TITUS: Christ`s Life within develops Purity of Life.
This letter to Titus was written by Paul. Titus was believed to have been converted by Paul on his visit to Cyprus, in his first missionary journey. Titus later came to Paul in Ephesus and ministered comfort to him. (2 Cor. 7: 6) He also went up to Jerusalem with Paul and Barnabas to share of God`s work among the Gentiles. (Gal. 2: 1)
Later Paul and Titus went again to Cyprus to encourage the believers there. Titus stayed and became an overseer to the group. Paul recognised that many of the people in Cyprus were proverbially untrustworthy, vicious and sensual, thus making Titus` task a difficult one. However, it is Christ, Paul says, that makes purity of life possible.
`For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.` (Titus 2: 11 - 15)
Thus Paul wrote from Macedonia to advise Titus on working with others, recognising eldership and those whom believers could trust. The letter is full of practical advice to the young overseer and directions for his work.
`Remind them (believers) to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing humility to all men.` (Titus 3: 1 & 2)
Paul warns Titus against the heretics of his day -
`..avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.` (Titus 3: 9 - 11)
Finally the importance of good works is stressed in this letter of Paul. Not that we are saved by good works, but that we are saved unto good works.
`And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.` (Titus 3: 14)