TITUS, PAUL’S FRIEND AND HELPER
We know less about Titus than we do Timothy. We do not find Titus’ name in the Book of Acts. But from Paul’s epistles we know that Titus was a faithful and capable servant of Christ and a dear friend of Paul. In his Letter to Titus, Paul calls him “my true son in our common faith.” Titus was a Greek Gentile. When he was converted to Christ, he went with Paul to Jerusalem. Because of a Christian’s freedom from the Jewish laws, Paul makes a point of explaining that Titus was not circumcised, even though some Judaizers at Jerusalem were insisting on it (Gal. 2:1-5). While Paul was on his third missionary trip, Titus was given the responsibility of ministering to the Corinthian Christians. This was a big responsibility because of the many problems in the church at Corinth. In 2 Corinthians Paul mentions Titus and his work ten times. He speaks in good terms about the faithful work of Titus at Corinth (2 Cor. 8:16-17). Later we hear of the work of Titus on the Island of Crete. Paul had first worked with him on Crete and then left the work there in Titus’ capable hands. Like the work in Corinth, the work on Crete was a real challenge. “Cretans are always liars, evil brates, lazy gluttons” (Tit. 12). But Paul had confidence that Titus could deal with the Cretans and carry on a successful ministry for Christ (Tit. 5). At the end of his Letter to Titus, Paul requested that Titus meet him at Nicopolis. We do not know if that meeting took place (Tit. 3:12). We hear for the last time about Titus in 2 Ti. 4:10, where we learn that Titus had gone to the province of Dalmatia. Tradition says that he finally died a martyr’s death.
THE EPISTLE TO TITUS
Paul wrote his Epistle to Titus from Macedonia between Paul’s two Roman imprisonments, perhaps about 65 A.D. It was probably written shortly after 1 Timothy. Titus was on the Island of Crete when he received the letter.
A THEME, OUTLINE AND THE BASIC CONTENTS OF TITUS
“PAUL COUNSELS TITUS ABOUT SANCTIFICATION”
1. Sanctification in congregational life. (1) Key passages: “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient” (1:6). “An overseer … must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to much wine, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain” (1:7).
2.Sanctification in family life and individual life. (2) Key passages: “Teach the older men to be temperate … Teach the older women to be reverent … Encourage the young men to be self-controlled … Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything” (2:2, 3, 6, 9).
3.Sanctification in public life. (3) Key passages: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities” (3:1). “[God] saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (3:5-6).
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