.  Eternal life is God’s gift to mankind, offered as a gift of grace through Christ Jesus our Savior.  But even with such a glorious message, people were messing things up in the church.

After a successful evangelistic campaign on the island of Crete, there were a lot of young Christians to take care of. Paul left Titus behind to build stable churches with mature, qualified pastors for the people. Paul’s answer was to put a leadership structure in place and he charges Titus to make that happen.  “Appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination”.  Paul tells Titus to place these elders in every city on Crete – local leadership is vital to a strong and healthy faith community.

It’s important to note that Paul doesn’t give qualifications related to education or giftedness.  He doesn’t tell Titus to go find the most gifted guys to lead.  He focuses on character and a real relationship with Jesus which supersedes anything we have learned or gifts we might have. The list goes on to say “as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it”.  This is not a rigid list which demands perfection in all areas. It provides both goals to reach for and the general criteria to be used in selection.

Why is it so important to have the right leadership in place?  Because the church was facing “insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers…. upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach”.  There were some bad eggs who had the ear of people and Paul wants that shut down and the door closed tightly behind them.  “Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth….They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work”.  Titus had to train the elders he chose to simply “shut up” these problem people.  And he had to be willing to come alongside his leaders to stand with them in shutting down those who did not teach God’s truth.


 Titus is a one chapter letter from Paul to Titus whom he calls “my true child in a common faith”.  Paul is the perfect example of Jesus commandment to “go and make disciples”.  He had many spiritual offspring – Timothy and Titus being two of the most notable that he wrote to.  It is important that we learn this lesson from Paul – we are to go and do likewise – to make disciples of those in our patch.  We are to reach others for Jesus – leading them to the truth and bringing them into a saving relationship with Jesus but then taking them under our wing and teaching them how to become like Jesus in their daily lives.  We are to model and train them how to live – to help them learn as we have learned – and to follow us to the cross.  Discipleship starts with us being a disciple first and then moves to us becoming a disciplemaker.  How are you doing on those two fronts? 

Paul makes it clear what his job really is: “in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior”.  He is the messenger of God’s eternal truth to us.  He is protector of God and His character.  He is delivering the promise that God gave before the world was created.  He is an entrusted deliverer of truth.  And so are you and me.  We have the same message and the same mission – to tell the world about God’s plan for each person who lives on this planet.  To let the world know about the Savior and to let our lives preach that truth every day by how we live.  God has entrusted us with that truth.  Are you telling others about it?  Are you making sure they know the promise of God?

Much of this letter to Titus is a description of the role of an elder or overseer.  Much as his letter to Timothy previous, Paul makes a long list of the things that should define the life of a spiritual leader, as well as the things that should not be part of that leader’s life.  Here are the things that elders should look like:

–       “above reproach

–        husband of one wife

–       his children are believers

–       hospitable

–       lover of good

–       self-controlled

–       upright

–       holy

–       disciplined

–       hold firm to the trustworthy word

–       able to give instruction in sound doctrine

–       rebuke those who contradict it

And an elder must not be:

–       open to the charge of debauchery

–       insubordination

–       arrogant

–       quick-tempered

–       drunkard

–       violent

–       greedy for gain

–       insubordinate

–       empty talkers

–       deceivers

–       teaching for shameful gain

Paul has quite a list of requirements here for the office of elder.  Character matters much in the Body of Christ.  If we are to be part of leading the flock of Jesus we have to have lives that are worthy and Christlike.  That doesn’t mean perfect as that is not an achievable measure. It does mean that areas that fall short need to be corrected and worked on – that we have to continually seek to become more like Jesus.  And it should never show up like Paul writes here, that someone would “profess to know God, but they deny him by their works”.  Life and words have to line up.  We have to walk the talk and talk the walk.  Are you ready to be used by God because you have worked to have a life like Paul describes here?  We all need to work on living this way so we are able to be used to change the world!

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