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Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Outline for Titus

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OUTLINE:

I. The church is an organization, Chapter 1

(As such, it should be orderly [v. 5].)

A. Introduction, vv. 1-4

B. An orderly church must have ordained elders who meet prescribed requirements, vv. 5-9

C. The bad reputation of the Cretans, vv. 10-16

II. The church is to teach and preach the Word of God, Chapter 2

A. The church must teach sound doctrine, vv. 1-10

B. The church must preach the grace of God, vv. 11-15

III. The church is to perform good works, Chapter 3

(To do this, it should be eager, anxious, and learning to perform good works [vv. 1, 8, 14].)

A. Good works are evidence of salvation, vv. 1-7

(The work of the Holy Spirit in contrast to the old life.)

B. Good works are profitable for the present and future, vv. 8-15




COMMENT:

I. The church is an organization, Chapter 1

A. Introduction, vv. 1-4

v. 1 — Paul uses an unusual designation for himself in the Pastoral Epistles (see 1, 2 Timothy). “A servant of God” is a bondslave of God. “Apostle of Jesus Christ” is one called directly of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:1, 12). “According to the faith of God’s elect” — the faith is the body of truth in the New Testament, the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). “Acknowledging” is better translated “knowledge of the truth according to true piety.”

v. 2 — “In hope” is resting upon hope. “Which God, who cannot lie” — see Romans 3:4.

v. 3 — “In due times” is in His own seasons. “Through preaching” is in a proclamation. “Which is committed unto me” is wherewith I was entrusted. Paul puts down a solid basis for his authority as he gives instruction to Titus for the local church.

v. 4 — Titus is another spiritual son of Paul (see CONTRAST in the introductory remarks).

B. An orderly church must have ordained elders who meet prescribed requirements, vv. 5-9

v. 5 — Paul had left Titus in Crete to organize local churches with elders as spiritual leaders. The elders are representatives of the congregations (there was to be more than one). They have spiritual oversight of the churches as well as being teachers of the Word.

vv. 6-9 — “Elder” and “bishop” seem to be synonymous terms. There are some additions and some omissions when compared to the requirements in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (see notes). An elder (v. 7) must not be self-willed, for he is a steward of God as well as a representative of the people. He is in the church to find and to do God’s will. This is a better rendering of v. 9:

Holding fast the trustworthy word according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound teaching and to convict the gainsayers (heretics).

C. The bad reputation of the Cretans, vv. 10-16

v. 10 — “Vain talkers” are empty chatterers.

v. 11 — “Subvert whole houses” is to overthrow whole families.

v. 12 — “One of themselves” refers to Epimenides. To speak like a Cretan meant to lie. “Evil beasts” means that they were rude and cruel. Found in another poem about Crete are these lines:

Crete, which a hundred cities doth maintain,
Cannot deny this, though to lying given.

vv. 13, 14 — Because of their background, Titus was to deal with them severely so they would not turn from the truth to fables.

v. 15 — Ceremonies and rituals cannot change the evil heart of man. Only the Word of God can change a human heart — then a ritual is acceptable.

v. 16 — Paul is saying that faith without works is dead.

II. The church is to teach and preach the Word of God, Chapter 2

A. The church must teach sound doctrine, vv. 1-10

v. 1 — The local church should be conspicuous by the teaching of sound doctrine (the Word of God).

vv. 2-5 — This is for senior citizens. Aged men, among other things, must be sound in the faith. Aged women, among other things, must be teachers of good things. By their experience they are able to instruct the young women, which includes “to love their husbands” and to be “obedient to their own husbands” (which means they are to teach them how to respond to the love of the husband).

v. 5 — “Keepers at home” are workers at home. “Good” is kindly.

v. 6 — Does Paul mean that Titus or the old men are to teach the young men?

vv. 7, 8 — Probably he means Titus, for he, as a young man, is to be an example in many things.

vv. 9, 10 — These are instructions for servants. “Purloining” is to appropriate to one’s own use. The reason that servants are to please their masters is not fundamentally to please their masters, but to adorn the doctrine of God. To please God we must please those to whom we are responsible. The word for “adorn” is kosmosin from which we get the word cosmetic.

B. The church must preach the grace of God, vv. 11-15

(See author’s message, “Grace in Three Time Zones.”)

v. 11 — Past tense: The grace of God hath appeared (epiphany). Over 2000 years ago, He came into human history to establish a spacetime relationship with mankind. He intruded into the stream of humanity — He died and rose again. This is what the grace of God is all about.

v. 12 — Present tense: This is the teaching ministry of Christ that continues through the work of the Holy Spirit (see John 16:12-15). This is practical sanctification.

v. 13 — Future tense: “Looking for” is a continuing expectancy. This is the Rapture, which means the redemption of our bodies. This completes salvation. “The great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ” — this is a clear-cut statement of the deity of Christ.

v. 15 — Titus is to preach these things with authority.

III. The church is to perform good works, Chapter 3

(To do this, it should be eager, anxious, and learning to perform good works [vv. 1, 8, 14].)

A. Good works are evidence of salvation, vv. 1-7

(The work of the Holy Spirit in contrast to the old life.)

v. 1 — The church must have members who are law-abiding. A believer should obey the laws of the land in which he lives — if they do not conflict or contradict his duty and relationship to God. “Ready to every good work” means a preparation and eagerness to perform every good work.

v. 2 — “To speak evil of no man” evidently means evil that is without proof, for Paul calls many evil men by name (see 2 Timothy 1:15; 2:17; 4:14). “Brawlers” means those who start a fight.

v. 3 — This is what the unsaved are and do.

v. 4 — The kindness and love of God provided a Savior for man (John 3:16).

v. 5 — “Works of righteousness” do not save a sinner — because he has none (they are as filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6). “According to his mercy” — God does not save by mercy or love. Love provided a Savior to pay the penalty for sin; now God, who is rich in mercy, can save according to His mercy. He saves by grace which is love in action (Ephesians 2:4-9). “Washing of regeneration” is laver of regeneration (1 John 1:7; 2:2; 4:10). “Renewing” is making new, the new birth.

v. 6 — “Shed” or poured forth — salvation comes through Christ.

v. 7 — Justification comes first and comes through Jesus Christ.

B. Good works are profitable for the present and future, vv. 8-15

v. 8 — Believers should be consistently reminded to perform good works, for it is profitable.

v. 9 — These are the things to be avoided, for they are not profitable.

v. 10 — Heretics in doctrine and conduct are to be avoided also.

v. 11 — “Subverted” is turned aside. “Sinneth” is to trespass. “Condemned of himself” is to be self-condemned.

vv. 12, 13 — Personal greetings and admonitions.

v. 14 — Paul’s final word concerns good works.

v. 15 — Paul concludes his letter with a benediction.

Notes for Titus ← Prior Section
Notes for Philemon Next Section →
Notes for 2 Timothy ← Prior Book
Notes for Philemon Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.