Book of Titus Study
Titus 1:1 The faith of God’s elect= The faith of Jesus Christ as it is revealed in Scripture. God’s elect are those who believe in Jesus Christ by obediently walking in the light of His Word which testifies of that faith.
“Acknowledging” here= epignosis in the Greek text; experiential knowledge. Walking in the faith of Jesus Christ which is revealed in Scripture makes godliness, as defined by the true God’s Word, a flesh and blood reality. The practical expression of this is a key theme in the Book of Titus.
1:2: God’s plan of obtaining a special, set apart people for Himself through Jesus Christ is not some novel invention by Christ’s Apostles. The hope in Jesus Christ is a sure hope, when one really lays hold of it, because this hope is promised and instructed concerning in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is the one and only plan of redemption from sin unto eternal life which God has been dealing with man since he fell to accomplish. He has also been simultaneously instructing and persuading man to adhere to and hold to His appointed way to eternal life in Jesus Christ.
1:3-4: The common faith, in terms of God’s appointed way to redemption and eternal life, is Bible believing and obeying Christianity. Those who don’t faithfully follow Jesus Christ refuse His Supreme Authority and are at enmity with Him Those who so follow Him walk in the truth and can be rightfully said to be in this common faith.
Note how God and Jesus Christ are used interchangeably in these verses.
1:5-6: Note the “if” here. If none are qualified in a city, another solution has to be sought.
This is similar, and compatible with, the list for elder qualifications which is given in 1 Timothy chapter three.
Note the implication that the appointed elders must be men.
Blameless here could also have been translated as “irreproachable.”
“The husband of one wife” means that he cannot be a Polygamist and it means he can’t have an unfaithful track record which he has not lived down beyond any reasonable doubt. If Paul meant that he couldn’t be single, that would be ridiculous since Paul was a single man who was an elder to elders over elders (Titus was obviously supposed to be an elder over the elders which he appointed on Crete- and perhaps Titus was single too).
The churches which make marriage an explicit or (as usually is the case) an implicit requirement for leadership make an error of the same nature as the Roman Catholic Church makes in insisting that they’re leaders be single. The precedent in Scripture is seen in how among the Apostles and their co-workers, there were men married to one wife and there were single men. To deviate from this precedent in the requirements for leaders is a very big deal. Any church which closes leadership off to men on the basis of their being married or their being single is not a faithful church ruled by Biblical authority. Flee from it! Such an error also likely indicates other significant issues with the church which are an even bigger deal. This issue in itself is a big enough deal to warrant fleeing a church.
If a man has children at home, they can’t be out of control or insubordinate. That would indicate that the man shouldn’t be in a place of authority in the church. Consider the principle here that it’s necessary to look at the results, especially the moral results, of what a man has been put in charge of already, especially in the things he has definitely had control over. A man may have to put away a morally unclean wife, but if he was losing his temper in dealing with her, then he should be disqualified over that rather than that he had to put her away. A man’s patience and overall good wisdom in dealing with a rebellious, out of control woman whom he eventually does have to put away might qualify him as much or more than a guy with a house full of well-behaved children (that might be more of a credit to his wife anyways). Sadly, now, a man who lets a rebellious wife control him and get away with ungodly behavior is falsely considered (in many cases) more qualified than a man who exercises much wisdom and self-control in dealing with a woman who tries to control him and act ungodly, and whom he might have to eventually put away..
1:7-8: Or, overseer. The Greek word “Episkopos” used here basically means that.
Not self-willed: He shouldn’t always need to get his way or sound right. I now see in a former overseer whose church I was in (who preferred Bishop or Pastor, perhaps because these sound more honorable and I think he loved the preeminence) that this man typically had to have the last word. Even those who shared good things at his church, which he acknowledged as good things, had to be shown that he knew what they knew- and more. Don’t condemn someone, especially a church overseer, just because they often do say the last word and/or teach more after someone else says something profitable. I’m talking about an unmistakable pattern here which virtually never failed, if it ever did it all.
See our study on 1 Timothy here where the same or similar things are discussed regarding elder or overseer qualifications.
1:9: But often those who would obtain and hold fast the faithful Word must recognize that those who have taught them were not holding fast the faithful Word themselves. Giving a man a title and/or a religious costume does not make him a faithful teacher. And a man sitting in a house church who just wants to be called “Brother” is not necessarily a faithful teacher either. Paul is writing this to Titus with the implication that there are men in these fellowships who had sat under Apostolic teaching- whether through the Apostles themselves or those taught by them (remember 2 Timothy 2:2). We have the Apostles’ teaching in the Bible now though, whereas then the New Testament was being written and formed. We don’t have the advantage of the Apostles being around like those on Crete with Titus had, but we do have a completed Bible which gives clear definition regarding which Christians teachers and writings should be heeded as the Prophets who wrote the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament should be given heed to.
Note here also that the word “sound” is (again) “hygiaino”, the source of the English word “hygiene.”
Note also here that those who oppose the sound doctrine of God’s Word are opponents of Christ (though many of these claim to be on His side, like many of those whom we’re about to read about).
1:10-11: And as it was then, many now get a good sum of money through their ear-tickling, practically cross-negating message- whether that is a message of Judaizing or another alleged way around the way of the cross (and there are truly a multitude of these variations now). Such gain is truly filthy lucre. Such teachers can subvert whole houses, whether this be a reference to families or churches which meet in a house (as was the norm among the early Christians).
Many now also try to bring Christians into bondage through the Mosaic rituals when God has decreed through the Acts 15 council that gentiles can be Christians without being brought under Judaism- and the Temple’s destruction means that Judaism cannot be faithfully practiced now anyways. Yet these (the Mosaic rituals) were, and continue to be, abused as a practical replacement for a living faith in Christ wherein one denies self and takes up their cross daily to keep His Word.
In saying that the mouths of those who teach such things must be stopped, I don’t believe that Paul is saying to track down these false teachers to debate with them. I believe he is saying the overseer should teach the church the truth well against the concepts which these false teachers and their followers are spreading. These concepts should be refuted and the people should be exhorted in the right way which these bad concepts oppose. That will inevitably lead those who faithfully stop the mouth of vain talkers and deceivers into showdowns with those who have come under the influence of their vain talk and deception. These should be exhorted and refuted by sound doctrine while moronic and uneducated rabbit holes, along with the childish debate that these rabbit holes typically lead to, should be avoided. One key qualification for an overseer of a faithful Christian church is that he should be able to skillfully navigate this tricky task. And this is all no less true today.
1:12-13: There is “hygiaino” again. Christianity is surely morally hygienic. This word is all over the place in the New Testament.
Though many say otherwise, it is not hateful to acknowledge the bad traits of a group of people and make logical conclusions about the wicked concepts that the wickedness of their culture and their typical upbringing makes them very susceptible to. An Apostle of Christ cited a heathen poet here named Epimenides to inform Titus of the poor reputation of the people he was among, due to some general characteristics they were known to have, and he let Titus know that poor reputation had merit to it. The Cretans were rightfully known to be dishonest, lazy gluttons, and harmful (especially, it seems, because they were too lazy to keep their word and do their duties). They were especially going to be drawn towards this unruly, vain talk of the Judaizers. If this talk were true, they would not need to agonize in cooperation with God’s true grace in Jesus Christ to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (which we’re about to see the true grace of God teaches us that we must do). If they could be justified through ceremonialism instead (or a one-time sinner’s prayer or blabbering nonsense works as is common today even better) they wouldn’t need to cooperate with the true grace of God which requires one to agonize to walk in the light of His Word.
Doctrines which permit ungodly living are not the sound doctrine of the Bible. They are rather from hell and lead to the fire of eternal hell for those who heed them.
1:14: Fables= “mythos” in the Greek text (just like in 2 Timothy chapter four).
Zionism is a Jewish myth by the way. God warned the Jews over and over in the Hebrew Scriptures that they did not have an unconditional right to Canaan. He warned them they’d be cast out if they were not obedient to Him. They were cast into exile once in Babylon to drive that point home for seventy years. They still didn’t learn, they rejected their Messiah who rebuked them for their evil works, and they were dispersed among the nations in a judgment which the Messiah said would happen. He also warned this time that He would forsake them until they said concerning Him “Blessed is He that shall come in the name of the Lord.” How did they get back into the land then? Not by God. Who did the lie of Zionism start with? The very same crowd which has upheld the decision of their ancestors to reject Jesus as the Messiah and crucify Him instead. And yet, support of Israel now is the norm among professing Christians- even and especially the ones who claim that their only authority is the Bible. It is absolutely unbelievable. There are plenty of myths which Christendom, including evangelicals, have given heed to and need to be rebuked for that they might be sound in the authentic Christian faith. They are not sound therein as they give heed to myths and commandments of men, even though they label these as sound Christian doctrine. The labeling of something as sound Christian doctrine does not make it so anymore than a store labeling a piece of glass as a diamond makes it a diamond.
1:15-16: Reprobate- There is the word “adokimos” in the Greek text again; the source of our “undocumented.”
We see here that many of the Cretans were subverted from the right way, the way of the cross by being taken up with (abuse of) the Jewish dietary laws.
Whatever anyone says, or whatever anyone does or does not do, if they are not obeying Christ’s Gospel by coming under His righteous authority, doing works in keeping with repentance and faith in Him, and continuing therein, they are denying Him and not under His grace that brings salvation. As James chapter 2 shows, our works must demonstrate that we embrace Christ and the entire package of Christian doctrine with our whole being. Faith without works is dead; and works which one throws together in a self-made package which they think God should accept are like Cain whom God did not accept.
Luke 6:46-49: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Titus 2:1: “Become” here is “prepo” in the Greek text. The following are things which are fitting with, or which stand out, in the keeping of sound doctrine.
“Sound” here is again hygiaino in the Greek text.
Yet many who claim to have sound doctrine, do not have (let alone actually live out) a hygienic Gospel. They do not keep what sound doctrine demands in order to be under the true grace of God that brings salvation.
2:2: There is instruction in these verses in relation to what stands out as generally most necessary to emphasize based upon people’s age and gender. Consider how foolish this would be if people could just declare themselves to be whatever gender they chose. Promoting such a concept is just another foolish way to attack the validity of the Bible. It is also obviously the case that most of this instruction applies to everyone who would be a faithful Christian, except for the few things which are obviously for those of a specific age and gender.
2:3-4: Paul is speaking generally here. Obviously, not all women are married- and that’s okay. Feminism is evil because it teaches women to deliberately forsake marriage, or to forsake duties within marriage and motherhood, for the sake of advancing their career or doing whatever pleases them. Women now have feminist influence to fight off, more than ever before, in order to be faithful Christians.
2:5: Discreet here could have been translated as sober. It is speaking of curbing one’s desires and impulses, being self-controlled, being temperate.
Chaste= Pure from carnality, modest, clean, sacred.
Keepers at home= Guarders of the home; not forsaking duties at home. Particular circumstances and individual situations obviously dictate how much it is appropriate for a woman to be at home.
The woman must be under her husband’s authority as it is fit in the Lord. This is not said in the Bible about the husband with the wife, though you wouldn’t know that from the homes of many now, even many (I think most) professing Christian homes included. This is another reason why feminism is a lie, and another proof that feminism has infiltrated most churches now. And that has caused the Word of God to be blasphemed. The allegedly Christian homes are contentious and broken down about as much as heathen homes. In many cases, significantly worse.
2:6: It is not to be taken as normal nor acceptable for young men (or women) to be drunken, rowdy, licentious, etc.
2:7: Here is another rebuke to those who mock doctrinal correctness and the overall great importance of sound doctrine.
Gravity= honesty; overall honorability.
2:8: And what a challenge this is.
Consider also here that some are so opposed to sound doctrine and the true grace of God that they’d scrutinize someone who they perceive represents such to the point where they’d listen very, very closely to them just to hopefully find some inconsistency or other fault with what they say so they can criticize them, write them off, jump to some very bad conclusion about them, etc. Paul is challenging Titus not to give any other occasion for this. We see with the faithful men in the Bible though that people will sometimes still twist words and make things up anyways even when one is sound in their speech and there is no just condemnation for it. Some seemingly beg God to send them to greater damnation in hell than the typical heathen will receive by opposing the true grace of God so persistently and vigorously as they do.
2:9: They shouldn’t be arguing with their master nor insulting their master nor doing anything of that nature (the same can be said now regarding employees with their bosses).
Remember here that God’s Law calls for the death penalty for kidnappers and human traffickers. The Apostles were not endorsing nor complying with kidnapping and human traffickers. Much slavery in the ancient world came about by other means.
2:10: Purloining= Taking the master’s (or the boss’s or the company’s) goods or money. I believe it would also include stealing by not working when one is supposed to be working. That would at least not be showing all good fidelity.
Sound Gospel doctrine is actually to be embraced and applied to real life so much that those who do that can be said to be wearing it.
Romans 13:12-14: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
See also Matthew 22:1-14 with Revelation 19:5-8 along the same lines.
Putting on Christ is submitting to Him and adorning His doctrine practically in one’s priorities and conduct. It is not a mystical imputation of His righteousness to a person. God’s true grace includes forgiveness and justification for those who will embrace Jesus Christ for everything that He is, which includes being the Savior whose blood we need to cleanse us and justify us in God’s sight. Yet no one can just take that while refusing His authority and directions. Only those who receive the spiritual overhaul involved in receiving His discipline are really under His grace that brings salvation. He is after a special people for Himself which is compatible with the righteous ways of His kingdom (as was especially talked about in the 2 Timothy chapter four study).
2:11-14: Christ is again equated with God here.
Iniquity= anomia= lawlessness.
2:15: And this means that a faithful Gospel minister must set forth the whole counsel of God, must tell people that they must walk in the light of the Word in order to be saved, and must refute false concepts of the grace of God.
See James 3:13-18 regarding principles for how to go about this.
Titus 3:1: This isn’t a reference to demonic principalities and powers. Obey rulers like the Governor as it is fit in the Lord, obey authority like the security guard at the library concerning the rules at the library, obey the orders of judicial magistrates unless they are telling you to transgress God by their ruling. To be a faithful Christian one cannot be justly deemed a troublemaker in society or a froward person who can’t be managed by people who are really just looking to do their jobs and keep order where they are responsible to do that. And to be a faithful Christian one must be ready to every good work.
3:2: Speak evil here is “blasphemeo” in the Greek text. It is not saying not to rebuke those who are sinning. It is saying not to slander and revile people. There are street preachers who do not heed this counsel. They clearly delight in tearing people down, defaming people, and shaming them greatly. But don’t let someone use verses like this to make themselves and/or some group they are part of (or working for) immune to rebuke and criticism. This instruction came from the same person who said earlier in this very book that a well known saying about the evil ways of those who lived on Crete was a true witness.
Gentle= Moderate or patient. A Christian shouldn’t be losing their temper or harming people unnecessarily. Even many heathen understand that they may have to defend themselves and others, but when that’s the case, violence and other harsh treatment should not be their first resort; and when it has to be used, it shouldn’t be used more than necessary to stop the threat or to make the righteous point which they’ve been left with no other righteous choice than to make.
Meekness= Be governed by restraint; don’t be too hard or overbearing on people. Again, several street preachers, including a considerable number who have a notable presence on the internet, have not learned this lesson.
3:3-4: The word for love here is “philanthropia” in the Greek text.
3:5a; We can’t earn our own justification; and Jesus did not come to save us because we deserve to be saved. No one can be saved who thinks they’ve earned justification with God or who thinks that God owes them Jesus’ salvation. We need Jesus to be justified with God, and our righteousness is not the basis for the mercy He offers. The lawless gospel preachers will gravitate towards verses like this while neglecting most everything else said in the book (at least in its proper context). There is yet the need to cooperate with His mercy (and His grace- God’s mercy and grace go hand in hand even though they are technically not exactly the same thing- Jesus as a man was in God’s grace or favor though He didn’t need His mercy- since He never sinned). The Calvinists and other lawless gospel preachers butcher other Scriptures too like Romans chapter nine (see our study on it) because they don’t take into account that God’s mercy has terms which we must choose to cooperate with, and walk in, in order to partake of.
Psalm 103:8-18: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
When John the Baptist called people to repent, do works fitting for repentance, and walk in God’s commandments he wasn’t saying “earn justification from God by your works.” He was saying rather to come into line with the terms which God offers in His mercy in order to be justified by the coming Messiah. So much more could be said about this, yet we have many studies related to this. I’ll just cite a related passage which is a testimony of the same man who wrote Titus (and he also wrote the commonly twisted Ephesians 2:8-9).
Acts 26:19-21: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.”
3:5b-7: There is no salvation in Jesus Christ that doesn’t involve being regenerated or born again by His Spirit. God puts His life, which was lost in man by the fall, back into the person who repents and turns their whole being to Jesus Christ (which is what it means to authentically believe in Him). God then witnesses that He has forgiven a person for their past sins by Christ’s blood and accepted them through His Spirit. Being born again by the Spirit of God gives one power to overcome sin and be renewed according to God’s image as one abides in Jesus Christ. That is also an aspect of God’s mercy. Being strengthened in the soul, spiritually preserved, and given wisdom to fight a good fight and keep the faith is an aspect of His mercy. Ultimately, being gathered by Christ at His return and not condemned as His enemy at the Final Judgment are aspects of His mercy. Yet in all of it, we must cooperate and do our part in the covenant which He offers to man. This cooperation glorifies God, and continuing therein works out for the good and the ultimate salvation of those who endure to the end.
Jude 20-25: “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God (see John 14:21-24 here) , looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
2 Peter 3:13-14: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Hebrews 3:12-15: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation (that is speaking of the provocation of God by the Israelites in the wilderness which never saw the promised land due to their disobedience to His voice).”
3:8: Yet much is not profitable. Christians can get subverted and come to spiritual catastrophe through evil communications.
3:9: A key cross reference here is 2 Timothy 2:23-26. When it comes to strivings about the law, Paul isn’t saying not to insist on the upholding of the moral principles of God’s Law. He has already told Titus otherwise in this book. He is talking about people who are sticklers regarding details concerning the rituals and ceremonies of the law. Refer back to 1:9-16 of this book here.
3:10: Heretic= A schismatic who has chosen a course which deviates from sound doctrine.
Reject= cast him out of the church; exclude him from Christian fellowship.
3:11: He is turned inside out; he is corrupted.
The falsehood he holds to testifies that he is in the wrong and that the wrath of God abides on him.
3:12: It seems like the plan was for one of these to care for the churches put under Titus’ care while Titus visited Paul. Paul probably didn’t want Titus to leave Crete until there was a competent person sent to relieve him in his duties. There’s a key principle for overseers of churches- and for overseers of overseers like Titus was at this time.
3:13: it seems that they delivered this letter from Paul to Titus. Zenas the Lawyer had a very important role since God’s Law taken properly is a schoolmaster to Christ and a guide to exercising a living faith in Him. He also would have been instrumental in refuting the Judaizers and teaching the Christians so they wouldn’t be swept up by their errors.
3:14: I believe the point here is that the Christians should be taught how to recognize and help others in need. Those who neglect to do this will not glorify God like they ought to- while those who attempt this without wisdom could very well act more like do-gooders who don’t glorify God well either- and perhaps even end up doing more harm than good. This was especially fitting to teach the Cretans since they were known to be lazy and perhaps gluttonous too. The Cretans are also surely not the only group of people who ever were like this.
3:15: Paul obviously intended that this letter to Titus should be read by other Christians. Perhaps he gave directions attached to it regarding who should read it and when. Thankfully, it has been preserved for us like the other 65 books of the Bible have been. We’d be fools to not acquaint ourselves with all of them and diligently walk in their light. Our decisions in relation to this are surely being recorded by God and will be made known at the Final Judgment- where we will be held accountable and face eternal consequences concerning them.
Ecclesiastes 12:12-14: “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Luke 12:2-5: “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]