Titus was leading the local Christian church on the Mediterranean island of Crete (Greece). Paul opened his short letter (334) by telling Titus to appoint leaders to help him, as the church continued to grow.
Ideally, church leaders should live as husbands & fathers, as intended by God; if a man has faithfully led his family, it’s a good indicator that he can faithfully help lead the church.
Church leaders should welcome guests, encourage virtuous living & depend on the Holy Spirit to lead them in ministry. They should also be fair with people & focused in their work. Paul advised Titus to seek as church leaders older men who fit this profile.
Older women who fit this profile should be called to serve by teaching younger women to look to Jesus for direction in every aspect of their lives — marriage, parenting, home-making, etc.
In the same way, older men should teach younger men God’s truth; they should also train them in godly behavior in every aspect of their lives, including their employment outside the church.
Paul emphasized that we are saved from sin for continuing relationship with God.
- In the past, we were saved from the penalty due our sins by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
- In the present, we are being saved from the power of sin by the greater power of the Holy Spirit guiding our lives.
- In the future, we will be saved from the very presence of sin when we are at home in heaven with God.
The grace of God is seen in God’s offer of life that will continue forever with him in heaven, even after physical death — although no one really deserves this gracious gift.
The mercy of God is seen in that God has not chosen to condemn us to hell, even though that’s what our sins against him really deserve.
Beyond that, God chooses continually to renew our life in him by the presence & power of his Holy Spirit in our hearts!
Paul insisted that Christian living will therefore necessarily involve good works — going out of our way to love & serve any person in our way who is in need. (This is the same idea Jesus taught in the story of the good Samaritan.)
Good works are the opposite of foolish theological arguments, which Paul specifically warned against.
As often as possible, believers should seek fellowship with other believers who are equally zealous for good works.
(334) Titus 1-3