Paul wrote this epistle to Titus around the same time that he wrote 1 Timothy which was about 65 AD. This epistle of 3 chapters, 46 verses, and 896 words is similar to 1 Timothy in that they both concern the proper order of the local church. The emphasis in 1 Timothy is on doctrine. The emphasis in Titus is on conduct.
Titus was a Greek young man that was saved and trained under Paul’s ministry (Titus 1:4). He is not mentioned by name in the book of Acts, but he is mentioned thirteen times in Paul’s epistles. Based upon the things Paul said about him we know that he was a great help to him in the ministry (e.g., 2 Cor 2:13; 7:6; 8:16, 23; 12:18). He went with Paul to the meeting in Jerusalem (recorded in Acts 15) as an example of a Gentile who was saved without circumcision (Gal 2:1-10). He must have been a bold young man for Paul to trust him to stand with him at that controversial meeting. Some think that Titus deserted Paul in the end (2 Tim 4:10), but that is not clearly stated.
Titus was overseeing the work on the island of Crete when Paul wrote this letter to him. He was entrusted with the major responsibility of setting things in order and ordaining elders (Titus 1:5). Crete was one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Just south of Greece, the island was famous for its “hundred cities.” The Cretians did not have a good reputation (Titus 1:12-13). The fact that there were now Christian men on the island qualified to serve as elders in the church is a great illustration of the power of the gospel. The Cretians may have been liars (Titus 1:12), but God, that cannot lie (Titus 1:2), can change anybody by the power of His faithful word (Titus 1:9).
I. Greeting (1:1-4)
Il. Church Leadership (1:5-16)
Ill. Christian Living (2:1-3:11)
IV. Conclusion (3:12-15)
Like the first epistle to Timothy, this epistle was written after Acts 28, but it is not a prison epistle. From the internal evidence, we learn that after Paul’s release from the Roman prison, Titus journeyed with him and they preached in Crete, where the apostle left him to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city.” When he completed that work, he was instructed to join Paul at Nicopolis (Titus 3:12).
The word “doctrine” is used sixteen times in the Pastoral Epistles.
Protect the Doctrine (1 Tim 1:3-4, 18-20)
Proclaim the Doctrine (2 Tim 4:1-4)
Practice the Doctrine (Titus 2:1, 10)
The major theme of Titus is the necessity for good works to be evident in the life of the believer (Titus 1:15-16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14). In this book that emphasizes good works, Paul makes it very clear that we are not saved by works (Titus 3:3-7).
No one can read Titus and say the Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus Christ is God. Notice the alternate wording in the following verses:
God our Saviour (Titus 1:3), Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour (Titus 1:4); God our Saviour (Titus 2:10), Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13); God our Saviour (Titus 3:4), Jesus Christ our Saviour (Titus 3:6).
Faithful sayings found in the Pastoral Epistles:
Salvation (1 Tim 1:15)
Godliness (1 Tim 4:8-9)
Eternal Glory (2 Tim 2:10-13)
The last faithful saying in Titus defines a faithful saying as being that which must be affirmed constantly and brings all three together in one passage (Titus 3:4-8).