1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Paul is always careful to present his credentials as an apostle of Jesus Christ in virtually all of his letters to prove his identity to his intended audience. One possible reason was that there were many false teachers and other servants of Satan infiltrating the churches during his ministry, teaching twisted and erroneous doctrines, posing as apostles, etc. So by identifying himself as THE apostle Paul they could be assured that this letter was indeed from him.
Some have commented that some of his sentences in his letters are rather lengthy, but remember that the Greek language has no punctuation marks. The punctuation is assumed and the reader (and translator) are expected to provide proper punctuation.
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--
6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
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,
8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
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.
Paul apparently trusted Titus enough to send him to appoint Bishops ("episkopos (Greek - "overseers") in the churches in Crete and sets down the rules for such overseers. Note that the bishops are to be married, the husband of one wife as one of the requirements.
There are some major churches (Roman Catholic, Mormon and others) who violate this rule which places them in direct disobedience to the Scriptures). The priests of the Roman Catholic Church claim that they are married to the Church and therefore are the husband of one wife. However the Scriptures state that the Church is the virgin bride of Jesus Christ, so priests claiming that they are married to the Church gives the Church thousands of husbands. This is the ultimate in bigamy and makes each priest equal with Jesus which is blasphemy.
And if you think about it, if the Church, the bride of Christ consists collectively of all believers in Jesus, and priests are married to the Church, how can they be a husband and his bride at the same time?
Paul speaks of the churches collectively being the bride of Christ when he said to the church at Corinth;
2 CORINTHIANS 11:2
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
And the church of Ephesus;
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or
any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Bishops are to be examples in conduct to the church that they oversee, teaching and caring for the affairs of the church so that the pastor may devote himself to preaching and to counseling the flock under his care.
The reason that bishops are to be married is that caring for the church is like raising a
family, and as Paul wrote to disciple Timothy about the subject;
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-5
1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the
church of God?);
Raising a family is a visible example of the quality of leadership of a man, for if he can guide and control the behavior of his own children, he is qualified to lead the children of God in the church.
10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
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.
16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Sadly this still happens today. Strange and demonic doctrines are being taught in the churches today, taught and preached by teachers and pastors who are ignorant of the Scriptures, people not called to br pastors and preachers, who preach and teach solely for money and recognition..
A church I attended played an audio tale from a woman who was supposedly a "prophetess". The
pastor proclaimed that "most of her prophecies came true", despite God saying;
20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.'
21 And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?'--
22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
I listened to this woman and the Spirit told me she was a false prophet. Her "prophecies" that she made just felt wrong, also. Yet no one else except my wife seemed bothered by her or felt the same way or seemed to know God's commandment listed above.
In another case, I attended a church where the pastor proclaimed that God had told him that He was going to make 12 people in the congregation millionaires, and those wanting to be a millionaire were to stand up. A few people stood and he shouted that he was not going to continue until 12 people stood up. Eventually a dozen people stood, and after telling them again it was God's will to make them rich, he preached his message for that day.
Apparently he was ignorant of Jesus' words of;
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
And Paul's admonition of;
I TIMOTHY 6:7-10
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Being rich is not a sin, but how much you rely on your riches can lead to sin. A rich man depends more on his money than God, the poor rely on God in faith to provide for their daily needs. So who is really the rich man?
As the author of Proverbs requested;
7 Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die):
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches--feed me with the food allotted to me;
9 Lest I be full and deny You, and say, "Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.
For some eye-opening examples of the false teachings and doctrines being taught in the churches, read Hank Hanegraaf's "Counterfeit Revival" in which he describes people jumping like frogs, rolling on the floor, barking like dogs, snapping their teeth, etc. And even worse, they claim this is the power of the Holy Spirit, which is blasphemy against the Spirit, the only sin that will never be forgiven!!!!
Jesus Himself said;
28 "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;
29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation"
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word
of God may not be blasphemed.
Again, Paul admonishes that older men and women be examples to the rest of the flock in Godly behavior and conduct. And for those who might bristle at the idea of women being commanded to be homemakers, Paul was writing to the customs of his time where the men worked and women stayed at home keeping the house.
6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Younger men (especially teens and early adults) have a truly difficult time as they cross the line between youth and maturity. They are beset with worldly temptations, rapidly changing emotions, tossed about by different teachings, trying to find their place in the world.
This is an important time in their lives, and older men being role-models is of vital importance. They can mold the ideas and actions of young men's behaviors without a word, just being an example of righteous living and the fruits of righteous behavior. Mature women can do this as well for young women, teaching them to avoid worldly behaviors which can ruin their lives.
Bondservants (slaves) even though they are believers in the Lord are to serve their masters as if they were serving Jesus, in sincerity and showing them respect. They are not to be dishonest, but to be examples of Godly living, making themselves of great value to their masters and in the sight of God.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
On Earth, we are subject to many trials and temptations. We are at war against a vile, malevolent, merciless enemy who wants nothing more than our destruction out of envy, hatred and a desire to hurt God.
He knows that he will be thrown into the Lake of Fire when Jesus returns and knows that he cannot stop or escape his sentence of eternal torment. He is so corrupted that he cannot and will not repent, and he constantly seeks to corrupt mankind so that they will receive the same sentence at their judgment.
Adam's sin doomed all Mankind to Satan's fate, yet God knew that Adam had been deceived. So in his mercy He sentenced the flesh to destruction as His justice demanded.
But He provided a way for us to escape Satan's punishment, taking His own curse of destruction upon Himself, pouring our sins into His own flesh. When He died, the sins died with Him, but the price of sin still had to be paid, so He willingly suffered in the deepest level of Hell until our sins had been paid for, and then rose from the dead, the Savior of all men, offering the free gift of salvation to all who believe.
Remember, we are eternal creatures, as we live on in the spirit after death, but where we spend eternity depends on our actions here on Earth! If you choose not to serve Jesus and accept His salvation, you have chosen to serve Satan and will share his punishment in the Lake of Fire after your Judgment. There is no 'neutral ground' in this war.
We are at war, and Earth is both our boot-camp and our battlefield. No General sends his troops to fight unless they've been tested and trained, which is why we suffer attacks and trying times. Our spiritual weapons and defense are the Armor of God (found in Ephesians 6), the shield of our faith and the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit.
Satan is a spirit and must be fought with spiritual weapons. Remember that even Jesus
battled Satan during His temptations by countering Satan's attacks with "It is written...", using
the only thing that Satan cannot abide - the truth of God's Word.
For those needing or wanting to know more about Spiritual Warfare, please see the Spiritual Warfare studies in this Web site.
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who
have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and
profitable to men.
We are to be constant examples to those around us, treating each other with kindness, respect and love, just as Jesus treats us. We need to show that Christianity has something different and better to offer than what the rest of the world offers.
We Christians live in a fish bowl so to speak, with the world watching to see if Christianity has something special to offer, and that they may see the hope we bear in this cynical, weary world and want it for themselves.
9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,
11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.
Unfortunately some people are naturally contentious, fighting and disputing over the slightest things. This leads to tensions, bad feelings between individuals, divisions within the church which lead to factions, etc.
We are to warn such individuals twice before rejecting them from the fellowship. This goes along with Jesus' admonition of not casting our pearls before swine;
6 "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Share the Gospel with all people, but there will be those that constantly resist the Gospel message. If after several attempts they continue to resist and become irritated, further trying will enrage them posing a danger to you. Commend them to God and walk away in such cases, and let God deal with them. You have done what Jesus commanded and your part is finished. Keep them in prayer, and move on. Don't disassociate with them entirely, treat them with respect, but don't fellowship with them, or invite them to church functions or to your house.
The apostle John is very blunt about these kinds of people when he said;
2 JOHN 1:9-11
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.:
12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing.
14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Farewell
15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Much of Paul's missionary journeys were made by ship and winter storms were frequent and severe. Luke in the book of Acts tells of being with Paul on ship when a fierce winter storm drove the ship about the Adriatic Sea for two weeks straight, ending when the ship was wrecked on the isle of Malta. Usually ships found a safe harbor in which to winter in until Spring came.
Nicopolis was one such port, situated on the coast of a large bay on the western edge of Greece. Most winter storms came from the Northeast, so Nicopolis would have been a safe winter port for ships.
Paul also urges the church to speed the journeys of those on similar missions, providing for their needs. Apollos was exceptionally well-known as he was described in the Book of Acts as being fervent in spirit and was labeled as "mighty in the Scriptures" and being very useful, confounding the unbelieving Jews, proving Jesus as the Christ.
While small, Paul's epistle to Titus is important as it has information vital to the churches as far as expected conduct of church leaders. Titus also supports Paul's instructions for church conduct in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 3, just as the letter to Timothy supports the instructions given to Titus.
May the Lord provide that the pastors and eldership of His churches follow these instructions so that they may be successful and be pleasing to Him!!!!
Questions? Comments? E:mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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