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THE BOOK OF TITUS


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TITUS CHAPTER ONE

We know very little about Titus. We do know that he was a Gentile and one of Paul's converts. He is mentioned nine times,by Paul in second Corinthians and twice in Galatians. He was placed in charge of the church at Crete which was composed of both Jews and Gentiles. As to time,the letter was written between First and Second Timothy.

1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

This verse signals that a change is coming. Notice that Paul opens with the words “Paul,a servant of God”. Until now Paul has always opened with “Paul,a servant of Jesus Christ”. The next time you see “servant of God” is in the Book of James,a Tribulation epistle. Here we also have “the elect”again. This election has its ground, in the purpose and will of God from before the world began.

2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Eternal life comes from God himself. Christians already have eternal life and it has already started for us. Christians know that they will live for ever with God. Before the world began, God promised eternal life. Who did he promise it to? There were only three there. The promise was made to Jesus. God does not lie so Christians can trust God’s promise. It might also be worth mentioning here that the unsaved also have eternal life,or eternal death, if you prefer to think of it that way. So, from the foundation of the world we are created to live forever.

3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Made manifest simply means made known. Now Paul is preaching the gospel he refers to as “my gospel”.This has been made known through Paul whereas it was hidden before.

4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Paul refers to Titus as his son since he is the one who led Titus to the Lord. Now he begins to give Titus instructions on how the church is to be set up and run. They are going to be starting churches in the different cities on the island of Crete.

5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

These next four verses give some of the qualifications for the church leaders.

6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

With verse six everyone seems to focus on “husband of one wife” and ignore the other things. Blameless means that no one can bring a true accusation against the person. Faithful children is self explanatory and this means minor children. Grown children are responsible for their own actions. Notice also that no where does it say the children must be saved. How could you possibly know and be sure.

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Here Paul listed five things that leaders should not do. Selfwilled is the “my way or the highway” type. Having good self control and not a lover of money.

8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

In eight and nine we have the things a leader should do. Most of these are the opposites of those in verse seven

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

Now we get to some of the problems in the church. They had the usual crop of Jews that wanted everyone back under the law, but in addition there were big problems with some of the Cretians. I am guessing,since Paul lumps them together, that some of these Cretians were also Jews who were at Pentecost.

11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

Paul says “stop them”.They are doing what they are doing for money. Does that sound familiar? It sounds like our current crop of tv “preachers”.

12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

One of their own prophets trashes a whole island of people here. He doesn't even except the people in the church. They are always liars. Slow bellies implies that they are gluttons. I have to say that nothing seems more hypocritical than a preacher who gets up and preaches against booze ,cigarettes,short skirts and long hair while he has a “gland” problem and weighs 400 pounds. Gluttony is a sin.

13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Paul agrees that they are all liars etc. Paul also knows it from his own experience with the false teachers. So Titus had to deal with them firmly or they would continue to cause trouble.

14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

The errors are profitless, and do not tend to godliness.

15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Sound doctrine leads to moral behavior and ethics. Everything created by God is pure. It is the uses we put the thing to which defiles it. I have used the example of alcohol and tobacco before. Alcohol is a great disinfectant but a terrible drink. Tobacco is a wonderful organic insecticide and that very property makes it give you cancer if you smoke.

16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

In other words,these particular liars and gluttons are lost. They are not only lost they actively work against the church and against the things of God. People like this are of no use to God or to other people.

TITUS CHAPTER TWO

1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Titus receives,from the Holy Spirit,through Paul,instructions for the different groups of people in the congregation. These rules still apply today.

2 that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

This,the aged men,is my group. We are to be sober,neither drinking nor on drugs. Not even,or maybe I should say especially,on unnecessary prescription drugs. Those of us who are older are to be grave. That is,not swinging from the chandeliers,or turning cartwheels. In other words,not acting like monkeys nor rolling in the isles. Temperate is akin to sober but has a much wider meaning. Temperate,that is,moderation, covers everything in your life. That,simply put,is self control. It applies to food,finances,television,sex,work,play or you name it. Everything in moderation. In the case of Baptists it means backing away from the table before you can't walk.

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.p

Now we get to the older women and we see commands like not false accusers,not given to much wine etc. You mature women are to act your age and be teachers of good things. That is,you are to teach the younger women in the congregation how to behave. You can't do that if you aren't behaving yourself. This means setting a good example. Verse five goes on with more instruction. All of that in verse five goes together. If you practice one of those then it is likely that you will be practicing all of them. Look at the last two parts of the verse. Notice why you are to be obedient to your own husbands. It plainly says,”so you will not blaspheme the word of God”. Now some of you don't like that. It has been said over and over in the scripture so,if you don't like it,take it up with God. That phrase “keepers at home” bears some comment. It means keeping your house,and children,clean and in order. By the way,everything in order includes the finances. Let's look back at proverbs to see more about the keeper of the house.{31:10} Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies. {31:11} The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. {31:12} She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. {31:13} She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. {31:14} She is like the merchants’ships; she bringeth her food from afar. {31:15} She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. {31:16} She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. {31:17} She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. {31:18} She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night. {31:19} She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. {31:20} She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. {31:21} She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet. {31:22} She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple. {31:23} Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. {31:24} She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it;] and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. {31:25} Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. {31:26} She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness. {31:27} She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. {31:28}Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also,] and he praiseth her. {31:29} Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. {31:30} Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. {31:31} Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

This is a picture of the way things should be. Do I even need to say how much we,in our present society have messed things up? Now it takes two people working to make ends meet. That should not be and it is not the way God intended. We have made this mess. Now,instead of being able to stay home and keep the house and raise the children it's off to the work place.

6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

8 sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Now we get to the young men. Be sober minded has been mentioned for all three groups so far,so that's important. Verse seven is telling you young men to study that you might have sound doctrine. You need to be able to defend your doctrine to those who would argue with you. Live in such a way that no one can speak evil against you.

9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

Now Paul is on to servants and slaves. We have already discussed slavery in a previous lesson. There is no biblical prohibition against slavery. There are rules to follow concerning treatment but no prohibition against it.

10 not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Purloining is another word for stealing. God will provide what the slave needs.

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Everybody gets the chance,even the lowest slave.

12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

There is that “living soberly” again. You can enjoy life without acting like part of a troop of baboons.

13 looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Speaking of Jesus now,who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people of good works. We studied the book of James a while back and one of the main themes of the book was good works. Now we know that we do not work for our salvation but we work to please our Saviour.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Now Paul is back to Titus with some encouragement. Apparently Titus is a young man and may have had some problems dealing with older people. This is pastoral authority applied in the right way. Titus is to speak the truth,ask the people to follow the truth and finally,if those things do not work then to rebuke these people with the full authority of God behind him.

TITUS CHAPTER THREE

1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2 to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

This is another instruction to Titus to pass this along to his congregation ,and then on to us. It still applies. Obey the government and those who have the rule over us. Be sure to notice this about the phrase ,”subject to principalities and powers”. These principalities and powers are not those of Ephesians 6 10-12.Those are the evil forces we resist. Quoting Eph 6 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places. ] Obviously we are not to be subject to these evil forces. The principalities spoken of in verse one are the forces of government. Obey the law even when you do not agree with it. What about unjust laws? What about them?Let's take abortion as an example. Nobody is going to come to any of you and say you must have an abortion. What about taxes,some of which is used to pay for these things. Jesus said ,pay your taxes. Now,consider the flip side. What if they could tell you to have an abortion? Then you would say no and pay whatever consequences there were. It happens in China every day. How about same sex marriages and the like? Are those laws immoral. Yes indeed but they do not apply to any of us so whether or not to obey is not an issue for you and I. We do not participate in any way.

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Is there anyone in here who wasn't foolish and disobedient before they were saved? That's a retorical question since I know we were. Most of us have been foolish and disobedient since we were saved. We were hateful and some still are. But the change came,slowly sometimes but it did come.

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

The key word there is man,meaning mankind,that is to say,all of mankind.

5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

We do not earn it,it is a free gift from God. I like to cross reference this to Eph 2: 8-9 which says...For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: {2:9} Not of works,lest any man should boast. There is salvation in a nutshell. Notice also that all of this is done by the Holy Ghost.

6 which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;,

The Holy Ghost "poured out"; on the Church in general at Pentecost, but but now he indwells each believer as that person is saved. That outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was,as far as I am concerned,the beginning of the Church,that is,the Body of Christ.

7 that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

So according to verse seven we have been accounted righteous through faith. Our hope of eternal life is as certain as God's promises.

8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Notice three things here. Good works are mentioned again. They are important and it says “profitable”. The words “which have” indicate that the works come after salvation and are not a part of it. Titus is told to remind his congregation of this over and over.

9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

That's an unbeliever. Tell them twice and then move on.

11 knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Verses nine,ten and eleven go together. One of the biggest time wasters in the world is to get drawn into a doctrinal argument with a member of another denomination. You are not going to change that persons mind and he ,or she,will not change yours. There is just a mean streak in me that likes to corner a Jehovah's Witness of a Catholic priest. The Watchtower bunch live in their perverted version of the old Testament and deny the sonship of Jesus and the Catholic priests apparently have never read anything but the four gospel. The Jehovah's Witnesses have shaken the dust off their feet and do not come to my house anymore. They must have a map of who to avoid because I still do see them in the neighborhood. It may be fun but it's still a waste of time.

12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Artemas and Tychicus are being sent to stand in for Titus while he joins Paul in Necropolis.

13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

So not all lawyers are low lifes. Zenas the lawyer is one of Paul's fellow workers. Apollos we know from Acts 18:25 where he is mentioned as being a great orator and the one who was taught the correct gospel by Aquilla and Priscilla.

14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Ours is a reference to the saved at Crete. They are told to help out the travelers themselves so that the burden does not fall completely on Titus. This still applies.

15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.