Well today it’s back on the road again. We are going to resume our journey along God’s Route 66. So far have made stops in Ruth, Hosea, Numbers, Colossians, Nehemiah, Proverbs, the Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Apostles and Malachi… This segment of the journey will take us through the book of Titus.
Well, this morning is a very important day for us because we begin a new book in the New Testament. And I want you to take your Bible, if you will do so, and open it to the first chapter of this epistle from the apostle Paul to his friend and co-worker, Titus.
Now in this letter that Paul writes to Titus, the purpose of the letter really is to instruct the church to do what it ought to do, to behave itself properly.
This is one of Paul’s shortest books that he wrote, and you could almost call it a pocket guide to life in the church!
I. The CALL to Lead The Church
- The Apostle (Read Titus 1:1-3)
“This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.
B. The Person and Program (Read Titus 1:4-5)
“I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share. I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.” Titus 1:4-5
- Titus had the responsibility of straightening out the churches and to establish leadership in the Churches on the Island of Crete.
(Note: Timothy was doing the same thing in Ephesus.)
2. Titus, the 12th Epistle written by Paul, is one of his shortest. It is a personal Letter to a dear friend and co-laborer.
3. There is no Biblical record of how the Gospel first reached Crete. We do know that Cretans were among the crowd that heard the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11), and in all likelihood returned home to share their newfound faith.
The Gospel had obviously spread throughout the island, but there was a great need for someone to “complete the work.”
- We know from Paul’s writings that Titus was the Man:
- A Convert of Paul (Tit 1:4);
- A Companion of Paul at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15; Gal 2:1-3);
- A Comfort to Paul (2 Cor 7:6);
- A Confidant of Paul (2 Cor 7:5-7, 13-14; 8:6, 16-23; 2 Tim 4:10)
Paul called Titus his Son, his Brother, his Helper and his Partner.
C. The Plan
- Chapter 1 looks at the character and conduct of leaders, a very appropriate subject for us to discuss in our own contemporary setting in the church.
“He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching.” Titus 1:9
2. Chapter 2 looks at the character and conduct of members – the members of the church.
“We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God” Titus 2:12
3. Chapter 3 deals with character and conduct regarding the church’s witness before the world.
“They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.” Titus 3:2
II. 3 Keys to Building a Godly Church
- Leaders and Teachers in Church are to be Blameless (ch1)
“An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. A church leader is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.” Titus 1:6-7
A. Living Blameless
a. Must be…Faithful to Spouse, Raising Godly Children, Managing the Church, Humble, Slow to Become Angry, and Controlled in drinking, violence and money.
b. Remember…Nobody’s Perfect, but leaders are called to a higher standard.
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1
2. Stay Away from the Impure
“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Titus 1:15-16
3. Members Fulfill Spiritual Roles in the Church and Family (ch2)
a. Impact through their Teaching
2 Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.
3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children…
b. Impact through their Living
6 In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
9 Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back 10 or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.
3. Believers Live Godly before the Watching World (ch3)
“Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
- Do Good and Living as Examples
“This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.” Titus 3:3-8
III. Once Saved, Always Changed
I think this question should grip every Christian: “Now that God has converted us, how should we then live?”
- To Be Who We Should Be, We Must Remember Our High Calling
‘An elder must live a blameless life…Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure… you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind…”
2. To Be Who We Should Be, We Must Remember Our Low Condition
“Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.”
3. To Be Who We Should Be, We Must Remember God’s Gracious Salvation
“God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”