Book of Titus: Part 4 (Series: Lessons on Titus)
by John Lowe
20 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” This will not happen at the Rapture, but at the Second Coming of Christ. With the display of such unprecedented power, it is easy to see how all that dwell upon the earth will be quick to enlist themselves as worshipers of him. The times of the Gentiles began with man-worship (see. Nebuchadnezzar in Dan 3); and they will end the same way, as is clearly stated here. Only those who have trusted Christ as Savior, whose names are eternally recorded in the book of life of the Lamb, will refuse the beast the worship that belongs only to God.
3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
Alternate Translation (NLT): And now at the right time he has revealed this Good News, and we announce it to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been trusted to do this work for him.
but has in due time manifested His word through preaching. God has a schedule and is always on time. God’s plan is revealed in his word and His Word is made known through preaching. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the message of the Cross) to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21). All of Paul’s ministry was done with a “view” to eternal life. It was promised in eternity past by God, who cannot default on His Word.
There are seasons or periods appointed by God as the appropriate time for the manifestation of His word to us. The “word” is the gospel which was due to be proclaimed as an immediate result of Christ’s redemptive work on the Cross, the resurrection and ascension of Christ and the descending of the Holy Spirit. When God was dealing with mankind during all the preceding ages, he was preparing them for the coming of Christ and the cross. The preaching of the gospel is the message for today, and everyone needs to hear it for Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, by the word preached.
which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior At just the right time, God made known this glorious program of eternal life which He had decided on in past ages. He had not fully revealed it in OT times. Believers then had a very hazy idea of life after death. But the vagueness disappeared with the coming of the Savior. He “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). And the good news was broadcast by Paul and the other apostles in fulfillment of the commandment of God our Savior, that is, in obedience to the Great Commission.
Paul stated that he was appointed by God to perform his ministry. The ministry is a trust and an honor, and all those who are appointed or called to preach, must preach the word (211 Co. 9:16). Preaching is a work appointed by God the Savior. The proof of Christ’s deity, and that He committed the preaching of the gospel to Paul is found in his conversion (Acts 9:15, 17, and ch. 22:10, 14, 15), and again when Christ appeared to him, v. 17–21. Christ is this Savior: the Father saves by the Son through the Spirit, and all three concur in sending ministers. Therefore, do not accept a minister who rests in men’s calling, but is without God’s, since it is God who furnishes, calls, authorizes, and gives the opportunity for the work of a preacher.
21 “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” Paul is ironically answering now the questions he asked to begin with. “Am I not free, am I not an apostle?” The implied answer to the first is “no”; as for the second, “yes, but that is no cause for glorying.” "For necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Alternate Translation (NLT): This letter is written to Titus, my true child in the faith that we share. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.
To Titus, a true son in our common faith: The Letter is addressed to Titus, Paul’s true son in a common faith. But who is this Titus? We have to piece together his biography from sparse references to him in three of Paul’s Letters. A Greek by birth (22Gal. 2:3), he was born again by faith in the Lord Jesus, possibly through Paul’s ministry. A battle was then raging over what was the true gospel. On one side were Paul and all those who taught salvation by grace through faith plus nothing. On the other side were the Judaizers who insisted that circumcision (and thus law-keeping) was required, for first-class citizenship in God’s kingdom. Titus became a test case in the controversy. Paul and Barnabas took him to Jerusalem (23Gal. 2:1) for a conference with the apostles and elders. The decision of the council was that a Gentile like Titus did not have to submit to Jewish laws and ceremonies in order to be saved (24Acts 15:11). Gentiles did not have to become Jews. Jews did not have to become Gentiles. Rather, Jews and Gentiles became a new creation when they believed in Jesus.
22 "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:"
23 “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me."
24 “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
From then on, Titus became one of Paul’s most valuable assistants, serving as a “trouble-shooter” in Corinth and Crete. He was the right man for a tough assignment. The apostle first sent him from Ephesus to Corinth with one of the severest letters Paul ever wrote (252 Cor. 8:16), presumably to correct doctrinal and ethical disorders in the assembly there. When Titus later rejoined Paul in Macedonia, Paul was overjoyed to hear that the Corinthians had responded positively to his apostolic admonitions (2 Cor. 2:12, 13; 7:5–7, 13–16). From Macedonia, Paul sent Titus to Corinth again, this time to expedite a collection for poor saints in Jerusalem (2 Cor. 8:6, 16, 17; 12:18). Paul described him as “my partner and fellow worker concerning you” (2 Cor. 8:23). We do not know definitely when Paul was with Titus in Crete, but it is generally believed to have been after the apostle’s first imprisonment in Rome.
25 “But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.” What Paul is asking of the Corinthians in terms of spontaneous loving concern for brethren in need, is reflected in the attitude of Titus toward them. Notice here that Paul understands that the character qualities distinctive of a spiritual life are not intrinsic to human nature, but given by God."
The last mention of Titus is in 262 Timothy 4:10. He was with Paul during part of his second imprisonment, but then Paul reports him as having left for Dalmatia, the Yugoslavia of today. Paul may have sent him there, though the general tone of the verse is that of a lonely and deserted man.
26 "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
The apostle speaks of Titus as his true son (his spiritual son) in a common faith (the faith common to all the people of God). This may mean that Paul was instrumental in Titus’ conversion, but not necessarily. Paul also addressed Timothy as his true son in the faith (21 Tim. 1:2), yet it is possible that Timothy was already a disciple when Paul first met him (27Acts 16:1). So the expression may mean that these younger men exhibited spiritual qualities similar to Paul’s, and that in Christian service there was a family-like bond.
27 “Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.”
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. For his young lieutenant, Paul wishes grace, mercy, and peace. In this context, grace means the divine strength needed for life and service. Mercy is compassion on man’s deep need. Peace means freedom from anxiety, panic, and distraction despite adverse circumstances. These come jointly from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. In thus linking the Father and the Son as the sources of grace, mercy, and peace, the Spirit of God implies their complete