Series: Best Book In the BibleEvery Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver. The Best Book in the Bible series will provide entry points into faithful study and encourage you to fall in love with various books of the Bible.
It is always a challenge: How is the church to live in the world? What are the responsibilities of church leaders? What is the required character of church members? These are answered in Paul’s short letter to Titus.
Main themes: leadership, godly living
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12)
“But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4-5)
Paul’s letter to Titus is often included with 1 & 2 Timothy under the heading of “The Pastoral Epistles” due to their similar themes. It is one of the shorter books of the Bible—only 46 verses in our English translations—but it packs a wallop of a punch both doctrinally and practically. It’s as if Paul scraped out all of his theology from his other letters and squeezed it into this letter to his young disciple.
Chapter 1 includes one of the longest introductions of any New Testament letter, which functions as Paul’s mission statement. From there, he charges Titus with the task of setting the church in order by appointing qualified leaders. After dealing with the problems in the Cretan church, Paul presses in on the importance of dealing with offenders in the church.
Chapter 2 starts out almost like a manifesto for discipleship. In verses 2-10, he deals with every member of a normal household: older men and women, younger men and women, and slaves. He instructs them on the importance of godly living for the sake of witness. Following a quick word about Christian ethic, Paul launches into one of two theological discourses of the book in (2:11-14).
Chapter 3 transitions into the believer’s responsibility toward governmental powers, as well as to other people. It answers the question: How are we to live in the world? Following this is Paul’s second doctrinal section (3:4-7). He concludes with a personal word to church members regarding division and proper service
What Makes This Book So Great:
This book is incredibly valuable to all those seeking a guide to church leadership and godly living. Titus, being one of Paul’s closest disciples, no doubt sat under the broad breadth of his teaching, but needed to be reminded of what he had already learned. This letter provides a jolt in the arm for any pastor, teacher, or discipler who needs encouragement and reaffirmation of that which is most important. It functions almost as a “main menu” that points you in various directions for further exploration. Truly, each phrase is power-packed and worthy of meditation.
On a personal note, this is the book that propelled me into systematic book-by-book Bible study several years ago. For a whole month, I studied nothing but Titus, and it was one of the richest experiences I’ve had in Bible study. While no book is ever “mastered”, I sure did feel like I knew it really well. And that initial study has continued to serve me well in leadership. Titus is truly my favorite book of the Bible!
Titus can easily be read slowly in about 15 minutes. Read through it several times, noting Paul’s language and theology. Try and get a feel for the rhythms of the letter, and then do a paragraph-by-paragraph study on your own using various resources. Try and memorize 2:11-14 and 3:4-7!
- John MacArthur, Titus. Chicago: Moody, 1996.
A verse-by-verse commentary that is helpful for any thinking student.
- Andreas J. Kostenberger and Terry L. Wilder, Entrusted With the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. B&H Academic, 2010.
This is a collection of well-researched articles written to explore the rich theology of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.
- Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
One of the best scholarly treatments of the Pastoral Epistles in print today.
Note: Find the rest of the Best Book in the Bible series here: EntreatingFavor.com/BestBookSeries