Titus 1: Sound in the Faith
Titus was one of Paul’s close coworkers in the gospel. This epistle was written likely sometime in the mid 60’s A.D. Titus was a Greek Gentile who was a great help to Paul in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul had left him in Crete to help “put what remained into order,” which included appointing elders in the churches. As in 1 Timothy 3, Paul elaborates on qualities expected of those who would serve as elders in a congregation. One of the important reasons for the elders in this context is that they needed to aware of and ready to deal with insubordinates who were teaching for gain “what they ought not to teach” (v. 11). These teachers were to be rebuked sharply “that they may be sound in the faith.” Paul’s great concern was that such teachers would not be able to gain a foothold among believers. Teaching the truth remains a chief concern among God’s leaders today.
Titus 2: Grace Teaches
Paul entreats Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine.” He then speaks of older men and how they are supposed to act. He writes of older women who are to be reverent in behavior and teaching younger women to do what is good, to love their husbands and children, and to make sure the home is well cared for. Younger men are told to be examples in how they act and in the good works that they are to do. In other words, sound doctrine encompasses the various ages and relationships of life. The concern is that all should “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (v. 10). Why? Because the grace of God has appeared and teaches us to renounce ungodly behavior and to do what is right (vv. 11-14). By focusing on God’s grace, we can be a people who are zealous for good works. Titus was told to declare, exhort, and to rebuke in order to help keep those who heard sound in faith. That same message will keep us sound in faith as well.
Titus 3: Gentle to All
Titus was to remind his hearers to be submissive to government authorities, to be obedient, and to be ready for every good work. Rather than quarreling and fighting, God’s people are to be gentle and courteous toward all people. One of the reasons for having such an attitude is the recognition that we were once foolish and disobedient. God’s people have been blessed with the goodness and loving kindness of God. He saved His people, not by self-righteous works of our own, but by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (compare to the new birth in John 3). Because of this, His people are heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is why it is important to avoid foolish controversies. The one who does this is divisive and needs to be warned. Today, again, the concern must be with teaching sound doctrine and avoiding that which will destroy souls.