Dependable Discipleship 11 – Notes and Questions – Titus 1Dependable Discipleship
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Titus – the Man
His name means … we are not sure! Could he be named after “titans,” giants in Greek mythology? Was he named after the legendary Sabine king Titus Tatius? We may note that three Roman emperors had “Titus” as part of their names.
Gal 2:1-3 Uncircumcised Gentile, a convert to Christ, who went with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem from Antioch. Famine relief visit of Acts 11:28-30. (Though Titus is not named at all in Acts.)
Tit 1:4 Paul: “my true child in a common faith.” Likely Paul’s convert.
2 Cor 8:23 Paul: “my partner and coworker.”
Likely older than Timothy. Cf. 1 Tim 4:12 and Tit 2:6-8. Titus does not seem to have been timid.
Titus – the Role
2 Cor 2:1-4; 7:6-9 Courier, delivered the painful letter (likely 1 Cor) from Paul to Corinth. Was to return and report to Paul.
2 Cor 2:12-13; 7:5-16 Paul – distressed when he could not find Titus, relieved when he did. Titus brought him a good report from Corinth.
2 Cor 8:6, 16-24; 12:18 Leader, took charge of completing the collection for the poor.
Tit 1:4 Preacher in Crete, to correct false teaching and declining morality, set in order what remained, and appoint elders.
Titus – the Place
Crete: an island 156 miles long (east to west) and 8 to 35 miles wide (north to south). In the Mediterranean Sea, south of Greece and Turkey. Noted in Acts 27. On Paul’s journey to Rome, his ship sought the protection of the island of Crete and spent some time anchored in the harbor of Fair Havens (Acts 27:7, 8).
“The cultural graveyard of a once proud and thriving civilization.”
“To Cretanize” – “to speak like a Cretan,” tell lies, deceive.
One of their own poets, Epimenides, wrote c. 600 BC, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Tit 1:12).
Acts 2:11 Cretan Jews were present on the Day of Pentecost.
Titus – the Charge
1:5 Set in order what remains.
1:5 Appoint elders in every city.
1:13 Reprove rebellious men, empty talkers, and deceivers.
2:1 Speak what is fitting for sound doctrine.
2:7-8 In all things show yourself to be:
— 1. an example of good deeds, with
— 2. purity in doctrine,
— 3. dignified,
— 4. and sound in speech which is beyond reproach,
[reason] to shame and silence the opponent.
Titus 1 – Questions for Thought and Discussion
Why would Paul see himself as a “bond-servant?”
Should / do we see ourselves in the same way?
What was the purpose for which Paul was made an apostle?
Is our hope a wish, or is it a confident expectation of the unseen?
Does God’s power mean that He can do absolutely anything?
Why can God not lie?
What else can God not do?
20 THINGS GOD CAN’T DO – Dr. Criswell Freeman
How would you describe or define eternal life?
When did God promise eternal life? And grant His grace (2 Tim 1:9)?
When did God know that Jesus would be the lamb (1 Pet 1:20)?
“Set in order …” Does the church on earth ever arrive at perfection?
Was Crete or any church in the NT without major problems?
So … is it surprising that congregations have problems today?
Would you want to be part of, or continue as part of, the church in Crete? Would you love it, lead it, or leave it? Explain your answer.
Why do some today “hop” or “shop” churches often?
What’s the value of staying put and working through problems?
With Titus there, why would the church in Crete need elders?
Does the Bible say more about what elders are to do, or who elders are to be? How are the two related?
What steps should we take to select and develop new leaders?
Discuss the qualities of effective elders in terms of:
- Personal life: blameless, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not violent, sober-minded, holy, self-controlled.
- Family life: husband of one wife, with faithful children.
- Social life: hospitable, not overindulgent, not given to wine.
- Financial life: a steward of God, not greedy for money.
- Professional life: not insubordinate, loving what is good, just.
- Doctrinal life: holding fast the faithful word, able to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Now rate yourself in each of these areas and determine to grow!
How can an imperfect man be blameless or above reproach?
Why be a faithful husband and effective father first (1 Tim 3:5)?
An elder must be able to “exhort in sound doctrine.” Discuss the importance of this and the ways in which it might be done.
An elder must also be able to “refute those who contradict.” Discuss the importance of this and the ways in which it might be done.
Why, in your opinion, does the NT put so much emphasis on doctrine (what is taught)?
Do we place sufficient emphasis on doctrine today? Why or why not?
Just like preachers, elders may get sidetracked and pulled away from these two primary roles, exhorting and refuting. Why and how does this happen? How can we encourage elders to focus on doctrine?
What will result in a church in which elders do not exhort and refute? The rest of the chapter gives the answer!
Did the early church have hypocrites, false teachers, and profit-seeking leaders?
Should we be surprised that there are such people today?
Were some of these troublemakers “Judaizers,” trying to force OT Jewish practices on these Gentile converts?
Had some “unconverted Cretans” made their way into the church and gained influence?
Was the Cretan poet Epimenides (ca. 600 BC) correct in his assessment of his own people and culture?
Why was Paul not wrong to agree with Epimenides in this “stereotype?”
Are we rightly cautious to avoid broad generalizations and stereotypes today?
What action was Titus to take regarding these false teachers? Why?
“To the pure, all things are pure.” Does that mean that nothing can defile a Christian? Or that a Christian is naïvely to see everything as pure and harmless? It cannot mean either of those!
Could this refer instead to foods which the Judaizers called unclean, but which were in fact acceptable to be eaten? Cf. 1 Tim 4:1-5
By contrast, then, in what sense was “nothing pure” to the false teachers? Did their impurity spread to affect their entire lives?
How would you define hypocrisy? Would you agree with this? “A hypocrite is one who never intends to be what he or she pretends to be.”