Doing the Right Thing

Key Verse: “Show yourself in all respects a model of good works and in your teaching integrity, gravity.”
—Titus 2:7 New Revised Standard Version

Selected Scriptures:
Titus 2:7, 8, 11-14;

TITUS WAS A LOYAL HELPER to Paul in his ministry. Very little is known about his early Christian life. We know he was a Gentile Greek and was taken by Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem for the conference they held with the apostles and elders to decide what part of the Law of Israel should be observed by the Gentile converts to Christianity. (See Gal. 2:1) It is not known whether he was a member of the Antioch church when Paul was brought there by Barnabas, or whether they found him on Cyprus and he returned with them to Antioch at the conclusion of Paul’s first journey. In any case he became a faithful helper to Paul, and one of his assignments during Paul’s third journey was to help establish congregations on the island of Crete.

The epistle bearing his name was written to him while he was on Crete doing this work. We note that Paul calls him “mine own son” (Titus 1:4), as he also addressed Timothy. This could indicate that he was a young man, as was Timothy, and that Paul had brought him into the body of Christ. The exhortations to Titus are very similar to those given to Timothy. He gave Titus the qualifications for elders as he had to Timothy. He also cautioned him against the Jews who resided there, and other philosophers who would try to sway the new Christians. He was to do good and by this means to stop the critics. He was not only to teach proper Christian behavior but to be a model to all. Our lives can deliver much more effective sermons than can our words.

Paul’s advice covered relationships with both older people and younger people. He stressed teaching obedience to the powers that be, and not to be disorderly. He also was to stress the love that God has for all men as demonstrated in his plan of salvation. Those being called of God are to be heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (chap. 3:4-7) The kind of teaching Titus was to do was explained by Paul as follows, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (chap. 2:11-15) Titus was not only to teach the people these things, but was to live as an example of the believers and do the right thing.

We can be sure that Titus would do the right thing in his assignment at Crete. Prior to his assignment he carried a letter to the Corinthian brethren in which Paul was hoping to explain the necessity for the harsh words he had written to them in his first letter. Paul was so busy that he couldn’t go personally, but had to send Titus. They were to meet at Troas, but both were delayed. A door of opportunity to preach at Troas had opened. Finally Titus brought good news to Paul at Philippi that all was well.—II Cor. 2:12,13; 7:5-8,13-16

Dawn Bible Students Association
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