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Titus

May 18, 2009

Background

I. Introduction and Purpose Titus 1:1-5

II. Choose Godly Leaders Titus 1:6-16

  1. Godly Attributes                        Titus 1:6-9
  2. Ungodly Attributes                   Titus 1:10-16

III. Your Model for Christian Education Titus 2:1-15

  1. Your Teaching Priority             Titus 2:1
  2. Your Teaching Program            Titus 2:2-10
  3. Your Teaching Purpose             Titus 2:11-15

IV. Emphasis and Expectations Titus 3:1-11

  1. Remind                                 Titus 3:1-2
  2. Remember                           Titus 3:3-7
  3. Repeat                                   Titus 3:8
  4. Remove                                Titus 3:9-11

V. Closing and Concerns Titus 3:12-15

Background

As I stated in my background statements on II Timothy, Paul’s letter to Titus
takes a very direct and pointed approach. Paul is not wasting words. This letter
was probably written from Nicopolis [Titus 3:12]. I Timothy was probably written
from there too. This letter has many of the same overtones as that of I and
II Thessalonians and I and II Timothy in that it contains very specific instructions
on correct teaching and living. This was an important subject because by this
time many of the original Apostles have been martyred. Paul has dodged many
bullets during his ministry but there is one last bullet in the chamber. Paul
is concerned that those who will carry on after he dies will have the proper
foundation and correct means of carrying out the Lord’s work. He wants to make
sure they have access to his wealth of experience.

There are several themes/outlines that one could use. Here are some others.
Chapter 1 talks of organizing the work; Chapters 2-3 discusses implementing
the work. Chapter 1 talks of purpose and roles Chapters 2-3 discuss training
and living. This letter is to help Christians live on a higher plane, being
transformed by the Holy Spirit and not conformed to the world. We are not to
live according to the majority but according to the Major One.

Introduction and Purpose                                                                   Titus 1:1-5

I have combined both the introduction and Titus’s purpose together because
purpose is also woven into the introduction. This is a different introduction
from what Paul has generally used in his letters and it is rich in meaning.
It can be best understood using the following outline.

The Person

  • Paul
    • a servant of God
    • an apostle for Christ

The Purpose

  • to build Faith within the “elect”
  • to build Knowledge of the Truth
  • to build Godliness

The Presentation

  • it rests on the hope of eternal life
  • it rests on God’s truthfulness
  • it rests on God’s promise
  • it rests on God’s timing
  • it rests on God’s command

There is no difference between Paul’s purpose and our purpose. We are all
servants. The questions for us are “What/how is your building?” and
“Upon what foundation does it rest?” God’s promise coupled with His
demonstrated truthfulness provides assurance for our hope. This is the foundation
for our faith, knowledge and godliness. And it’s clothed with God’s faithfulness,
mercy, love, and grace.

Titus is another valued co-worker, a son, just like Timothy. Titus was given
special responsibilities in Crete as Timothy was in Ephesus. These were trustworthy
servants as Paul traveled to do preliminary/follow-up work in other mission
fields. Titus, as was Timothy, was trained and was trusted to carry on God’s
important work.

Paul obviously had a tremendous sense of urgency in carrying out his work
for Christ; just like Christ did. It begs the question….. “What is
our sense of urgency with respect to Christ’s work?” Do we have a greater
sense of urgency for building buildings or building the Kingdom? Paul never
talked about a building or gave any instructions about such. Never did Jesus
or any of the apostles. Building instructions were only given to David [don’t
build], Solomon, and Ezra. Moses received very specific instructions for a portable
structure. Thus we need to guard our priorities and our hearts.

I’m not saying a building is wrong or bad. A building can also be a testimony
of faith and God’s love. But it can not take priority over building the Kingdom.
We have great cathedrals in Europe, great monuments, but they are empty. They
are buildings without an active vibrant testimony. They have historical significance
but offer no eternal hope. Balance and perspective along with correct priorities
is critical.

Titus was to finish the work begun by Paul. Likewise, we are to finish the
work begun by Christ. Jesus laid the foundation and we are to build; just as
was laid out in verse 1-3; building, faith, knowledge, and godliness. We are
to appoint elders; those that will carry on when we leave. Are our children
growing in the faith so as to meet the requirements to carry on? As parents
we have a tremendous responsibility and this letter will give us some good pointers.

Choose Godly Leaders                                                    Titus 1:6-16

Godly Attributes                                     Titus 1:6-9

Here begins the list of requirements for choosing a Godly leader/elder. By
definition an elder is a protector of the faith. These 17 attributes are summarized
by three main categories as follows:

  1. Family—ones relationship in the family
    1. Blameless—pure, just, obedient to civil and moral laws.
    2. Husband of one wife— not divorced and not a polygamist.
    3. Believing children—not wild or disobedient. The testimony of our faith
      and character is seen by others in and through our children.
  2. Community/Church—Ones relationship to others
    1. Not overbearing.
    2. Not quick tempered.
    3. Not drunken.
    4. Not violent.
    5. Not dishonest in business.
    6. Hospitable
    7. Loves good
    8. Self- controlled
    9. Upright.
    10. Holy.
    11. Disciplined.

These are the characteristics of a good ruler; a kingly person of humility and
meekness; a person respected in the community.

III. Church—ones relationship to the church body

  1. Holds firmly to the Gospel.
  2. Encourages sound doctrine.
  3. Refutes those who espouse error concerning the Gospel and sound doctrine.

In other words a Godly leader is a keeper of the Truth and assures the purity
of the Truth.

Here is a principle: All of us should be I and II. We should be III too but
I’m assuming that those three are special roles for the chosen leaders/elders.
You can not be III without having I and II. But having I and II does not guarantee
you will receive III.

In looking over this list we must ask ourselves where we excel and where we
need work. We should all meet the qualifications of an elder even though we
are not chosen to be an elder/leader.

Ungodly Attributes                            Titus 1:10-16

The purity of the Faith is being addressed in detail. Faith is a black and
white issue; not gray. The Rev. Paul K. Fryling wrote “It’s not the quantity
of faith but the quality of faith that’s important”. The unfaithful Cretians
had a reputation as follows:

  1. Rebellious.
  2. Talkers.
  3. Deceivers.
  4. Probably circumcised. [Jewish]
  5. Taught error.
  6. Profited from religion.
  7. Liars.
  8. Evil brutes.
  9. Lazy gluttons.
  10. Believed Jewish myths.
  11. More apt to believe/listen/side with unbelievers.
  12. Don’t endorse purity.
  13. Minds corrupted with error.
  14. Claim to know God but their actions don’t support their claims.
  15. Detestable.
  16. Unable to do good.

This is a very clear description of people who do not read and adhere to the
Word of God. They refuse to accept its Truth and prefer to mix the little truth
they know with the worldly truth around them. With these people the purity of
the Gospel is severely compromised.

We are to “sharply rebuke” the critics of the faith. And we are
to point out the way of Truth. This is not a popular stance today and brings
criticism from others. We are to live peaceably but it doesn’t mean tolerance
at any cost. We can disagree and still get along. But the world no longer understands
this principle. Consider these examples: Israel vs. Arabs; Christians vs. gays/
non-Christians; abortions rights; human rights; national conflicts; political
conflicts; etc. We must be ruled by what is right; what is the Truth and that
comes from the Word of God.

Your Model for Christian Education                              Titus 2:1-15

Your Teaching Priority                                 Titus 2:1

We are to teach sound doctrine. But just what is sound doctrine? Every church
has their doctrinal statements but they are not always in agreement. We talk
about the major doctrines and the minor doctrines stating we must agree on the
majors but can differ on the minors. So what are the major doctrines? Titus,
no doubt, understood what Paul was saying even though it is not stated succinctly
in this passage. Sound doctrine includes statements such as: salvation is by
grace through faith in Christ; He was born of a virgin; He died and was resurrected;
He was both God and human [incarnate; that belief in God will result in change
[new creatures]; He is coming again. The instructions outlined in the following
verses seem to teach “If we placed our faith in Christ, how should we live?”

Titus 1:2-4 indicates that sound doctrine would include:

  1. God provides hope of eternal life.
  2. God is trustworthy and faithful.
  3. God is sovereign over time.
  4. God is sovereign over our work.
  5. God is the giver of grace and peace.

Titus 2:11-14 implies:

  1. Salvation is available to all men through God’s grace.
  2. Our Lord is coming again.
  3. Jesus Christ died for our sins.
  4. Those who He redeems are part of His family; adopted as sons; His bride the Church.
  5. We are redeemed for good works. Because He loved us we, in turn, love Him and give ourselves for Him.

Titus 3:4-7 tells us:

  1. God is a God of love and mercy.
  2. Through faith in Christ we are renewed by His Holy Spirit.
  3. We are justified; no longer condemned.
  4. We are His heirs.

When considering all of these statements, the gospels, and the epistles, it
seems that one of the best summaries of sound doctrine was written by the early
church in what is known as The Apostles Creed and The Nicene Creed. Read them.
They emphasize the majors and represent sound doctrine. Interestingly, mainline
protestant churches say these creeds but don’t necessarily teach them. So called
evangelical churches teach them but seldom say them. Personally I’m for teaching
them and saying them. I think it would make for a stronger and more unified
Church body. We would begin to appreciate our denominational similarities and
not our denominational differences. Our focus would become on Christ and His
grace.

Your Teaching Program                          Titus 2:2-10

Refer to the chart at the end of this section for the organization and structure
recommended by Paul to Titus for the training the Christians of Crete in godliness.
You will note at least three recurring themes; self-control, character and integrity.
You will also note that there is a leadership role outlined for men and a supportive
role outlined for women. This is no different than what Paul teaches us with
respect to the roles of husband and wife. This causes great strife in today’s
culture because we make heroes of leaders and ignore those in supportive roles.
But good leaders make sure they draw attention, recognize, and give credit to
those in supportive roles instead of themselves. Just think of the people you
admire. I think you will find them drawing attention to others’ contributions
and downplaying their own contributions. It’s a true form of humility. Leaders
come and go but those in supportive roles stay a long time and contribute over
a long period of time. One is more apt to remember people in supportive roles
than in leadership roles. Unfortunately we humans crave the limelight and downplay
perseverance, consistency, stability, and servant-hood.

Also notice the issue of age. There is an organization in teaching; older
men to younger men and older women to younger women all for the purpose of demonstrating
how to live a life without fault or wrongdoing. Trust and respect generated
by self-control, character, and integrity definitely draws attention to our
Lord and Savior.

Your Teaching Purpose                                        Titus 2:11-15

We are to teach so that Christians can and will live on a higher plane. Teaching
sound doctrine must bring forth results. Those results are a.] saying “no”
to ungodliness and worldly pleasures and b.] saying “yes” to self
control and righteousness. It is coupled with a “vision”; waiting
for Christ’s return, our Redeemer, the One who purifies giving us willing hearts
to do good. This “vision” is our Hope in Christ, our motivation to
obey; that we may be His faithful servants. The focus of this life is not about
who does what or what your role is or is not. It is about submission to God’s
Word, the Work of Christ, and looking forward to His return. To live uprightly
in the present, one must acknowledge what has happened in the past [Grace] and
be assured of what will happen in the future [His return].

Paul’s final instruction in this passage is for Titus to encourage the brethren
and rebuke those who stray from sound doctrine. In other words, stand firm and
don’t let anyone run over you [despise you].

So let’s summarize this chapter as follows:

  1. It is not what you are but who you are that witnesses of God’s grace and
    redeeming love.
  2. Our learned self-control is a noticeable trait in drawing attention to our
    Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  3. Sound teaching focuses on what is right and not on what is wrong; positive, not negative, in content and emphasis.
  4. Sound teaching Exalts the Word, Suppresses Opposition, and Exalts Christ.
  5. To be influential, we must practice what we preach.
  6. Character counts and Integrity rules. They weaken the ammunition of the opposition.
  7. Living a life of Integrity and Self-control demonstrates the power of the
    Holy Spirit living within the believer.
  8. Sound teaching must be coupled with Vision, a vision of our Hope in Christ
    [our motivation to obey]; that we become His faithful servants.
  9. Only by Teaching the Faith and Living the Faith are we able to successfully
    Defend the Faith.

The Road to Meekness

Self-control

leads to

Integrity

leads to

Trust

leads to

Freedom

to demonstrate the Savior’s Love, and

Authority

to encourage and rebuke your fellow man.

Organizational Chart

Titus (Chapter 2)|
Elders
|
Leadership 101
Servanthood 101
Intro to Leadership
Workplace Etiquette
>21 yrs. of ageMale

Prerequisite:

Intro. to Leadership >18 yrs. of age

FemalePrerequisite: Homebuilding < 21 yrs. of ageMale All agesMale/female
|
|
Syllabus
|
|
|
|
Syllabus
|
|
|
|
Syllabus
|
|
|
|
Syllabus
|
|
TemperanceCommanding respect

Self-control

Foundational faith

  • exhibiting love
  • endurance

Prerequisite for Elders

Living reverentlyProper communication

Resisting alcohol

Teacher training

  • goodness

Prerequisite for teaching Homebuilding

Self-controlOn the Job Training for:

  • goodness
  • integrity
  • objective focus
  • proper commitments
  • upright living
Obedient serviceCourteous communication

Honesty/integrity

Trustworthiness

 
|
|
Homebuilding
|
|
 
< 18 yrs. of ageFemale
|
|
Syllabus
|
|
 
Loving family membersSelf-control

Purity

Homemaking and home working

Showing kindness

Serving your spouse

* Note that the ages chosen are arbitrary and based on what we use as “legal
age” today. You may wish to double them but remember that at the time of
this writing people didn’t live as long and they married earlier in life.

Emphasis and Expectations                                                                    Titus 3:1-11

Remind                                                          Titus 3:1-2

We have a responsibility to remind ourselves and others just how we should
act [“do good”]. Paul lists seven attributes; subject to rulers, subject
to authorities, being ready to help always, no slandering [respectful], peaceable,
considerate [kind], and humble toward man. In other words, we are to use our
gifts of the Spirit to make a difference. Our responsibility is not only to
remind our fellow believers to do these things but to correct one another when
we fail to do such.

Remember                                                   Titus 3:3-7

As we do what is right, we are to remember what we were. This prevents us
from thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. In other words, remembering
such will enable us to lose our pride and practice humility. Paul list seven
bad traits counter to the seven attributes of doing good. These are being foolish
and disobedient; letting passions rule; engaging in malice and envy; giving
people a reason to hate us and having hate within our hearts. We must choose
to live positively and be content in that we were once living negatively and
in discontent.

We are to remember that Christ saved us because of His kindness, love, and
mercy. He washed away our sins through rebirth [cleansing] and renewed us through
His Holy Spirit. We are no longer conformed to the world but transformed into
His image. We are no longer condemned but are justified by His grace, becoming
His heirs unto eternal life.

So we must remember what we were and remember what we are and act accordingly.

Repeat                                                Titus 3:8

Paul says this advice is good and trustworthy. It’s good for the long haul.
Stressing these concepts through repetition [both in teaching and in practice]
is profitable, excellent, and good for all. How we act gives us respect and
a platform on which to share the gospel, our personal testimony of His saving
Grace.

Remove                                                 Titus 3:9-11

These verses reemphasize the need for being loving and peaceable in controversies.
We are to avoid controversies that do not relate to the gospel message. But
the Gospel must take precedent over all things. We are to respect God’s Word
as His Word. One who does not accept rebuke according to God’s Word is definitely
not a believer [vs.11]. Teach, don’t argue.

These verses also refer to those who would want to return to the law for salvation
instead of grace. In other words, they place the Law above Grace [Judahizers] instead of Grace above the Law [Believers]. We are to befriend “unbelievers”
but we are not to be known as kindred spirits. Therefore, we are encouraged
to break fellowship with anyone who refuses to accept the fact that “Christ
died for our sins and we must place our faith in Him for eternal life”. The gospel message must remain pure as He is pure. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we [as His body of believers, His Church] are to be pure and holy as He is pure and holy.

Allow me to editorialize some over all eleven of these verses. Overall this
passage attempts to add meaning to “doing good”. God is good. He does
not engage in slander and is considerate to the point of making salvation available
to all who believe. He does not want anyone to perish. He does not hate but
loves even though we are disobedient. That is why this teaching is so important.
By obeying we are testifying of God our Savior, who He is, what He came to do,
and how He can transform one into His Divine image. We take on the character
of God whom we serve. He is for our good, our benefit, for true fellowship in
peace with Him our Creator God.

Practice what you preach; practice what you teach, and for sure practice what
you have been taught. It does no good to learn if you can’t apply it to your
daily life. Therefore, “do good” and remind people to apply their
knowledge. Remember where you were and where you are now in your relationship
to Jesus Christ. Be faithful and persevere in the face of hardship and negative
influence.

Today we, as Christ’s heirs, must be careful that we do not move from “doing
good” to “not doing good”. With the hate and malice brought forth
toward Christians on the issues of abortion, freedom of speech, creation, gay
rights etc. we must be cautious to stand firm, to rebuke, to not be despised
[Titus 2:15] in a most peaceable manner. It is too easy to be like our accusers
instead of being like Christ.

We must point out what is right, why it is right, and to whom we trust it
is right—-namely Jesus, the only one who is righteous. However, when our allegiance
is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is God Almighty, we can expect to
bring out the worst in our enemies. As stated in Romans 12, we must return hate
with love. This is done by serving them and not holding it against them because
their positions differ with scripture. We need to be bold in our arguments but
not argumentative. We need to argue on both intellectual grounds and on spiritual
grounds, remembering the battle is spiritual. Our arguments must involve the
person of Christ, His gospel message, and His Word. The world must know us by
our love; our doing good; our living on a higher plane.

We must remain/practice submission in a world which despises submissiveness
and worships power. We must remind others that real power comes from God, not
humans. The inspired Word of God is wiser than the inspired word of intellectualism
[humanity].

Education is good or bad depending on who one worships; Jesus Christ or self.
A non-submissive society [one who ignores Christ Jesus] leads to a permissive
society leads to destruction. History bears this out but the world believes
they can make corrections and avoid destruction. This is why God, through Paul,
inserts verses 4-7. Our concepts of kindness, love, mercy, salvation, justification,
and grace are foundational to truth in teaching and living. Values and morals
are important and good but they come only through the grace of God and the power
of the Holy Spirit. They are God-breathed; not man-made.

It isn’t only practicing what you have been taught but also being willing
to disassociate yourselves from people who disagree with what you have been
taught in scripture. We are to keep our ways right and our associations right;
in accordance with the righteousness of God. The purity of our message must
be reflected and be consistent with how we live and with whom we associate.

The Emphasis and Expectation is simple; that we apply what we have been taught
according to scripture.

Closing and Concerns                                                                Titus 3:12-15

When Titus is through teaching/instructing/organizing/implementing, he is
to return to Paul. In fact Paul is sending either Artemas or Tychicus to relieve
him and do any “mopping up” required. By the time one of these men
arrive, Titus should have appointed capable elders and launched the program.
And they would have this manual [letter] to guide them in the future.

Titus is to return via checking up on Zenas and Apollos [Corinth?] to see
if they are OK and have any needs. If so, the implication here is for Titus
to help them. He asks Titus to emphasize “doing good” and working
for a living so as to keep the gospel message respectable and responsible; similar
to Paul’s concerns expressed in his second letter to the Thessalonians.

Greetings are exchanged and Grace is given.

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