Summary: Introduction to Titus
LEADERS, BELIEVERS, DECEIVERS, & CRETANS
(Introduction to the book of Titus)
I want to think with me a moment this morning. What is the most important letter that you have ever received? For some maybe it was a letter affirming something, like a new home, or something of that nature. Maybe it was personal letter. I know those of you who were in the military, (Coral, Jeff, and others) remember how those letters from home were so important. Getting a letter from Darleen while I was in the service was just as good as winning the lottery as far as I was concerned.
I remember getting a letter from Village Missions that we had been accepted and that we would soon be going into the ministry full time. That certainly was an important letter for my family and me.
Sometimes letters can bring bad news. I remember getting a letter from a collection agency due to a mix up with my insurance company, that was not a pleasant letter at all.
So letters can bring good news or bad news. They can encourage us or bring us anger or sorrow.
Today I want to begin looking a letter that is almost 2000 years old. While it is an old letter it is still very relevant to us today. Today we will begin to look at a letter written by a man named Paul, to his close friend named Titus.
It is not an very long letter, taking up less the 2 pages, but it is full of great gems. I pray that all of have had a chance to read through Titus, as I have encouraged you to do over the past couple weeks. If you have not you still have the chance, as we will begin to get into the meat of the letter next week.
This week I want to give you a bit of introduction to the book of Titus. You will notice an outline in your Bulletins today, those are the main thoughts of the book of Titus which we will be covering. We will however be going down some bunny trials along the way.
Now the first thing I want to point out is that this is not just an ordinary letter. This is the word of God. This letter contains not the opinion of a man named Paul, but the commands of the Almighty God.
2 Tim 3:16 tells us; “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”
We are told in the Bible that ALL Scripture is inspired by God, it is ALL profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness. So within this letter we have instruction in doctrine, we will be reproved, perhaps we will be corrected of some wrong thoughts or understandings, and I know we will receive instruction in righteousness.
So let us understand that though this may be a short letter it is the Word of God, it is important, and it can give to us the nourishment that we need to grow spiritually.
The author as I mentioned earlier is the apostle Paul. Which is stated very plainly in his salutation. We also have the testimony of church history that Paul is unquestionably the author of Titus.
The recipient is a young man by the name of Titus, which is where the book get its name. It is strange that a man who must have attained considerable prominence within the early church, even to the point of having his name placed on a canonical book of the Bible, yet we know so little about him. While Titus is seen as a frequent companion of Paul, as we see in Paul’s other writings, Titus is not once mentioned in the book of Acts.
From the epistles of Paul we do know some facts about Titus. He was a Greek who was brought up in heathenism. He most likely was saved in the preaching and missionary work of Paul.
Paul speaks of Titus very affectionately. In Titus 1:4 he is called “a true son in our common faith:” Paul also refers to Him in 2 Cor. as his brother. He is esteemed by Paul who as we shall see trusts Titus to handle even the toughest assignments.
We learn from the Scripture the Titus was Paul’s messenger to Corinth. Paul had sent him there to see how they had received his first letter, what we know as 1 Cor. Paul receives word from Titus that the letter, along with Paul’s authority had been well received by the Corinthians. Paul them sends Titus back to Corinth bearing the letter that we know as 2 Cor.
Sometime after that, Paul and Titus once again are together, Paul leaves Titus on the island of Crete to as Paul states, “that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you;” There is some debate as to whether Titus ever left the island of Crete, some say that he left before the final days of Paul’s life. While there are other traditions that state Titus lived in Crete until he died at age 94, and was buried on Crete.