My notes from Titus 1:1-16

Titus 1:1-16


  • Remember last week we began a new topic, the book of Titus
  • We framed the letter as one of Paul’s lasts to one of his special converts, with a special mission
    • You can almost hear the urgency dripping off each page
    • Here is one of the greatest missionaries of all time reaching out to one of his trusted colleagues to pass the torch of spiritual leadership so to speak

Read Titus 1:1-4

“1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”

  • This is a pretty standard introduction for an ancient letter, but as is the case with Paul he gives it his own unique twist
  • Let’s unpack the letter a bit:
    • Introduces himself as Paul a servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ
      • What does it mean to be a servant? (he’s a slave. Paul’s life was not his own)
      • Apostle – typically means “sent one,” a “messenger”
        • One’s mission is tied to their message!
        • What was Paul’s mission? What was his message?
        • Paul’s message was pretty regular: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.(1 Cor 2:2)
      • To further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness
        • So Paul’s specific reason for writing Titus and what Paul was about was to help believers grow in the faith
        • God’s elect, those who have been chosen by God
        • Knowledge  is important, but if you notice it is not just about information, Paul says the purpose of knowledge is transformation
        • The transformation Paul refers to is “godliness” which I take to mean reflecting the character of Christ (which by the way, in Paul’s mentioning of the list of characteristics to be looking for in spiritual leaders, godliness and reflecting Christ’s character seem to be the same)
      • — 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
        • This transformation Paul is talking about leads to eternal life
          • What is eternal life? When does it start?
          • The moment you become a reborn child of God eternal life begins now! John 10:10
        • Paul stakes his claims on the character of God. Really the whole of Scripture, the goodnews about the coming of Jesus, his death on a cross, his burial and resurrection is based on the character of God
          • Paul says that God doesn’t lie
          • Why is this an important truth to grasp? What kind of God would we serve who was prone to lies?
          • See in Greek and Roman mythology, the gods were fickle. They often changed their minds, they acted duplicitously
      • 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
        • This goodnews of God’s inbreaking into the world in a new way in Jesus to put the world back together again, to offer eternal life, etc., was a part of God’s plan
        • All of history from creation to the fall, to the Exodus, to the Kings, to the Exile to the coming of Jesus are all apart of God’s grand plan
        • This plan of God to reclaim and restore the world have been brought to light in the important task of preaching, particularly of Paul
          • In what ways do you think preachers share God’s plans? His Word? Etc?
      • 4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
        • Titus is not mentioned in the book of Acts
        • He is someone Paul met one on of these journeys not recorded in the book of Acts, but someone who Paul was fond of, trusted, and had an important task for
        • He closes out his introduction with grace and peace
    • Let’s read on a bit further, our goal tonight is to get through 1:1-16, so let’s keep reading…. v.5-16
      • There’s a contrast that should become obvious here between v. 6-9, and what comes in v.10-16
        • A contrast between two kinds of leaders: leaders that reflect that character of Christ
        • And those who don’t, and by their very actions deny God
      • Paul apparently thought very highly of Titus, notice the task Paul left him with in Crete, “the reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”
      • What do ya’ll know about elders? What kind of job, or work, or ministry they do perform? Is their task important? Why or why not?
    • What kind of leader must they be?
      • Look at v. 6-9
        • Blameless: (used twice – first time in the context of the home)
          • Faithful to his wife (a man)
          • A man whose children believe and are not open the charge of being wild and disobedient
        • Blameless: (second time – used in context of his relationships with other believers and outsiders – an over seer that manages God’s household)
          • Not overbearing, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain (ethical business practices) (all negative phrases – things to avoid)
          • Positive traits, things he should do: must be hospitable, one who loves what is good,, self controlled, upright, holy and disciplined
          • Someone who believes wholeheartedly, his allegiance is only Jesus
            • Hold firmly to the trustworthy message, able to encourage/teach others
            • Someone who recognize false teaching, false doctrines &­ oppose it
        • Why is it important for a leader to know what they believe and why it’s important?
      • V. 10-16 – the wrong kind of leader. Again notice the contrast between those who reflect the character of Christ
        • Rebellious, full of meaningless talk and deception (circumcision group – these folks were advocating an embrace of Jesus + circumcision in order to be fully a follower of Jesus
        • Disrupters of households – apparently they were snaking their way into house churches and messing things up.
          • Unethical in their ministries, dishonest gain
        • A saying from the time, “Cretans are always liars, evil, brutes, lazy gluttons.”
          • Paul says this suggestion is true, especially for those who live that way – they were what others expected them to be!
        • Rebuke them: stop them in their teaching, correct them – there is a chance to get it right, and be accepted by God!
      • Notice v. 16 – They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
        • In other words, Paul says these folks are hypocrites
        • There is always the danger for all of us of doing and being the same. Has that statement ever been true for you?

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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