Titus 1 — Greetings, Qualifications for Elders
Titus 2 — Teach Sound Doctrine
Titus 3 — Be Ready for Every Good Work, Final Greetings
Thoughts about serving others
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One Reply to “Nov 3 — Titus”
In this brief letter, Paul provides support for Titus, his lead pastor on the island of Crete. No doubt, Titus was pleased to have solid support from his mentor for it seems Crete was a difficult assignment: “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’ This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply” (Titus 1:12-13). Just the assignment I wanted–not! Titus must have been an exceptional leader and example of Christ, capable of handling such a difficult task.
Paul provides a checklist for Elders, one that eliminates most of us if taken to the letter. “An elder must be blameless” (1:6): that’s a tall order, one that only Christ can achieve, so I’m hoping there is some range of grace implied by the list of attributes. Perhaps the second reference to “blameless” gives us some more insight: “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not giving to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain” (1:7). Ah…this I can handle, with the help of Christ! Lord help me to be “hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined” (1:8). Help me to “encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (1:9).
Once again, Paul has to deal with “meaningless talk and deception” (1:10) and reminds us to “avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law” (3:9). I wonder how Paul would have referred to the internet…so much misinformation, so many misguided words tossed about. Lord guide my steps and guard my words that they may be meaningful and carefully chosen for your glory.
One of the central themes in Titus is the idea of “doing good.” Paul’s objection to the busybodies in chapter 1 is that they are “unfit for doing anything good” (1:16). Doing that which is good is important–always. To do good, we must be self-controlled. Paul explicitly mentions this with respect to older men, older women and young men (2:2-6), all with an emphasis to “do good.” Even the slaves are directed to please their masters (2:9-10). [Every time I see slave, I think about those who work in jobs just to pay the bills…with no real joy…this is modern slavery in my mind and these words fit the situation well.]
All of us are “to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (3:1-2). This sounds like a love-fest, but remember, these words come right after Paul directs Titus to “encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you” (2:15). How can we “be gentle” and “rebuke” at the same time? With discernment and with the love of Christ.
Lord, help me to do that which is good by your definition. Show me where to focus my time and attention, always working to share the gospel with all people.