Titus – Faithful Sayings for Young Men
“You Cretan!” In the 1st century, that was an ugly way to call someone a liar. Cretans at that time were rough. They were immoral, untrustworthy, leveraging their trade in agriculture to continue a riotous, raucous way of life.
Paul chose Titus to go to the Isle of Crete to lead the believers there to walk in faith and holiness with Jesus. He was also tasked with establishing order in the church – a church made up of people who believed in God but held on to their earned name of “you Cretan!”
I’m reminded that in a culture of this nature, a man needs to be tough physically, mentally, and spiritually. Titus was that type of young man. Here, on an island 135 miles long and 35 miles wide, Titus ventured into a dangerous way of life. Physically, he was an energetic young man who could identify with Cretan men, being equally Greek and uncircumcised as they were. Mentally, he had the mindset to match the Cretan mentality and bend it to God’s purpose. Spiritually, he wore the armor of God (Ephesians 6 :10-18) and was able to stand against spiritual wickedness in high places. In total, he is traditionally credited with being this island’s spiritual leader, taming it for the duration of his lifetime.
And Paul did not leave him lacking and ill-equipped.
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.
- 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?” When people ask you, “What is truth?” what will you tell them?
- There was also a 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? (Read Matthew 25:31-46.)
…With the unchurched?
…With the hungry?
…With the thirsty?
…With the naked?
…With the sick?
…With those in jail?
– 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 one who claims to be believer actually denies a true profession of faith in Christ.
– Now, describe the kinds of works that a believer obediently maintains as a faithful follower of Jesus.
– What is the difference between faith and works?
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 maintain 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)
Rank the above sayings in order of importance. Okay, that’s not fair. They are all equally important! Instead, choose three that get your attention and write out or discuss both your strengths and your challenges in those areas.
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.
Establish a 13 week schedule of focused attention on the following weekly actions. Using the journal section in this manual, be sure to:
- Dedicate a week to each action praying for strength to do well, challenges to be mastered, and opportunity to be present.
- At the beginning of each week, write out or discuss with your group or father/mentor how the action is addressed by Paul’s faithful sayings to Titus.
- At the end of each week, write out or discuss with your group or father/mentor how “maintaining good works” has affected you as a young man living out your faith in Jesus.
- At the end of the 13 weeks, write out or discuss with your group or father/mentor how this has changed your life, challenged your living, and/or affirmed your faith.
- Do this with a friend, brother, or group. Agree to check up regularly, like at the beginning and end of each week.
- Ask your father/mentor to walk and talk with you during this time, and to connect weekly to check up.
HERE WE GO:
This first week, refrain from: the use of alcohol, use of any kind of illegal or questionable drug or chemical, playing video games, listening to head-banging and/or inappropriate music, expressing oppressive (bully) behavior, and no road rage. Don’t hang out with those who do these things. Act like a prince.
At your job (or school), go above and beyond the call of duty.
Read I Corinthians 15:1-4 each day. Learn the answer to “What is the Gospel?” That answer is: Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried dead, and God raised Him to eternal life. Believing this, share that definition with at least one person this week either in person, on the phone, in an email, in a text, or on social media.
Answer everything with total honesty. Be utterly, if not brutally, truthful this week.
Do not look at porn or “undress” women with your eyes, nor watch anything that you suspect contains sexual content. Refrain from masturbating. Practice purity.
Be alert to how God is working around you each day. Meditate on those things and find ways to engage some of the work. Intentionally do good deeds this week. Be a gentleman in every respect. Practice chivalry!
This week, determine to not be intimidated by anything. Face any crisis with the authority given to you as a man who is made in the image and glory of God. Stand firm so that when the smoke clears and the dust settles, you’re still standing. Wear the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Each day this week, subject yourself to the rule of law: Go the speed limit, make complete stops, pray for government leaders, demonstrate patriotism, gladly pay taxes, tip well, etc.
Treat others as you want to be treated. Speak calmly. Make peace. Each day, find a way to bring joy into someone’s life.
Be a perfect gentleman this week in your relationships with women and other men. Chivalry is not dead. Remember, you are a prince.
Each day this week, several times each day, affirm your faith in Christ to yourself, out loud (maybe look in a mirror!). Recall Week 3. Very simply, before you speak to others about Jesus, speak to yourself about Him, and speak to Him often.
Avoid arguing with others over insignificant things. Don’t say something stupid or act toward others in a dumb way. Think before you speak. Pause before you act.
Speak out when others speak badly about God, the Bible, or Christians. Don’t agree with unholy thoughts and ideas. Be strong and courageous – don’t be afraid or dismayed (Joshua 1:9). Walk away from divisive, immoral people. Walk with Christ. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you (James 4:8). Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16).
I made it! Now, write out how this has changed your life, challenged your living, and/or affirmed your faith.
Every young man should have an appreciation for art.