Titus: Running the Church

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Running the Church

Appoint elders, Set things in order.

Background: Around 63 AD Paul writes to Titus in Crete from Corinth
Theme: Organizing the young Cretan church
Outline: Appointing Elders and Setting Things in Order
Key Verse: "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you." (Titus 1:5, NIV)


Title: The letter is addressed to Titus, a former companion of the Apostle Paul. Since Paul is instructing Titus on matters of leadership, I have given the sub-title "Running hte Church" Titus and 1st and 2nd Timothy are called the Pastoral Epistles. They were written with instructions to young Pastors. They are useful for all Christian workers, whether paid or volunteer, and contain practical advice for Christian leaders. In this letter, the master church planter himself is giving instructions to a young pastor on how to lead a church! Many principles of church leadership, from who is qualified to be a church officer to who should teach young women, are covered here.

Titus Chapter Index


These notes use and refer to the Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol 2, New Testament).

I. Salutation (1:1-4)

II. Elders (1:5-9)

1:6 The phrase "but one wife" has been interpreted different ways. All interpreters agree that polygamy (more than one wife at one time) is unacceptable. All agree that dedication to the wife is required (no promiscuity, evidence of a healthy marriage). Some, but not all, go beyond this to disqualify any man previously divorced or married to a divorced woman from being an Elder. The Bible Fellowship (a small denomination I belong to) holds to this position, although it is under consideration.

III. False Teachers (1:10-16)

1:10 The 'circumcision group' insisted that a convert must become a 'Jew' before he could truly become a Christian. This included obeying all the Old Testament law, circumcision being only one requirement. Paul argues elsewhere that we are saved by grace and not by obedience to the OT Law.

1:16 A warning against those who want to be teachers and leaders, but whose actions give clear evidence that they are not following Christ.

IV. Godly Behavior (2:1-10)

2:4 The question is, "Who should be teaching the younger women?" Clearly older women should be doing this. By default the pastor is the counselor of younger women, giving advice on family matters and consoling about the perhaps unsaved husband. It is a better situation where mature women can provide godly counsel from their years of experience and develop lasting friendships and healthy emotional support.

V. Grace and Godly Behavior (2:11-3:11)

3:5-6 Note that this is in keeping with the doctrine that all believers have had the Holy Spirit poured out on them at the time of salvation.

VI. Conclusion (3:12-15)


New Testament Survey by Merrill Tenney : Highly recommend this book for a good background to the life of Jesus and the New Testament. The first half covers background, what the world was like under Roman rule and what the conditions of the Jews were. The second half gives background, outline, and introductions to each of the New Testament books (including Acts).

Bible Background Commentary (New Testament) by Craig S. Keener : Printed by InterVarsity Press, this is an excellent one-volume resource for understanding the customs and background (history, language, and geography) behind the verses of the New Testament. It is not an interpretation of the New Testament as are most commentaries, its purpose is to give background information. I highly recommend this to the serious student of Scripture, who already has a good grasp of the meaning and application of the New Testament.

Bible Knowledge Commentary (New Testament, Volume II) by the Staff of Dallas Theological Seminary : Admittedly a 'dispensational' interpretation, meaning that the authors take the book of Revelation very literally and teach that Jesus will take the Church out of the world before the 'Tribulation Period'. Although I do not agree totally with their opinions, I have found this to be a fair commentary, also explaining the views of others which the authors do not hold. If you use my notes you will receive some insight as to where the points of disagreement are. Highly recommended as the best short commentary on the market. I am easily in agreement with 98% of what this commentary teaches, and who knows if I am right about the other 2%??

Updated March 2012
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