The old saying goes, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?” Even in worldly venues it is known that the difference between a true believer in anything is the difference between just talking about it, and living it. So here in Titus we are faced with the biblical application of the same old saying. Although we must take advantage of every opportunity to preach the Gospel, we are even more responsible to take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate the reality of the Gospel in our life by our behavior and actions.
Q: What is the subject matter in verses 10-16?
A: The subject matter has to do with “many rebellious men.” These men were false teachers, most likely Christian Judaizers. They were Jewish Christians who were doing much damage to the faith of believers by saying that in order to truly be a Christian, one must keep the laws of Moses. These men were Cretans, Jewish Christians from Crete.
Q: What is the meaning of verses 12-13, and is Paul directing verse 13a to all Cretans?
A: Paul is quoting a 6th century bc Greek philosopher from Crete names Epimendides. Epimendides did not have a high regard for his own people. He was also a poet, and used the poetic license of exaggeration to make his point. In the Greek world, to “Cretanize” meant “to lie.” Paul is not saying that all Cretans are liars. He is referring to the “many rebellious men.” [Note: Other places where Paul quoted pagan sayings are Acts 17:28 and 1 Corinthians 15:33.]
Q: What was Titus’ responsibility to the church and the kingdom regarding these men?
A: Verse 11: “…They must be silenced” and “reprove them severely.”
Application: What is the responsibility of church leaders when false teachings are going on in the church? If church leaders were to “silence” those of differing opinion, how would those in today’s society take to that? How “sensitive” is Paul regarding these others with differing views? [Hint: This is not about theological discussion and possible, multiple interpretations—this is about false doctrine.]
Q: In verse one, Paul tells Titus to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Why does he then follow up with statements that involve relationships?
A: This is the crux of the letter. Sound doctrine is to be lived out, not just spoken. The greatest lesson is the lesson of one’s life, not the words of their lips. This is also seen in verse 5. By living a godly lifestyle, they honor the Word of God.
Q: How do verses 7 & 8 reinforce this thought?
A: “Purity of doctrine” is manifested by “an example of good deeds.” In other words, it will be the testimony of their lives that distinguishes one from the false teachers.
Q: In verse 8, how is their speech to be characterized?
A: By being “beyond reproach.”
Application: What does it mean to have speech that is beyond reproach? Give examples, good and bad.
Q: How do the principles stated above apply to employees in the workplace?
A: Their work habits are to reflect who they are in Christ and what they believe.
Q: What is the subject of these verses?
A: Verse 11: “The grace of God”.
Q: List the things that the grace of God brings?
Salvation to all men
Instruction to deny ungodliness and worldly desires
Instruction to live sensibly, righteously and godly
Hope in the return of the Lord
Redemption from every evil deed
Purification to be one of God’s own possession
Zeal for good works
Application: How does all this relate to “sound doctrine”?
Q: In verse 2:15, how is Titus to teach these things?
A: With vigor!
Application: Apply these principles to parenting.
Q: What other principles is Titus to teach?
A: See verses 3:1-2
Subject to rulers and authorities
Do good deeds whenever possible
Malign no one
Be peaceable, gentile and considerate
Q: What were we like before the grace of God appeared?
A: See 3:3
Enslaved to lust and personal pleasure
Full of malice, envy, and hate
Q: What happened to us when the “kindness of God” appeared?
A: We changed. It’s called “the changed life through the ministry of the Word.” [Ed. Note: This is a summary, not a quote from Scripture.]
Q: In verse 5, what does Paul mean by “the washing of regeneration,” and who enables the regeneration and renewing to take place?
A: (See Ezekiel 36:25-29 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.) It is the imparting of a new life. Quite simply, being born again. It is the Holy Spirit who brings this work about, not ourselves. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.)
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.”
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
―2 Corinthians 5:17
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Q: In verse 6, why does Paul use the words “poured out” regarding the Holy Spirit? Why are these words, and the “washing of regenerating and renewing by the Holy Spirit” particularly significant in light of 1:10, a verse we looked at earlier?
A: (See Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:17.) Paul is using terms from the Old Testament, and those of the “circumcision” (Jewish believers) ought to have understood. Compare this with 1:15-16.
“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions
Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the Lord has said,
Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls."
― Joel 2:28-32
“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;”
Application: What is the best evidence that a person has been born again? (The answer is in verse 8.) How does this apply to your walk?
Q: In verses 9-11, how is Titus instructed to deal with those who argue with him over the sound doctrine that Paul is giving him?
A: Reject him after a 1st and 2nd warning.
Application: How does this instruction sound in a society that promotes “tolerance”?