Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

written by
Kraig J. Rice

It was written by God through Titus.

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 1) An Introduction to this Bible book of Titus
 2) Elder, Presbyter, Bishop, General Superintendent, General Overseer
 3) The devil is the first one to enter your church and the last one to leave
 4) Let's witness to others to get them saved
NLT stands for New Living Translation.   MKJV stands for Modern King James Version.
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.

An Introduction

Who wrote this book?
The Apostle Paul wrote this bible book as a letter to his friend, Titus.

What are some things that we know about Titus?
Paul had a friend for 14 years or so named Titus. He was a gentile who was probably converted in Antioch under Paul's ministry. He was with Paul and Barnabas when they went to the church council at Jerusalem to plead for gentile rights in the church. To emphasize this it is assumed that Paul did not have Titus circumcised on purpose. The church there fully accepted Titus
(Galatians 2:1-3). Timothy also went along but Paul had him circumcised because he was half Jewish. The church in Jerusalem also fully accepted Timothy. These events helped set in motion the full acceptance of all gentiles into the church from then on.

Titus was with Paul in Ephesus when he was sent by Paul to Corinth to administer the offering for the hungry saints in Jerusalem
(2 Corinthians 8:6 & 16). When Titus was finished in Corinth, he met Paul in Macedonia and gave him a progress report. Then Paul sent Titus back to Corinth carrying Paul's 2nd letter to the Corinthians.

Did Titus follow Paul wherever he went? Not always. The constant companions of Paul were Timothy, Silas, and doctor Luke.

When Titus was finished with his ministry on Crete, he was replaced by Artemas or Tychicus, and went to visit Paul at Nicopolis. After Paul was arrested, Titus followed Paul to Rome. It is thought that before Paul was executed, Paul sent Titus to Dalmatia to solve other church problems
(2 Timothy 4:10). It seems like there were always proper church elders to appoint, and always a problem with false teachers. That is why Titus ministered on Crete and why Timothy ministered at Ephesus. That is also why Peter and Jude wrote their New Testament letters
(2 Peter chapter 2; Jude). Church tradition indicates that Titus later became the Bishop of Crete and died of old age.

When and where was this book written?
Crete is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is close to Greece and was heavily fought over during World War Two. However, during the first century, it is not known if Paul had more than one imprisonment. Assuming that he did, this letter was written about 63-67 A.D., after Paul's release from his first Roman imprisonment. This time period allows this journey to Crete to fit in properly with the accounts mentioned in the bible book of Acts. Paul could have been in Ephesus or Corinth on his way to Nicopolis to spend the winter when he wrote this letter. Paul was up in age at this time. Then Roman federal agents arrested him and sent him to Rome where church tradition tells us that he had his head cut off. This tradition also informs us that when it came time for his execution, he ran to the chop block. He looked forward to being with His Lord Jesus.

Why was this book written?
Paul and Titus visited the Island of Crete. They realized there were some church problems there but Paul had to be on his way. Before he left, he appointed Titus to stay- to take a look at the churches and their problems.

What kind of church problems were there? I assume there was a supreme elder there who was giving poor leadership. Many churches today can suffer when there is poor leadership. The churches were doctrinally unstable. There were also false teachers who coveted money, malicious gossips, and out of control old and young men. And there were other problems. Do you have any of these problems in your church?

I assume Titus wrote a letter to Paul explaining what the problems were. Then Paul wrote this letter to Titus explaining everything that needed to be set in order to make the churches spiritually healthy again. This letter in the bible is one of Paul's pastoral letters (epistles). The other two pastoral letters are First and Second Timothy. They are called the pastoral letters because in them Paul gives instructions to Timothy and Titus concerning the church.

Titus did a good job at Crete. He made sure the churches had good leadership and became doctrinally sound. He had to organize all of the churches into a common fellowship and he had to appoint God-called elders. It is important, under God, having the right man do the right job.

Why did Paul ask Titus to take over the leadership of the churches on Crete? Because Titus had certain gifts from God that he used successfully in his ministry. I believe that Titus had high qualities of leadership, diplomatic tact, God's wisdom, and strength of character.

Titus had previously used these gifts in helping the church at Corinth become doctrinally sound with stable leadership. Paul knew Titus could be trusted and that he was good at what he did. Paul indicates this in his second letter to the Corinthian church.

The churches on Crete were gravely wounded by Satan. If Paul had chosen anyone else for the job, Paul might have received a letter from him stating: "the churches on Crete are wounded beyond help. Let us close them down and cut our losses." But Paul was not ready to let the churches go under- he had faith in God that they were worth saving. That is why he appointed Titus to this difficult task.

What was the historical setting in those days when this book was written?
Early citizens of Crete were descendants of Phoenician traders. In the first century the island was heavily populated having as many as 100 cities and towns. Many folks on Crete were wealthy. Many Jewish people settled on the island and made a good living for themselves. The Roman government ruled the known world in those days.

The chapters of this Bible book:

There are several ways to outline this book of the bible. I think that the 3 chapter divisions might be the easiest:

Chapter 1
1) Introduction (Titus 1:1-4)
2) Each church must have God called elders (Titus 1:5-9)
3) A description of the false teachers on Crete at that time (Titus 1:10-16)

Chapter 2
1) Proper Christian living must abound in every church (Titus 2:1-11)
2) Every church teacher should teach the grace of God (Titus 2:12-15)

Chapter 3
1) Our good works are an evidence of our salvation (Titus 3:1-8)
2) Avoid quarrels that may split the church (Titus 3:9-11)
3) Conclusion (Titus 3:12-15)

The theme of this book:    Jesus Christ is portrayed as our pattern.

A Look At A Few Verses

"I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you"
(Titus 1:5)

Why is this an important verse? Because it reveals the importance of God's order for the organization of all churches. Can one church have more than one elder or presbyter? Yes. Here are a couple of other scriptures to prove it:

"Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church and prayed for them with fasting, turning them over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had come to trust"
(Acts 14:23).

"Then the apostles and elders and the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders- Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas..."
(Acts 15:22).

Do all churches use the word elder? No, some use the word presbyter, bishop, general superintendent, general overseer, etc., depending on the church's corporate by-laws. By in large, these are all different titles that designate an elevated church official.

An elder was a church trustee that was concerned about "spiritual truth" in his church. Were there different kinds of elders? Yes. There were pastoring elders and also teaching elders in the early church.

The word for "bishop" in Greek is episcopoi meaning "overseer." The word for "deacon" in Greek is diakonoi meaning "one who serves." Bishops and deacons in the early church were not only administrators but also had other roles. Some were also teachers and preachers
(1 Timothy 3:1-13). Sometimes deacons carried added responsibilities for church finances and benevolences as they do today
(Acts 6:1-6).

Regardless of the title, such a one:
1) Must have solid convictions
2) Must adhere to solid doctrine and sound teaching
3) Must be brave enough to hold the Gospel truth in the face of opposition
4) Must encourage believers- and tactfully correct those who are wrong

"Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others"
(Titus 2:3).

The word diaballo in Greek (in reference to false accusers or malicious gossips) is a word that refers to Satan or the devil. Why? It is the idea of one being controlled by the devil (who is the false accuser of true Christians). One should not sin verbally using their tongue for evil in spreading malicious gossip. If you spread hurtful gossip you might be thought to be the one who originated it:-(

Titus 3:1-8 How do we witness? We witness to others:
1) With our testimony
2) With our lives

Good works are to follow personal faith (Titus 1:7-9).

A great emphasis of this bible book is "good works." We are not saved by good works but by God's mercy
(Titus 3:5), and justified by God's grace through faith
(Titus 3:7).

What else was the Apostle Paul doing about this time?
"Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia..."
(2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

"For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more"
(2 Corinthians 7:5-7).

"Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true"
(2 Corinthians 7:13-14).

Paul uses 3 powerful words in reference to the false teachers:
Disobedient, and

Is there any sermon material in this bible book? Yes, there is quite a bit.
Here is a good one I like:

Your sermon title might be (in a brief outline):
A brief look at how we are to live in this present world:

"For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed"
(Titus 2:11-13).

1) Turn from godless living
2) Live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God
3) We look forward to that wonderful event (the coming of Christ)

Another good message might be- right out of the Bible- on good works:
1) A pattern of good works (Titus 2:7)
2) Zealous of good works (Titus 2:14)
3) Ready to every good work (Titus 3:1)
4) Careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8)
5) Maintain good works for necessary uses (Titus 3:14)

The teaching in this bible book is very clear and easy to understand- it does not have much in the way of symbolism or double reference verses. It is good for the church to have this bible book and the church has treasured it for 2,000 years.

57. Philemon Commentary

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Second Timothy Commentary

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As of September 3, 2011