THE EPISTLE TO TITUS
“Titus, to whom this epistle is inscribed, was a Greek, an uncircumcised Gentile, and so remained; nor did the apostle circumcise him, as he did Timothy, when he became his companion; nor did the apostles at Jerusalem oblige him to be circumcised, when Paul took him with Barnabas along with him thither, Galatians 2:1, 3. He was a man of great grace, and large gifts, and very dear to the apostle: he calls him his brother, his partner, and fellow helper, and says he walked in the same spirit, and in the same steps, 2 Corinthians 2:13; 8:23; 12:18.” --- John Gill’s Expositor.
He was a messenger of the church at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 8:16-18. He was thoroughly trustworthy and unselfish, 2 Corinthians 12:18; a companion of Paul and Barnabas on a journey to Jerusalem, Galatians 2:1. He was left in Crete by Paul to superintend the churches, Titus 1:5. He was in Rome with Paul during the latter’s imprisonment, 2 Timothy 4:10. He seems to have been a more sturdy man than Timothy and probably more mature.
“The title ‘Pastoral Epistle’ is as appropriate to the Epistle to Titus as to the First Epistle to Timothy. Although there is a good deal in the letter that is personal rather than pastoral, yet the pastoral element is the main one. The bulk of the letter is taken up with questions of church doctrine and government, the treatment of the faithful members of the congregation and of the unruly and erring.” --- Expositor’s Bible Commentary.
Writer: The apostle Paul.
Main Theme: Counsels and Exhortations relating to Ministerial Duties and Doctrines, with special emphasis laid upon the maintenance of good works.
Key Verses: Titus 1:5, “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:” Titus 3:8, “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.”
Emphatic Thought. The emphasis upon good works is seen in, Titus 1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14. This is a sufficient answer to those who claim that there is a conflict of doctrine between Paul’s epistles and that of James. The character of the Cretians was such that Paul thought it necessary to advise their minister to insist upon consistent Christian living. Nevertheless this epistle does not teach salvation by works, Titus 3:5.
I. Instructions Concerning Church Organization and Discipline.
A. The salutation and reference to the glorious hope of the gospel, Titus 1:1-4.
B. The purpose of the assignment of Titus to Crete, Titus 1:5.
C. Church Order and Discipline:
1. The Character and Qualifications of Elders and Bishops, Titus 1:6-9.
2. The Importance of Suppressing “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,” Titus 1:10-11.
3. The Evil Character of the Cretians Demanded Stern Treatment and Steadfast Adherence to the Truth, Titus 1:12-14.
4. Inward Defilement and Hypocrisy Condemned, Titus 1:15-16.
a. Even their Mind and Conscience is Defiled, Matthew 15:18.
b. Professing to know God, but their works deny that they know Him, 1 Timothy 6:5.
II. Sound Doctrine and Good Works.
A. The Apostle Paul’s Instructions adapted for various classes.
1. Regarding the spirit and behavior of aged men and women, Titus 2:2-3.
2. Those of mature age are to teach young men and women, Titus 2:4-6.
3. Exhortation to Titus concerning his personal example, Titus 2:7-8.
4. The duties of servants, Titus 2:9-10.
B. The Grace of God that Brings Salvation Demands:
1. Self-denial and Godliness in this world, Titus 2:11-12.
2. The Looking for the Fulfillment of the Blessed Hope of Christ’s Coming, Titus 2:13.
3. His People to Live Holy Lives as a Peculiar People, Titus 2:14.
C. The Importance of Enforcing these Truths, Titus 2:15.
III. Additional Instructions Regarding the Doctrine of Good Works and the Divine Method of Salvation.
A. The Duty of Obedience to Authority, Titus 3:1-2.
B. The Gracious Method of Salvation:
1. The Universality of Sin, Titus 3:3.
a. “Once” in our unconverted state, Ephesians 2:3.
• Foolish, Romans 1:21.
• Disobedient, Romans 1:30.
• Deceived, 2 Timothy 3:13.
b. The Goodness of God led us to repentance, v. 4; Romans 2:4.
2. Good works NOT the Basis of Salvation, but redeeming grace according to His Mercy, Titus 3:4-7.
C. The Importance of Good Works Should Be Constantly Taught, Titus 3:8.
D. The Treatment of Foolish Questions and Heresy, Titus 3:9-11.
E. Closing words and benediction, Titus 3:12-15.