Lesson 7

Crete

We moved into Titus, getting the background and reading the first chapter. Titus, like Timothy, was a young man, dearly loved by Paul and appointed to pastor the church in Crete. When Paul left Antioch for Jerusalem to discuss the gospel of grace (Acts 15:1f) with the leaders there, he took Titus (a Gentile) with him (Gal 2:1-3) as an example of one accepted by grace without circumcision.   The overriding theme of the epistle is:

To be God’s people in a pagan world, we who are saved

by God’s grace must engage in good deeds

under the authority of the local church.

Chapter 1 deals with the need for godly church leaders, especially their role in refuting false teachers. Chapter 2 stresses the importance of various groups in the church practicing good deeds in their daily lives as a result of salvation. Chapter 3 focuses on the church’s godly behavior in the world as a result of God’s grace. (Ligon Duncan)

Crete was a pagan land and apparently some Jews were converted when they went to Jerusalem to the temple and heard Jesus preach. Paul’s letter, like his first letter to Timothy, dealt with the difficulties of pastoring, the various issues that had arisen or would arise.

 

Paul instructed Titus to appoint elders to the churches in order to lead the flock and protect them from false teaching. He emphasized that Titus must make sure the teaching was the truth which had been taught by Jesus and the Apostles. Paul insists that elders are not only to understand how the Holy Spirit grows Christians, but that actions are the spiritual diagnostic of the heart. Paul’s words are practical for us as well, as today we live in an immoral culture.