(Titus 1:1) Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to [for the sake of] the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging [knowledge] of the truth which is after godliness;

Paul identifies himself, his role, and his calling to the recipients of this letter (and to all Christians who consider it to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God.) Paul is a servant of God; he is not doing this work for his own purpose but, rather, for God's. Paul is an apostle, meaning that his teachings on behalf of God are infallible.

Truth and godliness go together; one who is a sincere seeker of truth will live a godly, holy, righteous life. Conversely, only someone who lives this kind of God-pleasing lifecan be a genuine seeker of truth. Only in obeying God's moral lawcan we live this kind of life. If we base our living on untrue teaching,we will fall into error and our lives will not reflect God's truth. Notice that works play a role in all this; as James mentions so clearly, you cannot separate faith from works.

We cannot live a life in harmony with God's truth unless we have knowledge of this truth. This is a key purpose of the apostolic ministry, to preach true teaching, infallible teaching.

Paul mentions God's elect.God's elect have faith. Since faith requires choosing, this means that being the elect of God is a gift from God requiring choosing to receive the gift; we are not made elect by a divine fiat of God, rather, God presents the offer to everyone. Some accept it, some reject it.

Faith and knowledge: doctrine is a key ingredient of the gospel — getting the facts and message right.

(Titus 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

God promised eternal life before creating Adam and Eve.Who did he promise this to? He promised it to himself. As part of the Trinity's plan to create the world and the humans who would inhabit it, God the Father promised the Son that there would be eternal redemption for those who would receive it in faith. God cannot lie, and it came to pass; and we will one day receive our reward of eternity in the new heavens and new earth.

(Titus 1:3) But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

The word "word" refers to a message intended to be believed and to result in a changed life for the purpose of redemption.

It is not the Biblewhich is to be our authority but, rather, the infallibleteaching of the apostles.

Paul claims to have been chosen by Jesus and taught by him for his work as an apostle. The other apostles acknowledged this calling of Paul to this role. Why would God pass-on this same authority to unholy, corrupt bishopswho teach falsehood and heresy?Of course God would not do this; the apostles and the early church fatherswho command Christians to obey their religious leaders all assume that these men are qualified. We should reject unholy and unqualified leaders.

God has worked-out his plan and purpose in human history, from Adam, through Noah, Abraham, the 12 Patriarch's of Israel, Moses, the prophets, and finally Jesus. In all these episodes, God has imparted his word to those who would listen to it and act upon it.

God is our savior. The goal is redemption, of spending eternity in an intimate, loving communion with God. God shares his love for us by inviting us into his family, much as parents invite their children into their world so they can love them and enjoy them.

(Titus 1:4) To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Titus was likely a convert to Christianity by Paul; not just brought into the faith, but discipled and mentored.

(Titus 1:5) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Paul did not want Titus to stay in Crete for long.

(Titus 1:6) If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

(Titus 1:7) For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Notice that a bishop and elder are the same thing. The question is, if someone ordains someone as a bishop but they are not qualified, are they really a bishop? I think not. Throughout church history various heretics and scoundrels were ordained as bishops; and they destroyed the holiness of the Church. We should reject any except those who are qualified, and this applies to those in the past as well as those in the present.We should go back to the Church we would have had if these had been rejected instead of ordained.

In my method of determining true Christianity, I reject the teachings of those bishops throughout history who don't meet these qualifications.

Here are the qualifications of a bishop...

  1. blameless / above reproach
  2. a steward of God
  3. not self-willed
  4. not prone to anger or quick-tempered
  5. not an alcoholic
  6. doesn't physical strike others / not quarrelsome
  7. avoids gain by unethical means

(Titus 1:8) But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

The list continues...

  1. hospitable
  2. spends time with good people (presumably avoiding wicked or unwholesome people)
  3. sober
  4. just
  5. holy
  6. temperate

(Titus 1:9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

The list continues...

  1. holding to the word of God as taught by the apostles
  2. teaches sound doctrine
  3. able to exhort and convince critics

(Titus 1:10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

The list continues...

  1. not unruly
  2. not a vain talker
  3. not a deceiver

(Titus 1:11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

The list continues...

  1. not someone who must be silenced
  2. does not subvert whole houses
  3. doesn't teach things which shouldn't be taught
  4. doesn't teach to earn unethical gain

(Titus 1:12) One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

The ancient philosopher Epimenides claimed that Cretians are liars because they believed Zeus was not immortal. Paul merely uses the saying to support his instruction that they require proper teaching.

(Titus 1:13) This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

(Titus 1:14) Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

The list continues...

  1. rejects Jewish fables
  2. rejects laws of men
  3. rejects rules by those who have turned from the truth

(Titus 1:15) Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

(Titus 1:16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

(Titus 2:1) But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

(Titus 2:2) That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

(Titus 2:3) The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

(Titus 2:4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

(Titus 2:5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

(Titus 2:6) Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

(Titus 2:7) In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

(Titus 2:8) Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

(Titus 2:9) Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

(Titus 2:10) Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

(Titus 2:11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

(Titus 2:12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

(Titus 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

(Titus 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(Titus 2:15) These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

It is likely that Titus was a high-ranking bishop. The people he was to exhort and rebuke included other bishops, certainly elders and deacons, as well as the congregation at large.

There was a strong emphasis in the New Testament writings as well as in the writings of the early church fathers regarding the topics of Church teaching and of the strong leaders who would corrupt it by teaching a false gospel or false views about Christ and the Trinity. But there was a subtle deterioration over time: the New Testament focused also on Christians at large whereas the early church fathers became more concerned with defending the faith against false teaching and heresy. Unfortunately, this emphasis on clergy by the clergy became all-too-prevalent and resulted in an unfortunate decline in the quality of Church life for many. So sad.

(Titus 3:1) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

(Titus 3:2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

(Titus 3:3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

(Titus 3:4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

(Titus 3:5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

(Titus 3:6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

(Titus 3:7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

(Titus 3:8) This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

(Titus 3:9) But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

(Titus 3:10) A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

(Titus 3:11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

(Titus 3:12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

It appears Paul sent Titus to Crete to quickly ordain some bishops,then leave.

(Titus 3:13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

(Titus 3:14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

(Titus 3:15) All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

King James Version