Titus 2:4-10

“Let the luster of thy life be a common school of instruction, a pattern of virtue to all” (Chrysostom)

In this lesson we look at Paul’s instructions to Titus for the teaching of older women and younger women, as well as for slaves/bondservants.

Considering the references to slaves, Charles Spurgeon speaks very strongly on what he felt Paul’s beliefs on slavery were:

“I do not think for a moment Paul believed that the practice of slavery ought to exist. He believed to the fullest extent that the great principles of Christianity would overthrow slavery anywhere, and the sooner they did so the better pleased would he be; but, for the time being, as it was the custom to have slaves, they must adorn the doctrine of God their Savior in the position in which they were.”

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Titus 2:1-4

“FEW portions of the New Testament excel this chapter. It may well form the creed, system of ethics, and text book of every Christian preacher. Does any man inquire what is the duty of a Gospel minister? Send him to the second chapter of the Epistle to Titus for a complete answer.” (Adam Clarke)

In this lesson, we look at the first few verses of Titus chapter 2 as Paul begins to lay out what types of things Titus (and overseers/pastors in general) should teach to 5 different groups of people. The first couple of groups, or roles, are the older men and older women within the church.

Now bear in mind that older does not necessarily refer to those of a specific age, but has more of a meaning of playing a role in contrast to the younger groups. It might actually be possible to fall into one or the other group depending on the make up of each of those groups. (I myself play fall into the younger category within the deacons at church, but in service at AWANAs I play an older role.)

We also begin to look at the roles of older women, and will touch on them in more detail next week.

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HICF - Suffering

A. W, Tozer said, “To use a man greatly, God must break him deeply.”

I was asked a couple of months ago to lead a monthly Bible study through the end of the year.

For the first evening study with the Houston International Christian Fellowship (HICF), I felt led to teach a study on suffering. Particularly the ways in which we should expect it and receive it, as well as how God tends to use it in our lives.

But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. --C.S. Lewis

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Titus 1:9-16

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we found the list of qualifications for elders/overseers, and in verses 10-16 we see how Paul is tying those qualifications into the issues in the churches of Crete.

We can read about the issues with certain Jewish members of the church that seemed to be emphasizing an incorrect belief that Jewish customs (like food customs) needed to be adhered to in order to be clean/pure on the inside.

“They tried to persuade them that the simple story of Jesus and the Cross was not sufficient, but that, to be really wise, they needed all the subtle stories and the long genealogies and the elaborate allegories of the Rabbis. Further, they tried to teach them that grace was not enough, but that, to be really good, they needed to take upon themselves all the rules and regulations about foods and washings which were so characteristic of Judaism.” (Barclay)

Paul writes some very strong responses to this teaching, and gives us many good insight to important subjects that are even still present and relevant.

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Titus 1:5-9

In verses 5-9 of Titus chapter 1 we find the list of qualifications for elders/overseers. These are the two terms generally used in the New Testament to refer to the position in evangelical churches that is usually known as pastor.

Join us as we discuss the cultural and historical context of elders and the qualifications that Paul gives Titus in appointing them on Crete. And how those qualifications have not diminished over time, and are a good guideline for believers of all roles and callings.

I finish up with a quote from John Chrysostom, one of the great early church fathers well know for his eloquence.

He wrote strong words for fathers wishing to be in church leadership:

We should observe what care he bestows upon children. For he who cannot be the instructor of his own children, how should he be the Teacher of others? If he cannot keep in order those whom he has had with him from the beginning, whom he has brought up, and over whom he had power both by the laws, and by nature, how will he be able to benefit those without?...

But if, occupied in the pursuit of wealth, he has made his children a secondary concern, and not bestowed much care on them, even so he is unworthy. For if when nature prompted, he was so void of affection or so senseless, that he thought more of his wealth than of his children, how should he be raised to the Episcopal throne, and so great rule? For if he was unable to restrain them it is a great proof of his weakness; and if he was unconcerned, his want of affection is much to be blamed. He then that neglects his own children, how shall he take care of other men’s?

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Intro to Titus and 1:1-5

Recently I was given the opportunity to fill in teaching Sunday school Wilcrest Baptist Church. The regular Sunday school teacher, Jeff Adams, is helping to fill in preaching and has started up a very difficult semester at seminary.

So to give him a break teaching, and to have more time to focus on his studies, I will be teaching through the book of Titus over the next many weeks. I have filled in teaching numerous times before, but never more than two weeks in a row. So this will be a fun and new experience for me.

I wanted to record all of the lectures in order to share them with anyone who might be interested, and hopes that they might be useful in other ways. So for this first week I will be introducing the book of Titus, giving some background, context, and discussing who Titus is and the audience the book was written to.

To briefly sum up what was talked about:

Titus was written by Paul in about 64 A.D. to Titus and to the Christian population of Crete. it is one of the Pastoral letters, and it comes chronologically after 1 Timothy and before 2 Timothy (Paul’s last letter).

In the first four verses of Titus, the salutation, we have a number of great spiritual truths presented. we will spend some time looking at these first four verses and touching briefly on verse 5 leading into next week where we will discuss the qualifications for elders.

My goal will be to get each of these lectures posted online the Monday or Tuesday after they were delivered at Wilcrest Baptist Church in the Adult 1 Sunday school class.

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