Titus 1:1-4

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Text: Titus 1:1-4



In this message, as we consider the first four verses in Paul's letter to Titus, I want to introduce this epistle to you.

Titus, along with I and II Timothy are known as the Pastoral Epistles. As the first-century churches increased in number, various questions about church order, soundness in the faith, and discipline came up. At first the apostles themselves dealt with these questions. However, they could not keep up with it, and they began approaching the end of their lives. God the Holy Spirit directed Paul to write the Pastoral Epistles in order to provide the necessary and authoritative teaching about faith and order for the future guidance of the churches.


Titus 1:1 - (1) Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (3) But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

He describes himself as a servant of God

Servant = slave, bondslave. His reason for existing was to do God's will, not his own.

Cf. Romans 12:1-2 - (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

He further describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

The purpose of his apostleship was to make the gospel known.

It was according to (= with a view to producing) the faith of God's elect and according to ( = with a view toward) the full knowledge of the truth which is according to ( = with a view toward) godliness, i.e. it was in hope of eternal life, which the unlying God promised before the world began, but manifested (made known) His word (message) by means of preaching, with which Paul has been entrusted according to the command of God, our Savior.


Titus 1:4 - (4) To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Titus is described as mine own son after the common faith. It is literally, true child according to the common faith. Mine does not appear in the Greek text. Own = legitimate, true.

Titus appears to have been converted under the ministry of the Apostle Paul quite a few years before this epistle was written.

He is relatively unknown because his name never appears in the book of Acts. However, a few facts about his life can be gleaned from the epistles.

He was a Gentile, and his conversion was so convincing that Paul and Barnabas took him with them to the conference at Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-3 ) as an example of the uncircumcised Gentile believers.

Paul evidently trusted him deeply and had great confidence in him for he seems to have been sent by Paul as a trouble-shooter into a number of different and difficult situations.

Paul had sent him to Corinth (II Corinthians 7:6-10 , 13-16).

II Corinthians 7:6-10 - 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. 8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

II Corinthians 7:13-16 - 13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. 14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. 15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

Paul had placed him in charge of the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem (II Corinthians 8:6, 16, 17, 23, 24).

II Corinthians 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.

II Corinthians 8:16-17 - 16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.

II Corinthians 8:23-24 - 23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

Paul had left him in charge of the churches in Crete where the people were known for their low character (Titus 1:5 , 12).

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 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

Paul later sent him to Dalmatia (II Timothy 4:10 ).

II Timothy 4:10 - For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Dalmatia, which is geographically located in present-day Croatia.


The Acts of the Apostles closes in approximately A.D. 60 or 61, and after that no consecutive history of the rest of the first century is available. However, additional hints from certain Biblical books as well as writings from non-Biblical books enable one through some educated guessing to partially reconstruct the events from A.D. 60 on. Yet, the uncertainty of placing the dates and exact activities precisely prevents one from knowing for certain exactly what did happen.

Although Paul was still faithfully serving the Lord to the best of his ability (Philippians 3:12-14 ), he was growing older. Perhaps, he was slowing down physically. Definitely, his activities had been limited due to imprisonment, and he had to rely more and more upon his younger associates, such as Timothy and Titus.

Philippians 3:12-14 - 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

When Acts closed, Paul was in prison in Rome. The events able to be discerned indicate that Paul must have been set free after his first hearing before the Roman emperor and that he was allowed to continue his missionary travels for several years before he was arrested, imprisoned again, and eventually executed.

The evidence of Paul's travel in the Pastoral Epistles does not correspond to anything found in Acts. The conclusion reached is that these Pastoral Epistles were written after the completion of Acts.

The chronological relations of the Pastorals to the Prison Epistles seem clear from their reference to Paul's companions. Many of these companions are identical with those of the Prison Epistles but are located in different places. They had left Paul's immediate vicinity.

Timothy had been left at Ephesus while Paul was en route to Macedonia (I Timothy 1:3), whereas on the last trip that Timothy took with Paul the order of procedure was from Macedonia to Asia (Acts 20:4-6 ), and Timothy did not remain in Ephesus.

Demas had deserted Paul (II Timothy 4:10 ), whereas the Prison Epistles included him among the group at Rome (Philemon 24 ).

Titus was left in Crete (Titus 1:5 ), and then went to Dalmatia (present-day Croatia) (II Timothy 4:10 ), but on none of the journeys in Acts did Paul go to Crete, nor did he have Titus with him when he finally did go there during the voyage to Rome.

Mark was in Asia (II Timothy 4:11 ) where Paul had recommended him in one of the Asian letters (Colossians 4:10 ).

Luke was still with him (II Timothy 4:11 ). Tychicus had gone on his errand to Ephesus (II Timothy 4:12 ).

Paul himself had visited Ephesus (I Timothy 1:3 ), Crete (Titus 1:5 ), Nicopolis (Titus 3:12 ), Corinth (II Timothy 4:20 ), Miletus (II Timothy 4:20 ), and Troas (II Timothy 4:13 ), and was presently located in Rome (II Timothy 1:17). He was in prison (II Timothy 1:16 ) and was quite sure that the end of his life was not very far away (II Timothy 4:6-7 ). Altogether the situation was very different from that described by the Prison Epistles.

It is suggested that between Paul's two Roman imprisonments he traveled as far as Spain where he may have spent as long as two years.


Paul apparently visited the island of Crete after his release from the first Roman imprisonment, and when he went elsewhere, he left Titus there to carry on the work of establishing the churches and correcting some of its errors.

The churches were unorganized.

Members were quite careless in their behavior.

The instructions in this chapter indicate that the men were lax and careless, the older women were gossips and enslaved to much wine, the young women were idle and flirtatious.

Perhaps the preaching of the gospel of grace had given the Cretans the impression that salvation by faith was unrelated to an industrious and ethical life. Six times in Titus good works are urged upon the Christians. Although Paul says that salvation cannot be earned by good works (Titus 3:5 ), he states with equal vigor that believers must be careful to maintain good works.

The troubles in Crete had been caused by a combination of the natural characteristics of the Cretans as habitual liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons, with an introduction of Jewish fables and commandments which a group of Judaizers who were described as godless (Titus 1:16 ), unruly (Titus 1:10 ), divisive (Titus 1:11 ), and mercenary (Titus 1:11 ).


He would need them. How would you have liked to be in his position?


As we go on we want to see:

Titus 1:5-9 The Qualifications of Elders

Titus 1:9-16 The Duties of Elders

Titus 2:1-10 , 15 Things which Become Sound Doctrine

Titus 2:11-14 The Blessed Hope

Titus 3 Exhortations to Godly Living


This sermon is the 1st part of the series, Study of Titus. Other sermons in this series are: