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Titus - Purpose Statement

Purpose Statement for the Epistle to Titus
(Draft - there are some points missing)

1.      The Purpose

a)      Paul is writing to Titus to authorise him as an apostolic delegate in the churches in Crete in order that Titus would have authority and be so encouraged to deal with issues within the churches, appointing elders, silencing and rebuking false teaching, so the churches would be in good stead when Titus leaves, as requested by Paul, and travels to Nicopolis in order to be with Paul during winter.

2.      Substantiation of the Purpose

b)      In Titus 1:1-9 Paul reminds Titus of his status as an apostle in Jesus Christ and of the purpose for which he left Titus in Crete; work that was left unfinished (1:5), which included the appointing of elders in every town, refuting those that apposed him, and dealing severely with the Judaisers (3:10,11).

i)        Paul sets out for Titus the qualifications of an elder (1:6-9) whom would encourage others with sound doctrine and refute those that oppose true doctrine in order that Titus could leave the Crete churches in the hands of qualified men.

c)      In Titus 1:10-16 Paul sets out for Titus the social context of Crete in order to encourage him to take firm control of the appointment of elders and deal forcibly (i.e. not timidly: "they MUST be silenced") with false teaching.

i)        Paul points out to Titus the church had rebellious people, Jews (of the circumcision), in positions of power, who were deceiving the churches with false teaching of myths (1:14) and the law (3:9), and who had to be silenced order to prevent the destruction of whole households (1:11).

ii)       Paul explains to Titus that some of the underlying issues of the church arises from the culture from whence the church has grown; that even the heathen philosophers of Crete recognised that the social construct of Crete allowed for of false and evil ways (1:12), stated in order to encourage Titus to deal with the false teachings and build a church sound in the faith (1:13).

iii)     Paul outlines the problem of attitudes from a corrupt society being applied to a church (1:15-16) in order that Titus might understand the seriousness of the issue.

d)      In Titus 2:1-15 Paul tells Titus that he must fix certain problems and sets out how each class of person in the churches aught conduct themselves in order that the churches would function properly.

i)        In Titus 2:1-2 Paul highlights the importance of sound doctrine and the marks of godly walk of older men in order that the church would have men of faith as an example for others.

ii)       In Titus 2;3-4 Paul points out that older women have an important role in the church, cognisant of the disruption idle women can make in various congregations (see 1 Tim 5:9-16); they are to teach younger women (cf 2 Tim 1:5 and is constant with Paul's instructions to Timothy) and to be godly in their conduct in order that none will malign the word of God.

iii)     In Titus 2:6-8 Paul tells Titus to encourage young men by setting an example and teaching them to be self-controlled in order that nothing bad can be said about them.

iv)     In Titus 2:9-10 Paul tells Titus that slaves must be trained to be fully trustworthy in order that they are a witness to those around in order to adorn or showing up the true doctrine of God (KJV 2:10).

v)      In Titus 2:11-15 Paul encourages Titus that it is the grace of God that brings salvation which was given in order that God would have himself a purified people of his very own in order that Titus would, with authority (let no one despise you), deal with false doctrine, refuting and silencing those that are ungodly and governed by worldly passions (2:12).

(1)   Paul gives Titus the apostolic authority to rebuke false doctrine (related in part, if not in the most, to the re-introduction of elements of the law) ungodly living and passion for things of the world (2:15) in order to bring the church back to the truth.

e)      In Titus 3:1-11 Paul reminds Titus of the basis of sound doctrine and sets out the procedure for Titus to silence the Judaisers in the order that false teaching was eliminated from the churches.

i)        Firstly Paul reminds Titus in 3:1-2 that there is a God ordained structure of authority in this world, which all need to be subject to, along with the tenet of conduct, that all are to show humility, in order that the Church might conduct itself in a manner that does not bring the word of God into disrepute (perhaps in the aspect to loving one another and loving that which is good, eg 1:8, 2:2, 2:4 & 3:4).

ii)       In Titus 3:3-8 Paul, knowing that much of the false teaching came from Jews re-introducing the requirements of the law, reminds Titus of the basis of the true doctrine of salvation: that it was nothing anyone has or could do, but salvation is due solely to the mercy of God through grace (used four times), and this is by the washing of rebirth (3:4) and renewal by the Holy Spirit, in order to encourage Titus to silent and refute false teachings introduced by certain Jews (1:10).

iii)     In Titus 3:9 Paul reminds Titus that the law and endless rhetoric of the Jews had no placed in church teachings or conversations in order the church would cease to engage in unprofitable and useless teachings.

iv)     In Titus 3:10,11 Paul sets out the procedure to deal with false teachers who are warped and sinful (3:11) in order to cleanse the church of false doctrine.

v)      Paul finally reminds Titus that all must show good works in order that they would not be unfruitful (3:14).

f)       Paul in Titus 3:12-15 requests Titus to come to Nicopolis to be with Paul during winter, after Artimas or Tychicus arrive in Crete.

This was prepared as an assignment for ACM - Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles by Geof Smith.
David L Simon (November 2008 amended)