Part 7 of Titus – “Are you saved?”- it’s a question that is often greeted with amusement or even derision in our contemporary culture, but it is at the core of the Christian message-the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16). In our passage this morning, Paul expounds the six dimensions of this central truth that God saved us.
Part 6 of Titus – The gospel that Paul preached is truth that leads to godliness (Titus 1:1). It is the good news of God’s grace at work in Jesus Christ to purify a people for himself who will be his special possession, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14). Paul instructed Titus to “teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1), and in our passage this morning Paul continues to instruct Titus (and us) about what such teaching entails. Here the focus is on what that good we are to be eager to do looks like as we live in the world.
Part 5 of Titus – Perhaps the most common religious belief in America affirms simply that a distant God who wants us to be happy expresses some vague desire that we try to “be good.” In social science circles this is known as “moralistic therapeutic deism” (or MTD). The Apostle Paul would have know that MTD is not by any means the Christian message, and our passage this morning clearly distinguishes such “mere moralism” from the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ours is a message of salvation by God’s grace. This morning we consider what that grace has to teach us.
Part 4 of Titus – In contrast to the false teachers, Titus is to teach what is “in accord with sound doctrine”—the healthy doctrine of the apostolic gospel. This truth ought to lead to good lives which show forth a moral beauty—making the teaching of the gospel attractive. Truth leads to goodness which leads to beauty—and God is glorified!
Part 3 of Titus – Paul’s concern in writing to Titus was to strengthen the young churches that had been planted on the island of Crete. He wanted to see them be healthy and sound. As we saw last week, he directed Titus to appoint godly leaders who “would hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that [they] can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (1:9). His focus in our passage today on “those who oppose it”—false teachers in the church.
Part 2 of Titus – To establish this young church in Crete and to protect it from false teachers, Paul instructs Titus to appoint leaders. The criteria he gives to guide Titus in this choice may not be what would expect, but they instruct us about what is most important in a church leader.
Part 1 of Titus – Paul had planted a new church on the island of Crete, but he left the work unfinished. In this letter the Apostle commissions Titus to put what remained in order and to appoint godly leaders. As an introduction to this task, Paul introduces us to himself and to his message.