Paul and Titus labored together for the Gospel in Crete but eventually Paul left to continue Gospel work in other places. Titus continued the tough work in Crete. Crete was a difficult place to minister, so Paul was confident that Titus was up for the task at hand and therefore leaves him some instructions that are laid out in this letter. As is common for Paul his opening greeting of the letter is packed with truth that reveals much about Paul before we even learn of his instructions for Titus. Here are four things we learn of Paul that we can use to examine our own lives. Paul’s life and mission should cause us to examine our life and mission.
Paul Defined (v. 1). Paul defines himself in and by Jesus Christ and nothing else. He describes himself as “...a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness. Paul was a slave for Christ. The greatest thing we can be is a slave for God. It is the highest calling with the lowliest of titles. As God’s servant Paul was an apostle or messenger for Jesus Christ. We are all called to be messengers and ambassadors for Christ. Who or what defines us? My job? My possessions? My status in the community? Jesus?
Paul’s Destiny (v. 2). Paul understood his destiny—Heaven! Paul lived his life on the hope of eternal life. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” When we truly grasp the hope that is provided for us through Jesus Christ and a God who cannot lie then we can boldly stand of the promises of God and carry out the mission of the local church. Why is the church today so anemic? Its hope rests in money, buildings, and programs. When our hope rests in God and God alone and we are sure that what He has done for us is enough, then boldness will enter into our lives again.
Paul’s Duty (v. 3). Paul understood his specific calling was to preach the Gospel. “But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.” God was making His Word known (and still is) through preaching and Paul says that this preaching was committed or entrusted unto him as commanded by our Savior. While not all of us are commanded to preach from the pulpit, all of us are commanded to preach the Gospel in the ways God has gifted us. Do we understand your calling or your duty? Are we doing it or leaving it to someone else?
Paul’s Disciple (v. 4). Finally, Paul was the master discipler of people. So many men fell under his teaching. Titus is one of those men. Titus became so close to Paul that he called Titus, ...mine own son after the common faith. Crete was a very tough place as the people of Crete were considered some of the most wicked and difficult. Paul was not afraid to dive into the tough jobs and take other men with him. He took the jobs that no one else wanted. Perhaps that’s why he had so much success as he was willing to dig in places that no one else would dig therefore he found diamonds that no one else would find. How about us? Are we willing to disciple and dig in the tough places or is the comfort of the church pew enough for us? That is not what God intends for us as His people.