Thursday, August 11, 2011

Viewing the Letter to Titus, with Dr. Jay A. Quine

The Epistle of Paul to Titus

Written by Paul from Macedonia, c. AD 63

Paul writes Titus from Macedonia to encourage him to continue to set in order the churches established on Crete through selecting elders, and encouraging all believers to live godly lives, in part by warning them about the dangers of false doctrine. He instructs Titus to soon join him in Nicopolis after relief has come.

Chapter 1:1-9 Instruction Regarding Church Leadership

In his greeting Paul notes that his calling is for bringing others “chosen” by God to faith, and for their knowledge of the truth to be applied to their lives, in view of their confident expectation of eternal life. He then instructs Titus on the selection of elders in the new churches starting on Crete, briefly explaining the qualifications of these individuals.

Chapter 1:10-16 Instruction Regarding False Teaching

One key requirement of an elder is the ability to refute false doctrine, for there are many who rebel against the truth. If they are allowed to continue they will upset entire families in the church. Thus, Titus is to expose them so that they will be sound in the faith (1:13).

Chapter 2:1-15 Instruction Regarding Bodily Living

In contrast to those who rebel against the truth, Paul addresses those who will seek to be taught sound doctrine. For instance, older men are to be taught to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, love and perseverance (2:1-2). Women are to be taught to be teachers of what is good, and to love their husband (2:3-5). Young men are taught to be sensible (2:6-8); slaves, subject to masters as living demonstrations of their faith (2:10). The motive for godly living is clearly the hope of the appearing of the Savior (2:13).

Chapter 3:1-15 Instruction Regarding Living in the World

Although Christ is the King, believers are still to be subject to governmental authorities, in their preparation for every good deed (3:1-8). Although we are not saved by our deeds, Paul encourages Titus to teach others to nevertheless engage in them (such as good hard work), for their profit spills over to all men (3:8,14). Those who refuse are to be put out of the fellowship after at least two warnings (2:10-11).

Quine's View of the Key Verse: Titus 2:11-13

“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, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”