Timothy and Titus both had an unwavering loyalty to the gospel and a willingness to go on difficult missions. They both had a high regard for their friend and superior Paul. The two were different personalities. Titus seemed to have more leadership qualities while Timothy was more a follower. Titus could take orders, but he also had initiative to proceed on his own. He had more the aggressiveness of Paul.
Titus does not appear by name in the book of Acts, but his name is found thirteen times in other parts of the New Testament. It appears twice in Galatians (2:1,3), once in 2 Timothy (4:10), once in Titus (1:4) and nine times in 2 Corinthians (2:13; 7:6.13.14; 8:6,16,23; 12:18[twice]).
Titus, who received this epistle had been acquainted with Paul for at least fifteen years. He was a Gentile converted at Antioch in early days. His conversion was so convincing he was an example of the Gentile believers when Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem over the challenge of the Judaizers, (Gal .2:1,3). Titus was a Greek and the Judaistic party demanded that he be circumcised. Paul refused to yield on the matter. The decision of the council in Jerusalem was that Gentiles could come into the church on the basis of faith in Christ and there was no requirement to keep the Jewish law. It was a victory for Christian liberty and a great day for the advancement of Christianity.
It appears that Titus was with Paul during his third missionary journey for he acted as Paul's representative in the time of the Corinth church's rebellion. He successfully brought them back to penitence and loyalty, (2 Cor.7:6-16). He travelled about Macedonia collecting the funds that Paul was raising . He probably was included in the "us" of Acts 20:5, although his name does not appear in Acts. The last time he is alluded to in the New Testament is when it indicates he had gone to Dalmatia (2 Tim.4:10).
The church in Crete was in a mess. They were disorganized and the members were careless in their behaviour. Chapter 2 indicates that the men were lax and careless, older women were gossips and winebibbers, while the young women were idle and flirtatious. They may have felt that by embracing the gospel of grace with salvation by faith there was no need for an industrious and ethical life. This short book six times stresses good works for the Christians, (1:16; 2:7,14: 3:1,8,14). It is made clear that salvation is not by good works but that believers must maintain good works.
The problem had been caused by ethical laxity and the natural tendencies of the Cretans (1:12,13). Added to that where the disputations over Jewish fables and commandments that were promoted by a group of Judaizers, (1:10). These Judaizers were godless (1:16), unruly (1:10), divisive (1:11) and mercenary (1:11). The error of these Judaizers was different than those of Galatia. The Galatian Judaizers were legalists whereas these were morally perverse. Both forms were condemned by the epistle to Titus.
This book, like those to Timothy (especially 1 Timothy), was written to counsel a disciple in a difficult pastoral situation.
1. The book contains 3 chapters consisting of 46 verses.
2. The author of Titus is the apostle Paul. His signature appears in 1:1 and the style of writing is the same as the other two Pastoral Epistles.
3. The date of the writing of this epistle is A.D. 64 or 65.
4. The book was written from Macedonia by Paul after he had been released from his first Roman imprisonment. Paul was once again active and travelling when he wrote this Epistle.
The theme is good order in government and conduct. There needs to be proper doctrine but good works must be maintained.
Christ is seen as the one who appoints the leadership of the church, the Saviour and our coming Saviour.
The key words are sound doctrine, good works, and order.
Tit. 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto all men.
Tit. 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.
1. Paul wrote to give Titus advice on how to care for the churches.
2. Paul wrote to urge Titus to come to him.
3. It was written to correct careless living.
4. It was given to correct doctrinal errors.
5. Titus was instructed to avoid genealogies, contentions about the law and strivings.
Events and Characters
Paul encourages Titus in his introduction by speaking of the power of the gospel and reminding him of their relationship. His task was to put qualified leadership in place that the church might have stability. There were those who went about attempting to disrupt the church and Titus was to draw these things into order. Instruction was given about the conduct of the older men and women as well as young men and women.
Servants were to be obedient and honest so as to bring honour to the Saviour. Grace has come in salvation, but it teaches one to live a godly life, not a careless one. We have been redeemed as a special people so we should demonstrate that by our works.
Governmental authorities are to be respected. Christians are not to speak evil of each other remembering that the sins they so despise were at one time attached to them. Foolish questions are to be avoided. A divisive person is to be rejected.
Lessons to Remember
1. A church is in chaos without proper leadership.
2. Those who deceive and disrupt the flock of God need to be stopped.
3. Sound doctrine is action as well as theory.
4. We are to be honest even when we think our employer is unfair.
5. We are to be obedient to the civil authorities over us.
6. We are to be zealous to be involved in good works.
7. We are to separate ourselves from those who cause division, contentions and strivings about genealogies and law.
I Salutation 1:1 - 4
II Qualifications of Elders 1:5 - 9
III Warning Against False Teachers 1:10 - 16
IV Instructions for Various People 2:1 - 3:11
V Personal Conclusion 3:13 - 15
I Salutation - Source of Sound Doctrine 1:1 - 4
II The Administration of Sound Doctrine 1:5 - 16
A. The Appointment of Elders 1:5 - 9
B. The Exposure of False Teachers 1:10 - 16
III The Preaching of Sound Doctrine 2:1 - 15
A. Application 2:1 - 10
1. To aged men 2:1 - 2
2. To aged women 2:3 - 4
3. To young women 2:4 - 5
4. To young men 2:6
5. To himself 2:7 - 8
6. To slaves 2:9 - 10
B. Definition 2:11 - 15
IV Counselling by Sound Doctrine 3:1 - 11
V Concluding Salutations 3:12 - 15
The letter to Philemon was about a man named Onesimus. Paul calls Philemon dearly beloved and a fellow labourer (1). The language indicates a friendship that had already been formed. Verses 19 - 21 imply that Philemon was one of Paul's converts. When we look at Colossians 4:9 we see that Philemon lived at Colosse. He was a freeman, and a slave owner. It follows then that he was of a higher social class and probably a leader in the church. Paul mentions the church in his house (2). He also in verse 2 mentions Apphia and Archippus and it is believed that these are his wife and son. Paul had not visited Colosse so it is most likely that Philemon was influenced by Paul on a visit to Ephesus when Paul was there for three years, (Ephesus was 120 miles to the west of Colosse). There was much travel between Ephesus, and other major centres such as Colosse. It is quite probable that Archippus, Philemon's son was pastor at Colosse or Laodicea (Col.4:17).
Onesimus was being sent back to his owner Philemon at Colosse. It has been suggested that Onesimus had run away and was now being returned. He had absconded with some of his master's property and gone to Rome to lose himself in the crowds of that great city. Onesimus, had come into contact with Paul and was converted. Paul recognized that the wrong Onesimus had done must be made right, so he sent him back to his master with this letter, requesting that he receive forgiveness. Paul offered to make good the financial loss this Colossian business man had suffered. Paul sent Onesimus from Rome with Tychicus who was delivering the letter to the Colossians, (Col.4:7-9). They also carried this private letter to Philemon.
The letter of Philemon is short but of unique interest. It is the only private letter of Paul's to come down to us. It does not contain fancy phraseology but is an example of tactfully handling a sensitive matter, the master/slave situation. It shows Christian principle being applied to social relationships.
1. The book contains 1 chapter of 25 verses.
2. The author of the book is unquestionably the apostle Paul.
3. The date of the writing of the book is between A.D.60 - 65 with a date of A.D. 61 being very probable.
4. It was written at the same time and under the same circumstances as Ephesians and Colossians. It is one of the four prison epistles. It was written from the Mamertine Prison in Rome during Paul's first Roman imprisonment.
The theme of the book is restitution and forgiveness.
Christ is seen as the controller of the destiny of His servants, the one who levels all ranks of society, and provides true liberty.
The key words are faith, saints, (un)profitable, and brother.
Phlm. 1:10,12 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus whom I have begotten in my bonds: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is mine own bowels:
1. The main purpose was to tell of the conversion of Onesimus.
2. Another primary purpose of the letter was to ask Philemon to forgive Onesimus.
3. Paul also wrote to have Philemon prepare for his coming.
Events and Characters
After his greeting Paul commends Philemon for his love and faith and ministry to the saints. He then proceed to intercede for Onesimus who had been an unprofitable slave but was now changed by the gospel. Paul would like to have had Onesimus serve him but it would not be proper to do so since he belonged to Philemon. He was now a brother so could be received as Philemon would receive Paul himself. Paul offers to reimburse Philemon for any shortfall that Onesimus caused. He does remind Philemon of the great debt he has to Paul because of his ministry to him. He then expresses confidence that Philemon will do more than Paul requested. Paul hopes to be released and come for a visit.
Lessons to Remember
1. God will find us no matter where we try to hide.
2. It is important to have mercy on the lowly.
3. Conversion to Christ does not relieve us of the responsibilities for our failures prior to conversion.
4. We are brothers and sisters in Christ first, nationality and social distinction are much lower down.
5. We owe a great debt to those who brought us the gospel.
I Introduction 1 - 7
II Appeal 8 - 21
III Conclusion 22 - 25
I Salutation - The Family 1 - 3
II The Fellowship 4 - 7
III The Favour 8 - 20
IV The Farewells 21 - 25
Feed Yourself Students:
Before the next lesson arrives do the following:
1. Read through the Book of Hebrews 2 times.
2. Write down everything you learn of Christ's work and actions.