Introduction: Titus was a young pastor at Crete. Paul writes advising him to appoint elders; men of proven spiritual character in their homes and business, to oversee the work of the church.
Paul stresses the necessary, practical working out of salvation in the daily lives of both the elders and the congregation. Good works are desirable and profitable for all believers.
The behavior of believers as citizens must be different from the behavior of unbelievers because of their regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 1 – Paul a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgement of the truth which is according to godliness,
Verse 2 – in hope of eternal life which before time began,
Paul makes it very clear that God cannot lie. The foundation of our faith is trust in God’s character. God is truth and is all source of truth. Believing in Him leads to godliness, living a God-honoring life-style. The eternal life that God has promised will be ours, because He keeps His promises.
Verse 3 – but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
God has made known (manifested) His eternal purpose through the preaching of the gospel.
Verse 4 – To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our savior.
Ordain Qualified Elders
Verse 5 – For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you –
Verse 6 – if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
Verse 7 – For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
(This just disqualified about 80% of the men called bishop.)
Verse 8 – but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
Verse 9 – holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
A bishop should be filled with the Holy Spirit; well-educated in Biblical doctrine; be able to present it in such a way that it encourages and corrects. Their life-style should live up to all these requirements that Paul just listed. They are to be others example of how to live their lives.
Rebuke False Teachers
Verse 10 – For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
The circumcision groups were the Judaizers, Jews who taught that the Gentiles had to obey all Jewish laws before they could become Christians. This regulation confused new Christians and caused problems in many churches.
Verse 11 – whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
They wanted to influence the people enough to become popular and then take advantage of them to obtain money.
Verse 12 – One of them, a prophet of their own said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
Verse 13 – This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Meaning, Titus should be on guard in introducing men into the ministry, and in arrangement of affairs pertaining to the church,.
Verse 14 – not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
Verse 15 – To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
Our souls become filters through which we perceive goodness or evil. The pure (those who believer in Christ) learn to see goodness even while living in an evil world. But corrupt and unbelieving people find evil in everything because their evil minds and hearts color even the good they see and hear. Whatever we fill our minds with will affect the way we think and act.
Verse 16 – They profess to know God, but in works deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Many claim to know God, but how can we tell if they are truly followers of Christ? A glance at someone’s life-style will tell us where they put priorities and values. Our conduct speaks volumes about what we believe.