DAY 13 - Read Daily13-11-2019 | Matthew Campbell | YOUTH
Day 13 - Chapter 1 Overview
Questions for reflection:
- Read through Titus 1 again. In what way has Paul noted the importance of gospel truth in these verses?
- Which part of chapter 1 has most:
- surprised you
- encouraged you
- challenged you
3.Which verse / verses in chapter 1 cause you encouragement that you should commit to memory?
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
Well if you’re watching this and you’ve made it on to day 13, congratulations. You have managed to make your way through the whole first chapter of Titus! Already, by the end of chapter 1, we’ve seen that a lot has been happening in this little letter. And so we’re going to use todays devotion as a bit of a recap to remind ourselves of what we have seen so far.
Remember the context of this letter. The author is the apostle Paul; someone who, in the very first verse, identifies himself for us in a peculiar manner. In fact he described himself in 2 seemingly contradictory ways. Firstly he identifies himself as an apostle of God. An apostle is someone who is sent. The early apostles were eye witnesses to the risen Christ. In fact Ephesians 2:20 tells us that the church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. In other words, Paul identities himself as someone who carries authority due to the fact he’s an apostle.
But he's not just an apostle of God, Paul also identifies himself as a servant of God. In other words, since Paul was radically transformed by the gospel, he has found himself being in submission to this great God who rescued him from sin. So the author of this book is both an apostle (a position of great privilege) and a servant (a position of great humility).
And why is he writing this letter? Well he’s writing it to a man called Titus. It appears from verse 5 that Paul and Titus had previously visited the island of Crete on a missions trip to preach the gospel. It seems, from this mission trip, people had got saved. Paul moves on but he leaves Titus in Crete, for what purpose? Well Paul tells us explicitly in v5. ‘This is why I left you in Crete - so that you might bring order’
Titus’ job is to bring order and structure and encouragement to these churches in Crete through their infant years. And so Paul writes to give some instruction as to what that should look like.
If you could summarise Paul’s key message in chapter 1, it could perhaps be that Titus ought to ensure that the gospel is kept central in the life of these churches!! We see this message communicated to Titus, perhaps, in 3 movements throughout this first chapter.
Firstly, by way of introduction, Paul reminds Titus that the the truth of the gospel really is the key for sanctification. He opens by saying, effectively, i’m writing this letter for God’s people and their knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness (v1). Paul makes it abundantly clear that truth transforms. Does Titus want to see Christians grow and develop in their Christian walk? Then their knowledge and understanding of the truth was going to be a key which enabled that to happen!
Secondly, Paul sets about the business of ensuring that Titus appoints Godly leaders in each town. Paul is making it clear that, if a church is to grow in godliness, their leadership is key. However, what was perhaps most surprising, was what Paul said Titus should look for in these leaders. He wasn’t to look for people who were good at developing spreadsheets and had degrees in Business management. No, primarily Titus was to look for people of godly character.
Thirdly, we’ve seen the danger of false teaching to the health of the local church. This teaching is subtle, it sounds appealing, but the reality is, according to Paul, it will ultimately destroy them. Titus is to protect the teaching of the word to ensure that they remain ‘sound in the faith.’
Why not read over the first chapter of Titus again, and note all the ways in which Paul desires Titus to keep the gospel central in the life and ministry of the church. And as you do that, ask yourself the question ‘Is the gospel central in my life?’ and ‘what am I doing to ensure my knowledge and appreciation of the gospel is continuing to grow?’