As this short pastoral letter from Paul to Titus comes to a close, we have a better understanding of what Paul meant when he directed Titus to “put what remained in order” (vs. 5). This was and still is a monumental work. On Crete, island churches were a mess and facing issues that had to be addressed so Paul left Titus there to get things well ordered. Elders were appointed in every town Paul so that Cretan Christians would have leaders to guide them when disagreements arose over important doctrinal matters. Elders would hold fast to apostolic faith and teach others to do the same in both word and practice. In the home, relationships went against many cultural norms of the day as they displayed God’s grace at work in daily living. In the world, salvation is demonstrated as grace-fueled good works display God’s power. Titus concludes by addressing dangers, discipline, decisions, devotion, and dependence.
Sermons in: Titus
Imagine the early days of the church. The risen Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father and God the Holy Spirit poured out on believers including the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas are set apart by the Holy Spirit and sent out to minister in pagan Gentile areas. The church is exploding, but how is the church to be organized? How is she to function? How are these new Christians supposed to know how to live or what to do when people disagree over important doctrinal matters? Who is in charge? Paul’s letter to Titus instructs this true son in the faith about how to encourage, teach, and organize the believers of Crete.
In Titus 3:1-15, Paul walks us through the succinct message of Salvation and gives direction on true Christian behavior. Paul reminds us that it takes the entire Trinity to save us. We are delivered out of our miserable condition, only by the mercy and free grace of God, the merit and sufferings of Christ, and the working of his Spirit. Pastor Sam challenges us to live this week with the intention of "whatever is good" in every situation.
Paul encourages us to live the good life in Titus 2:1-10. In Titus 2:11-14, Paul explains how this change is possible. If there's anything in your life that you'd like to change, come explore how to make that a reality now.
In Titus 2:1-10, Paul moves from the issues of church leadership and false teachers to the various groups within the church and their moral obligations before the world in which they live. Paul is concerned that they show the beauty of the truth about Jesus Christ in order to have a positive impact on an unbelieving world (2:5, 8, 10). Biblical truth or sound Christian doctrine (2:1) is designed to not only bring us into an intimate relationship with God, but it is to equip us, as stewards of His grace, to represent Him and to proclaim the message of our Savior, as His ambassadors in a fallen world. We have an awesome responsibility to make the truth of Christ attractive by lives that truly reflect the saving power of the message.
Paul wrote the little book of Titus in order to clarify what really matters. For the last few weeks, we've seen that churches matter and leadership matters. Today, Paul uses some pretty tough language to explain why truth matters. He also explains how churches and leadership can protect God's people from misinformation and untruths.
The Bible teaches that churches are to be led by a plurality of called, qualified men called elders. Even Paul submitted himself to the elders in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-2) along with Titus. Imagine what the situation was like in Crete. Scripture does not record any details about the church being established in Crete. We do know according to Acts 2:11 that Cretans were present during Pentecost. Perhaps the new converts went home to spread the good news about Jesus Christ. Paul and his team had to make disciples first which meant that it would take time for men to mature before Titus could be sent to appoint elders. Finding leaders is a challenge faced by most church-planting or pioneering missions situations; one man will usually serve as the elder until other men are raised up to lead as elders. Paul instructs Titus to put things in order and appoint elders, but what’s an elder?