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Titus study guide

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This short book may be combined with Philemon for a one-hour study session.
Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book.
Orientation Titus is book #17 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is one of Paul's letters. For more information see the Bible Overview page.

Synopsis In this book, Paul write to Titus, who is pastoring on the island of Crete. Each of the three chapters contains a belief statement (explanation of a part of our faith), and practical advice for the church there.

Chapter 1 leads off with the first belief statement: the promise of eternal life (1:1-3) - Paul directs Titus to continue the work of building the church on the island of Crete, reminding him of his responsibility (1:5). He describes the qualifications of church leaders (1:6) and how to deal with rebellious deceivers (1:10).

Chapter 2 focuses on proper conduct in church groups. Paul advises techniques on how to instruct various demographics: older men (2:1), older women (2:3), young women (2:4), young men (2:6), and slaves (2:9). Tthe second belief statement, the promised return of Jesus (2:11-14). Meanwhile, until he does return, followers are to live controlled, upright, and godly lives.

Chapter 3 focuses on proper conduct in the wider community. Followers are also be obedient to civil authorities, and live in harmony with the general community (3:1). The third belief statement: rebirth, justification, and salvation by Jesus (3:4-7). Devote yourselves to doing good for others (3:8) and do not waste time on pointless controversies and arguments (3:9). Divisive persons get two warnings before you should cut him off (3:10). The letter ends with personal greetings.

Activity Paul's instructions are based on three belief statements: 1:1-3, 2:11-14, and 3:4-7. Review just these passages. These are meant to be the 'theory' upon which their practice should be based. Do these passages present a concise summary of the gospel? If you were sent to a desert island and could only bring three paragraphs of the Bible, would these be a good choice? Or would you choose some others?
Discussion points Paul's statement in 3:4-7 brings up two important, but often confused, concepts: grace and mercy. It is vital for believers to know the difference. What is the difference? Can you provide example(s) of each? *
Connections The church on Crete began after some Jews, visiting Jerusalem from Crete, heard Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:5, 2:11). They believed and introduced the gospel upon their return.

Titus is the last of three books called the 'pastoral letters'. Taken together, they provide a manual for church leadership and organization. The other two are 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy.

For source citations see the home page. Revised May 6 2014

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*MERCY and GRACE are opposites. MERCY is when you DO NOT receive what you DESERVE. example: A prisoner asking for a pardon from execution begs for mercy. A person receiving a punishment begs mercy for it to stop. God saves us by mercy. We deserve punishment for our sin, but we do not get it. GRACE is when you DO receive what you DO NOT DESERVE. example: A ruler granting a privilege is an example of grace - thus royalty is addressed 'Your Grace'. Eternal life is a gift given by God's grace. We cannot possibly deserve it. See Titus 2:11 also.