Not very much is known to us, concerning Titus. He was a companion of Paul, a travelling companion, but interestingly enough, he is not mentioned in the Book of Acts. He was the one who took the second letter to the Corinthians, a very strong letter from Paul. And it was delivered by Titus to the Corinthians. He also was the one that Paul sent ahead to Corinth to collect an offering for the church in Jerusalem. He had charge of that.
Now, as Paul writes to him, he is on the island of Crete. Now Crete was the first missionary outreach of the church. Those in the church in Antioch were in prayer. The Holy Spirit spoke and said, separate Paul and Barnabas for the ministry where I have called them. And they prayed and fasted and laid hands on them. And the Spirit sent them forth. They went first to the island of Crete. And that was the first offshore missionary venture of the church—Paul and Barnabas going unto Crete.
Later on, Barnabas took Mark and went back to Crete. There were many churches established there on the island of Crete.
Titus has been sent to Crete, by Paul, to set in order, the things of the church. About the same time that Timothy was in Ephesus, setting things in order and about the same time that Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, he also wrote a letter to Titus. The subject being, the establishing of eldership and church officers. He covers a lot of the same territory that he covered in First Timothy. But this is the Titus who is there in Crete. Paul is encouraging him to establish elders in each of the church overseers, so that the church functions can go on.
So Paul, a servant of God, The word, of course, is doulos, a slave of God. It’s a humble position and yet, on the other hand, it’s a glorious, honorable, position. When Paul says I’m a servant of God, he is putting himself in the company of Moses, who was known as a servant of God. He is putting himself in the company of the prophets, who were known as servants of God. And I don’t know of any greater honor, glory, or privilege of being a servant of God.
and an apostle of Jesus Christ, I’m serving God. I’m an apostle of Jesus Christ. The word, apostle, means one who is sent. So as a servant of God, I’ve have been sent by Jesus Christ and of course, for the purpose of declaring the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
So an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging (And according to the truth.) of the truth which is after godliness; To those who are God’s elect, to bring them into a life of Godliness through the truth. Any truth that doesn’t lead to Godliness, is not real truth. The whole emphasis of the Bible is to bring us into Godly living. Living as God would have man to live. What a glorious thing it would be if everyone were living as God would have us to live!
Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone were living as God would have us to live? Living in love. Living in concern for others. Living in a way that we would be interested in helping others and giving to others and forgiving and merciful and kind, oh, what world that would be!
And you know, the glorious thing is that we are going to live in that kind of a world one of these days, very soon, when Jesus comes again and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth. That’s why we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” So the truth should always lead us to Godliness, to Godly living.
And we live 2In hope of eternal life, Tonight I have hope of eternal life, through Jesus Christ. He died in order that I might experience the life of God! Really, in reality, it is hopefully, you know, you talk about eternal life, you can only be talking about God, the eternal One. But that life of God is something that He imparts to me. And as He has imparted that life to me, it gives me the hope for the future. I’m going to spend eternity in the Kingdom of God!
Paul writing to the Ephesians, he said that at one time you were Gentiles, you were outside of the promises of God, and the covenants of God. And you were without God and without Christ and without hope in the world.
Without Jesus Christ, a person really had no hope for eternal life. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can have eternal life and thus the hope of eternal life.
Quite often I ask a person, on what do you base your hope for eternal life. It’s amazing the answers that you can get. Well, that I live to be—you know, that I’m a good person and all. The things that people are hoping in, it’s sort of sad. As the song said, my hope is built on nothing than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Through Him, the hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, Now, there are some things that God cannot do. God cannot lie. So that’s interesting because that means there are some things that you can do that God can’t do. You can lie, but God cannot lie.
God is not a man (Numbers 23:19) that He should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent: Has He not spoken and shall He not do it? So that hope of eternal life is based upon the promises of God. How strong can it be? How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord? It’s God’ Word, who cannot lie! That the promises of eternal life are given to us! God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life!
So God who cannot lie, promised before the world began; That is, God is eternal. God is all knowing. God created the earth and God created man and placed him upon this planet, Earth. And God gave to man one condition for fellowship with God. And that is that he not eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, for the declaration was, if you eat of that tree, you will surely die.
Adam ate of that tree. God knew that he would eat of it. God had already inaugurated a plan whereby He would demonstrate the depth of His love for man, who was even in sin. That He might redeem man from that sinful state, by the demonstration of the extreme love. And so the plan of salvation was something that was in existence before man every existed, because God knows all things.
Now it brings up a lot of issues. Now if God knew that man was going to sin, why did God make man? If God knew that man would eat of the tree, why did He put the tree in the garden. And you can “Why did God? And why did God? And why did God?” Well, number one, we don’t know all of the answers of why God does what He does. He said My ways are not your ways. My ways are higher than your ways. My ways are beyond your finding out. But there is always that wondering, why would God?
But, God did want a meaningful, loving, relationship with man. For it to be meaningful, it had to be based upon man having a free choice. You see, God could have made us all robots. But if a robot responds to the signals that you are sending to it, how can that touch you, emotionally?
Oh, that blessed little robot, look, I turned the dial, and he turned right. I turned it again, and he turned left. Oh, precious little thing, obedient to me. And as long as the circuitry is all in gear and all, it’ll follow your commands, but you can’t really get excited over it because you know that it’s wired that way and it can’t do anything else.
So God had to create us after His own image, self-determinant, the power of choice. Knowing even that we would make the wrong choices, but yet that was necessary that the love that we express to God, the loving relationship that we come into as we come to God, becomes a meaningful relationship. And so God had to give a choice, but He had to make the choice a very attractive thing. And that makes our choosing Him, even more meaningful because I am choosing not to follow the attractive alternative.
And sin is very glamorous. It is very attractive. It is very appealing to my flesh. My flesh is drawn to sin, the glamour, the glitter, the glory of sin. And for me to deny myself, the flesh life, and to take up the cross to follow Jesus, becomes a very meaningful choice because I am deferring the pleasures of this world, and the pleasures of sin, in order to live a Godly, holy, life because of the hope of eternal life that God has given to me, who cannot lie.
And so I exercise my choice and by so doing, by denying myself and taking up the cross and following Jesus, I come into this meaningful, loving relationship with Him.
Now, no man has given up house and homes or whatever, but what God doesn’t more than amply repay.
You know, there was that song, follow Me, I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk this narrow way. I gave up fame and fortune. I’m worth a lot to Thee. And then I heard so gently, I left My throne in glory. I counted it but loss. My hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross. Be faithful weary pilgrim, just lift your cross and follow Me.
Well, I have found that I have not, as I make an analysis at this point in my life, I really didn’t give up anything. Because God has replaced and given to me so much over and over and over again. No man gives up house and home, brother and family, whatever, for My sake and for the gospel, but what he doesn’t receive in this life a hundred fold and in the life to come, eternal life.
I sometimes sort of think of it as coming into a vast fortune! Say walking through a field and stumbling and looking to see what I stumbled at, and it looked like sort of a piece of metal. I take a stick and begin to dig the dirt away from it. And it looks like it’s a lid! So I continue to dig and surely enough, it’s a treasure back here in Back Bay, that Captain Kidd buried, you know, years ago. And I open the lid and I can’t believe all of the treasure that’s there.
So I cover the thing up. I put the bits of grass and bushes back and go down to the county and find out who owns the property.
Then I go to the owner of the property and ask, how much do you want for that piece of property that you have there near the back bay. And I say, you know, what do you want for it? I get him to give me a price.
Then I go out I sell my car. I take my clothes down to the used clothes place and sell all my clothes. I sell everything I have so I can buy that lot. I come back. I go into escrow. I lay down the funds, having sold everything. And as soon as I have the title deed, I go back and I uncover the chest. I take and I cash in the gold bars and bouillon and all.
Now you think I’m going to run around and try to find the fellow that bought my old car so I can buy it back from him? To go down to the thrift shop, to see if I can buy my clothes back from them?
No! I’ll head for the Mercedes dealer. And then do you go around saying, well, you know, someone says, man, what a beautiful Mercedes, that must have cost you a hundred and fifty grand! Yeah, $154,075. Wow! What a car! Yeah, but man, I had to sell my old Oldsmobile to get it, you know. You don’t go around talking about what you gave up! You start talking about what you got! And you know, when I hear people talking about what they gave up, I thought man, don’t you know what you’ve got?
The hope of eternal life, which God cannot lie, has promised before the world ever began.
3But hath in due times (He has) manifested his word through preaching, The glorious inheritance of the saints, the glorious things that God has for us, in due time through the teaching of the Word, God has shared with man, the hope of eternal life and the treasures of the Kingdom of God, of which, you have become an heir!
And so this glorious preaching of the Word, which (Paul said) is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; This wonderful message, the gospel, the preaching of the Word, committed to me by God, because I’m a servant of God, He’s committed me to share with others, the wonderful treasure that God has for those who will put their trust in Him.
Now he addresses the letter to Titus. 4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: He called Timothy his son, also in the faith. There were many young men who were drawn to Paul because of his total commitment to Jesus Christ. When a person is totally committed to a cause, there is something that is attracting about that person. And people are drawn to a man who is totally committed. And so there were these young men who were drawn to Paul, challenged by Paul. They became helpers of Paul in the ministry. And Paul looked upon them as his sons.
It’s just a wonderful thing to have young men, that you have been able to encourage, that you have been able to school, that you have been able to train for the ministry. And then to see them being blessed in the ministry. What a privilege and what a blessing that is!
Paul had that blessing of watching these young men and seeing them grow and mature in the ministry. And being able to place more and more responsibility upon them. And so Titus is one of those. He has sent him to Crete. He had sent Timothy to Ephesus. And he has instructed them on how to set up the order for the church and in the church.
Titus, my own son after the common faith, Grace, mercy, and peace, Now Paul’s usual salutation to the churches was grace and peace. When he is addressing his two sons in the faith, Timothy and to Titus, he also adds, mercy. He knows that ministers need mercy!
So grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Now notice back in verse three, this preaching committed to Paul, according to the commandment of God, our Savior. You come to verse four, and he said, the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. He is equating God, our Savior with Jesus Christ, our Savior! Just another one of those Scriptures, that show to us the equality in the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
5For this cause (Paul said) left I thee in Crete, So Paul, no doubt, heading out in his missionary journey, would often head to Crete. That was the closest stop when you are sailing.
So I left you in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: So he has left Titus, there in Crete for the express purpose of setting the churches in order, getting organizational structure, establishing elders in each of the churches, giving them and charging them with the responsibility of overseeing the church and the teaching and the ministries within the church.
And then he gives the qualifications for those that were to be the overseers, or the presbuteros, who were the overseers of the church.
6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. So the first qualification, blameless. That is they had to have a good reputation. It is interesting that in the early church, when a problem arose in the distribution of the church welfare, in the Book of Acts, there were a certain group who were Hellenistic, who felt that the widows who Hellenistic, were not getting the same or equal treatment as were the widows who were Hebrew, in culture. They were all Jews, but some were Hellenistic and some were Hebrew, in culture.
So they said, let’s appoint seven men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom, that they might oversee the distribution, so that we can continue to give ourselves continually to the Word of God in prayer.
But even in the choosing of men to take charge of sort of the janitorial duties, if you are serving in the house of the Lord, there should be that kind of commitment to the Lord and to the things of the Lord, and men of good reputation.
In times past, we’ve had people who were employed by the church in various positions, who got into trouble, into trouble with the law. And it cast a bad light on the church. And we’ve had to dismiss some of the employees. Now, they weren’t on the ministerial staff, but they were employed by the church. Even an as employee of the church, if you do something wrong, you cast a bad reflection on the church.
So how much more when you are selecting leadership. You want to find men who are blameless, who are faithful in their marriage, having faithful children. Paul said if a man isn’t able to rule his own house, how can he rule the house of God? And not accused of riot or unruly. Now, in the Greek, it’s prolificat, a wild spender. He’s not to be one who spends lavishly or wild spender. He shouldn’t be living high. Not a high roller, you know. A guy, who lives a fancy high style life, but a simple life. Not given to fancy things and fancy living.
7For a bishop must be blameless, The bishop or the episkopos, so you have the elders, the presbuteros, the bishops, the episkopos. The bishops, the episkopos, must be blameless.
as the steward of God; You are overseeing God’s possession. You are responsible to God’s people. And thus you need to live a life that is blameless.
Now, that is blameless in the sense that there are no proven charges against you. There are times when people will make false accusation against the leadership of the church. And these false accusations can be extremely destructive, because it creates, really, a cloud of suspicion.
There is a church up in the Seattle, Washington, area. It is the largest church in that whole area. And the pastor made a decision that caused a person in the church to become disgruntled. And that person began to spread vicious, untrue, stories about the pastor. It was picked up by the press and all. And this pastor had to ultimately, leave that large, flourishing church because of the false accusations. And that’s a tragedy, the man is a broken man. And it is true that, you know, sometimes people come, they, and as the case up there.
A gal was living with this guy and coming to the church and hearing the Word of God, she came under conviction and moved out. It made him mad. But she felt, you know, if she is going to serve the Lord, she can’t be living with this guy anymore. And so he became so angry, he determined that he was just going to destroy the pastor with false rumors, lies, and all. It’s a tragic thing!
So blameless, that is, there are no proven charges against him. Because he is a steward of God’s goods.
not selfwilled, He is not to be selfwilled.
not soon angry, That is, and the idea is, the word is orgilos, that is a word that speaks of a guy who is constantly going around with a lit fuse. It isn’t, there is another Greek word for angry, which is a guy who sort of blows up and then he is over it. But this is referring to a guy that’s constantly just ready to explode. I mean he is going around and there’s that, ooh, what’s going on, here, you know? And he is just ready to explode over anything.
not given to wine, no striker, The church, interestingly enough, has had problems with men, bishops in authority, who would strike people. And so there was a rule even in the early church against striking someone who could not strike back. In other words, because of their position, they couldn’t strike back. They couldn’t defend themselves. And so you are not to be the kind of person who goes around abusing others. Abuse of authority. Striking someone who doesn’t have the capacity to strike back.
not given to filthy lucre; Money should not be an object of the ministry. It shouldn’t be something, well, as Peter was writing to the elders, that you shouldn’t be in the ministry for filthy lucre’s sake.
I’m sort of happy. God has blessed, of course. It’s very obvious the way God has blessed, so much! And the blessings of God are so great that I’m thankful! I look back on it now. I didn’t understand it then. I look back on it now. And I’m thankful that for the first, oh seventeen years, eighteen years, of my ministry, I had to work in secular work to support my family. The churches I pastored were not able to support the family needs.
When I first came to Calvary Chapel, my salary was $150 a week. That was not sufficient to support the needs of the family. So I did repairs on mobile homes. I washed mobile homes, inside and out. I went out and worked in order to support the needs of the family, so I could stay in the ministry. And that was the case for over eighteen years of my ministry. The first couple of years, pastoring Calvary Chapel, the church was not able to afford an adequate salary.
I’m thankful for that now. Because God has so blessed us, that people say, well, you know, look at that. He’s you know, the pastor of a large church and able to, you know, travel and things like that. Well, thank God! I can’t really be accused by anyone of being in the ministry for filthy lucre’s sake. I paid my dues. I thank God for what He has done.
In reality, God blessed us. I made some investments and I make more off of my investments, than I get from the church. And thus I return, each year, about half of my salary to the church. I’m glad I can do that! But, I love it, in that I can’t be accused of being in the ministry for the money. And I love that.
That’s why I have that, you know, let’s do it freely. Let’s not charge, you know, we are going to go to the Anaheim convention center. Great, let’s just do it. Let’s not take up an offering. And I love that, being able to say, let’s just give to the people. And oh, God has just blessed us to that extent and I just appreciate what God has done, so much.
Now, these are the negatives. He is not to be selfwilled. He is not to be soon angry. He is not to be given to wine. He is not to be someone who goes around striking people. And he’s not be given to filthy lucre.
But in the positive side. 8But a lover of hospitality, He is to be a lover of hospitality.
a lover of good men, He is to be a love of good men.
sober, just, He is to be sober and just.
holy, He is to be holy.
temperate; And he is to be moderate or temperate in things. Not given to excesses.
So, the positive side—love hospitality. Love good men! Sober and fair, holy and temperate.
9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. So he’s got to be a student of the Word, capable of taking the things that he has been taught and sharing them with others.
Paul wrote to Timothy that he was it entrust the Word unto faithful brethren, who would then be able to teach others.
And so the same thing here. The elder has to be a man who can receive the Word of God and then be able to impart God’s truth unto others. Able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers. He’s got to be a good apologist. He’s got to be able to give a reason to every man for the hope that he has.
10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: There were those who were teaching false doctrine. They were disrupting the churches. They were coming in with false doctrine, especially those of the circumcision, that is, those who were declaring that you had to keep the law in order to be saved, those who were saying that faith in Jesus Christ, alone, was not sufficient. That is was also necessary to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses. And there was quite a group in the early church, who tried to mix the law with the obedience of faith and the grace of God. And Paul said, that especially, those of the circumcision, who were vain talkers. They were unruly and they were deceivers.
This morning after the service, I had a lady go up. She told me she enjoyed the sermon and all. I said, I thank you. She said, but now, why do you worship on Sunday, you know? Why don’t you observe the Sabbath? And so I took her to Exodus 31, where it says that God made a covenant with nation of Israel. It was to be God’s covenant between Him and Israel forever. Oh yes, but, you know!
So I said, well, Paul said let no man judge you in respect to holy days, new moons, sabbath days, all of a shadow of things to come. And she was wanting to argue with me at the door. But that’s with the problem with the people that get into legalism, is that they want to put everybody under the law. And they want to have everybody worship because I’m convicted and I believe that Saturday is the day of worship.
I said, you know, Paul said, one man esteems one day above another and another man esteems every day alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded. You want to worship Saturday? Fine! But, you know, arguing with me at the front door, is no place to prove a point.
Paul said, concerning these people, the unruly, vain talkers, deceivers, 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, It’s tragic how these false teachers come in. They infiltrate. They start bringing in their peculiar, weird slant. And they sometimes, can talk very convincingly. And they can move whole households.
teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. They are in it for the money.
Paul, when he was talking to the Ephesian elders, there in Miletus, on his way to Jerusalem, said, I know that after I leave, there is going to rise up false teachers, who are going to come and try and turn you away from the faith. And even from your group, there will be those that will rise up, seeking to draw men after themselves, who god is their belly. In other words, the bottom line motivation is that they are trying to gain an offering. They are trying to gain support from people by their twisted and perverted teaching for filthy lucre’s sake. That’s the bottom line. It’s the money. Watch it!
Peter tells us that with the false prophets, the bottom line is money. They will use deceit and everything else, but the bottom line is money.
You get those letters? The bottom line is money. Could you please send in an offering, you know? From politicians, as well as ministry.
A famous congressman wrote me yesterday. He really doesn’t know me, but he wanted my opinion on several issues. And you get this very important tone as they set the planks of the Republican party that they really know, you know, the opinions of the constituents. Please mail this back as quickly as possible and enclose, you know. The bottom line, my opinion? They don’t care what I think. They want my signature or autograph on the bottom of a check.
12One of themselves, (These false teachers and so on.) even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Now the Cretians did have a bad reputation. When you look at the writings of the ancient Greeks and the history and so forth, the Cretians had a bad reputation. They had the reputation that they would do anything for a buck. Honest or dishonest, they didn’t care. That they were never to do business with the Cretians, because they were dishonest in their business practices. And so they had a reputation for being liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true.
Wherefore rebuke them sharply, Those that were living this kind of a life. Those who were lying, the truth didn’t mean anything, that were dishonest, that were corrupt in their practices, rebuke them sharply!
that they may be sound in the faith; And there is a place for rebuke from the pulpit.
Jesus said, as many as I love, I rebuke! And so there is that place for rebuke.
14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Rebuke them sharply. Don’t get into these things that these people are teaching. Rebuke them that they not give heed to these Jewish fables that would put you back under the law.
Unto the pure all things are pure: But unto the pure, all things are pure. If your heart is pure before God, all things are pure.
but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. It’s interesting, isn’t it? As you look at a person, a person who is pure, it follows through. A person, whose mind is corrupt and polluted, that follows through. All things they can make something dirty out of everything. The impure mind, and everything has a, you know, sort of a double meaning. They can pollute everything. Some men’s mind are like race horses. They run best on a dirt track. They think dirty things all the time. And everything turns to a dirty connotation. Where a person who is pure—all things are pure. They see things in the purity, rather than in that other light.
16They profess that they know God; Now these who were teaching these things and turning and perverting the pepole and trying to bring them into bondage and were there for filthy lucre’s sake, they professed that they knew God.
but in works they deny him, But they denied Him in their works. And that is true of so many people today. There is a profession that they know God.
I imagine, it’s an interesting thing, the Gallop polls that come out, showing that 90% of the people in America believe in God and things of this nature. They profess to know God. But if you really knew God, you couldn’t be living the way they live.
Who when they knew God, Paul said, they glorified Him not as God. And that’s exactly what we see today, people who profess to know God, but they are not glorifying Him as God. But they become vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts are darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they’ve actually become fools and they have taken and changed the glory of an incorruptible God and fashioned it like unto beasts and creeping things. Because they did not want to retain God in their minds, God gave them over to reprobate minds. So they professed to know God but in their works they deny Him.
being abominable, Their works are abominable.
and disobedient, They are disobedient.
and unto every good work reprobate. The word there is counterfeit. Their appearance of good works are counterfeit. They are not genuine. They are not real. There is a phoniness to it all. You don’t have to go far to find that. Just pray for discernment!
Father, we thank You for Your Word, a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path, by which we might be led into Your truth. Give us discerning hearts, Lord. We realize that, even as was in Paul’s day, there were many deceivers. So in our day, there are many deceivers who have gone out, whose God is their bellies, who are seeking after filthy lucre, who have turned many from the truth and have drawn people after themselves, rather than after Jesus Christ. Lord, help us to be wise and discerning. And Lord, we do ask that You would help us, that there would be a genuineness to everything that we do for You and for the Kingdom, that we would live lives that are blameless, holy, pure. In Jesus’ name. Amen.