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12. When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
Artemas and Tychicus appear to be more of Paul’s entourage of followers. This is the only mention of Artemas, but as he is listed with Tychicus, we can assume him to be a follower of the same standing as Tychicus. Tychicus was from Asia Minor (what they called Asia in that day,) and joined Paul as we read in Acts 20:4. In Ephesians, we learn more of him. He was sent to deliver that letter. Moreover, he is called a “beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:21-22) He also delivered the letter to the Colossians (Colossians 4:7,) and the Lord also gives him a glowing recommendation there. The last we hear of him is II Timothy 4:12, where he had been sent to Ephesus. Paul was never to visit the Ephesians again, as God had told him in Acts 20:25 and 20:38. He had a great love for them, however, and so he sent the beloved Tychicus to them to care for them. Thus, we can clearly see how high a regard both our Lord and Paul had for this man. Read the rest of this entry »
1. Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
Titus is to remind the Cretans to be subject to rulers and authorities. Cretans were generally a troublemaking people. As believers, these Cretans needed to be reminded not to act this way. They were rather to be subject to those who ruled over them.
“Rulers” indicates what we might think of as the principle authorities, whereas “authorities” are lower rulers, such as the leaders of a city and the police. As believers, they were to submit to and obey such rulers. This may have been especially crucial at that time, for the persecution under Caesar Nero was soon to begin. The best policy for believers was to obey and give the rulers no reason to consider them a threat. Yet the same is true today as well. As believers, we are to subject ourselves to the agents of law and order in society. Read the rest of this entry »
6. Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded,
Now Paul tells Titus how he should teach the young men. First of all, they are to be sober-minded. This does not have to do with going around with a serious look on your face and never having fun. Rather, this means to be sound in your thinking, and self-controlled in your behavior. Too often young men seem to be illogical and foolish in their thinking. One way is in the “personal fable.” This is the idea that “nothing bad will ever happen to me.” This seems to be a common way of thinking among the young. They partake in unwise and risky behaviors with reckless abandon, reasoning that somehow, just because “it’s me,” that nothing bad will result from it. One never sees an older person who believes in this “personal fable.” The reason is that we all learn better, because bad things do happen to us, particularly when we act foolishly. But the young are often not sober-minded, and so they think like this. Young men often also have trouble controlling themselves. Learning self-control is an important step in becoming the man God would have us to be. His Spirit will aid us in accomplishing this, but self-discipline also takes effort on our part. That is why Titus needs to exhort the young men about this. Read the rest of this entry »
1. But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
Some people like to make a contrast between what they call “doctrinal” and “practical” portions of Scripture. “Doctrinal” passages have to do with different theologies and doctrines, whereas “practical” passages have to do with how we live our lives. The Bible, however, makes no such distinction between passages. The opposite of “practical” is “impractical,” not “doctrinal,” and will we dare to say that any part of Scripture is “impractical”? No, all Scripture is profitable, as the Lord tells us in II Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Moreover, as we look at this passage, we will see that the truths that Paul defines as “sound doctrine” are truths about how God wants His leaders to live, not about things that some would define as “doctrinal.” The word “doctrine” just means “teaching,” and that is what the Lord is exhorting Titus to speak here: sound teaching. And that teaching, as we are seeing, has to do with how we are to live today. Read the rest of this entry »
5. For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you–
We do not read of Paul visiting Crete in any of his journeys recorded in the book of Acts. This may be because others had already been sent to preach the gospel there. God’s policy for Paul seems to have been not to send him to places where other men had already preached the gospel. We know from Acts 2:11 that Cretan Jews were among those who heard the word of God and believed in the Lord Jesus as their Messiah on the day of Pentecost. Perhaps God had already sent these men to preach the gospel in Crete, and so for Paul to journey there was not necessary. Read the rest of this entry »
1. Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which is according to godliness,
The book starts off with the name of the author, Paul. This letter would have originally been written on a scroll that would unroll from the top. When we write letters, we usually put the name of the author at the bottom of the last page, so if one wants to know who is writing he must turn there. With a scroll, however, it would be terribly inconvenient to have to unroll the entire scroll to the end just to see who was writing. Thus, the name of the author was traditionally given at the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »
The apostle Paul speaks more highly of none of his fellow-workers than he does of Titus. Although Titus is not mentioned in Acts, this may be because he was a primary source for Luke’s information, for he joined Paul earlier than Luke. We see that he was with Paul when he went to conference with the apostles at Jerusalem. “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took also Titus with me.” Galatians 2:1. We also learn from this passage that he was a Gentile, or possibly a Hellenized Jew. “Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.” Galatians 2:3.
We read in Acts 11:20-21 of a number of Greeks (Grecians) who believed at Antioch in Syria. “But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.” Then, in Acts 11:27-30, we read of this trip to Jerusalem. “And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.” Coming so closely after the mention of Greeks or Hellenists believing in Antioch, it appears quite likely that Titus was one of this number. Read the rest of this entry »