PAUL’S EPISTLE TO TITUS
INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE TO PAUL’S EPISTLE TO TITUS
TEXT: TITUS 1:1-4
1. Titus was a Gentile (cf. Gal. 2:3), whom Paul led to Christ. He was probably from Syria or Crete, a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Greece and north of Libya.
2. Crete is about 150 miles long (east to west), and varies in breadth (north to south) from 35 to about 7 miles. Crete was taken over by Rome in 67 BC.
3. Titus was a close friend and trusted colleague of the apostle Paul. We know from Galatians 2 that Titus was with Paul in Jerusalem at the meeting referred to in Acts 15.
4. Titus’ name appears nine times in II Corinthians in reference to the collection for the poor. He is also mentioned in Galatians and II Timothy. He is not mentioned in the book of Acts.
5. We learn from Paul’s epistle to Titus that Paul had either sent Titus to Crete, or left him there to deal with disorders that had arisen in the church.
6. Titus, and I & II Timothy are referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles” because they include instruction, exhortation, and guidelines for local churches (cf. Titus 1:5).
I. PAUL’S CALLING.
II. PAUL’S PREACHING
III. PAUL’S GREETING
I. PAUL’S CALLING (TITUS 1:1)
1. Paul was “a servant of God” (1:1). It is a great privilege to be called a servant of God.
2. In the OT, Moses is often referred to as “the servant of God.” He is also called “the servant of God” in the NT (Rev. 15:3).
3. David is also often called the servant of God. In Genesis 26:24, God calls Abraham His servant.
4. Furthermore, Paul was “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” This means he was sent from God to preach the Gospel.
5. In Romans 1:1 and Philippians 1:1, Paul identifies himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ.”
6. In Galatians 1:10, Paul refers to himself as “the servant of Christ.”
7. Are you a servant of Jesus Christ? Our Lord said in Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
8. But that is precisely what many Christians are attempting to do. I just quoted Luke 16:13. The next verse says, “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him” (Luke 16:14).
9. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of that day and they were known for their covetousness. This is why one of the qualifications for elders (pastors) is, “not given to filthy lucre” (1:7).
10. Covetousness is a wicked sin, but it is even uglier and more repulsive when it gets into a church. Many preachers (“name it and claim it,” prosperity gospel, etc.) specialize in covetousness and materialism (Rev. Ike, Oral Roberts, et al).
11. Covetous is a terrible sin. The tenth commandment is, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Ex. 20:17).
12. Our Lord said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
13. In the Bible, covetousness is always linked with wickedness. Colossians 3:5 says covetousness “is idolatry.”
14. Our modern day society is driven by consumerism and materialism. This all leads to covetousness, which God hates.
15. The Cretans were known to be “slow bellies” (Titus 1:12). The Scofield margin says this means, “lazy gluttons.” Sounds like modern day America!
16. In contrast to this foolish worldliness, Christians are to acknowledge “the truth which is after godliness” (1:1).
II. PAUL’S PREACHING (1:2, 3)
1. God’s method of getting sinners saved is preaching the Gospel (1:3; cf. Rom. 1:15; 10:13-15; I Cor. 1:17, 18).
2. There is a supernatural element in good Bible preaching. I love to hear good Bible preaching. It thrills my soul.
3. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 9:16, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” this is exactly how I feel.
4. There are certain Bible words which are often misunderstood.
· “Elect” (1:1). Election is based upon God’s foreknowledge (cf. I Peter 1:2; Rom. 8:28, 29).
· “Hope” (1:2). We use the word “hope” differently than the way God uses the word “hope.” We say, “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” We are not sure what the weather will be like. But Biblical hope is certain because it is based upon the promises of God (cf. Titus 2:13).
5. We can be sure God will keep His promises. He has promised eternal life to those who trust in Him, and God cannot lie (1:2). We have been studying the attributes of God in my Sunday School class, and we know God is faithful and true (cf. John 14:6).
III. PAUL’S GREETING (1:4)
1. I mentioned earlier that Titus was a Gentile. Paul was a Jew, yet he called Titus “mine own son” (1:4). When we are born again into God’s family, racial and cultural boundaries are unimportant.
2. I took out Bro. & Sis. Earls after our Sunday night service. I asked them about an old friend, evangelist Hank Haubold. Bro. Earls led Bro. Haubold to the Lord many years ago in the VA Hospital. He said Bro. Haubold always refers to Bro. Earls as his “father.”
3. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (I Cor. 4:15).
1. In Titus 1:3 God is Saviour; in 1:4 the Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour (cf. Titus 2:13).
2. The Bible says there is only one Saviour (Isa. 43:11).