Titus 1 Bible study

Titus 1  2  3

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Chapter 1

 

Introduction:  

 

Titus was Paul's companion on his missionary journeys.   He took him along with Barnabus on his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion (Galatians 2:1).   Titus was a Greek and although there was some contention as to whether Gentiles should be circumcised Paul resisted the pressure put on him to circumcise Titus and the Jewish believers did not press the matter (Galatians 2:3).  When visiting Troas Paul became quite concerned when he did not find Titus there (2 Corinthians 2: 13) so he went on to Macedonia.   Titus was a man after Paul's own heart for he had a concern and care for the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 8: 16) and like Paul never took advantage of them; they were of the same spirit on this subject (2 Corinthians 12:18).  Paul had sent Titus to Crete and placed him as overseer of the church on this island.   His main task was to appoint elders over the churches and to instruct them in sound doctrine and to oppose the false teachers this is the purpose of writing this letter to Titus.

 

 

1.   Greetings 1 - 4.

 

V1.    Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,

 

As was the custom Paul puts his name at the beginning of the letter and his credentials. He had surrendered his whole life to the service of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and quite rightly says that he is slave to his master.   He was no longer his own for he was bought with a great price (1 Corinthians 6:20).   He is not a self styled apostle but was called and appointed by Jesus Christ to proclaim the Gospel message and to teach the truth on how to live godly lives.

 

V2.  in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

 

This truth gives them the assurance  that all believers have eternal life which God, who cannot lie, had promised before the world began (1 John 5:11).

 

V3.  but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

 

In the time that God had appointing He has now known His Word and revealed through His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ.   It is according to the command of God our Saviour that Paul preaches Salvation through Jesus Christ to everyone.

 

V4.   To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

 

Having made known who the writer of the letter is Paul now tells us that he is writing the letter to Titus whom he calls "my own son" in the authorized version that suggests Paul led him to the Lord.   He closes his greeting in his usual manner grace  the unmerited favour of God's blessings, mercy His lovingkindness and compassion and  peace, heart peace, the peace that passes all understanding.  The source of which is God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.  

 

2.   The Standard Set for Appointing Elders 5 - 9.

 

V5.   For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

 

Crete is the largest island in the Mediterranean.  There is no record of Paul having visted it before being taken as a prisoner to Rome when  he spent some time there (Acts 27: 7, 12, 21).   On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended there were Cretans present for they heard the disciples speaking their language (Acts 2:11).  Paul had complete confidence in Titus that he was able sort out the Cretan believers and straighten them out on doctrine and Christian behaviour.   He was also to appoint elders in every city.

 

V6.   if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

 

In setting out the standard required for appointing a person as an elder Paul is also outlining the principles of living the Christian life for every believer.   Elders were to be a good example of this.   There is to be nothing in the life of a man that anyone can point an accusing finger at the church.   He is to have only one wife i.e. he is to be faithful to his wife.   This does not mean that an unmarried man cannot be appointed an elder  neither does it exclude a man who has remarried if his wife has died.   However, it would exclude those who have divorced and remarried.   His children must be believers who do not have a reputation of having loose morals and of being wild and rebellious.

 

V7.  For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

 

The word used for bishop is different to that used for an elder (episkopos - bishop, presbuteros - elder) the New Testament uses these terms interchangeable so there is virtually no difference between them as far as rank is concerned.   These men should be of unquestionable integrity, i.e. moral soundness, nothing wanting.   As a steward of God's inheritance he is not to do his "own thing" or force his will upon God's people.   He should be control in his temper and not be distinguished by his anger.   He should not drink much wine or be of a violent quarrelsome nature nor greedy for money.

 

V8.  but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

 

He must be fond of having guests in his home to treat them in a cordial manner, a lover of what is good be sensible and discreet.   Upright and fair, unbiased, live a devout and disciplined life.

 

V9.   holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

 

He must hold fast to the truth of the Word of God that he was taught in so that he will be able to exhort and instruct in sound doctrine and withstand those who oppose it.

 

3.   Firmly Correct False Teaching 10 - 16.

 

V10.   For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,

 

There are many people who will not submit to the authority of God's word or to those to whom He has given authority to in His Church (Hebrews 13:17).   They mislead people with their empty words they deceive themselves and others.   This is especially true of those who insist that circumcision is necessary for salvation.

 

V11.   whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

 

Their lieing mouths must be shut up or literally "they must begagged"  for they are turning away whole families from the truth by their false teaching.   The only reason that they do it is to get money.

 

V12.  Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, "The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons."

 

From this verse Paul includes also Cretans as well Jews as being false teachers.  He says that even one of their own prophets said of the people of Crete that they are generally liars, evil beasts, lazy and useless and excessive drinkers and eaters.  According to Jerome this whole verse occurs in the works of Epimenides who was a native of Cnossus in Crete.

 

V13.   This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

 

Paul from his own experience with Cretans confirms what the poet said about these people.   He therefore exhorts Titus to be firm with them, to stand for no nonsense but deal with them severely for their own goothat they may stand firm and strong in the faith.

 

V14.   not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

 

They must showtheir steadfastness in the faith by not listening to Jewish myths and rules and regulations by men who have turned away from the truth.

 

V15.   To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.

 

The attraction to Jewish legalism was binding the Cretan believers to a condition of "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," (Colossians 2:21, 1 Timothy 2:3) so Paul says that everything is pure to those whose hearts are made pure in Christ but nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelievers because their very minds and consciences are polluted with sin (Romans 14:14).

 

V16.   They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

 

Such people claim to know God, to be Christians, but they deny Him by the way they behave and live.   They are detestable and cannot be persuaded in accepting the truth because they are rebellious (1 Timothy 1:9).   They are worthless for any good works of any kind.

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