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READING: Titus 1-3 – Good Works & Sound Doctrine

Except for Philemon, Titus is the shortest of Paul’s epistles. Paul calls Titus “my loyal child in the faith we share.”  

There are two major themes in this book: the importance of good works and sound, healthy, doctrine or teaching. He charges Titus to appoint elders in every town. He talks about the sort of man to appoint. “He must have a firm grasp of the trustworthy word in accordance with the teaching, so he may preach with sound doctrine and refute those who contradict it.” 

In Crete there were rebellious people, especially Jews, who needed silencing. One of their own said, “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” Paul said, “That testimony is true.” They needed sharp rebuke, “so that they may become sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths.” 

Sound doctrine = healthy teaching. Without healthy teaching a church will not function as the Lord intends. Chapter two has much healthy teaching. Older men must be temperate, serious, prudent, and have healthy faith, love and endurance. Older women must be reverent, not slanderers, or “slaves to drink.” They were to teach what is good, and “encourage young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, being submissive to their husbands, so that God’s word may not be discredited.” Misbehavior is detrimental to the gospel! 

These admonitions overlap, for all ought to have the principles of sound teaching. Young men also need self-control. Titus himself was to be a “model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured.” Slaves were to be submissive to their masters. They were “not to talk back, nor to pilfer, but to show complete fidelity, that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.” Good behavior helps spread the gospel! 

I discovered grace when I began to understand Titus 2:11-15. Grace is not license to sin; instead, it teaches us “to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.” We do not wait until the Lord returns to become righteous and godly. “He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us and purify for himself a people who are zealous for good deeds.” 

In chapter three Paul says to remind the church of the basics of Christian living as he also reminds them of how all formerly lived. When “the goodness and loving kindness of God appeared, He saved us, not because of works of righteousness we had done, but according to His mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” 

Paul tells Titus to insist on these things (that God has done), “so believers will be eager to devote themselves to good works.”  

Paul closes his admonitions by saying, “Avoid stupid controversies” for they are “unprofitable and useless.”  

After two admonitions, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions. 



Father, I pray that I may always be eager to do good works because of what You, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have done to save me, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we pay close attention to Paul’s instructions to Titus that he be careful to stress the things that will make us eager to do good works. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

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