THE LETTER OF TITUS. The purpose of this letter is authorization, instruction and information. It provides Titus with written instructions for his work on Crete. He was left in Crete to order the affairs of the churches, as well as stop the mouths of false teachers. It provides specific instructions and information concerning his work in the churches. The low standard of moral conditions on Crete caused Paul to stress worthy conduct—living sound doctrine. Believers are urged to make attractive the doctrine of God our Savior in every way. It informs Titus that either Artemas or Tychicus were coming to replace him so he could join Paul at Nicopolis.
The letter covers the same general ground as First Timothy, but Titus is briefer and more compact as well as less personal and more official. It is a model of Christian doctrine. Paul recognized that there is nothing more practical to life than theology. It is the only way to produce godliness. Believers become Christ-like with sound teaching and doctrine.
Titus: How to be Sound
Writer: Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
Addressee: To Titus, my true son in our common faith. Titus was a Greek believer (Galatians 2:3), won through Paul’s ministry (Titus 1:4). Paul’s estimate of Titus as his partner and fellow-worker (2 Corinthians 8:16-24).
Date and Place Written: Autumn of A.D. 66 from Corinth after Paul’s arrival there from Crete.
Occasion and Purpose: It centers on authorization, instruction and information. The letter provides Titus with written authorization for his work on Crete (Titus 2:15). He was left in Crete to order the affairs of the churches (1:5), as well as stop the mouths of false teachers (1:11). It provides specific instructions and information concerning his work in the churches. The low standard of moral conditions on Crete caused Paul to stress worthy conduct — living sound doctrine. Believers are urged to make attractive the doctrine of God our Savior in every way (2:10). It informs Titus that either Artemas or Tychicus were coming to replace him so he could join Paul at Nicopolis (3:12).
Key Verses: Titus 1:1, 5; 2:10; 3:8; 3:14
Key Phrase: God our Savior (Titus 1:3, 4; 2:10, 13
Key Words: God (13 times); Teach/es/ing (11); Good (8); Savior (6); Faith (6); Grace (4); Doctrine (2)
A. Thematic Themes: Sound Living plus Sound Doctrine equals Sound Man
1. Truth that leads to godliness, Titus 1:1; 2:12
2. Administration in the local church (1)
3. Ministry (2-3) in the local church (2-3)
The thematic theme is “sound living plus sound doctrine equals sound man.” Paul emphasizes that truth leads to godliness as he defines administration and ministry in the local church. The doctrine of grace saturates this letter. It contains the classic passages on grace (2:11-14) and regeneration (3:3-7).
B. Primary Themes:
1. Grace from God, Titus 1:4
2. Grace of God that brings salvation, 2:3
3. Grace — Past, Present and Future, 2:11-14
4. Grace of God that justifies, 3:7
5. Grace of God applied to the believer, 3:1-8
6. Grace of God to all, 3:15
7. Combat False Teachers and Doctrine, 1:10-3:11
C. Subordinate Themes:
1. Leave ungodliness and worldly passions
2. Live self-controlled, righteous and godly lives
3. Look for the Blessed Hope, 2:12-13
4. Good works, 1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 5, :8, 14
5. Qualifications of an Elder (NT uses the term bishop/overseers, elders, and presbyters interchangeably), who preaches, teaches and administers (1:6-9).
6. The Christian in the Church:
a. Older Men, 2:1-2
b. Older Women, 2:3
c. Younger Women, 2:4-5
d. Young Men, 2:6
e. Titus, 2:7-8
f. Slaves, 2:9-10
g. Citizens, 3:1-2
7. The Christian and the World:
a. Present Responsibilities of Believers, 1:1
b. Past Behavior of Believers, 3:4
c. Regeneration of Believers, 3:5-8
Characteristics: The letter covers the same general ground as 1 Timothy, but Titus is briefer and more compact as well as less personal and more official. It is a model of Christian doctrine. Grace redeems and grace reforms. Therefore, the letter of Titus puts “good works” in clear perspective. Those having been justified by Christ are to be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. Paul always taught that good works express faith but can never replace faith as a basis for relationship with God.