Date: c. A.D. 64-66
Between Paul’s two imprisonments in the early A.D. 60s, he traveled throughout the Mediterranean area. He went at least once to the important island of Crete but was appalled by what he found there. The church was weak, disorganized, corrupt, and under the influence of the society around it. After he left, Paul wanted to stay in touch. His letter is short, personal, and filled with practical advice.
Theological Themes in the Epistle of Titus
One of the fundamental problems facing the church concerned authority. It simply did not work when there was no reasonable organization. As a result, Titus needed to explain to the congregation how elders were to be chosen and how they were to function. But it was not just the church elders who needed instruction. All those whose lives had an impact on the church were in need of correction, from older adults to young people. To be Christians means that Christ has changed our lives. Those attitudes ought to be evident by our actions and attitudes.
Paul continued his exhortation by stressing that Christians are to be good citizens. We are not to give in to evil rulers, but we are to be willing to live according to the laws of whatever land we live in. Not to do this is to bring discredit on the gospel.
Paul concluded with a series of ethical exhortations in the light of Jesus’ coming again. He came once to provide salvation for the world; he will come again to bless his people and judge the world. In the light of this, we are to be pure and zealous for good works (2:11-14). We have been saved by God’s mercy, not according to our deeds, but in order to do good deeds. The order is important. We do not live Christian lives in order to be saved, but when we are saved, we live godly lives.
Outline for the Epistle of Titus
1.Greetings TITUS 1:1-14
2.Qualities required of an elder TITUS 1:5-9
3.Qualities required of others TITUS 1:10-2:15
4.General instruction for all believers TITUS 3:1-15