Study of Titus



Biographical Sketch of Titus

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 to 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), had placed him in charge of the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem (II Corinthians 8:6, 16-17, 23-24), had left him in charge of the churches in Crete where the people were known for their low character (Titus 1:5, 12), and later sent him to Dalmatia (located in present-day Croatia) (II Timothy 4:10).

Background of Titus

Titus was written by the Apostle Paul in about A.D. 65. Paul had apparently visited the island of Crete after his release from the first Roman imprisonment; and when he went somewhere else, he left Titus there to carry on the work of establishing the churches and correcting some of the problems which prevailed. The situation in Crete was difficult. Churches were not organized, and believers were not what they should be. There was opposition as is indicated by his statement in Titus 1:10 that there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers. Many of these were Jewish, but they were not all Jewish. Titus would need to silence these religious charlatans.

Furthermore, the inhabitants of Crete as a whole were characterized as being habitual liars, dangerous animals, and lazy gluttons. Titus would have to deal with this low character among believers and urge them to show by their good works what Christ had done for them. Believers were to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live lives characterized by self-control, righteousness, and godliness while awaiting the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Consequently, Titus was to get the churches properly organized with the right kind of leaders, to teach the people to live properly, and, thus, to put to silence what the opponents of Christianity were saying. Furthermore, he was not to allow himself to be side-tracked by controversial questions, genealogies, fightings, and verbal disputes over the Mosaic Law. Nor was Titus to allow himself to waste all his time on those who were not heeding his teaching when there were so many others who needed his help and who were willing to move their lives in the direction of being faithful to the Lord.

Doctrines Taught in Titus

In Titus 1:9 Paul wrote that Titus was to hold fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers; in 2:1 he wrote that Titus was to speak . . . the things which become sound doctrine; and in 2:7-8 he wrote that Titus in doctrine was to show,

Uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Proper doctrine is seen throughout the epistle to go hand-in-hand with proper practice. If one has proper doctrine, he can also be expected to have proper practice. If one does not have proper practice, one can also expect to find his doctrine in disarray.

The following doctrines are dealt with in the book of Titus: the Triune God (3:5-6), the personality of God (2:11; 3:6), the qualities of God's love and grace (2:11; 3:4), God's title of Savior (2:10; 3:4), the deity of Christ (2:13), Christ as Savior (2:13; 3:6), the vicarious atonement of

Christ (2:14), the return of Christ (2:13), the Holy Spirit (3:5), the extent and availability of salvation (2:11), salvation by grace rather than by works (3:5), justification by faith (3:7), redemption from all iniquity (2:14), sanctification (2:14), separation from evil in this age (2:12), and the hope of eternal life (3:7).

An Outline of Titus

Introductory Remarks - 1:1-4

I. Qualifications for Elders - 1:5-9

II. Characteristics of the Gainsayers - 1:10-16

III. Things Which Become Sound Doctrine - 2:1-10

IV. The Blessed Hope - 2:11-15

V. Believers Must Maintain Good Works - 3:1-8

VI. Dealing With Heretics and Their Heresies - 3:9-11

Concluding Remarks - 3:12-15