Introduction

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.

10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

[Read 1:10-16]

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 B.C. 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.]

1But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

9Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

[Read 2:1-10]

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.
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

[Read 2:11-14]

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?

A: 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”?

15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

3:1Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. 9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

10Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

[Read 2:15 – 3:11]

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

  • Obedient

  • 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

  • Foolish

  • Disobedient

  • Deceived

  • 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.”

―Ezekiel 36:25-29

“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.”

―Ephesians 2:8-9

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;”

―Acts 2:17

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”?