By Joseph Ametepe
Titus, along with 1st and 2nd Timothy, are classified as the Pastoral Epistles. They are so named because they deal with matters concerning pastors and congregations. As a young man, Titus proved himself a dedicated, devoted, dependable, disciplined and diligent servant of God. He is mentioned thirteen times in the New Testament. He was called by God to serve in the churches of Crete (Titus 1:4-5). Crete is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, measuring 160 miles (285 km) long, by 7-35 miles (11-53 km) at its widest. It is a mountainous island which lies south of the Aegean Sea (sea map below). Prior to his assignment on the island of Crete, Titus had been to Jerusalem with Paul (Gal. 2:1-3) and served in the Corinthian church (2 Cor. 7:6, 13-14; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18). Titus was a man for the tough tasks. Not only did he serve in the Cretan and Corinthian churches (where there were all kinds of problems), in the New Testament's reference of him in 2 Timothy 4:10, he had gone to Dalmatia (modern Yugoslavia) for missions work. Although we do not know the exact date when this letter was written, most Bible scholars think that it was written about A.D. 62-64 while Paul ministered to the Macedonian churches. Some of the prominent doctrines taught or illustrated in Titus include, God's sovereign election of believers (1:1-2), God's saving grace (1:3; 2:11; 3:7), God's sacrificial love for mankind (3;4), Christ's Second Coming (2:13), Christ's substitutionary atonement (2:14), and the Spirit's regeneration and renewal (3:5). Titus is concise, yet very comprehensive. It emphasizes not only the sound doctrine, but also practical Christian living. Repeatedly, it urges believers not only to talk the talk but to walk the walk.
This Letter has a relevant message for pastors and churches today. It deals with important questions such as:
- What is God's idea of a church?
- Does God want the church to reflect His orderliness?
- Does God have a say about those who are appointed to leadership in local churches?
- Or did He leave the issue of qualifications for elders/overseers to churches to debate and discus among their members?
- Does God want believers to just talk to talk but not walk the walk?
- How should the appearance of God's grace in Jesus Jesus Christ affect the conduct of Christians?
- Is Jesus coming again?
- What should be the Christian's attitude toward government?
- What does God reveal about our pre-Christian life?
- How does God want divisive people to be dealt with His church?
Although we had studied the whole epistle verse by verse in our local church, unfortunately we were unable to record messages on the first chapter of Titus. Also, due to some technical difficulties, we lost several messages in chapters two and three. However, we pray that the messages presented here will be used by the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart. May the Spirit's work in your heart challenge you to become all that God wants you to be! And may you live to serve His purpose as you wait for Christ's soon and sure return!