Questions to Consider
1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson. How does that passage carry over to, impact, and set the tone and context for this week’s passage?
2. Review question 6 from lesson 2: Take a look at v.5. Why did Paul leave Titus in Crete? What does Paul mean by “put what remained into order”? What’s a phrase we might use in today’s vernacular to say the same thing? Why did Titus need to appoint elders “in every town”? (You might want to review your notes from lesson 1 – link above.) How would appointing elders have given the churches in Crete structure and order?
3. Compare verses 5-9 with 1 Timothy 3:1-7. What word is used for the church leadership position in Titus 1:5? In 1 Timothy 3:1? Considering that Paul wrote both of these epistles and both of these passages are very similar in nature, is it fair to assume that these terms mean the same thing? What do we typically call an elder, overseer, or bishop in the local church today? Compare these terms in Titus 1:5 and 1 Timothy 3:1 in several reliable translations noting the footnotes and looking up the cross-references. What is a pastor / elder / overseer / bishop, according to Scripture? What does he do, according to these passages?
Make a 4-column chart. In the first column of each chart, list each qualification in Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7 for the office of pastor / elder. In the second column, explain what that qualification means. (For example: What does it mean to be “sober-minded” or “hospitable”?) In the third column, explain why this qualification is important in the character of the man and/or in carrying out the duties of the office. In the fourth column, place a check mark if this is a requirement for pastor / elder in both passages. Which of the qualifications are common to both passages? Which are different? Why might Paul have included certain qualifications in one passage, but not the other? How is it beneficial to the church for men in the office of pastor / elder to have these qualifications?
Note the qualification “above reproach” in both the Titus and Timothy passages, paying special attention to the way Paul “bookends” Titus 1:6-7a with this term. How do all the qualifications listed between the two “above reproach bookends” (and after “above reproach” in Timothy) help us to understand what this term means? God could have tied “above reproach” to a man’s business dealings, the community’s or church’s opinion of him, or even his own personal character displayed to others, but what is “above reproach” most closely tied to in both of these passages? Why? Think about this statement: A man can hide his heart from others, but he can’t hide his family. Do agree or disagree in relation to the qualification of being above reproach?
4. How would you break down or outline the types or areas of qualifications in the Titus passage?
- 6-7a –
- 7b-8 –
- 9 –
Why do you think God’s doctrinal requirements come last, after family requirements and personal character? Does it matter how sound and perfect a man’s doctrine is if he doesn’t have a godly heart that’s fleshed out in the fruit of his family and his character displayed to others? How would you answer the question of 1 Timothy 3:5: “for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
5. Note the “he must” vs. “he must not” qualifications in 6-9. How do these groups of qualifications paint the overall picture of a godly man versus a worldly man? Connect the overall picture of of the godly man above reproach in this passage to the Old Testament concept of blamelessness. We tend to break this passage down and evaluate a man in a “micro” sense on each individual trait, but could another purpose of this passage be to demonstrate the general “macro” type of man who’s qualified for the office rather than a man who is absolutely perfect in each trait mentioned?
6. What are the three doctrinal requirements in verse 9? How does “holding firm to the trustworthy word as taught” equip a pastor to both give instruction in sound doctrine and to rebuke those who contradict it? Some pastors only give instruction in sound doctrine. They refuse or are afraid to rebuke sin in the church, carry out church discipline, biblically address controversial issues (homosexuality, women preaching, etc.), or clearly teach against false teachers and false doctrine. Carefully consider verse 9 again. Are such men biblically qualified to be pastors?
7. Read verse 9 as the introduction to verses 10-16. Note that verse 10 begins with the word “for,” which, in this context means “because”. Why, according to verse 10-16 must a pastor hold to sound doctrine, instruct in sound doctrine, and rebuke those who contradict it? Connect the phrases “they must be silenced” (11) and “rebuke them sharply” (13) back to “rebuke those who contradict it” (9).
Consider the “some pastors only…” from question 6 above and verse 9’s admonition to rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine. How does Paul, in 10-16, set an example of how to “do” verse 9 for such pastors as well as for Titus?
8. Examine verses 10-16. What are the problems the false teachers – and/or the church members in Crete who believe their false doctrine – creating in the church? In what ways are these problems similar to the division and dissension created by false teachers and their followers in the church today?
Many professing Christians today consider it “unloving” or “unchristlike” to do exactly what this passage teaches – rebuke false teachers and their followers. Look carefully at the stringent language in this passage. What are some of the words and phrases these professing Christians would object to as “unloving” or “unchristlike” if someone applied them to false teachers today? How does God – Who, remember, is the One who breathed out these words – demonstrate via this passage, that it is His idea and instruction to use stark and stringent language in dealing biblically with false teachers and those who willfully and unrepentantly follow them?
How does instruction in sound doctrine and rebuking those who contradict it eradicate false doctrine, false teachers, and the division they create, and help create orderliness in the church’s fellowship and worship?
How does an orderly church structure (leadership, hierarchy, etc.) lead to orderly worship? This week, begin to consider how the order and structure in church leadership that God calls for in Titus 1:5-16 affects the order in the worship service that God calls for in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40. Also, compare and contrast the order and structure of the Old Testament system of worship – the leadership, feasts and festivals, rules for sacrifices and offerings, the architecture and design of the tabernacle and temple, etc. – compared to the order and structure of the New Testament church and worship.
Because order and structure in the church is a continuous theme throughout Titus, you may wish to make these comparisons (with 1 Corinthians 14 and with the OT system) each week of the study.