Walking Thru The Bible

New Testament -- Titus / Philemon

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                 Walking Thru The Bible

                           TITUS & PHILEMON




     Who Was Titus?  Precious little is known about Titus except from his labors

     in connections with the Apostle Paul.  He is not mentioned anywhere in Acts,

     however, we know that he was a close and trusted associate of the great



       His absence in Acts has led some to speculate he may have been a brother

     or other close relative to Luke.


       Titus was of Greek ancestry evidently converted to the Lord by Paul

     himself.  In connection with Paul's defense of his ministry among Gentiles, he

     took Titus with him to Jerusalem as a "test case" of the church's willingness

     to receive a converted Greek who had not be circumcised (Gal.2:1-3).


       In the interval between the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians, Paul sent Titus

     to work with the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 8:16-24).  Paul had absolute

     confidence in Titus' integrity and faithfulness (2 Cor. 12:17-18).  Titus

     evidently handled the situation well.


       After Paul's release from his first imprisonment at Rome, he took Titus

     with him to Crete and left him in charge of the work there (Titus 1:5).  He

     appears to have been with Paul at Rome during the second imprisonment and

     was still serving under Paul's leadership in ministering to the churches (2



     The Date of Titus?  Paul's letter to Titus was written during the time between

     the two Roman imprisonments, about AD 63.


     Background of the Book to Titus.

       Titus was working with the church at Crete when this letter was written

     to him (1:5).  He was there to correct some problem and to appoint elders in

     the church.  Paul was evidently at Nicopolis, or planning to arrive there shortly

     for winter, and wanted Titus to join him there upon completion of his mission



       Crete was a large island in the Mediterranean Sea.  The church there may

     have been founded through Jewish converts on Pentecost (Acts 2:11).  Paul

     visited Crete briefly on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner in the fall of AD 59

     (Acts 27:7-21).  He returned with Titus after his release from the first



       The Cretians were widely known as an immoral people (1:12).  So Titus

     must have had a difficult task on his hands in trying to organize and stimulate

     the work of the church in such an environment.


     Purpose of the Book of Titus.

       It appears that Paul had two major purposes in writing this letter.  First,

     he wanted to encourage Titus in the task he had left him to do.  Second, Paul

     gave him some specific instructions how to accomplish his mission.

       The letter to Titus was written about the same time as the first letter to

     Timothy and is very similar to it.  The letter is designed to serve as credentials

     strengthening Titus' hand in fulfilling his ministry on the island of Crete.

       Paul probably considered that Titus would encounter some resistance and

     this letter of authority from an apostle would give credibility among the

     brethren there  (cf. Titus 2:15).


     Overview of the Book of Titus.

       Paul opens the brief letter with the customary greeting of the first-century

     (1:1-4).  He reminds Titus of his duties on Crete (1:5) and lists some

     qualifications of the men Titus is to appoint to serve as elders of the church

     (1:6-9).  He warns Titus to be on guard against the Jewish and Greek

     opponents which he would encounter in his work (1:10-16).


       In the rest of the book we see Paul urging a pattern of good works and

     stressing that sound doctrine requires right living (2:1-3:15).  Paul counsels

     godliness among aged men (2:1-2) and aged women (2:3), among younger

     women (2:4-5) and young men (2:6).


       Paul gives particular encouragement to Titus personally (2:7-8) and to

     persons who found themselves in the unfortunate position of being slaves (2:9-10).  He writes of the graced of God (2:11-14) and bids Titus to declare it

     boldly (2;15).  He speaks of the sort of life all Christians must live before the

     world (3:1-7) and condemns heretics who refuse sound doctrine (3:8-11).

       Paul closes his letter to Titus with some personal remarks (3:12-14) and

     a farewell (3:15).




     Date.  This letter was sent to Philemon about AD 62 at the same time that

     letters were sent to the Colossians and Ephesians  (Ph 10, 13; Col.4:7-9;

     Eph.6:21ff).  Paul was still a prisoner in Rome and this group of letters was

     written while there  (along with the one to the Philippians).  Onesimus and

     Tychicus were the bearers of the letter to the Colossians (4:7-9) and Tychicus

     the bearer of the one to the Ephesians (6:21) while Onesimus bears this letter

     to Philemon (v.10).


     Personal character of the Epistle.  There is no great doctrinal matter

     involved nor is it addressed to a church.  But it is a delightful picture of

     domestic life among Christians in a little community in Asia Minor.


     A family group.  Apphia seems to be the wife of Philemon and Archippus is

     their son (v.1ff).  Their home was used as a meeting place for the church in

     Colossae (v.2).  The possession of slaves did not necessarily indicate great

     wealth, unless their number was considerable.  This family probably came to

     know and love Paul during his work at Ephesus (Acts 10:10).


     Onesimus.  He had a good name ("profitable") but had not lived up to it

     (v.10), he was a runaway slave.  In Rome, a favorite resort for runaway slaves,

     he had been converted to Christ by Paul.  Paul calls him his "child" and "a

     brother beloved" (v.10,16).


     Return of Onesimus.  Paul acknowledges Philemon's legal claim on his slave

     Onesimus, and so sends him back but with a pleas for Philemon to voluntarily

     return him to help Paul (vs. 8-14).  Paul speaks highly of Onesimus' Christian

     character and pleads for his reception on that basis and offers to repay what

     financial losses Philemon may have suffered when his servant ran away.


     Christian slaves.  Slavery had its grip on the Roman empire.  These slaves

     were not all lower class people by any means.  Many of them were captives of

     war.  Some of them were persons of real culture and distinction.  The

     conversion of slaves to Christ often put the master and slave in the same

     church.  No where does Paul show more consummate skill than in the handling

     of such a subject in this Epistle.


     Gradual emancipation.  Paul saw in Christianity a spirit of love for Christian

     slaves as men and brethren which had in it the seeds of destruction of human

     slavery.  This leaven of freedom has worked through the ages, and the Epistle

     to Philemon is a charter of freedom.


     Christian courtesy.  Being a Christian includes showing a gracious courtesy

     toward all men.  Paul did not rail at Philemon but gently persuades and pleads

          with him.


              THE GRACE OF GOD

                        Titus 2:11-13


       1. These remarks written by Paul to Titus a gospel preacher.

       2. Titus's mission in Crete.

          a.   Ch. 1 discusses "Congregation Order"

          b.   Ch. 2 discusses "Christian Conduct"

       The Meaning of Grace.

       1. "Grace" means "unmerited favor",  "undeserved kindness"

       2. "Grace" is the divine side of salvation.  

       Grace Has Appeared 

       1. "Appeared" = manifested, revealed.

       2. God's "grace-plan"

       Grace Brings Salvation

       1. Without grace no salvation

       2. Brings salvation to all men

       3. God's side and man's side of salvation

       Grace Involves Instructions About Living

       1. Christianity is a "taught" religion. John 6:45

       2. God's grace instructs us about righteous living.

          a.   Negatively -- renounce ungodliness, worldly lusts

          b.   Positively -- soberly, righteously, godly

       Grace Involves Wonderful Hope

       1. Our hope undergirded by faith

       2. Our hope "anchors us" -- Heb. 6:19

       Grace Involves Our Concern About the Lord's Final Coming

       1. The New Testament teaches our Lord will return again

       2. The NT teaches what will happen when He comes--



     God's People -- As Presented in Titus 2:14


     Here we see some things about God's people-- the Church.


     1.   It is a Purchased People.

          Christ gave his blood as the purchase price -- Acts 20:28

     2.   It is a Redeemed People.

          "Released by the payment of a price"

     3 It is a Pure People.

          The Lord cleansed his people by washing them. 

     4.   It is a Possessed People

          Selected from all other and special

     5.   A "Zealous-of-good-works" People

          God expects us to be "doers" of the word- not hearers only.

     Conclusion:  The privilege and life of God's people. 

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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