Titus 3

Vs. 1, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.”  A timely reminder in the midst of our election month.  We are to be good citizens and be respectful to the authorities above us.  While there is wisdom in the church not to get involved in politics, we as individuals can certainly be an example to the world we live in.  There are exceptions to not obeying the law of the land if it is in direct conflict with God’s word (Acts. 4:19, 5:29), however, that rarely transpires in our life.  There were those who were unbelievers on the island of Crete who did not respect the Roman Empire.  But the Christians needed to set the right example.  There will always be people who stir up controversy, and we must wisely deal with a divisive person (vs. 9-11).

Regarding application…Being Humble.  Vs. 2, “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”  In the context of Paul’s exhortation to be humble, I’m reminded of great civic leaders.  I think of a person like Martin Luther King Jr. who made a difference.  Being humble and gentle as a Christian can go farther than we realize.  It’s too natural for us to want to point out the negatives of our country or people in our lives.  Certainly we must balance wisdom and discernment in our interactions, but being quick to a mindset of humility should be our aim.

Titus 2

Vs. 1, “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”  We could ask the question, “Teach to whom?”  Paul makes sure to help us understand that everyone of all ages and circumstances are an important part of the church (vs. 1-9).  I really appreciate this reminder that Paul gives us not to neglect the elderly (vs. 2-5).  They have a huge part in bringing wisdom and encouragement to a younger generation.  Many of the younger generation on the island of Crete grew up without the influence of the Gospel.  That is why Paul takes the time to address the younger women and men (vs. 4-8).  Paul also addresses how slaves should respond to their masters (vs. 9-10).  While we do not have slaves in our society today, many of us are employees of businesses and we would do well to exercise these principles too.  None of this is possible without the grace of God through Jesus (vs. 11-15).

Regarding application…What Does Grace Do?  Vs. 12, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”  In the context of this verse, it is the grace of God that gives us the ability to say “No.”  Sometimes we have heard excuse like, “The devil made me do it.” or “I’m not strong enough.”  But Paul tells us that it is possible to stop living in our old sinful nature (Romans 7-8) and live as godly new creations.  Successful programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) have given people the courage to realize that they can say no.  However, their source is not from the Lord.  We are plugged into a source that will never go out.  With Hurricane Sandy knocking out power to millions, in the storms of our spiritual lives, nothing can stop the power of God!

Titus 1

Vs. 10, “For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.”  As the church grew on Crete, they needed more Godly people to step up.  Paul once again lays out some attributes that a leader/elder must possess to set the example and be effective (vs. 5-9).  Question: Why?  Because where God is working, the enemy is also working hard to bring division and false doctrine.  Paul does not pull any punches when it came to addressing these people who were contributing towards these false ways (vs. 10-16).  Titus was not to tread lightly, but rebuke them harshly for the error of their ways (vs. 13).  While this may seem harsh, there is a difference between rebuking those who know the error of their ways vs. those who ignorantly believe the false teaching.

Regarding application…Why Doctrine?  Vs. 9, “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”  There is a tendency these days not to pay much attention to good biblical doctrine.  I believe this, they believe that, my church believes this, etc.  There are huge ramifications if we do not know sound doctrine.  When the enemy comes to plant his seeds of lies, if we don’t know the truth, we may fall into the trap.  When we try to encourage others and they think that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross but lived out his life to old age, how then can they think they can overcome if God’s son did not overcome death?  We need sound doctrine in our lives to be able to encourage others and have an answer for our faith.

QT – Titus 3

Vs. 14, “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”  Throughout this final chapter, Paul emphasizes “doing what is good.”  Sometimes, we all need frequent reminders because we are a absent-minded people.  We must remember our citizenship duties (vs. 1) , we must remember what you used to be (vs. 3), we must remember what Christ did for us (vs. 5-6) and we must remember what God’s expectations are for us (vs. 14).  Each of these reminders are speaking to you today in God’s word?  Which one(s) are you needing reminding of?

Regarding application….Unproductive Lives.  Vs. 8, “…so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good...”  The phrase “Knowing is only half the battle” comes to mind.  Most of you know the essential Christian teachings…yet how many of you live a life God would be able to say, “Yes ______, you are doing what is good.”  The fact that Paul uses the term “unproductive lives” should be a wake up call!  You may be doing some of the things God is pleased with (i.e. Going to church, going to Bible studies, reading your bible, praying etc.).  But that is just one part of it.  You can do all those thing I just mentioned…yet live a very unproductive life.  Let’s assume you do all these things I mentioned….that would mean you spend 3 hours at church on Sunday, 2 hours at Bible study, and let’s say you spend (this is genorous) at least 1 hour a day reading God’s word & praying.  You total that up and get only 12 hours a week.  The question you must ask yourself is…”What am I doing with the other 156 hours of the week?”  I think this is what Paul meant when he said to be careful to not live “unproductive lives.”  All the leisure time you plan for “YOU” perhaps should be reevaluated.  I’m not saying you can’t spend some time enjoying other things of this world….but I am asking you to be honest before God. 

QT – Titus 2

Vs. 1, “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”  Paul covers the full gambit of people groups in this chapter.  The elder men, the elder women, the young women & young men and even slaves.  In order to exhort each group to Godly living…each group needed Godly teaching with sound doctrine (principles, instructions).  Notice how the exhortations differ for each group.  Each group had their own faults and each had to make their own efforts to bring the unity back to the church.  Here we see how important each group is to the Lord.  God’s grace not only saves us, but it teaches us how to live a Christian life!
Regarding application…Look Within.  Vs. 7a, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”  We’ve all heard the phrase “Practice what you preach!”  There is a tendency within all of us to be quick to point out the problems with others.  But Paul is quick to reveal how we need to take a hard look at our own tendencies for the age groups we find ourselves in.  I noticed how Paul encouraged both younger women & younger men to be self-controlled.  You see…even back then, teenagers & young adults had self-control problems =)  I suppose not much has changed today.  God’s word tells us to say “No” to ungodliness and “Yes” to self-control.  For you today…I think some of the more apparent lack of self-control problems would be the use of the tongue (inappropriate language, gossip & slander, singing secular songs (at church).  Yet, those of you who do struggle, it’s very easy to say, “I couldn’t help it.” or even go as far as to say, “what’s the big deal…it’s not bad is it?”  May we live…”upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Vs. 12)  Let’s pray for our upcoming Revival too!

Introduction – Titus

Titus was a Greek Gentile who became very close to Paul…much like the relationship of Paul & Timothy.  It was Titus and Barnabas who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem to show the Jews that God’s salvation was for Gentiles too!  Paul referred to Titus as “my partner and fellow worker” (II Cor. 8:23)  Now we find Titus living on the Island of Crete.  The Cretians were not an easy people to work with (Titus 1:12-13).  Paul wrote Titus to encourage him despite the current condition of the Cretian church.  It is believed one of the proponents were ignorant Christians who exercised their wayward beliefs upon the church.  The problem was the misunderstanding of the word “Grace” and how that should affect our lives.

QT – Titus 1

Titus was a Greek Gentile who became very close to Paul…much like the relationship of Paul & Timothy.  It was Titus and Barnabas who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem to show the Jews that God’s salvation was for Gentiles too!  Paul referred to Titus as “my partner and fellow worker” (II Cor. 8:23)  Now we find Titus living on the Island of Crete.  The Cretians were not an easy people to work with (Titus 1:12-13).  Paul wrote Titus to encourage him despite the current condition of the Cretian church.  It is believed one of the proponents were ignorant Christians who exercised their wayward beliefs upon the church.  The problem was the misunderstanding of the word “Grace” and how that should affect our lives.

Regarding application…False Teachings.  Vs. 16, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”  Titus was asked to do a pretty monumental task.  To bring the young church from false teachings and ways…to a point where the Cretians are living on Biblical truths!   Titus had the job of organizing local leaders/pastors to live up to the standard that is put upon them.  Titus had the job to refute the false teachings and teachers.  The problem with the Cretian Christians is that they were too tolerant to their way of life and the false teachings that surrounded them.  But more importantly for us today….That same problem exists.  We cover our tolerance and justify it with saying words like “Love” and “Grace”….shame on us.  It is an insult to God when we distort His Truth!  If you find yourself not agreeing with me…go back and really read this chapter.  Titus was to deal with such false teachings by stopping their mouths (11) and rebuking them (13).  You may think, “I don’t really know any false teachers?”  While we may not have such a prominent figure head to point too…false teachings and distorted ways to live a Christian life are rampant in the church.  Just go back and look at vs. 16, that I quoted from the beginning.  Part of the problem is when people claim to know God yet live a life that looks like the world.  They pervert the word of “Grace” by saying God has forgiven us, so we can live any way we desire.