Evening Bible Study
The history recorded in the book of Acts ends around AD 60, with Paul still
being confined to an apartment, under house arrest, in Rome. Church tradition
has it that Paul was soon afterwards released from arrest and allowed to
We can piece together some of what happened to Paul from the last letters
that he wrote.
After having been released from imprisonment in Rome, Paul visited Ephesus
(1Tim. 1:3), and left Timothy there to run the work.
(1 Timothy 1:3
NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus …
Paul then went on to Macedonia (northern Greece), and writes his first
letter to Timothy (AD 63).
Then Paul went on to the island of Crete, leaving Titus in charge there.
(Titus 1:5 NKJV) For this
reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are
Paul’s next stop was Nicopolis in Achaia
(southern Greece) and wrote to Titus (AD 63-64) (Tit. 3:12).
(Titus 3:12 NKJV) …be diligent
to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to
spend the winter there.
We’re not sure about whether Titus met with Paul in Nicopolis,
but we do know that Titus would go on to Dalmatia (modern Serbia) where he
would raise 101 dogs (just kidding) before eventually heading back to Crete.
(2 Timothy 4:10
NKJV) …Titus for Dalmatia.
Paul then went to Troas (2Tim. 4:13), where he was rearrested, sent to
Rome, write 2Timothy, and eventually beheaded (AD 66-67).
: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
:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time
: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.
That’s one long run-on sentence.
:1 a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ
servant – doulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile
apostle – apostolos – a delegate, messenger, one sent forth
This is how Paul sees himself – both as a slave of God, as well as one who
has been sent on a mission by Jesus Christ.
:1 according to the faith of God’s elect
Paul’s calling was to stir up faith in the people God has chosen.
(Titus 1:1 HCSB) …to build up
the faith of God’s elect…
according – kata
[kata] expresses the aim of Paul’s
apostleship, not the standard by which he was chosen (Robertson)
:1 and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness
acknowledgment – epignosis –
precise and correct knowledge
The word speaks of a fuller, clearer, more thorough knowledge.
Paul’s calling is to help people become intimately acquainted with real truth, truth that leads to a holy, pure, godly
godliness – eusebeia – reverence, respect; piety towards
When Paul talks about our being saved by grace through faith, some go too
far and say that there should never be talk about works, or the kind of life a
person should be living who comes to follow Jesus.
Don’t misunderstand me here – our salvation depends solely upon the
finished work of Christ for us.
All we need to do in order to find eternal life is
to believe – to put our trust in Jesus.
And yet when we come to trust in Jesus, there will be a change in our life.
NKJV) —8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are
His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
beforehand that we should walk in them.
A person who has come to trust in Jesus will find himself
changing from the inside out.
God has brought us out of darkness and into light.
A changed life looks like a life of good works.
But we don’t do good works to be saved, we do good works
because we’ve been changed.
:2 in hope of eternal life
Paul’s gospel is to bring people the hope that comes with finding eternal
life through Jesus Christ.
:2 which God, who cannot lie
Paul drops a little phrase here that reminds us of a character quality of
God does not lie. He cannot lie.
cannot lie – apseudes (“not” + “lie”) – without lie, truthful
NKJV) “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of
man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not
make it good?
:2 promised before time began
promised – epaggello – to announce that one is about to do
or furnish something; to promise (of one’s own accord) to engage voluntarily
before time began – literally, “before time eternal”
time – chronos – time either long or short
began – aionios – without beginning and end, that which
always has been and always will be
God has always had a plan of salvation, even before creation.
Jesus is known as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev.
NKJV) …the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
:3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching
manifested – phaneroo – to make manifest or visible or known
what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in
any other way
time – kairos – due measure; a measure of time, a
larger or smaller portion of time
due – idios – pertaining to one’s self, one’s own,
belonging to one’s self
preaching – kerugma – that
which is proclaimed by a herald or public crier, a proclamation by herald; in
the NT the message or proclamation of the heralds of God or Christ
This truth of God’s salvation that has been present since before creation
is now being made obvious through the practice of “preaching” or “proclaiming”
that good news.
:3 which was committed to me
This is what Paul’s main mission has been – preaching the gospel.
:4 To Titus, a true son
Titus – Titos – “nurse”; a Gentile Christian an Paul’s companion in some of his journeys
true – gnesios – legitimately born, not spurious;
true, genuine, sincere
son – teknon – offspring, children; child
common – koinos – common; common i.e. ordinary,
belonging to generality; by the Jews, unhallowed, profane, Levitically
We often think of Timothy as being Paul’s “son” in the faith.
Paul had quite a few men that he not only brought to Jesus,
but had discipled and mentored.
All we know about Titus is through the fragments mentioned of him in Paul’s
letters (not in Acts), though we have more than a few mentions of him.
It would seem that Titus might even predate Paul’s relationship with Timothy, and may have been older than Timothy.
The earliest mention of Titus is in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Paul was talking about his conversion, and years later attending the first
major church conference held in Jerusalem in AD 50.
The purpose of this council was to decide whether or not
Gentile converts should be circumcised or not.
The details of the conference are in Acts 15 (though Titus isn’t
mentioned by name).
NKJV) —1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with
Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went
up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel
which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of
reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. 3 Yet not even
Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
Titus is called a “Greek”, meaning he was not a
It has been suggested that Titus may have come to Christ
in the early days of the church in Antioch, Syria.
Titus became the “test case” for that church council –
they didn’t require Titus to become circumcised.
Titus is also mentioned nine more times in Paul’s second letter to the
Paul had some rough situations to deal with among the Corinthians, and
Titus was one of Paul’s men on the scene.
Paul had sent Titus to Corinth after the first letter, to make sure that
the Corinthians were responding properly to Paul’s concerns for them.
Paul was expecting Titus to meet back up with him as Paul
was heading towards Corinth, and for a time, it seemed like they might meet in
Corinthians 2:12–13 NKJV) —12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach
Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 I had no
rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave
of them, I departed for Macedonia.
So Paul finally moved on from
Troas and met up with Titus in Macedonia.
Corinthians 7:5–7 NKJV) —5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our
bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts,
inside were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the
coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which
he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning,
your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.
When Paul got Titus’ report of how things were going in
Corinth, he was greatly encouraged.
Paul then sends Titus back to Corinth to encourage them to
do like the other churches have been doing, and
contribute funds to help the poor in Jerusalem.
Corinthians 8:6 NKJV) So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete
this grace in you as well.
Several more times Paul mentions Titus’ name to the
Corinthians in connection with the handling of this offering.
When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he calls Titus:
“his brother” (2Cor. 2:13)
(2 Corinthians 2:13
NKJV) I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my
brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
“partner” and “fellow worker” (2Cor. 8:23)
(2 Corinthians 8:23
NKJV) If anyone inquires about Titus, he
is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are
inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
: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—
:5 I left you in Crete
The only other time in the Bible that Crete is mentioned is in Acts 27,
when Paul sails by it on his way to Rome.
Even though Paul mentions in 2Timothy 4:10 that Titus would go to Dalmatia
(modern Serbia), but the early church historian Eusebius (320 AD) records that
Titus’ main calling was to be the bishop over all the churches in Crete.
Video: Crete Map
The island of Crete is long and narrow.
It’s 160 miles east to west, and its widest point is 35 miles across
(north to south). It’s highest mountain peek is Mount Ida, over 8,000 feet high.
Today, Crete is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece with
over 2 million visitors a year. It has a population of 600,000.
Crete was a place with lots of history.
The Minoans are thought to be one of the oldest European cultures.
There was a royal palace in Knossos there built before the time of the
The Minoans disappear from history around 1400 BC and were replaced by one
civilization after another.
One suggestion is that the Minoans are related to the place called “Caphtor” in the Old Testament.
Some have suggested that the Philistines were descendants
of these Minoan people, and arrived in the area of
Gaza around the time the Minoans disappeared.
In Greek mythology, the city of Knossos was home to a famous Labyrinth and
Zeus was also supposedly born on Crete.
Crete had a reputation in the ancient Greek world as “liars”.
The Greeks even coined a word, to “cretanize”,
referring to liars.
We’ll see this play into our text next week.
We’re not sure when the churches in Crete were actually established.
There’s no record in Acts of missionaries going to Crete.
Some have suggested that Jews from Crete were there on the day of
Pentecost, and they went home filled with the Holy Spirit, and started
They may have been established on the trip where Paul left Titus in Crete.
:5 that you should set in order the things that are lacking
set in order – epidiorthoo – to
set right; set in order
This is a medical word used to describe the setting of a broken bone. Titus had Paul’s commission to straighten
things out in Crete.
There were some problems in Crete.
Paul wanted Titus to fix what was broken.
It kind of sounds like what Titus had been doing in Corinth.
reason – charin – in favour
of, for the pleasure of; for, for the sake of; on this account, for this cause
left – kataleipo – to leave behind
lacking – leipo – to leave, leave behind, forsake, to
be left behind; to lag, be inferior; to be destitute of, to lack; to be wanting,
:5 appoint elders in every city
appoint – kathistemi – to set, place, put; to set one over a
thing (in charge of it); to appoint one to administer an office
elders – presbuteros – elder, of age,;
among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or churches) The
NT uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably
commanded – diatasso – to arrange, appoint, ordain,
prescribe, give order
I believe there is value in “appointing” people to leadership positions
within the church rather than just asking for volunteers or looking for a
With some churches, positions like “elder” are nominated by the people and
voted on by the people. That can be fine
many times, but sometimes the “popular” person isn’t the one who is close to
I think it’s a mistake sometimes to ask for “volunteers” for important
leadership positions. If I were to
resign as pastor and decided to ask, “who’d like to be pastor now?”, I’d
probably get some interesting responses.
There are some folks who think higher of themselves than they ought and they’d probably be at the head of the line. There are others who don’t think too highly
of themselves, but who may be more better qualified.
In our church, our elders are “nominated” by the pastor. The rest of the board will vote to confirm
the nomination, but the name comes from me.
The board’s vote serves as a check to make sure I haven’t
picked a dud.
You will find that we generally don’t ask for volunteers when it comes to
heading up a ministry. We’ll ask for
volunteers to serve in a ministry, but I believe it’s best that leaders be
What are the qualifications for leadership?
For most ministries, the main qualification is
faithfulness. Can a person be depended
Gifting and talents are good, but faithfulness is best.
Paul will now give Titus a list of what he thinks an elder ought to look
While these qualities apply especially to pastors, there is a sense they
are a kind of goal for all of us, kind of a roadmap to maturity.
This is going to be very similar to the list that Paul
gave Timothy for the elders in Ephesus (1Tim. 3).
In reality, no one fits all of these.
We all will fall short somewhere.
:6 if a man is blameless,
blameless – anegkletos – that cannot be called into account,
Designates one against whom there is no accusation, implying not acquittal
of a charge, but that no charge has been made.
Leaders ought to be people who don’t have a record, at least not since they
came to Christ.
:6 the husband of one wife,
husband of one wife – literally, “a one wife man”
Some might think this is talking about polygamy – that a pastor can’t have
more than one wife.
Others would take this to include divorce and remarriage as well.
:6 having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
:6 having faithful children
This might be talking about children who are “faithful”, who are dependable
and can be counted on.
It could be talking about having children who are believers.
children – teknon – offspring, children
faithful – pistos – trusty, faithful; believing,
confiding, trusting; in the NT one who trusts in God’s promises.
accused – kategoria – accusation, charge
dissipation – asotia – an abandoned, dissolute life;
profligacy, prodigality; reckless and extravagant expenditure, chiefly for the
gratification of one’s sensual desires. It denotes a dissolute, profligate
course of life.
insubordination – anupotaktos – not
made subject, unsubjected; that cannot be subjected
to control, disobedient, unruly, refractory
Paul told Timothy about elders:
(1 Timothy 3:4–5
NKJV) —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?);
The principle is that a man’s church will be a reflection
of his home.
The difficulty with this principle is to know how far to go with it. It’s not uncommon for pastors to have kids
who go astray.
We were just at a pastors’ conference this week and heard
the testimony of Ryan Ries, one of Raul Ries’ sons. He lived
quite a wild, rebellious life, all while Raul was pastoring.
And yet Ryan has now turned his life around.
: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,
:7 a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God
It’s not just important that a bishop be blameless, it’s NECESSARY because
of whom he represents.
must be – dei – it is necessary, there is need of, it
behooves, is right and proper
bishop – episkopos – an overseer; a man charged with the
duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator,
guardian or superintendent; the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a
blameless – anegkletos – that cannot be called into account,
unreproveable, unaccused, blameless; designates one
against whom there is no accusation, implying not acquittal of a charge, but
that no charge has been made.
steward – oikonomos – the manager of household or of
household affairs; esp. a steward, manager, superintendent (whether free-born
or as was usually the case, a freed-man or a slave) to whom the head of the
house or proprietor has intrusted the management of
his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out
the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age
Note: There are different words
used to describe church leadership.
The word “elder” (presbuteros)
(v.5) and “bishop” (episkopos)
(v.7) seem to both be used to describe the same individual and role. Some churches like to split up these words
and apply them to different roles.
An “elder” implies age and wisdom.
“Bishop” refers to oversight, being in charge.
I think they all refer to a “pastor”.
:7 not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine
self-willed – authades (“self” + “pleasure”) – self-pleasing,
self-willed, arrogant, self-satisfied
quick-tempered – orgilos – prone to anger, irascible
Someone has said, “Temper is such a wonderful thing that it’s a shame to
given to wine – paroinos (“alongside”
+ “wine”) – given to wine, drunken
Perhaps not just speaking of alcoholism, but drugs as well.
:7 not violent, not greedy for money
violent – plektes – ready for a blow; a pugnacious,
contentious, quarrelsome person
greedy for money –
aischrokerdes (“filthy” + “gain”) – eager for base
gain, greedy for money
Billy Graham used to warn pastors that the three areas that men will fall
Some have suggested that these are also a roadmap of temptation as men age
In your earlier years, sex is the primary temptation.
As you grow, money becomes the thing.
When you’re older, it’s not sex or money, but power and pride.
:8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good,
hospitable – philoxenos (“love” + “stranger”) – hospitable, generous
a lover of what is good–
philagathos (“love” + “good”) – loving
Someone who loves good things, has an appreciation for good things.
sober-minded – sophron
(“safe” + “mind”) – of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s
desires and impulses, self-controlled
The emphasis isn’t on a lack of wine, it’s a state of mind.
Pay attention – you’re going to see this word, or forms of it, MANY times
in this letter.
1:8 – “sober-minded”
2:2 – “temperate”
(Titus 2:2 NKJV) that the
older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in
2:4 – “admonish”
(Titus 2:4 NKJV) that they admonish
the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
2:5 – “discreet”
(Titus 2:5 NKJV) to be discreet,
chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God
may not be blasphemed.
2:6 – “sober-minded”
(Titus 2:6 NKJV) Likewise,
exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
2:12 – “soberly”
(Titus 2:12 NKJV) teaching us
that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly in the present age,
I kind of get the feeling that this letter to Titus could be called,
“Letter For a Sound Mind”.
Apparently this was quite needed in Crete.
A good picture of this is to see how it’s used in the life of the man,
Legion, after Jesus cast out all the demons.
(Luke 8:26–35 NKJV)
—26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite
Galilee. 27 And when He
stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had
demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but
in the tombs. 28
he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said,
“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High
God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For
it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and
shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the
wilderness. 30 Jesus asked
him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they
begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. 32 Now a herd
of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So
they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.
33 Then the
demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently
down the steep place into the lake and drowned. 34 When those who fed them saw
what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then they
went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from
whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in
his right mind. And they were afraid.
The man was sane. He had control
again over himself.
:8 just, holy, self-controlled,
A “just” man is a guy who does what God wants him to.
A “holy” man acts in a way that all men regard as being “pure”.
A “self-controlled” man is one that can curb his lusts.
just – dikaios – righteous, observing divine laws
holy – hosios – undefiled by sin, free from
wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious;
used of persons or things, describes that which is in harmony with the
divine constitution of the moral universe. Hence, it is that which is in
accordance with the general and instinctively felt idea of right, "what is
consecrated and sanctioned by universal law and consent" (Passow), rather than what is in accordance with any system
of revealed truth.
self-controlled – egkrates (“in” +
“strength”) – strong, robust; having power over, possessed of (a thing);
mastering, controlling, curbing, restraining; controlling one’s self,
: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.
holding fast – antechomai – to
hold before or against, hold back, withstand, endure; to keep one’s self directly
opposite to any one, hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him
faithful word – pistou logou – this is the same phrase translate “faithful
saying” that Paul has used several times with Timothy and Titus. These seem to be the nuggets that Paul is
trying to get his young pastors to keep remembering and putting before their
An elder is one who will pay attention to these “faithful sayings” and hold
on to them, putting them into practice.
We’ll get to one of Titus’ “faithful sayings” in 3:8.
may be able – dunatos – able, powerful, mighty, strong; to be
able (to do something); mighty, excelling in something; having power for
to exhort – parakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for,
summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the
way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
doctrine – didaskalia – teaching, instruction
sound – hugiaino – to be sound, to be well, to be in
good health; metaph. of Christians whose
opinions are free from any mixture of error; of one who keeps the graces and is
who contradict – antilego – to
speak against, gainsay, contradict; to oppose one’s self to one, decline to
obey him, declare one’s self against him, refuse to have anything to do with
to convince – elegcho – to convict, refute, confute; generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted;
to find fault with, correct
One of the ministries of an elder is to be able to refute those who oppose
:9 holding fast the faithful word
An elder needs to be one who knows his doctrine.
He holds to what the Scripture teaches.
He’s able to recognize and deal with the various heretical teachings that
will crop up.
It’s just like what Paul wrote to Timothy:
(2 Timothy 2:24–26
NLT) —24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to
everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently
instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s
hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s
trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
Template for maturity
Look over the things Paul has just listed for Timothy.
These are the “elders”. This is what
maturity should look like.
We’ve all got room to grow.
Are there areas here you need to grow in?