TITUS — “”Saved by grace for a life of good works”
Introduction: At the heart of Titus is the fundamental link between faith and practice, belief and behaviour. The idea being that if we are truly saved then our lives and our church should reflect that. We should be different to our surrounding culture.
It is believed that Paul wrote this letter between his first and second imprisonments in Rome. This was at about the same time he was also writing his first letter to his other close friend and co-worker Timothy (sometime between AD 63-65). Tradition tells us that after being released from his first imprisonment he and Titus travelled together and eventually came to the island of Crete. It was here that Paul left Titus on the island to help strengthen the churches and to appoint elders there.
As we go through this letter together take note of the practical instructions that we can apply to our lives and the issues we face. This letter is a must for any believer that seeks to put the gospel into practice in a culture very similar to the one in which Titus found himself. It is for those of us who know that we have been saved by grace for a life of good works.
Introduction – READ 1:1-4
1. Right at the start Paul connects what we believe with how we behave (“truth that leads to godliness”). How does knowing truth lead to godliness? Is this always the case?
2. What do you think “godliness” is? What does it look like?
3. What does the “hope of eternal life” mean to you?
Titus’ Task On Crete – READ 1:5-16
4. If you were Titus how would you feel receiving this letter from Paul?
5. Paul instructs Titus to appoint elders in the churches. Why do we need elders? Could we function without them?
6. Paul instructs Titus that an elder must be “blameless” (v6). What do you think it means to be blameless?
7. According to Paul, elders are to encourage and refute (rebuke) church members with sound doctrine (v.9). How can we encourage our elders in this task?
8. Why is rebuking error just as important as offering encouragement?
9. Have you ever fallen into errors or embraced teaching that you now consider to be false? How did you come to realise that you were wrong?
10. Why not spend some time praying for the elders at HSC?
Teaching The Church Family – READ 2:1-10
1. Paul paints a picture of the church as a family made up of the old, the young, husbands, wives, children etc. Does church feel to you like a family? If not, what should change?
2. Why do you think the older women, rather than Titus, are to teach the younger women? (v4-5) Is this something we can and should see happening at HSC?
3. What’s the main reason behind all the instructions in vv. 3-9? What should it all lead to?
4. In verse 10 Paul tells slaves that they are to live in such a way as to make the “teaching about God our Saviour attractive”. Does your life make the Gospel attractive or are you guilty at times of discrediting the Gospel by your actions?
God’s Empowering Grace – READ 2:11-15
5. What affect should the grace of God have on us? (v.12, 14b)
6. Paul tells us that because we have been redeemed to be God’s people we should be “eager to do what is good” (v14b). How eager do you feel at the moment?
7. How do you think Christian leaders should go about putting verse 15 into practice?
Doing What Is Good – READ 3:1-8
1. According to vv. 1-2, what sort of citizens should we aim to be? How should we behave towards people in society?
2. Verses 3-7 have been described as the “Gospel in a nutshell” as they are perhaps one of the fullest statements on salvation in the New Testament. What are some of the main points that Paul touches on?
3. According to verse 8 what should our response be to God saving us?
Final Instructions For Titus – READ 3:9-15
4. Does Paul’s instruction to “avoid foolish controversies etc…” (v9) prohibit us from discussing our differing theological opinions?
5. What are the dangers of indulging in such controversies, arguments and quarrels?
6. What do you think a “divisive person” would be like; how would they behave?
7. If you were a leader of a church how would you go about dealing with such divisive people (v10-11)?
8. Paul says, “Our people must…not live unproductive lives” (v 14) What do you think it means to live a PRODUCTIVE life?
9. Having looked closer at Titus, how does the book as a whole agree with the statement in James that, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)?