Outlining Titus (May 17 study)

For those interested in a little recap from last night, here are some of the highlights from our study:

The gospel

  • Teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and not by human effort/deeds/works
  • It includes not only Christ’s sacrifice for our sins (absorbing God’s wrath for our sins), but also Christ’s perfect obedience to the law on our behalf
  • The gospel is the great exchange of our sin for Christ’s righteousness so that we can stand blameless before God by faith (cf. Romans 1-5; 1 Corinthians 15)
  • These truths are most fundamental to Scripture and salvation, and yet the easiest for Christians and the church to get wrong

The Reformation recovered the free grace of the gospel from its entanglement in the medieval Roman Catholic system of spiritually enslaving works righteousness: Jesus plus my own efforts.

Background on the book of Titus

  • Around 50-60 AD, Paul wrote to Titus on the island of Crete (a Greek island in the Mediterranean sea)
  • Crete had a thriving population and a prosperous economy, but was also notorious for its immoral society
  • Titus was the pastor of a young church
  • This young church was facing the challenges of false teachers as well as new gentile converts who had pagan ideas about religion and culture

Primary message of the book of Titus

  • It is ultimately a book about the salvation that has come in Jesus Christ (cf. Luke 24:27)
  • Paul encourages Titus to safeguard the great truths of God and the gospel
  • Paul gives Titus directions for establishing the young church in Crete on the foundation of the gospel
  • Paul instructs Titus and the church on how to live the Christian life inside and outside the church

The significant of Paul’s calling as an Apostle

  • Paul played an unrepeatable role in laying the foundation for the NT church (cf. Eph 2.20; 1 Cor 3.11)
  • Titus signifies the transition from the extraordinary Apostolic ministry of Paul to the “ordinary” ministry of Titus that we find ourselves under in the church today
  • The “ordinary” ministry of the church is one that centers around the preaching of God’s Word and the administration of the sacraments (the Lord’s Supper and baptism): which is the power of God unto salvation (cf. Romans 10; 1 Cor 11; Hebrews 6, 10)

Some implications for us

  • If God can save Paul – a once blasphemer and persecutor of the church – he can save the worst of us!
  • The church should be seen as a hospital for sinners who don’t need to hide in shame over their sin
  • Being a part of the church is indispensable to the life of the Christian

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