Titus 1 verses 1-3
1 From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began.
3 But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior.
From Paul – the man who was once the enemy of the gospel but is now dedicated to its furtherance and care for Christians.
Discussion Question: Like Paul, how has the purpose of your life changed due to the gospel?
a slave of God – meaning Paul is God’s servant. His life is humbly dedicated to his Master, Jesus Christ.
Discussion Question: Although Paul’s dedication to the Lord was immediate, others are not so quick to be a slave to God. Do you remember a time when you were on the fence, but then surrendered to follow your Master?
and apostle of Jesus Christ – Paul mentions his office of Apostleship. An Apostle is one sent with orders directly by Jesus Christ and have confirmed their words and authority by their miraculous works.
Acts 26:16 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you.
1 Corinthians 15
8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
2 Corinthians 12:12 (NET) 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.
Discussion Question: Are there Apostles today?
to further the faith – Paul states his first purpose of his service is to further or to build up the faith of the believers. Some English versions say ‘according to the faith’ which cause some translations to interpret different intentions of the phrase. The Greek word Ka-ta can be translated several different ways, and this is the reason for the variations in the English versions. However, since the letter is written to a believer, Titus, about other believers, the modern translations render this word to further the faith or to build up the faith of the believers which better matches the context of the book.
Discussion Question: How can we further the faith or build up the faith of others?
of God’s chosen ones – meaning the ones who Paul wanted to further their faith, and the ones that God chose before the world began. The Bible clearly teaches that man must believe to be saved, yet the Bible is equally clear that God has chosen those who will believe. This is a mystery and men have tried several streams of logic to figure it out.
Man responsible to believe….
John 3:16 (NET) 16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Compare with…God sovereignty to draw and choose ….
John 6:44 (NET) 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Ephesians 1:4 (NET) 4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.
Ephesians 1:5 (NET) 5 He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will –
What are some of the ways men have tried to explain this mystery of man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty?
What are the doctrinal dangers of being too far toward one truth without being balanced out by the other truth?
and the knowledge of the truth – The second thing Paul was to further to the believers was the knowledge of the truth which includes not only the gospel message but also the whole counsel of God.
Discussion Question: Today, everyone has different methods to build their own knowledge of God’s truth which was transmitted to us through the Scriptures, what are your methods? How are you sharing that truth with others?
that is in keeping with godliness – meaning not an intellectual knowledge only is to be furthered, but a knowledge that is accompanied with a godly lifestyle.
Discussion Question: Why do you think the modern church has little emphasis on godliness?
in hope of eternal life – meaning those in the faith and who are living out the knowledge of God can look forward to eternal life.
which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began – meaning God truly announced, professed, and promised everlasting life for his chosen ones before the world began.
Discussion Question: How does it make you feel to know that God promised eternal life before time began?
But now in his own time – meaning that although this promise was made before time began, only now is this message being made known.
he has made his message evident – the message of eternal life through the gospel of Christ is now being made evident, visible, shown, or known.
through the preaching I was entrusted with – the method of how the message of eternal life is now being made known is through the preaching / proclamation of Paul who God trusted with this service.
Discussion Question: How do you think Paul felt to have such an important responsibility to proclaim the message of eternal life? How does this motivate us to tell our friends and our loved ones?
according to the command of God our Savior – meaning Paul was directly commanded by Jesus, our God and Savior, through a vision to preach this message to the Gentiles.
17 When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance
18 and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’
21 Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”
Discussion Question: the Apostle Paul was called directly in a vision, how can we discern God’s call for us?
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Are You Continuing to Spread the Message?
Do you remember the way you were before you met Me? You had no purpose at all. You were just following the ways of this world. Then I called you, not with My audible voice, but through circumstances, through the truth found in My Bible, through the voice of others to preach My message of repentance, faith, forgiveness, and godliness, and through My Spirit I drew you; and you believed.
For a short time, you were on the fence deciding to fully surrender. Then you finally dedicated your whole self to Me, your Lord.
Continue to tell others the message you have learned. My eternal plan was hidden, but through My Son and My Apostles it has now been revealed. I first put the truth of My message into the hearts of few, and now that truth has spread to billions. Continue to spread the message! I have designed your life to be connected with your family and friends. You have a great responsibility and privilege to learn from others and to share with others that you may all grow in the faith and the knowledge of the truth.