Titus 1:1-5
Introduction to the Gospel of Titus
The book of Titus was written in the last year of Paul’s life which could be 64 A.D. when Rome had burned or 67 A.D. which was the last year of Nero’s life. It could have been written as early as 62 A.D. during the beginning of Paul’s two year imprisonment. Titus is one of the Pastoral Epistles which has to do with the church.
Paul dispatched Titus to the Island of Crete for the purpose of setting things in order in the churches in that area. Titus was a young Pastor but Paul had much faith in him that he would get the job done. This book deals with church officials and Christian living. Titus also faced some problems with the Judaizers but not as bad as Paul had to deal with in Galatia. Whenever I reference Paul, it is not recognizing Paul as the ultimate author, thus bringing the Scriptures down to human authorship alone. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, penned this epistle. I use Paul’s name as a matter of context in the Scriptures and never to take away the divine authorship of the Scriptures. When I use the term “Paul says,” you can substitute “Scripture says.”
Titus 1:1 (KJB)
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Servant - Slave
Elect - Chosen or selected
Acknowledging - Recognition or consciousness
Paul begins his letter to Titus stating that he is a slave of God. This is the only place in Paul’s letter that he describes himself in this manner. Paul was also an Apostle of the Lord Jesus. Paul was an Apostle because he was saved and commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ for that office. Paul connects his salvation with the body of believers using the term “according to the faith of God’s elect.” The word elect means “chosen.” Paul also states that he recognized the truth which is according to godliness. The recognition of truth can only come after one is saved. When one is in an unsaved state, they are unable to recognize truth because they are spiritually dead and need to be regenerated. It is always salvation first, then one begins to grow in the faith and is then, in proper time, commissioned.
Titus 1:2 (KJB)
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Hope - Expectation of something future
Promised - Proclaimed as in a promise
The great hope of the believer is eternal life in Heaven. We can be sure of God fulfilling His promise of everlasting life simply because He cannot lie. (Num 23:19 KJV) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? If you notice the word used is “cannot” which is a word of ability. It is not in God’s pure nature to make any kind of false promises or statements. This is why when God says something, it will come to pass. (2 Tim 1:9 KJV) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, The promise of eternal life to God’s elect was already in the mind of God before He created the world but could only be proclaimed once He created man and the world.
Titus 1:3 (KJB)
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
In due - One’s own or peculiar to oneself
Times - A fixed time, a season, or an opportunity
Manifested - To show, reveal or disclose
Preaching - Proclaimed
Committed - Have faith or confidence in or entrusted
Here Paul states that the Gospel of salvation was disclosed at the fixed time God had decreed. Then when the time came for the Gospel to go forth it went forth through preaching. The word preaching does not necessarily mean a sermon but it can come in many forms such as the written word or even in godly music. Today the Gospel is sent forth by TV, Radio, Internet, and Shortwave. Paul was commissioned to spread the Gospel by a command of God our Savior.
(Acts 22:12-16 KJV) And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, {13} Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. {14} And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. {15} For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. {16} And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
The Commission was given on the road to Damascus by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The true Gospel was entrusted to Paul so that he would begin to start planting churches all around the Mediterranean Sea. This was the beginning of world evangelism.
Titus 1:4 (KJB)
To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Mine own - Genuine or true
Son - Child, descendant, or prosperity
Common - Pertaining equally to all
Here Paul ends his greeting by stating who the letter is addressed to. He calls Titus (his name means “honorable“) his genuine son in the faith. Paul also addresses Timothy in this manner. (1 Tim 1:2 KJV) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. He uses the term common faith because it is common among all the true believers. All Christians have the same position in Christ but not all have the same calling concerning the propagation of the gospel. Paul was an Apostle and Titus was a young pastor on the Island of Crete. Crete is the largest island in Greece so Titus would have needed all the help he could get. Paul gives Titus a three-fold greeting. Grace which represents the method of salvation. Mercy is something God gives His children because of our unsaved condition before He saves us. Peace is what we have as a result of salvation, peace with God. (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: These three greetings come from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Titus 1:5 (KJB)
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:
Thou shouldest set in order - Set right or correct that which as been corrected already
Wanting - Lack or be in need of
Ordain - Appoint or designate
Elders - Presbyter - a member of a governing body
Had appointed - Direct, command, or prescribe
Paul knew there were some problems with the churches on Crete, so he left Titus there to begin to start straightening out the churches by helping them get better organized. We see this in the words Paul had used “set in order.” Good organization can be the key to keeping a church running properly. New churches, such as the ones on Crete, were no different in that they needed to have good leadership to run properly and to make sure that only the true gospel was being preached. Paul had commanded Titus to stay in Crete and begin the job of appointing elders in the local churches. This way, there was ordained leadership in each local congregation so there would not be chaos. Before any elders could be appointed, there were strict qualifications which must be adhered to. Titus could not go into a church and just appoint anyone based on age or community standing. The qualifications of elders are given by God and if they are departed from, then there will be problems in the church. We see that very plainly today.
As we look at the requirements for Elders, we will also see that the office of Bishop and Elder are one in the same offices. They both constitute the position of overseer. Notice that Titus was given the responsibility of ordaining Elders in Crete and then in verse 7, he speaks of the qualifications of the office of Bishop in the context of Eldership. The difference between the Elders and the Bishop, is that the Bishop is the ruling Elder in the local church and that is why we see the same spiritual requirements applied to this particular office as we will see in verses 5 & 6.

Ordain elders in every city - Paul gave Titus the responsibility of ordaining (appointing) Elders in the cities where there were churches. If you notice, the word "Elders" is plural which means, there must be a plurality of elders in each congregation. There is no church in the New Testament which had just one elder per congregation. A church having only a single elder would set that up to be a dictatorship. Each congregation, no matter how small should have at least three elders.