Titus 1:1-16 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Hold Firmly to the Trustworthy Message
Comments for Study 1

Titus 1:1-16
Memory Verse: 13

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I. Greetings (1-4)

>1. Who is the sender of this letter?

* Titus 1:1 "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness--"

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>How does he identify himself?

* "a servant of God "

* "an apostle of Jesus Christ"

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>Why has he been appointed these?

* "for the faith of God's elect"

* "the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness"

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>2. What does our faith and knowledge of Jesus rest on? (2)

* Titus 1:2 "a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,"

* "resting on the hope of eternal life,"

* "which God, who does not lie"

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>When did God give us this?

* "promised before the beginning of time"

* Titus 1:3 "and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,"

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>What are some of God's promises to us? (Matt. 28:18-20; John 8:24, 11:25-26, 14:3)

* Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

* John 8:24 "I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins."

* John 11:25-26 "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

* John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

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>3. Who is the recipient, how is he identified, and how did he hear the gospel?

* Titus 1:4 "To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior."

* "Titus, my true son in our common faith"" -Titus was a Gentile companion with Paul and at times traveled by himself. (2 Cor. 2:13, 7:6-7, 7:13-14, 8:6, 8:16-24, 12:18; 2 Tim. 4:10) Paul calls him a "true son in our common faith" in this letter. (Titus 1:4) This is assumed to be in the spiritual sence, not the physical sence. We are not told when Titus came to accept Jesus as his savior, though we can assume since he calls his "son" Paul preaching lead to his converstion. Later, Paul left him in Crete to oversee the church there. (Titus 1:5) He was left there during Paul's fourth missionary trip. Paul's fourth ministry was after the events recording in Acts.

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>Where can we obtain grace and peace?

* "Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior"

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>Why list both, why that order, and what does this personally mean to you?

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II. Titus' Task at Crete (5-16)

>4. Where was Crete? (Acts 22:5-12)

* Titus 1:5 "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you."

* Acts 27:5-12 "When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, "Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest."

* "Crete" -An island in the Mediterranean Sea south of Greece and North of Libya. After Paul was arrested in Jerusalem he was sent to Rome. They traveled via ship. They sailed south of the island. Paul wanted to stay because of the coming winter weather. However, the sailors convinced the Roman guards to try to make their way to Italy.

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elders and deacons

>Why did Paul leave Titus there?

* "straighten out what was left unfinished"

* "appoint elders in every town"

* "elders"

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>What can we learn by the fact that elders had not yet been appointed?

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>Does Paul's comment in verse 5 imply that every Christian congregation needs elders?

* "unfinished"

* "as I directed you"

* 1 Timothy 5:17 "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching."

* Revelation 4:4 "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads."

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>5. What are some requirements for elders and explain the need for each one? (6, 7b-8)

* Titus 1:6 "An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient."

* Titus 1:7b-8 "he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined."

* "must be blameless"

* "the husband of but one wife"

* "a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient"

* "he must be blameless"

* "not overbearing"

* "not quick-tempered"

* "not given to drunkenness"

* "not violent"

* "not pursuing dishonest gain"

* "Rather he must be hospitable"

* ""one who loves what is good"

* "who is self-controlled, upright"

* "holy and disciplined"

>What is another title of an elder? (7a)

* Titus 1:7a "Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work"

* "an overseer"

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>What are they entrusted with?

* "entrusted with God's work"

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>6. How should an elder view God's word? (9)

* Titus 1:9 "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."

* He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message"

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>What should an elder remember about where they received God's word?

* "as it has been taught"

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>Why is an understanding important

* "so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine"

* "refute those who oppose it"

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>What does this tell us about the core of God's work for an elder?

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>7. What is a constant threat to Christian congregations? (10)

* Titus 1:10 "For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group."

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>Who was the circumcision group that was a threat in Paul and Titus' day? (Acts 15:5, 19-21; Gal. 5:6-12)

* "the circumcision group"

* Acts 15:5 "Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

* Acts 15:19-21 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

* Galatians 5:6-12 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!"

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>What was the task of the elders in regard to false teachers and teachings? (11)

* Titus 1:11 "They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain."

* "They must be silenced"

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>Why?

* "because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach"

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>What does this tell us about the core groups in a congregation?

* "households"

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>8. What is the meaning behind the statement in verse 12 and who is it directed to?

* Titus 1:12 "Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."

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>What is the hope a sharp rebuke will do to the Cretans?

* Titus 1:13-14 "This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth."

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>why might Jewish myths seem important and why are they told? (John 4:22; Rom. 9:4-5)

* "Jewish myths"

* "or to the commands of those who reject the truth"

* John 4:22 "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews."

* Romans 9:4-5 "the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen."

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>What can we learn so that no one is not lead astray? (Heb. 4:12; and 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

* Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

* 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

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>9. Who are the pure and the corrupted? (15)

* Titus 1:15 "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted."

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>What is a difference between the two?

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>10. What is a belief that the corrupted obtain claim and what do they mean by this claim? (16)

* Titus 1:16 "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."

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>How can we tell if their claim is true?

* "by their actions they deny him"

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>What kind of people are they in God's sight even though on the outside they seem pious?

* They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good

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