Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Meet Titus

Titus was a young man who assisted Paul in duties relating to Paul's ministry.  The New Testament letter to Titus serves us well even today, in that it is like a letter from a seminary professor to one of his recent graduates. Letters like that are always worth holding on to, and reading again and again. 

Titus, having been brought to Jesus through the efforts of Paul's ministry, is even called Paul's son in the faith.  A true and pure relationship existed between Paul and Titus, a relationship in which the student was continually encouraged in those areas that would be primary in future ministry opportunities. 

The letter is called a "pastoral" letter because Paul, the seasoned and well traveled apostle is a pastor to Titus. For example, young Titus might not be very experienced in some areas such as church leadership, so Paul uses the means of writing him a letter, encouraging him to appoint elders  in every city. Paul then gives the criteria for those who would become such church leaders. 

The most important reason for further training of Titus was so he could touch more lives with the gospel and the salvation that is available to all men through Jesus Christ.  Apparently Paul thought it important that Titus make the gospel an essential part of the ministry of this young servant.  Paul even mentions it twice.  Look at these verses:

 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,  while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you."   Titus 2:11-15

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”     Titus 4:3-7

Like the encouragement of Paul to  Titus, I would hope that our church leaders today could see this as the primary focus of our ministry.  And like the church of the first century, today's church must be built on the spiritual strength of the message of the gospel. 


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