THE NEW TESTAMENT
PAUL WRITES TO TITUS
The following is taken from the Personal Bible Edition NKJV, by
Nelson Publishers, 1990, 1995.
We know relatively little about the background of this letter,
which was written between the writings of 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul,
while (travelling after release from his first imprisonment, had
left Titus in Crete to oversee the work on that island (1:5). It
was a hard assignment; the Cretans were a people of ignoble
reputation (1:12,13). Moreover, false teachings were threatening
the welfare and unity of the church (1:10,11,16; 3:9-11).
Paul touches on matters affecting the Christian congregations of
Crete. A listing of qualifications for church leaders is provided
because of Titus's assignment to appoint "elders in every city"
(1:5). There are strong warnings about false teachers;
instructions for exhorting older men and women, younger people,
and servants; and personal guidance for Titus in his role as a
leader. Paul included several superb statements on Christian
salvation (1:1-3; 2:11-14; 3:4-7).
The letter was written to encourage Titus in his task of
organizing, instructing, and appointing leaders for the churches
of Crete (1:5). It was also intended to help him stop the false
teachers who threatened church authority, unity, and morality
(1:10-16: 3:9-11). In closing, Paul tells Titus of his desire to
meet him in the coming winter (3:12).
OUTLINE OF TITUS
1. Salutation from Paul to Titus 1:1-4
2. Qualifications for church leaders 1:5-9
3. False teachers in Crete 1:10-161
4. Instructions for Christian believers 2:1-10
A. Older people 2:1-3
B. Younger people 2:4-8
C. Bondservants 2:9,10
5. Grace as a basis for Christian living 2:11-3:11
A. We should live godly 2:11-15
B. Justified by God's grace 3:1-8
C. Avoid controversy about trivia 3:9-11
6. Personal messages and greetings 3:12-15
Paul opens with declaring himself a bond-servant to God, an
apostle (one sent forth of Jesus Christ, according to the faith
of the elect, and the acknowledgement of the truth, which is
according to godliness.
Jesus said, "Thy word is Truth." God is godly and so truth
is godliness. It is right and correct. Jesus also said that when
the Spirit was to come it would guide us into all truth. That
truth is not always give to us all in one swoop, but often over
time, sometimes many years of time. It is up to us to have an
open mind (but not so open our brains fall out), and be willing
to be guided and corrected, so we can come to more and more
truth. I have found this mind-set of loving righteousness and
truth, to be sadly lacking in many parts of the Church of God
today. There seems to be little growing in grace and knowledge.
This Website on which is the New Testament Bible Story, I hope
will be growing in light and in truth. Remember also that truth
is not always welcome or easily accepted, the human heart is
often slow to accept error and correction (verse 1).
Paul was in "hope of eternal life, which God that cannot
lie, promised before the world began" (verse 2). The hope which
he speaks about is not so guess-work hope, a fleeting hope, of
"well maybe." It is a hope that is SURE, based upon the promise
of God who he says cannot lie. And this hope of eternal life, was
promised, planned, for us (who will accept the way to that hope)
BEFORE the world began. God the Father had planned salvation
before the world was started for the humans He would create on
the world. We have seen in Paul's writings to Timothy, that Jesus
was before-ordained to come to this earth and be the Savior of
mankind, even before the world was.
God's word and promises and salvation had been committed to
Paul to preach, for the Lord had commanded the calling of Paul to
do this, in God's own time and purpose (verse 3).
Paul gives greetings to Titus is son in the faith, "Grace,
mercy, peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our
savior" (verse 4).
Once more you will notice nothing mentioned of the so-called
"third person of a Trinity" - the Holy Spirit. No, need, for
Paul knew the Holy Spirit was NOT a third bodily person of some
triune God. He knew from once being taken to heaven (either in
vision or in very body, as he told the Corinthians) and seeing
the throne room of God, there was God the Father and Jesus Christ
on His right hand, two bodily persons, not three. The book of
Revelation gives us a vision of the throne room of God, and it
also has no third bodily person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy
Spirit is the very nature and power that emanates from the very
bodies of BOTH the Father and the Son, hence it can be in the
whole universe at the same time, and within every true child of
God on earth. The nature and bodily form of the Godhead is fully
expounded in studies on this Website.
Let's read verse 5 as a child would read it, "For this cause
left I you in crete, that YOU should set in order the things that
are left undone (margin reading), and ORDAIN Elders in every
city, as I had appointed YOU."
I put emphasis on "you" because it should be obvious that
Paul was meaning TITUS, the one individual man. Nothing is
mentioned about any other person or persons having to take the
two tasks Paul gave Titus to do. There were certain things that
titus needed to make sure were done, the things left undone
(whatever they were, we are not told), and he Titus was to
"ordain" elders in every city.
I bring all this up because in the last decades of the 20th
century, some in the Churches of God have been teaching there is
no such thing as "ordained elders" and whatever "church leaders"
there are in their eyes must be voted upon by the congregation.
this idea of theology is completely opposite to the teachings of
the NT. This new theology came about because of "church
organizational" and "church Elder" ABUSE, in some parts of the
body of Christ. The truth of the matter is that ABUSE by "elders"
and church organizations HAS always been there down through the
centuries, it is nothing new. And from time to time it will
always be there in the Church of God. As wise King Solomon wrote,
there is nothing new under the sun. Just because minister abuse,
or groups of minister will abuse people in a church organization,
does not mean Jesus Christ has no "elders" in the church He
built. And church abuse does not do away with the clear teaching
of the NT that men like Paul, Timothy, Titus, and others did not
have the INDIVIDUAL right to personally and individually appoint
other individuals to the ministry of the Gospel of Christ. And I
mean appoint to the ministry WITHOUT the consent of ANY OTHER
person, or group of persons, or the blessing of some established
It is clear in Acts 14, verses 19 to 23, by the way Luke
wrote the words, that it was Paul and Barnabas who "ordained"
(Greek meaning to divide, separate, decide) who the "elders" were
to be, through prayer and fasting, and then commending them to
the Lord. It states there nothing about acquiring the consent of
the church members in some kind of vote.
Now, I'm not saying it is wrong to get the consent of local
church members, as to the right for certain men to be appointed
to the ministry of the church. Certainly in Acts 6, we have
church members being a PART of the choosing of 7 men to the
function of "deacon" or serving in such physical matters of
"tables" - but even then the seven were set before the apostles
for final prayer and the laying on of hands.
But, what I'm saying is that it was NOT ALWAYS done that
way, having the congregations consent per se.
Titus was clearly given the personal responsibility to
ordain or appoint "elders" in every city.
Some Elders no matter if appointed by another individual
Elder, or by a group of Elders, or even with the blessing of an
entire organization, will NOT remain faithful, but will turn into
FALSE ministers. This is plainly revealed to us on Acts 20:17-31.
How can we know who is a true minister of the Lord? well,
Jesus gave us one answer, "By their FRUITS you shall know them."
And in Isaiah 8:20 it is written, if they speak not according to
this word (the law and the testimony - God's word) there is no
light in them. Every individual member of the body of Christ is
responsible to search the Scriptures, to determine WHO at all
times is remaining a faithful minister of God.
For the record and for the enquiring mind, I was ordained a
minister of Jesus Christ, by the consent of two congregations I
was leading, and by 10 ministers of an organization, in the year
Paul reiterates to Titus the main qualifications of an
Elder. Those we looked at in some detail in the first epistle to
Timothy, and are further expounded upon in various studies on
this Website (verses 5-9).
One of the qualifying signs of a true minister of God is
that he is able with skill, and sound doctrine, to exhort and
convince the gainsayers. For, Paul once more repeats, there are
MANY, not few, but many unruly and VAIN talkers out there, men
who are DECEIVERS!! In Paul's day it was among the "circumcision"
party where many deceivers came from. Today it could be from a
myriad of religious theologies and denominations.
Paul again pulled no punches in talking about false
ministers and prophets. He said their mouths needed to be
STOPPED! They perverted whole houses, teaching things they ought
not, because of money, a pay check. Too many live quite nicely,
even more than nicely, from the Gospel, from the ability to
smooth talk their way into the pocket books of "good people" -
nice hearted but gullible people.
Paul, in thinking about some of these deceivers from the
Cretians of his time, used one of their own prophets to disrobe
them, who admitted they were often, liars, evil beasts, slow
bellies. Yes, I mean Paul sometimes said it as it was, plain
truth talk, just firing both barrels at the same time.
And because this is the way it is FAR too often in religion,
he told Titus, "Wherefore REBUKE them SHARPLY, that they may be
SOUND in the faith. Not giving heed to Jewish FABLES, and the
commandments of MEN, that TURN (they really knew better at one
time) from the TRUTH" (verses 9-14).
Wow!! Not at all the way that most think a minister of the
Gospel should act towards people. You mean he must use SHARP
REBUKE at times? Yes, indeed, such was the teaching of the
He was not yet finished telling it straight about false
ministers. He went on to say that their minds are defiled,
impure, so everything would be impure and defiled that they
taught and lived, the bottom line of it would be so. Oh, they may
come to people looking like an angel of light, outward show and
words can be real deceptive (many have lost their life savings to
men who came to them looking good and speaking sweet words,
making their work and their business deals look so clean and
rosy and righteous), yet the inner side is dark and from the
greatest deceiver of all - see 2 Cor.11:13-15).
Paul said that such, "Profess that they KNOW God, but in
works they DENY him, being ABOMINABLE, and DISOBEDIENT, and unto
every (real) good work REPROBATE" (verses 15-16).
As Jesus said, you shall know them by their fruits. If you
have your nose in the Bible and you yourself are trying to live
by every word of God, you will soon know who the false ministers
are and who are the true servants of the Most High.
Paul gives so much good instruction in the first half of
this chapter that we need to read it from the Amplified Bible:
"But (as for) you, teach what is fitting and becoming to
sound (wholesome) doctrine (the character and right living
that identify true Christians).
Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious),
sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the
love, and in the steadfastness and patience (of Christ).
Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in
their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service,
not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good
counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble.
So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane
and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their
husbands and their children. To be self-controlled, chaste,
home-makers, good-natured (kindhearted) adapting and
subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of
God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or
In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained
and to behave prudently (taking life seriously).
And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a
model of good deeds and works, teaching what is
unadulterated, showing gravity (having the strictest regard
for truth and purity of motive), with dignity and
And let your instructions be sound and fit and wise and
wholesome, vigorous and irrefutable and above censure, so
that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing
discrediting or evil to say about us.
(Tell) bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to
be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. (Warn them)
not to talk back or contradict. Nor to steal by taking
things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal
and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in
everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the
teaching (which is) from and about God our Savior" (verses
While most of the above instructions from Paul is self
evident, as to what is true Christianity in action, words, and
attitude, I do want to give some emphasis to the section
concerning women, the young and the old. Why? Not because they
above men need some special help in living, no not at all. Men
need just as much help in living rightly. I want to give emphasis
to the women because they so often get neglected in many of the
Churches of God (which is a shame upon the church of Christ).
Women have a VERY IMPORTANT part to play in the life of the
Christian community and body of Christ. More important than many
realize. They are usually the first teachers of the children.
They should be a main-stay and pillar of the family. And notice,
Paul says the older women are to teach the younger women, and he
lists some very crucial areas of life that need to be taught to
the younger women. There is nothing here about the "ministry"
doing all this kind of teaching to the younger women. The
minister is NOT to be the end-all, the know-all, the instructor
of all, in the body of Christ. The older WOMEN have a mighty
instructional role to play in the church. It is time that the
ministry SHOUT this out to God's people .... the OLDER WOMEN ARE
TO BE INSTRUCTORS OF RIGHTEOUS LIVING TO THE YOUNGER WOMEN.
The minister of God need to get some things clearly straight
in his mind, and this is one of them, he is not to be the
instructor of certain areas of life to the younger women, the
OLDER women are to do this!
And the minister of the Lord needs to remember the
instructions of Paul as found in 1 Corinthians 14:35 (first
half). If women have questions about anything raised in the
theological world of church service, "when you come together"
(1 Cor.14:26), they are to ASK THEIR HUSBANDS AT HOME. They are
not to run off to the minister for answers, and the minister is
not to think he is the all-in-all answering machine for every
person in the congregation. Husbands then are to be up-on-things
so to speak, they are to be theologically on-top-of-things.
How these two sides of the church have been abused and
neglected by some parts of the body of Christ down through the
ages, is a disgrace. I have lived through the workings of a
religious organization that thought the Elder or Elders were the
cat's-meow, the film-stars, the Encyclopedia par-excellence, for
all members to come to for all knowledge, advice, and counsel, on
We have just seen where in two passages, Paul puts such a
vain idea into the trash basket of theological hog-wash.
You older women have a VERY important ministry within the
working of the body of Christ, and so do you husbands.
Paul proceeds from his above instructions of Christian
living in different aspects for different persons, into the
wonderful grace and salvation given to us from God the Father
through Jesus Christ. That alone should make us want to live
according to the will and holiness of the Father. The blessing of
having forgiveness of sin by grace through faith in Christ Jesus,
should turn us away from ungodliness, worldly passions, and want
us to live temperate, self-controlled, upright, spiritually whole
And all of that will automatically have us looking for the
realization of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great
God and Savior Jesus the Messiah. He was the one who redeemed us,
bought us back, purchased us, and gave us freedom from our sins,
in order to purify for Himself a people who would be zealous and
enthusiastic about living a life filled with good deeds in
service to others, and a holy life pleasing to God.
Titus was to remind the Christians he came in contact with
about these things. He was to urge them, encourage them, even
rebuke with authority at times. Paul told him to let no man
despise or disregard or think little of him. Titus was to conduct
himself in life and teachings as to deserve respect (verses 11-
Titus was to tell the brethren to be good citizens, to
respect in the main the societies we live in. And to be ready to
do good works. Christians should be "good works people" - helping
and serving others, in various ways, that are within our means,
budgets, natural abilities, and talents.
Again, these words by Paul about being "subject to
principalities, and powers, to obey magistrates" must be taken in
the light of the entire Bible and what is common logic of
Godliness. Christians do not have to respect, obey, submit to the
ways, dictates and rules of government powers such as the Nazi
Government under Hitler and his thugs of Germany and World War
Two mentality. As Peter once said to those who wanted him and the
apostles to live NOT according to God's will, "We ought to obey
God than men" (Acts 5:29).
Verse two has been argued about by some. saying the truth of
the matter about evil teachings or specifically evil persons, and
their evil deeds, should not be done. This can hardly be what
Paul is saying, for he has in his letters to Timothy and Titus
given us NAMES of people and their evil teachings or attitudes
and ways of life. The Greek word for "speak evil" gives us the
answer - it means "slander" "to make false statements about" "to
attribute evil for good."
There are times when the sins and evil of some do need to be
exposed, in no uncertain a manner. We need to be sure we have
the facts straight, and to not say anything that is a false
statement about anyone. Paul puts it all within a context, for he
goes on to say we should not be a contentious person, but to be
forbearing, conciliatory, courteous. Our overall attitude and way
of life is to be showing the attributes of what real love is, as
Paul outlines in 1 Corinthians 13. It is only in rare situations
and under circumstances where there is no other way, that sins
and evil of people are to be openly shown for what they are, and
then you had better be sure it is all correct, so no one is
For the apostle Paul says, in all your doings, remember that
we ourselves "were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another (verses 1-3).
It was after we were sinners that the love of God our Savior
was manifest towards us. It was not because we had done some good
works to deserve His grace, and where He was then obliged to
forgive us our sins, but it was purely through His mercy that He
saved us, by renewing our minds, washing us clean by the Holy
Spirit. Which Holy Spirit was shed on us abundantly through Jesus
Christ our Savior. We were made righteous, forgiven our sins,
justified, by His grace, and so made heirs according to the hope
of eternal life.
Titus was to affirm always that those who believed in God
were to maintain good works, which would be profitable unto men.
Titus was to avoid foolish questions, endless debates on
genealogies, contentious talk, silly striving about the law, for
such was only unprofitable and vain.
But as is human nature, some people love to get into
contentious debates that are useless in spiritual edification,
and only produce some sort of human vanity in the mind of those
so engaged in those types of conversations.
Such attitudes of mind and conversations usually lead to
some getting way off beam, way out in left field, bringing in
ideas and teachings that are from planet Pluto. It does happen in
the Churches of God at times. Such people become "heretics" - so
serious can it be that if not stopped it will rise to divisions
and sects within the church. Paul instructed Titus to admonish a
few times such individuals, but after the THIRD admonition, they
were to be rejected. This was serious sin and subversity, open
enough that the person was condemned of himself.
We are hear speaking of "church disfellowshipment" and I
have covered that subject in some detail on the same named
subject on this Website.
Paul desired Titus to come to him at Nicopolis, where Paul
was going to stay for the winter. Titus was to help in some way
to bring Zenas the lawyer and Appolos on their journey, so they
lacked nothing they needed for their travels. Others both Titus
and Paul knew, were to maintain good works, so they would not be
All that were with Paul sent greetings to Titus. Those that
loved Paul and those with him were to be greeted.
Paul finishes with, "Grace be with you all. Amen"
Written November 2006