Appreciation for art
Matthias Stom (1600-1650) is believed to have been a pupil of Gerrit van Honthorst in Utrecht, before going to Rome in 1628. He mainly painted genre pieces and Biblical subjects. His works differ from Honthorst’s in that the faces of his subjects are more highly elaborated and have broader features and more furrows. His paintings make use of a warmer palette, dominated by reds and yellows. While in Rome, Stom painted several genre pieces like the work presented here.
Titus – faithful sayings for young men
CHAPTER 1 – discussion points
- An overseer (or elder) must hold to the Truth as Biblically taught (verse 9).
– Read Titus 1:5-9. Discuss the qualities a young man should look for in a mentor.
- He must “get it” so that he can pass it on as well as rebuke those who deny the Truth (verse 13). As a matter of Biblical principle, this not only applies to overseers but to all Christians, and in the context here, to Christian young men.
– Define insubordination. Read Titus 1:10-13 and discuss accountability between Christian young men using terms like: warning signs, trust, reinforcement, loyalty, integrity, and courage.
- Jewish fables and commandments of men (verse 14) include perverse, deviant behavior (verses 15-16).
– Read John 18:28-28. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (but he apparently didn’t wait around for an answer). When people ask you, “What is truth?” what will you tell them?
- There was also the matter of the stubborn Jewish requirement for all Gentile believers to be circumcised, a commandment of men that Paul disproved.
– Circumcision was a big deal in those days and was bound up in much legalism. Why did Paul not have Titus circumcised like he did Timothy? What can Christian young men do today to connect with non-Christians? …With the unchurched?
– Discuss what it means in Titus 1:9 to hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught.
- Verse 16 reads, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”
– Describe the kinds of works which show that a “believer” actually denies a true profession of faith in Christ.
– Describe the kinds of works which show that a believer actually confesses a true profession of faith in Christ.
CHAPTERS 2 & 3 – discussion points
Paul urges young men to be self-controlled and disciplined in body, mind, and spirit. These are the faithful sayings Paul urged Titus to embrace in his living for Christ:
- Be sober. (2:2)
- Have a good work ethic. (3:1, 8, 14)
- Teach and learn with integrity and reverence. (2:1, 3, 7)
- Speak with truth and sincerity. (2:8, 15; 3:2)
- Guard yourself against ungodliness and lusts of this world. (2:5, 11-12; 3:3-7)
- Live righteously and in a Godly way. (2:2-12)
- Be sober (drives the point home about not using alcohol, see also 1:7-8). (2:6, 12)
- Be alert to how God is working around you. (2:13; 3:1)
- Speak, exhort, and rebuke with authority. (2:15)
- Subject yourself to the rule of law. (3:1-2, 9)
- Be obedient in good works.
- Maintain and be obedient in good works. (2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14)
- Don’t speak evil of anyone. (2:1-3, 8-9; 3:2, 9)
- Live in peace with others. (2:2; 3:2, 9)
- Be a gentleman, humble in your relationships with other men.
- Constantly affirm your faithfulness to Christ. (2:3, 7; 3:8)
- Maintain good works.
- Avoid stupid and pointless arguments. (3:9-11)
- Don’t bear the courage of others’ worldly convictions. (3:1-11)
- Defend Truth. (2:1, 7-8; 3:8)
- Have nothing to do with those who cause division. (3:10, 14)
In addition to encouraging living out one’s faith, Paul also urged Titus to model and teach the necessity of having a good work ethic. Discuss the qualities of a strong work ethic, especially how it is impacted by one’s faith in Christ.