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First Baptist Church St. John

The Conclusion of Titus: Taking Care of Another in Christ

The Conclusion of Titus:

Taking Care of One Another in Christ

Titus 3:12-15

  1. Paul’s Plans
    1. Ending of Letters
      1. The end of letters are absolutely important.
      2. Paul’s final closing remarks are similar to the ones made in 2 Timothy 4:19-22, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28, and Ephesians 6:21-24.
  • Paul’s closing remarks carry eternal truths beyond just the historical context.
  1. Paul’s Specific Plans
    1. Paul mentions these two individuals, Artemas and Tychicus.
      1. Artemas – Paul’s first choice to send to Titus is Artemas. Paul trusts him, and he was willing to be sent to do the Lord’s work.
      2. Tychicus – Paul’s other choice to send to Titus is a man named Tychicus, mentioned 5 times in the Bible – Acts 20:4, Eph 6:21, Col 4:7, and 2 Tim 4:12 – and a companion with Paul during his Third Missionary journey, and he had been sent by Paul to help Timothy pastor in Ephesus.
    2. So he’s asking the pastor (Titus) to leave for the winter and join him in Nicopolis (a major ancient city in western Greece), while another leader of the faith (either Artemas or Tychicus) continues the work of leading the church at Crete for a season.
  • Paul’s teaching the need for:
    1. Ministerial Breaks
    2. Working With Each Other
    3. In a very real way, we’re seeing through this text that no one is essential to God’s ministry.

 

  1. Good Deeds Meets Needs
    1. Meeting Needs
      1. Paul continues by describing the importance and necessity of doing good deeds out of obedience to God for one another.
      2. This is the only time that Zenas (Greek name meaning “gift of Zeus”) is mentioned in the NT.
  • The final individual mentioned, Apollos, accompanied Zenas to Crete. This is the same individual who was converted in Acts 18-19 on Paul’s Third Missionary journey. He was a Jew, was born in Alexandria, and was very learned in the Scriptures.
  1. Titus, the pastor of Crete, should provide and care for the men who brought the Gospel through Paul’s letter to him.
    1. The call is for all of those in the church at Crete, and all of us believers as well to think outside of ourselves and care for others, specifically those who are doing the Lord’s work.
    2. This is why we try to intentionally support missions.
  2. Fruitfulness of Good Deeds
    1. The final great exhortation that he gives to Titus is verse 14.
    2. Paul is telling Titus that the church as a whole, and certainly the church at Crete, needs to be better at doing good deeds for other believers who have pressing needs.
  • This is why he uses the inclusive word of “our”. This is personal for Paul and Titus.
  1. That is key here – the learning of doing good deeds. It’s a process, and it doesn’t come naturally.
    1. Though Christians are called to help all people when at all possible, in this specific context, Paul’s talking about the Christians at Crete helping both Zenas and Apollos.
    2. Do you see the connection? Those who love and believe in God (v. 8) do good deeds, and the specific good deeds that need to be done are to help those who have come to them to bring them the Gospel (v. 14). Paul’s encouraging the body of believers to share in responsibilities.
    3. Believers, take action, and take ownership. Take initiative, and do work for the kingdom.
  2. The “they” of verse 14 is referring back to the subject – “our people”. Paul’s saying that our people, the Christians at Crete, when they participate in the ministry that has been commanded of all Christians, will be fruitful in their work.
  3. This is why he uses the phrase, “so that”. This is the last time we’ll see this phrase in Titus. The result of God’s people engaging and participating in good deeds out of believing in God and in obedience to Him is that God’s people “will not be unfruitful”.
    1. Living a fruitful life is only through obedience to God.
    2. Paul’s essentially promoting the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
  4. Final Exhortation and Encouragement
    1. Greet One Another
      1. To close out the letter to Titus and the Christians at Crete, Paul makes two closing greetings.
      2. First, he says, “All who are with me greet you.”
  • The point is that Titus is not alone, and this would be an encouragement to him.
  1. And the second greeting that Paul gives is actually a request to Titus – “Greet those who love us in the faith”. Paul’s greeting those who have a unifying faith him.
  1. Grace
    1. He wanted to bless the believers and to send them with the grace of God, or this idea of unmerited favor before God.
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