Dependable Discipleship 13 – Notes and Questions – Titus 3Dependable Discipleship
Titus 3 – Promote Good Deeds!
Titus 3 calls us to treat all people with the same kindness and consideration that God provided for us when we were terribly lost in sin. What a concept! When we reflect on God’s grace extended us when we were rude, selfish, and envious, we then respond to others in the same way. This chapter puts grace, faith, baptism, the Holy Spirit, and a life of good deeds all in proper perspective.
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Questions for Thought and Discussion
How is the behavior described in 3:1-2 related to the doctrine described in 3:3-7?
3:1 Why do we need to be reminded of things we already know? Why do we sometimes resent being reminded?
Why should we urge each other to be good citizens, subject to civil authorities? Cf. Rom 13:1–7; 1 Tim 2:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13–17.
What if civil authorities prohibit our obedience to God? Cf. Ac 5:29.
“Ready for every good deed.” Does that describe you?
Why such a repeated emphasis on good deeds in this short letter? Cf. Tit 1:16; 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14.
3:2 Is always possible to be peaceful and gentle, and show consideration to everyone, even difficult people? Rom 12:18
3:3 “For we were once …” How do our sinful past and God’s gracious salvation motivate us to be kind and thoughtful to people who do not know Christ?
3:4 How did God treat us when we were foolish, disobedient, and envious? So how should we treat others when they are foolish, disobedient, and envious?
Compare this concept to the Golden Rule (Mt 7:12).
What is the basis of our salvation?
Does God save “good” people because they are good?
A Christian may say, “I’m not sure I’m saved, good enough to go to heaven.” How would you respond to that person?
A non-Christian may say, “I’ll go to heaven because I’m a good person. I’ve never committed murder or adultery. I obey the law and pay my taxes.” How would you respond to that person?
3:5 What is the “washing of regeneration?” Cf. John 3:5.
Since we are saved by God’s mercy, and not our own righteous deeds, why is water baptism still necessary to receive salvation?
Discuss: Baptism is not a “deed of righteousness” that earns, deserves, or causes salvation; it is an essential expression of faith and repentance, necessary to receive salvation. It is at the point of baptism that one is washed from sin (Ac 22:16).
What is “renewing by the Holy Spirit?” Discuss the idea that, when one is baptized, the Holy Spirit indwells and renews him or her.
Can a person be made new without the presence and involvement of the Holy Spirit? Can one renovate himself without divine help?
3:7 Since we are justified (declared to be right with God) by grace, why does Paul put such repeated emphasis on good deeds? If good deeds don’t save us, is it really necessary for us to do them? Why?
Define “heirs.” What will we inherit? Cf. 1 Pet 1:4; Rom 8:17.
What five “trustworthy statements” are made in these letters?
1 Tim 1:5; 1 Tim 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11; Titus 3:8
3:8-9 What is said to be profitable for men – or not? Why?
“The more time and effort we spend arguing about things that don’t matter, the less we have left to engage in the things that do matter.”
And the reverse: “The more time and effort we spend engaging in the things that do matter, the less … to argue … that don’t matter.”
3:10 A “factious man” (NASB) is “one who stirs up division” (ESV). Why must such a person be rejected after a second warning? Would further warnings be effective? Why not “be gentle” (3:2)?
3:11 How does such a person condemn himself?
3:12 Paul would send Artemas or Tychicus to Crete, likely to relieve Titus so that Titus could meet Paul in Nicopolis.
Discuss the value of “relief pitchers” and the importance of successors in the Lord’s work. Discuss the relief that Titus would feel, knowing that relief from his hard work was on the way.
How important is it that we relieve church leaders and missionaries? How can we do that?
TYCHICUS Meaning “fortunate.” A native of Asia Minor (Acts 20:4), he traveled with Paul on his third missionary journey. With Onesimus he carried the Colossian letter from Paul (Col 4:7–9) and was to relate to the church Paul’s condition. Paul also sent Tychicus to Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:12) and possibly to Crete (Titus 3:12).
NICOPOLIS Meaning “city of victory.” A port city about two hundred miles northwest of Athens, in Epirus in northwest Greece, on the north side of the Sinus Ambracicus. Octavius founded the city on the campsite from which he mounted his successful battle of Actium. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
3:13 Zenas: a lawyer (expert in Jewish or Roman law). He traveled to Crete with Apollos, possibly to deliver this very letter to Titus.
3:14 “Learn” to do good deeds. Discuss.
What are “pressing” or crucial needs? How do we identify them and meet them properly?
In what ways are you learning to do this at the present time?
3:15 How can we effectively share warm greetings with people we love but do not see often?
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.