Appointing Church Leaders
Titus 1:1-4 Paul greets Titus as “my true child in the faith we share” (Titus 1:4). Titus is reminded how Paul was chosen by God to proclaim the Good News of eternal life.
Titus 1:5-9 Paul reminds Titus that he was left in Crete to appoint leaders of the Christian communities in every town. These leaders should have a good reputation, have only one wife, and their children should also be believers. They must not be arrogant or quick-tempered, and should be hospitable and self-controlled.
Titus 1:10-16 Paul warns Titus that some Jewish believers are upsetting whole families by their false teachings. He reminds Titus that Cretans have always had a bad reputation. Even the Cretan poet Epimenides, writing in the sixth century BC, had called them “liars, evil animals and lazy people who do nothing but eat” (Titus 1:13). So Titus should rebuke their insistence on the truth of Jewish myths.
Dikti Mountain, Crete (Lathiot)
Teaching correct doctrine and behaviour
Titus 2:1-15 Titus is urged to teach the correct doctrine to the older men, who can then pass it on to the mature women – both of whom will, in turn, pass it on to younger believers.
Younger women should love their husbands and children, while young men should be self-controlled. Slaves should please their masters and should not steal from them. All believers should wait in anticipation for the glorious day when their saviour Jesus Christ will appear.
Titus 3:1-7 Paul gives some advice on Christian conduct. Believers should submit to the rule of the civil authorities; they should not speak evil of anyone, but should be friendly and gentle towards everyone. After all, the believers themselves once behaved foolishly – before God gave them a ‘new birth’ and a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:8-11 On the other hand, believers shouldn’t waste too much time arguing with those who base their reputation before God on long lists of ancestors or quarrel about the minutiae of the Jewish law.
Titus 3:12-13 Paul gives some final instructions to Titus, who is asked to join Paul at Nicopolis (on the south west coast of Greece – where Paul has decided to spend the winter) (see 6 on Map 28) as soon as one of Paul’s fellow-workers – Artemas or Tychicus – arrives in Crete.
Paul commends Zenas and Apollos (who have brought this letter) and asks Titus to supply them with all they need in order to continue their journey.
Roman Odeon at Nicopolis (Bgabel)
Nicopolis (meaning ‘City of Victory’) was a port on the Adriatic coast of southern Greece (see Map 28). It was built by the Roman emperor Octavian (also known as Augustus Caesar) to commemorate his victory over Mark Antony at the nearby naval Battle of Actium in 31BC.
King Herod the Great (who had supported Octavian’s rival Mark Antony) contributed towards the building of the city in order to gain the favour of Octavian after his victory over Antony and Cleopatra.
The excavated remains of Roman Nicopolis at Palaia Preveza on the Gulf of Arta, 3 miles / 5 km north of the modern city of Preveza, include a Roman stadium (where the Actian Games were held to commemorate Octavian’s victory), a 1st century Odeon (theatre), and a well-preserved Nymphaeum (water fountain).
Titus 3:14-15 Paul reminds Titus that believers should spend their time doing good deeds “so that their lives will not be useless” (Titus 3:14).
He then sends his greetings and closes with a benediction. “Grace be with you all” (Titus 3:15).
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