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Thru the Bible—Titus & PhilemonSample

Thru the Bible—Titus & Philemon

DAY 1 OF 4

What a Godly Church Looks Like

Near the end of the apostle Paul’s life and ministry, two things were on his mind. First, he thought about the coming of Jesus Christ, a bright and beautiful hope for everyone who loves Him. And second, he focused on preparing Timothy and Titus, two young pastors, to do ministry work.

Paul’s letters to these young pastors are called pastoral epistles because they include instructions on leading a local church. Paul and Titus served the Lord together on Crete, an island off the coast of Greece. After Paul left to do another ministry, Titus remained there as pastor. Paul later followed up with this letter, directing Titus on specific ministry issues he faced leading a somewhat unruly congregation.

This epistle to Titus gives us a picture of what a “New Testament church” community should look like. The ideal church should be orderly (chapter 1), should accurately teach and preach the Word of God (chapter 2), and should practice good works (chapter 3). The church is saved by grace, is to live by grace, and is to demonstrate her faith to the world with good works.

Even in his greeting, Paul teaches us about ministry. He introduced himself as a servant of God, a “bondservant”—a freed slave who chooses to remain his master’s servant for the rest of his life. He also defends his role as an apostle because he speaks on the Lord’s behalf on how to organize the church.

This letter to Titus emphasizes that what we believe about the Lord Jesus reveals something about us. Why is this such a big deal in the epistle to Titus? Because the people in Crete were abusing God’s grace. They rationalized, “If I’ve been saved by grace, then I’m free to live however I want.”

The truth is, if we are saved by grace, then that grace makes us want to be godly and not want to sin more because now our motivation is to please Jesus. We can’t use God’s grace to excuse sin. If we think we can be saved by grace and live in sin, then we are likely not saved at all. Salvation by grace leads to a godly life.

When Paul left Crete, he helped Titus organize the local churches with elders as spiritual leaders. Elders are a gift to the church. They are to be physically and spiritually mature. Those who take care of God’s work should be above criticism and willing to do what God wants. They are not to be quick-tempered, given to addictions, prone to bullying, or greedy for money.

An elder should be described as welcoming to people, loving what is good, helpful, wise, fair, self-controlled, and set apart from anything ungodly. He should understand and teach God’s Word, helping others to apply it and refute heresy.

The churches in Crete had a particularly bad reputation for being liars, lazy, and critical of the house of God, but God had done a great work in the people’s lives. Many turned to Christ, and their lives were changed.

It makes a difference in how we live. When our hearts are changed, our lives reveal that change. Saving faith produces a godly life.

Next: Now that we know what a godly church looks like, what does a godly person look like?


Day 2

About this Plan

Thru the Bible—Titus & Philemon

What you believe about God affects everything you do. Titus focuses on sound doctrine and how to live it out in our lives and communities. Then discover the truth behind the story of the slave, Philemon. In this study co...


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