A Healthy Church
AUTHOR: The Apostle Paul (1:1). Quite possibly the letter was delivered by Zenas and Apollos (3:13).
RECIPIENT: Titus (1:4), a Gentile believer who became a capable missionary and fellow-worker of the Apostle Paul (cf. Gal. 2:3; I Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4). Titus accompanied Paul to the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:2; Gal. 2:1-3). Paul sent him to the Corinthian Church during his third missionary journey (II Cor. 7:6-7; 8:6, 16). He and two other believers took II Corinthians to Corinth and urged them to take up an offering for the poor Christians in Jerusalem. Paul left him in Crete to finish the work that Paul had started there (1:5). Before his death Paul send Artemas or Tychicus to relieve Titus in Crete so he could join Paul in Nicopolis (Tit. 3:12). From there Paul sends him to Dalmatia (Yugoslavia; cf. 4:10). Both Timothy and Titus served as pastors of very difficult churches on the Mediterranean. Titus name does not appear anywhere in the book of Acts. All that we know of Titus is found in this letter to him from Paul and some sketchy mentions in other letters. Tradition says Titus returned to Crete and died there. No doubt, those first readers of the letter were also the members of the Cretan church.
Titus ministered on the mountainous island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. It is about 156 miles long and 7 to 35 miles wide. Pauls ship stopped at this island on its voyage to Rome when Paul was a prisoner (Acts 27:7ff). These people had a bad reputation in the Mediterranean world (1:12).
PLACE: Paul probably wrote to Titus from Macedonia in A. D. 65 or 66. Paul was probably released from his house arrest in Rome (Acts 28) because his accusers did not choose to press their charges before Caesar (Acts 24:1; 28:30). Paul was set free whereupon he visited Ephesus, left Timothy there to supervise the churches, and went on to Macedonia (northern Greece). From Macedonia he wrote I Timothy (I Tim. 1:3) and visited Crete, left Titus there to supervise the work, and went to Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece, Tit. 3:12). Paul then wrote this letter of encouragement from either Macedonia or Nicopolis. He went on to Troas (II Tim. 4:13), where he was suddenly arrested and taken to Rome, imprisoned, and beheaded. During this second imprisonment Paul wrote his last letter II Timothy.
PURPOSE: The Epistle was written to instruct Titus in the ministry. The letter deals with the officers and conduct of the church. Paul encourages Titus in a difficult ministry, and stresses that the Cretans to live like Christians. A third purpose was to have Titus meet him in Nicopolis where Paul was planning to spend the winter months (3:12).
KEY VERSES: 3:3-5
THE CHURCH IN TITUS: In this letter of Paul to Titus he describes the "healthy" church as follows: An orderly churchhas competent leadership and committed followers (1:5-16). A sound church is solid in the truth of the Scriptures (2:1-15). A practicing churchtheir life-style is characterized by good deeds (3:1-11).
Title: Introduction to Titus
Series: A Look at the Book
Introduction to Titus by Wil Pounds (c) 2006. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.
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