What Titus Was Told To Do

Text: Titus 1-3

In the brief letter to the young evangelist Titus, Paul told him to do certain things. Examining these instructions will teach us some things about preaching, the church, the truth, and more. So let us briefly examine seven things that Titus was told to do.

Appoint Elders (1:5)

  • God’s plan for the local church is to have a plurality of elders overseeing the flock (Acts 14:23; 20:28)
  • The goal is not just to have elders, but to have qualified elders (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7) – Timothy was told to be careful not to appoint elders too hastily (1 Timothy 5:22)
  • Some believe appointing elders is exclusively the work of a preacher – it is not; elders can be appointed without a preacher; the Holy Spirit does it (Acts 20:28) through the word (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)

Reprove the Rebellious (1:13)

  • Paul said there were “many rebellious men” (Titus 1:10) – elders were to deal with them (Titus 1:9); but the preacher also had a role to play (Titus 1:13; cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 4:2)
  • To save those who might be influenced by the rebellious (Titus 1:11; cf. 2 Timothy 2:17-18)
  • To hopefully save the rebellious as well (Titus 1:13) – our goal should always be to lead people to the truth

Speak Things Fitting for Sound Doctrine (2:1)

  • What things are “fitting for sound doctrine“? … whatever is according to God’s word (1 Peter 4:11; 2 Timothy 1:13)
  • Speak these things to all people (Titus 2:2-6,9-10)
  • The word of God is truth (John 17:17), regardless of who is speaking (2 Corinthians 4:5-7) – therefore, speak with authority (Titus 2:15) and with confidence (Titus 3:8); always speak the truth

Show Himself to be an Example (2:7)

  • Just as Timothy was also told to be (1 Timothy 4:12) – this would serve two purposes
  • It would show people how to live right (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17)
  • It would prevent others from attacking the faith (1 Peter 2:12) – hypocrites are targets (2 Peter 2:2; Romans 2:23-24)

Remind the Brethren (3:1)

  • The preacher’s job is not to find something new to teach the brethren – he may write lessons and try to find effective ways to convey the teachings of Scripture (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10)
  • But preachers are not to teach new doctrine (2 John 9) – go back to the standard (2 Timothy 1;13; 1 Timothy 4:6)
  • Churches should expect/demand this (Jeremiah 6:16) – do not have “itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3, KJV)

Avoid Foolish Controversies (3:9)

  • Why were “foolish controversies” to be avoided? … they are “unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9)
  • Paul does not say to avoid all controversy – we cannot do this (Jude 3; Titus 1:9-10,13)
  • What makes certain controversies foolish? … they do not promote truth, attack error, or seek to restore the fallen; they cause needless division

Help the Brethren (3:13)

  • Help Zenas and Apollos (Titus 3:13) – only mention of Zenas is here; we know Apollos was a preacher (1 Corinthians 3:5-6; Acts 18:28); implied that Zenas was helping Apollos in his work
  • Help them have the means necessary to do their work (3 John 5-8; Acts 13:3; Romans 10:15) – preachers are worthy of support (1 Corinthians 9:14)
  • Interestingly, Paul does not instruct Titus about working to secure his own support – not necessarily a binding pattern, but interesting; focus on helping others (Philippians 2:3-4)

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