Today we begin our journey through the New Testament book of Titus.
This book was written by the Apostle Paul (1:1) to Titus (1:4). Titus was currently on assignment as a missionary and church planter on the island of Crete, south of Greece (1:5).
While we call Titus a “book” of the Bible, it was originally delivered as an epistle (letter) from Paul to Titus. This is generally considered a pastoral epistle, similar to the two letters to Timothy.
The timeframe for this letter was somewhere around AD 62-64, likely after Paul’s first Roman imprisonment but before his second Roman imprisonment.
Titus likely came to faith in Christ by way of Paul, as Paul refers to Titus as “my true son in our common faith” (1:4). We know that Titus accompanied Paul on many visits to churches, including extended time in Corinth, as Paul refers to Titus nine times in his second letter to the Corinthians.
Titus was a Gentile believer (Galatians 2:3) and fully embraced Christ alone, rejecting the common teaching of the Judaizers that he must become a Jew first and follow the Jewish Law to become a “true” follower of Jesus.
Titus was on a difficult assignment as a missionary and church planter to Crete:
- Crete had a selfish and pleasure-seeking culture (1:12-13)
- Judaizers were teaching the Law in addition to Christ (1:10-11, 14)
- Those who teach Eastern mysticism had also crept into the church (3:9)
Paul’s letter to Titus was not corrective in nature; rather, it was a letter of love, encouragement and wise counsel to a young pastor in a very difficult environment.
Titus was having to deal with those outside the church and their influence from a cultural standpoint, as well as those within the church that were teaching false doctrine.
Paul does not teach or explain any big doctrinal truths to Titus, as Titus was likely well-versed in God’s Word, even as a Greek (Gentile) convert. Paul simply reminds Titus to stay the course and offers some very practical advice and measures for godly living.
These measures for godly living were for church leaders, for men and women (both younger and older), for slaves (employees), and for all in general.
May we look forward to our walk through Paul’s letter to Titus and take encouragement in our walk with the Lord as we serve Him faithfully as Titus did in his day.
One of the things that stands out to me is that Paul is ‘encouraging the encourager.’ it serves as a reminder to me to do just that. Those who pursue their calling need earthly verbal, physical, and prayer support…that encouragement is not merely a pat on the back but a buffering up of a dear representative for Christ.