Paul & Titus (Titus 1:4-5)

I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.

5 I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.

Titus 1:4-5 NLT

Over a series of recent posts, I talked through some of the details of the first three verses in Paul’s letter to Titus. These next two verses give us a summary of precisely who Paul is writing to.

Paul states clearly that he is writing to Titus. Who is Titus exactly? Well, a person of this name is mentioned several times throughout the New Testament including in Galatians and 2 Corinthians. Some speculate that Titus may be another, more informal name for Timothy, and I wonder if the various references to Titus are all in fact the same person. Ultimately, we could discuss such points at length and although interesting, does not detract from the content of the letter itself.

Paul describes Titus, whomever he may be, as his true son in the faith. Not every son has to be biologically linked to us, and indeed, some of our closest family may be people who do not share the same bloodline. What unites Paul and Titus is their shared faith. They both follow Christ, and are children of God.

2 Corinthians 2 says:

But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.

2 Corinthians 2:13 NLT

Here, if it is the same Titus, he is described as a dear brother rather than a true son. Some may point to some weak contradiction here, asking if he is brother or son? But this is a fruitless argument. Like Paul, we are united to our Christian brothers and  sisters through our connection to Jesus. It matters not whether we describe them as parents, siblings or children, we are family.

The latter half of verse four gives one of Paul’s familiar greetings. He asks the Lord to bless his reader – Titus and by extension, us – with grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Christ. Again, it is all too easy to skim over these familiar words, but do let them sink in. We rejoice in God’s grace towards us, and no amount of money can purchase peace. If you do nothing else today, spend some time thinking about these two terms and meditating on their meaning.

May God the Father and Christ #Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace. Titus1:4b #Bible

Verse five tells us what Titus was doing on Crete, which is a Greek island if you are not aware. Paul and Titus clearly worked there for the Gospel, planting churches and making disciples. When Paul moved on to continue his missionary journeys, he left Titus behind to complete the work” and to “appoint elders in every town.”

I do not know if you have ever been involved in setting up a church? It is no easy task, and there is much to do and much help required from God and people. Paul’s role and calling, as we saw from the earlier part of this letter, was to proclaim faith to those God has chosen. While part of that call involved teaching, it is clear that Paul was not a pastor, and so not intended to stay with one single fellowship of believers. Titus remained behind to finish this work of setting up the churches of Crete, and a big part of this involved appointing elders.

A church building

In the verses that follow, we will look to understand what an elder is, and what qualifications or requirements there are for potential elders of the church.

Before I close, let us not forget that we all have a different calling. Paul was called to move on, and Titus to stay. Neither is superior to the other, they are just different. If I preach and write, I am no better than someone who plants a church, runs the church administration or even cleans the building. There is one body, but this body is made up of different parts. We need each other. Do not disdain your own calling – embrace it. If God is calling you to do x, y or z, then do it faithfully. Do not waste your time wishing you were the pastor, worship leader or anything else. Give your life to your calling, follow God and glorify Him in the way He has instructed you.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of #Christ. 1Cor12:12 #Bible #Jesus

Are you called to be an elder? Or is God asking you to pray for your eldership or leadership team instead? Whatever God is asking of you, do it with all of your heart.

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