Titus: An Introduction and Summary

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The letter from Paul to Titus is considered as part of a group of writings known as the Pastoral Epistles.  These Pastoral Epistles include 1st and 2nd Timothy, and Titus. These letters are grouped in this manner because they all deal with information surrounding pastors, pastoral and elder duties, and the organization of church authority, mission, and conduct of its members.

Titus was a Greek follower of Jesus. Likely a direct convert of Paul who calls him a son in the faith.  The Epistle to Titus was written by Paul sometime between his two imprisonments by Rome.  Paul had visited Crete and left Titus there to supervise the churched there and then went to southern Greece, to Nicopolis in Achaia, where he wrote this letter (3:12).  This letter is written between the writings of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy.

Titus was a traveling companion and confidant of Paul and Barnabas, from early in his ministry.  It appears he may have even accompanied them to the Jerusalem council which concerned themselves on whether the gentile converts should need to be circumcised.  As a result of that counsel, he was never forced to be circumcised. (Galatians 2:1-3; 2 Corinthians 15:1-11) Titus is mentioned in several places in the New Testament writings as a man of honor and as a great encouragement to Paul.  Paul was even discouraged one time when he went to Troas to preach because he was expecting to find Titus there but did not. (2 Corinthians 2:12-13).  He was Paul’s delegate to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 8:6,16).  Paul had sent for Titus to join him in Nicopolis in this letter (3:12). From there Paul sent Titus to Dalmatian (former Yugoslavia, modern day Serbia and Montenegro). Tradition says that Titus returned from there to Crete where he died in the ancient town of Gortyna.

This letter from Paul to Titus was very personal and heart felt.  This is one of the last letters that Paul would write.  Tradition tells us that the last letters Paul wrote were to Timothy and Titus.  Paul considered both his sons in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4). You can see the importance that Paul has in ensuring that Titus will continue diligently the discharge of his duties, as quickly as possible.  There is a passing of the guard, so to speak as Paul commissions his young apprentice to pick up the mantle of leadership in the region.  Paul presents his confidence in the message he has received and passed to Titus, and shows the importance of passing on the message, through the preaching of the Word. (1:1-3). Paul passes on his advice to Titus on setting things in order (1:5), the ordination of elders in every city (1:5), the teaching of sound doctrine (2:1), the importance of avoiding foolish discussion on the importance of tradition and genealogy (3:9) because those that rely on them are condemned already (3:10). Christians are not bound by such things and should live free of such constructs whether Jewish or Pagan.

Paul speaks of the Elders in the Church, their desirability, and their qualifications (4:5-9). He also discusses some issues with false teachers that must be immediately dealt with in the church (1:10-16). Then he moves to discuss the operation of the Church to include duties of the ministers, living in response to God’s grace, and what good works are.

The churches need to have Elders to govern them and to keep them in order. So that the churches can be exemplary and are not defective.  Create is lacking in godly leaders and they need effective leadership immediately (1:5).  This leadership should meet certain qualifications that include:

  1. They should be blameless;
  2. Be married to one wife. They should be a one-woman man.  This reasoning means that elders should be men;
  3. Their family should be examples of the one Faith;
  4. Be Self-disciplined
  5. Not a drunkard
  6. Not abusive
  7. Hospitable
  8. Be faithful to the Word of God in Jesus Christ
  9. Love what is good, holy, just.
  10. Able to, by knowledge of the scriptures, confront false doctrine and gainsayers.

These ministers should teach things that are conducive to good moral behaviors in accordance with sound doctrines of the church.  Their teachings cause behavior to be in harmony with their belief in Jesus Christ.  Elders should set patterns of goodliness by being restrained and not given to wine.  The older ladies should also set example to the younger and cease from slander and gossiping.  A Christian should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts in their lives.  Instead The believer should seek the blessings of the hope we have in God and our savior Jesus Christ (2:11-14). 

Since we have been delivered from such sinfulness, we should speak evil of no man.  We must remember also that since Jesus is the Lord of all, and has appointed governments over men, as he has elders over the church, that we must be respectful of the government. We must always remember that we were not saved by works, but by the mercy if God in Jesus Christ, and evidenced in the washing of regeneration and renewing o the Holy Ghost (3:4-6).  Knowing these things we should avoid foolish questions, genealogies, and contentions about the law of Moses because they do not contribute to sound doctrine concerning faith.

To be from Crete was to be synonymous with being a liar. It is even said that they were cursed by the gods of Greece to never tell the truth.  Crete is also fabled to be the place where Zeus grew up, and they took pride in their cleverness and crafty or should I say, shiftiness, because Zeus had been that way. This is likely the reason Paul makes it a point to say that God cannot lie, unlike Zeus who is legendary to the people of Crete. for his lies. There piracy was renowned and was the cause of two wars in 71 and 69-67 BC.  They had a reputation for lies, cheating, and sexual immorality.  This island was in the heart of major trade routes and had multiple harbor that were used by many visiting lands.  The churches here were small house churches that were heavily influenced by the culture around them.  It is no wonder that Paul sent one of his most trusted companions to set things in order, and to change the mentality of the local churches.  Titus’ task was to appoint up new leadership that would help the church to live alongside, but not become a part of the culture surrounding it.

The overall message is this; If the message of the gospel is to prove itself in a society, then it has to be different then the society surrounding it.  God is not like other gods, and Christians should not be like those who serve other gods.  They should honor God with their public and private lives and with how they treat one another, dress, attitudes, and their manner of speech. Christians values should look different because they serve a different God. For this to happen, the Pastors, and Elders needed to have a righteous backbone, and teach solid doctrine.

In the KJV there are:

  • 3 Chapters
  • 46 Verses
  • 896 Words


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