SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth. (Titus 1:1)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
And proclaim as you go, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 10:7)
Titus is a short letter written by the apostle Paul to his disciple Titus, who was church planting on the island of Crete. Titus was a young gentile of Greek descent that was likely converted under the ministry of Paul. This letter was probably written between Paul’s two Roman imprisonments and before 2 Timothy, which was his final letter.
Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, apparently already contained a few churches in its cities, so Paul left Titus there for the purpose of putting them into order and establishing elders. Paul, therefore, wrote to encourage and guide Titus toward fulfilling his goal and purpose. The result is that Paul’s epistle to Titus is a condensed but extremely rich guide for how a church ought to look and act. Interestingly, rather than giving a deep look at church methods, the apostle spends the bulk of his time writing about the importance of each church member’s need for sound doctrine and good works.
We begin the study by viewing Paul’s introduction of himself and his purpose for writing. By calling himself a servant and apostle, we know that he considered himself a slave to God and the mission that God sent him to fulfill. Further, Paul states that God sent him to strengthen the faith and knowledge of Christians in order to lead them toward godliness. Like Paul, we are each slaves of God, sent into the world for a purpose, and called to grow in godly faith and knowledge.
Read verse 1 and discuss the following.
- To begin, Paul refers to himself as a servant of God, which literally means a slave without any rights of his own. Why do Paul and other New Testament writers often call themselves God’s slaves?
- There is some confusion today about what an apostle is (or was). What does it mean to be an apostle? Are there still apostles today?
- Paul’s mission, as an apostle, was to increase the faith and knowledge of God’s elect. Why are faith and knowledge of the truth so important for Christians?
- The apostle concludes the verse by saying that our faith and knowledge of the truth should accord with godliness. Why is godliness a significant fruit of our faith?
ACTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Consider whether Paul’s titles of being a slave and apostle for Christ could also be said of you, and make a list of areas in your life where their fruit is seen.
- Take time to prayerfully consider the godliness of how you live, and ask God to reveal places where growth is needed.