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Sent to establish faith in God's people

Titus 1:1

Paul wrote this letter to Titus.  It is both personal and pastoral, giving an important insight into the complex and challenging task of church leadership.  Paul had appointed Titus to help establish the embryo churches throughout Crete (Titus 1:5).  Although the gospel had spread through the island, and there were believers in every city, they did not know how to live and work together in a godly way.  Indeed, the island’s culture of laziness, superstition and argument was also rife in the church (Titus 1:10-16).  Titus was to teach the church so that they might become Christ-like and be a

Faith rests on God's promises - faithfully preached

Titus 1:2-3

Faith in Jesus Christ is very precious.  It is a personal trusting relationship based on accepting His promises.  We trust that God loves us; that He sent His son to be the substitute sacrifice for our sins; that all our sins are paid for by Jesus; that we can be certain of eternal life (John 3:16).  We trust God in all this because we believe what He has said in His Word ... simply put, we trust what He has promised (Romans 4:20).

Family Solidarity

Titus 1:4

Paul was writing to Titus, giving him instructions which would establish the church in Crete.  He viewed the younger man as a close relative, part of his family.  To be more accurate, he recognised that both he and Titus shared one Father, God himself.  They were spiritual siblings.  Like Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2), Titus had been born again by God through Paul's ministry and had also become like an adopted son to be nurtured in the faith.  Now he was able to nurture others too.

Unfinished business

Titus 1:5

Although Paul's letters were personally directed to churches or individuals, they were read more widely.  So, at the beginning of Paul's letter to Titus, Paul reaffirmed his commission so that others would respect his authority as coming from Jesus Christ (Titus 1:1-3).  Paul and Titus had ministered together in Crete - apparently, the Apostle took Titus with him to preach the gospel on the island of Crete when he was released from his first imprisonment (around the early 60s AD).  So many people were converted, that there were believers in every city.  

Personal qualifications for leadership

Titus 1:7-8

Paul starts his message to Titus by going into detail about how to appoint the right people to oversee God's people (Titus 1:5).  The original word for ’overseer’ means a person ‘charged with the duty of ensuring that work is done rightly to a good standard’.  In a factory or farm we may think of a foreman, or in an office, a manager.  Likewise in God’s church - all who are part of it need to be taught, trained, rebuked and corrected.  That is the purpose of Bible teaching (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The overseers are responsible to ensure that church members obey and keep within the doctrinal bo

Spiritual qualifications for leadership

Titus 1:9

Church elders must be 'men of the message': that was Paul's clear instruction to Titus as he set about his task of ordering the fast growing church in Crete.

Rebellion teaches ruin

Titus 1:10-11

Strong-minded people might make money in business or build a power base in politics.  But unless they are fully submitted to Jesus Christ they can ruin God's purpose in the church.  Paul warned Titus that the newly planted churches in Crete were being infiltrated by rebellious-hearted people who were leading people astray by wrong teaching (1 Timothy 1:6-7).  Their motives were to gain power, recognition and money.  Setting themselves above the apostle's teaching, but without God's authority, they persuaded new believers that the truth was false, and that error was true.

No Going Back

Titus 1:12-14

Paul's assessment of the national temperament of the Cretan people may seem harsh.  But He merely agreed with a Cretan philosopher, based on his own experience of preaching on the Island.   When people received the gospel and were converted – they gladly believed God's truth, rejected lies and told the truth and became people who were kind to others.  And God's energy motivated lazy people so that they started to live productively for Christ (Titus 2:11-14).  However, having been raised in an evil society, the new believers found that old habits remained.

Corruption agrees with unbelief

Titus 1:15-16

Some people have wrongly used these verses to justify wicked behaviour.  They say, ‘Something is only unclean if you think of it that way; if you think it is beautiful then enjoy God's gift.’  But by saying that, they prove how corrupted they are.  If God's Word says something is wrong, then it is wrong ... it is what God says that matters, not what we think (Jeremiah 7:4-10).  If we disobey God, what we do can never be beautiful or pure.