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Titus 001 Getting the Big Picture

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The New Testament is made up of 5 types of literature:
The Gospels (Matthew - John)
History (Acts)
Pauline Epistles (Romans - Philemon)
General Epistles (Hebrews - Jude)
Prophecy (Revelation)

Titus is a Pauline epistle. More specifically it is a pastoral epistle.

Author: Paul

Titus 1:1 ESV
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,
Though this book is short, it packs a punch so to speak.
Paul uses authoritative language and blunt commands.
It is believed that this book was written after Paul’s first imprisonment and before his second.
During this period of time he was traveling again.

Author: Paul

Recipient: Titus

Titus 1:4 ESV
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

1. Titus was a gentile.

Galatians 2:3 ESV
3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.
Titus was 100% gentile not half gentile like Timothy.

2. Titus was, like Timothy, Paul’s child in the faith.

Titus 1:4 ESV
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

2. Titus was, like Timothy, Paul’s child in the faith.

We would believe that Paul probably led him to Christ.
If not there was still significant investment in Titus.
Paul discipled him.
Paul trained him.
Just has he did Timothy.

3. Titus was Paul’s partner in ministry.

2 Corinthians 8:23 ESV
23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.

3. Titus was Paul’s partner in ministry.

Titus traveled with Paul and walked through some difficult circumstances with him.
This is a good example of last week’s sermon.
Paul most likely led Titus to Christ.
Paul had a personal interest in Titus.
He trained him well.
He trusted him with the deposit of truth he had given him.

4. Titus had a zeal to serve God and others.

2 Corinthians 8:16–17 ESV
16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.

4. Titus had a zeal to serve God and others.

Sometimes we forget that we just need to serve where we are.
Grow where you are planted.
I don’t know if Titus had a desire to be in a pastoral role… I would assume.
But he was just faithful to serve with Paul.
Now he is being put into this role.

The key verse for Titus is 1:5.

Titus 1:5 ESV
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
So there are some things we need to learn from this… we will circle back in a couple of weeks...
Paul left Titus in Crete to “Put what remained in order”
or “to put right what was lacking.

Titus was to put right what was lacking.

These were not yet churches.
They were groups of people Paul and Titus had gathered to begin a church.
They didn’t have pastors.
These groups in every town were seeds of churches.
They were struggling with weeds that were already coming in to choke them out.
Titus 1:10 ESV
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.

Titus was to appoint elders in every town.

Pastors of local churches.
Ephesians 4:11–15 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Titus was to appoint elders in every town.

Where would he get them?
Remember these were not yet even fully churches.
In Crete, but let’s learn what he was up against in a minute.
First… we need to know...

The purpose for writing was charging Titus to finish what he and Paul started.

We are not specifically told, but it is seems that Paul and Silas started these churches rather quickly.
Now there are groups of young Christians without pastors.
Titus needs to set them in order!
We will learn church basics.
What is important?
Church 101
It is interesting to note what Paul found important in these baby churches.
Titus is to address doctrinal and theological things first.
Paul is less concerned about the the organizational structure of these churches.
We often put too much focus on church polity and organization than we should.
It is always important but it should be secondary to teaching truth.

The culture of Crete.

Crete is the largest and most populated island of Greece.

There was 20 or more cities on the island of Crete at the time.
This was a huge task.
Let me ask again… where would Titus get 20 plus pastors?
I often hear the lament form pastors today that Bible colleges and seminaries don’t have any young pastors to give them.

Greek mythology shaped Cretan culture.

They believed Greek gods were men and women who became gods through acts of sacrifice to mankind.
They believed the majority of their gods were born on their island including their chief god Zeus.
They believed that he would seduce women by any means necessary.
He was known to be a liar and they took pride in his shady character.
So we can understand why Paul says...
Titus 1:12 ESV
12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
This is part of what Titus had to put right in these young churches in Crete.

An outline of Titus.

The introduction. (1:1-4)

The great thing about Paul’s writing is his introductions.
We know who the author and recipient is.
We get a taste for the tone of the letter.
We see Paul’s car for the people he is writing to.
Titus 1:1–4 ESV
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

The tasks given to Titus. (1:5-16)

1. Put right what was lacking (teach good doctrine)

Help these baby Christians grow.

2. Appoint elders/pastors in every town.

Every place that the word “elder” is used it means pastor.
Pastor
Elder
Bishop
Overseer
Shepherd
All used interchangeably.
Titus is (in a sense, a pastor of pastors).
Here we see the importance of mission boards.
Why it is a great privilege to partner with CBM the way we do.

3. Silence the trouble makers.

God doesn’t have much patients for people that intend to disrupt His church.

The recipe for accomplishing the tasks. (chapter 2)

1. Teach them how to live.

What accords with sound doctrine.
What goes along with.
Right living from right thinking.
Our Theology determines our attitude.
Our attitude determines our actions.
Correct their wrong thinking and lifestyle.
Teach the older men.
Teach the older women.
Teach the young men.
Teach the young women.
Teach the slaves.
Teach them how to live.

2. Teach them they can live this way because of the grace of God.

You can be different.
You can live right in this present day no matter how messed up the world is.

3. Encourage and rebuke them with authority.

Understand your role.
Don’t let anyone ignore or disregard you.

A reminder to do good works. (3:1-11)

1. Good works prove the redeeming grace of God.

The way we live and interact with the world is important.
Ephesians 2:8–10 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We don’t compromise, but we show grace as we have been given grace.
Titus 3:3 ESV
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

2. Good works are profitable for believers.

Titus 3:8 ESV
8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Theme: Living righteously and counter-culturally in this world through the redeeming grace of God.

This is what Titus was teaching as he set in order the things that were started.
Why study Titus?
It teaches us what is of primary importance to God in the church.
It teaches us how to live in this world.
It reminds us of the importance of training up prepared and grounded pastors.
It helps us better understand how to plant and revitalize churches.
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