Titus 3

The book of Titus is only three chapters but these chapters tell us what we need. So far, we’ve talked about godliness in our lives (Chapter 1), grace in our church (Chapter 2), and today, we will read about good works in the world (Chapter 3). In Titus 3:12-14 we read of Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas, and Apollos. The work was not built on the apostle Paul. Together, these people helped to multiply the work.

 

We Have a Mission

In verse 12, Paul writes, “When I send Artemas to you….” Artemas is mentioned only once in the Bible. We don’t know much about him, except that he was willing to go. Every child of God is sent! We have a mission – the Great Commission. It will never be accomplished unless we are willing to GO. In verses 1-2, we are reminded that our manners must line up with our mission and message. Paul said they were to be subject to rulers and authorities. Nero was the ruler when Paul wrote this! We must respect the position even if we don’t respect the person. We discredit the Gospel when we are not good citizens.  We should all be making Hampton Roads a better place to live, work, and raise a family. We should all watch our words at home, at work, and on social media. Ask yourself, “How will this make Jesus look?”

 

We Have a Ministry

Verse 12 also mentions Tychicus. Colossians 4:7 refers to him as “a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” Like Tychicus was a faithful minister, we all have a ministry to help others because of where we have come from and what we have been through. Verses 3-7 give a picture of the Gospel. When we experienced the “kindness and the love of God” (v. 6), we were changed! Verse 3 gives a picture of what we were like without Jesus. Apart from Jesus, we are foolish, disobedient, deceived, hateful, etc. We can’t do this without Him. We must never forget where we came from. Remember what your life was like before Jesus and what God did for you! Tychicus was to Paul what Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were to Jesus. Everyone needs a friend in the ministry. He was with Paul in his first imprisonment, and carried the letter to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, and to Philemon. He would take Titus’s place at Crete so Titus could go on to meet Paul. You may not be able to sing, preach, or be a writer like Paul, but we can all be a faithful like Tychicus.

 

We Have a Mind

Verse 13 says, “Send Zenas the lawyer….” Zenas is the only good lawyer mentioned in the Bible! A mind is a terrible thing to waste!  Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and all our mind. We are to be of the same mind, one mind, have a willing mind, a ready mind. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus….” “Set your mind on things above….”  We are not to be double minded but be sober minded. We are to mind our own business. Verses 9-10 warn against foolish arguments and divisive men. How many useless, unprofitable conversations do you have in a day? Don’t argue with people. A divisive person is someone who keeps causing division. Have the boldness and courage to say in love… “Enough!” Love can do what litigation cannot do. Zenas was a lawyer, not a preacher or an apostle. He had a normal job. God wants to use you and your job to advance the mission.

 

We Have a Message

Verse 13 also mentions Apollos. We read about Apollos in Acts and 1 Corinthians. Acts 18:24 says he had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God brought the increase.  He was a water boy! Water boys don’t get a lot of recognition or spotlight on the team, but their job is very important in winning the game! He was teachable. He learned from Aquila and Pricilla. The devil will try to distract, divide, deceive, divert, and get us off message. We preach Jesus! The birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus!  We have one job this week.  Invite people to Easter at Liberty to hear that life-changing message!

 

Titus 2

In Titus 1, we read about godliness in our lives. Today, we will look Titus 2 and read about grace in our church. Remember that Paul left Titus in Crete so that he might “set in order” the church. Crete was a corrupt place and the Christians there needed to be reminded what godly living looks like. Chapter 2 begins with Paul telling Titus to “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (v. 1), and ends with Paul reminding him to “speak these things” (v. 15). We can certainly learn from this instruction.

Verses 11-12 are key to godly living. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (v. 11-12). There is no salvation apart from grace. God gave us His unmerited favor while we were His enemies. Salvation is a gift; it’s not based on works. The grace of God teaches us, enables us to deny the flesh, and empowers us to do right. Grace changes you from the inside out.

What We Live For
In verses 2-10 Paul addresses five groups of people on how to live. The first two groups are older men and older women. The older you get, the greater the temptation just to become an old, cynical, cranky grump! God’s people should grow old gracefully! Don’t lose your filter. Don’t just coast in for the landing. The older we get, the greater the temptation not to take risks or step out in faith. Moses, Joshua, and Caleb had their greatest victories in their later years. Don’t just sit and sour. Be different.

The next two groups are young women and young men. Young women are to love their husbands and children. They are to be homemakers. The home is not only the wife’s responsibility, however. I help “Miss” Tammy and she helps me. We are in this thing together! Young men need self-control. All that passion, drive, ego, pride, should be submitted under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The final group is bondservants. Today, that would be employees. As a Christian in the workplace, you may be the only Bible people read. Christians ought to be the best employees. They should have a good attitude, come early, stay late, give 110%, and go the extra mile. You work for God, not your boss!

What We Look For
Verse 13 says, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” It is so easy to look at other people. The grass always looks greener on the other side. You look at other people’s marriages, houses, cars, jobs, kids, and think they have it better or easier. Look to Jesus. Our hope is not in this world. Just ask a believer confined to a hospital bed or suffering from a terminal disease how it is that they have hope. If you have hope in this life only, you are most miserable. But because of God’s grace, we have the blessed hope that the perfect Son of God will one day make us perfect and whole like Him!

What We Labor For
In verse 14 we read that because of our redemption, we should be “zealous for good works.” What are you zealous about? People are zealous about sports, hunting, fishing, boating, traveling, etc. If you have experienced grace, you should be most zealous about Jesus! We give ourselves for the One who gave Himself for us. Blessed are those who die in the Lord for they do rest from their labors and their works do follow them. Will you have any good works to follow you to heaven?

God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and when He comes, He is bringing His reward with Him. But that is only for those who have experienced grace. Experiencing grace is the only way we can lead godly lives that make a difference in today’s culture.

Titus 1

Titus is a small but significant book. In just three chapters, it has much to say about how to live godly and do good works in a corrupt culture. Titus’ ministry was in Crete, which was one of the most immoral places in the Roman world. Studying this book, we learn how to live out our faith in a difficult culture.

 

The Relationship of Titus

In Titus 1:1 we learn that the book of Titus is written by the apostle Paul. Paul was a legalist, a Pharisee, and he had Christians arrested and put to death. But, this persecutor of the church met Jesus on the Damascus Road, and verse 3 says that God “entrusted” or “committed” to him the task of preaching His word. Saul the murderer became Paul the messenger!

 

Titus was a Greek believer who was won to Christ under Paul’s ministry. He organized the church at Crete and this book includes some of Paul’s last words to this faithful young pastor and co-worker.

The key word in chapter 1 is “godliness.” Faith should lead to godliness. Godliness, to be more like Jesus, is the goal for all of us. To have godly relationships it all starts with a relationship with God. Do you know God? Do you spend time in prayer and time in the word?

 

The Leadership of Titus

According to verse 5, Titus had two main tasks. He was to “set in order the things that are lacking” and to “appoint elders.” Set is a medical term, like setting a broken bone. A church is not a building, it’s people. As long as there are people there will be problems, because we are all broken on the inside. We all need to be set straight! The Christians in Crete were not living like Christians, but they were living like Cretans. Praise God that Jesus is the Great Physician and He sets in order His people, His body, when we are broken. He brings healing!

 

Verses 6-9 give the qualifications for the elders Titus was to appoint. The terms elder, bishop, and pastor all refer to the same office. You may not be a bishop or elder, but you are a leader. Leadership is defined as influence. People look at your life. Your lifestyle provides a window into your character. Take some time to read these verses and examine your own life. Are you living as an example in today’s culture?

 

The Membership of Titus

Paul warns Titus, “…there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped…” (v. 10-11).  “Idle talkers” – Cretans were known for lying.  Satan is the father of all lies. Do you lie to your parents? Spouse? Boss? Teacher? Self? Do you lie when it would be easier to tell the truth? Half-truths are whole lies. “Deceivers” – False teachers may sound good but they are up to no good. They add to the Bible, subtract from who Jesus is, multiply the steps to salvation, and divide your loyalty. We must guard the fellowship and the unity of the church.

 

In verse 15, Paul says, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.” He is talking about dietary laws and food. Godliness is not a matter of clean and unclean food, but a matter of a clean mind, heart, and clean conscience. Sound doctrine (v.9) leads to sound faith (v.13).  What you believe will determine how you behave. Verse 16 says, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Many profess to know God but their lifestyle denies Him. Why is a godly lifestyle important? Because the excuse many use for not becoming a Christian is Christians! Are you growing in godliness? Are you growing in good works? Good works will not save you, but every person who is saved will do good works.