Sunday 19th April 2015.
ACK St. Marks Church Kidfarmco
Harrison Mungai Macharia
A Call to Godly Living: Paul’s Letter to Titus.
The letter is addressed to Titus, one of Paul’s converts (1:4) and a considerable help to Paul in his ministry. When Paul left Antioch to discuss the gospel with the Jerusalem leaders, he took Titus with him (Gal 2:1-3); acceptance of Titus (a Gentile) as a Christian without circumcision vindicated Paul’s stand there (Gal 2:3-5). Presumably Titus, who is not referred to in Acts (but is mentioned 13 times in the rest of the NT), worked with Paul at Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Titus, accompanied by two Christian brothers, was the bearer of 2 Corinthians (2Co 8:23) and was given the responsibility for making final arrangements for the collection, begun a year earlier, in Corinth (2Co 8:6,16-17).
Following Paul’s release from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), he and Titus worked briefly in Crete (1:5), after which he commissioned Titus to remain there as his representative and complete some needed work (1:5; 2:15; 3:12-13). Paul asked Titus to meet him at Nicopolis when a replacement arrived (3:12). Later, Titus went on a mission to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10), the last word we hear about him in the NT. Considering the assignments given him, he obviously was a capable and resourceful leader.
Crete: The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. In NT times life in Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. The dishonesty, gluttony and laziness of its inhabitants were proverbial (1:12).
Occasion and Purpose: Paul introduced Christianity in Crete when he and Titus visited the island, after which he left Titus there to organize the converts. Paul sent the letter with Zenas and Apollos, who were on a journey that took them through Crete (3:13), to give Titus personal authorization and guidance in meeting opposition (1:5; 2:1,7-8,15; 3:9), instructions about faith and conduct, and warnings about false teachers. Paul also informed Titus of his future plans for him (3:12).
Place and Date of Writing: Paul possibly wrote from Macedonia, for he had not yet reached Nicopolis (3:12). The letter was written after he was released from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), probably between a.d. 63 and 65 — or possibly at a later date if he wrote after his assumed trip to Spain.
Distinctive Characteristics: Especially significant are the repeated emphases on loving, doing and teaching “what is good” (1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14) and the classic summaries of Christian doctrine (2:11-14; 3:4-7).
Key Verse: Titus 2: 11 – 14: 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The Teaching Ministry of Grace
I. Grace Teaches us to Deny v. 12a
1. Denying Comforts -for Prayer
2. Denying Riches – for Giving
3. Denying Pleasures – for Fellowship
- Grace Teaches us Certain Duties v. 12b
1. Duty to Self – Self Controlled
2. Duty to Others – Upright
3. Duty to the Saviour – Godliness.
III. Grace Teaches Us to Delight v. 13
1. The Blessed Hope
2. The Beautiful Appearing
3. The Beloved Saviour
- Grace Teaches Us to Be Devoted to the Saviour v14
1. The Payment “…who gave himself for us…”
2. The Purifying “…that he might purify unto himself…”
3. The Peculiarity “…a peculiar people…”
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.V15.
- What surprises emerge from this Lesson?
- How do we (as a Christian community) compare to Crete?
- How are we (as individuals) challenged by the message to Titus?
- How is our view of grace affected by this Study?
- How will you apply this message?
Would you like to Interact Further?
The Leadership of the church is keen to set up a mid-week Bible Study Fellowship – would you like to be part of that? The aim is simply to grow in the knowledge of God and of His Word. Please remain behind for some discussion on meeting times.
- NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation. 1973, Page 1887.
- Cobb, Robert L. Studies in Titus.