Background of Titus – Paul wrote this letter to Titus, a young [Gentile] pastor, who faced the unenviable assignment of setting things in order in the church at Crete – Crete is the largest island in the Mediterranean – The inhabitants of Crete had an evil reputation, a fact witnessed not only by Paul, but also by others – Their lying was famous, so much so that ‘to act the Cretan’ was a synonym for ‘to play the liar’ – Their morals were low and the wine of Crete was famous, drunkenness was everywhere – The low standard of morality among the Cretans had doubtless had an adverse influence on the lives of the believers
It appears that the chief problem in Crete came from false teachers, mainly, Jewish, 'of the circumcision' who are described by Paul as 'unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers'. (Titus 1:10) They were teaching 'Jewish fables' (Titus 1:14) and introducing 'foolish questionings, and genealogies, and strifes, and fightings about the law' (Titus 3:9). Occasion: Paul wrote this letter to Titus, a young pastor, who faced the unenviable assignment of setting things in order in the church at Crete. It seems that the immediate reason for the writing of Titus was the forthcoming visit of Apollos and Zenas to Crete. (Titus 3:13) Paul took the opportunity to write to Titus. He was prompted to write because of his personal observation of conditions on Crete and his realization that Titus would need the encouragement and authorization which the letter would give him. ... Paul also writes advising him to appoint elders, men of proven spiritual character in their homes and businesses, to oversee the work of the church. But elders are not the only individuals in the church who are required to stand tall spiritually. Men and women, young and old, have their vital functions to fulfill in the church if they are to be living examples of the doctrine they claim to believe. Throughout this letter to Titus, Paul stresses the necessary practical outworking of salvation in the daily lives of the elders and congregation alike. [link]
Titus 1 – The Apostle Paul’s letter to Titus an accomplished Gentile Pastor – Where the much beloved Timothy was having abundant problems in his ministry, in his health and probable even problems sleeping at night – The Pastor Titus was seeing a lot of success in his ministries – Titus also occasionally traveled with Paul (Galatians 2:1) and went with Paul and Barnabas on an earlier visit to Jerusalem – Titus was sent to the Church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:6) and very much helped stabilize the situation – Titus was then pastoring in the extremely difficult neighborhood of the Island of Crete — ‘Titus 1:5 For this cause left I [Paul] thee in Crete, that thou [Titus] shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee’
Titus 1:10-16 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching [pseudo Jewish-Christian] things which they ought not, for filthy [money] lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to [false] Jewish [Kabbalistic] fables, *and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. ***Unto the pure ***all things are pure: **but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is **nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; *but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate [irresponsible]. - Note: Titus and Luke were among the first of the successful Gentile Church Pastors and Titus as an early Gentile apparently was a particular target of rogue Jewish practitioners. The type of Judaism that Paul seems to be addressing was a non-traditional 'Jewish fable' [i.e. Kabbalistic] type of doctrine that was being packaged and sold to some unsuspecting Gentiles by some less than devout Jews. - Also Note: One of the greatest Christian verses in the entire Bible "Unto the pure all things are pure ..." this verse is a great reminder as we try to be pure and holy while we live our lives before God.
Titus 2 – Paul points out the simple fact that the manner and way that the Pastor speaks and teaches in his local fellowship is the direction that the Church is going to go in — ‘Titus 2: 1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine …’
Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation *hath appeared to all men, *Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, **in this present world; ***Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, *zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. - The Apostle Paul reiterates and confirms much of what Pastor Titus is already doing and accomplishing in his ministry in and among his fellow Gentiles.
Titus 3 – The Apostle Paul reminds Titus to instruct his congregation to live constantly in an eternal, heavenly perspective — ‘Titus 3:1-7 Put them [congregation] in mind to be subject to principalities [lit. highest powers – God] and powers [lit. freedoms], to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. **For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. ***But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us *abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, ***we should be made heirs [inheritors] according to the hope of eternal life.’
The Bible's book of Titus concludes: Titus 3:8-15 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. *A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; **Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours [fellow Christians] also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.