Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 7- Wrap Up

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wrap Up

Questions to Consider

1. Was there anything new God taught you in this study that particularly impacted you? What was it, and why was it so significant?

2. How is your walk with the Lord different after this study than it was before?

3. What did you learn from this study about the nature and character of God?

4. What did this study teach you about the structure and order of the church? About the orderliness of God?

5. What did this study teach you about your role, function, and responsibilities as a church member?

6. Have there been any passages or concepts in this study that God used to convict you of disobedience and lead you to repentance? How will you walk differently in this area from now on?

7. Describe one specific, practical way you will apply to your life something you learned in this study.


Homework

Spend some time in prayer this week asking God to show you how to put into practice one thing you learned from this study.

Recite all of your memory verses from this study. Which one is most meaningful to you right now?

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 6

Be sure to come back Wednesday, November 2,
for our wrap up lesson!

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Read Titus 3

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. If we broadly characterize the lists of personal requirements in chapters 1&2 as character and behavior of Christians inside the gathering of the church, how would you broadly characterize the list of instructions in verses 1-2, 8b, 14? Do these instructions tend more toward character or external behavior? How does this compare with the requirements in chapters 1&2?

Let’s examine each of the instructions for church members in 1-2, 8b, 14:

Be submissive to rulers and authorities: Examine the cross-references for this phrase. What does this generally mean for law-abiding citizens today? Are there times when we shouldn’t obey our rulers and authorities?

Be obedient: Describe a Christian who walks in obedience in her daily life. To what and whom is she obedient? Is she subservient? Oppressed? How does her obedience look like Jesus’ example of obedience in the gospels?

Be ready for every good work: Notice this phrase doesn’t just say to do good works, but to be ready for every good work. What does it mean to “be ready” for every good work? How does being ready – being prepared, organized, planning ahead, etc. – help us get more good works done, and done well? How does this concept of being ready line up with the theme of “setting things in order” in the book of Titus?

Speak evil of no one: Wait a minute, didn’t Paul just say (1:12-13) it’s true that Cretans are “liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” and that they should be rebuked sharply? Isn’t that “speaking evil” of them? Why not? What does it mean to speak evil of someone? How is that different from speaking hard truths about someone or something when the situation requires it? Some professing Christians would say that warning against false teachers is “speaking evil” of them. Is this true? Why not?

Avoid quarreling: Give some examples of what this might mean in your own life. What does it not mean? (For example, does it mean not to contend for the faith? Never to oppose or correct anyone?)

Be gentle: What does it mean to be gentle as a Christian? Do Scripture’s various admonitions and descriptions of gentleness mean there is never a time to be assertive, even harsh, or is it more of a general descriptor? Consider again Paul’s instruction in 1:13 to “rebuke them sharply,” and these Scriptures.

Show perfect courtesy toward all people: Apply the questions asked in the sections above (speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, and be gentle). Does showing perfect courtesy to everyone mean never to confront someone, stop someone from hurting others, etc., or is it just a general instruction not to be a rude person? Consider these passages.

Devote themselves to good works: Why do you think Paul mentions this twice (8b, 14)? What is the difference between being devoted to good works and being ready for every good work? How do the two go hand in hand? Some Christians can be a bit “triggered” by the phrase “good works,” afraid that any time they see or hear it, the writer or speaker is saying that we are saved by our own good works. Is that what Paul means by “devoting themselves to good works”? How do you know? (Hint: Look ahead to v. 5.) What is the difference between a person who thinks she can be saved by her own good works and a person doing good works out of love for Christ and obedience to Scripture because she’s already saved?

Help cases of urgent need: Think about socio-political culture of the first century. What sort of “cases of urgent need” might have presented themselves in the churches of Crete? How does your church family work together to “help cases of urgent need”?

Not be unfruitful: Examine the cross-references listed. What does an unfruitful church or individual Christian look like? Why does Paul admonish against unfruitfulness? How can the church and individual Christians be fruitful instead?

3. Examine verses 3-7. How do verses 3-7 answer the question of why Paul wants Titus to “remind them to be…” in verses 1-2? (Hint: What’s another word you could substitute for “For” at the beginning of 3?) How does this “why” apply to your life and behavior today?

How does verse 3 describe lost people? How does each descriptor in verse 3 describe you prior to salvation? Why is it good, from time to time, to remember how we lived and what we were like before we got saved?

Verses 3-7 explain how salvation happens. Work carefully through these verses and explain each step of the process in your own words.

Imagine you had a friend who believed in works righteousness – the idea that we can earn our salvation by our good works alone or by Jesus plus good works. Using verses 3-7, how would you explain salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone to her?

4. Examine verses 8-11. List and explain the reason for each specific instruction God gives Titus in these verses.

Notice God’s instruction to Titus (and all pastors) to insist (8) on these things in 1-7. Describe what it would mean for a pastor to insist on “these things” in verses 1-2, verse 3, and verses 4-7. (It might help to look at 8 in a few different translations.) How does this fit with the perspective many hold today that pastors should be “nuanced” and “winsome” when addressing these things?

Summarize God’s desire for the church in these verses:

  • 8- God wants the church to focus its efforts and attention on what? Why?
  • 9- God does not want the church to focus its efforts and attention on what? Why?
  • 10-11- What are Titus / pastors to do if someone in the church starts stirring up dissension by getting those two things (8-9) backwards? Why?

5. Sometimes we can accidentally slip into thinking of people like Paul and Titus as characters in a story. How can passages like verses 12-15 serve as an endearing reminder that they were real people with real Christian friends living real day to day lives just like you and me? Has it ever occurred to you that, even though you can’t see them, Paul and Titus are – right this very minute – your brothers in Christ, and you are their sister in Christ, just as much as the brothers and sisters in Christ you see every week at church? What are your thoughts about that?


Homework

Verse 1 says: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities”. Christians submitting to the authority in our lives is a major theme of the New Testament. Do a study of this theme. Type into your concordance words like “submit,” (often, if you’ll type in, for example, “submi,” your concordance will give you all forms of the word: submitting, submission, submits, etc.) “obey,” “authority,” etc., and examine the verses that pop up. Why, in general, does God want Christians to submit to authority? Are there times when we should not submit to particular authorities? How do Scripture and godly wisdom play into this? Who are the authorities in our lives that God wants us to submit to, and why? How does submitting to authority grow us, sanctify us, and make us more like Christ? What does our submission to authority teach a watching world about submitting to God?


Suggested Memory Verse

Holidays (Other), Reformation Day

A RefHERmation Day Study

Originally published October 31, 2018

Reformation Day is Monday, October 31.

This article is excerpted from my Bible study
Imperishable Beauty: A Study of Biblical Womanhood.

What better way to celebrate Reformation Day and biblical womanhood than to combine the two? Today, we’re going to take a look at some women in Reformation history and in biblical history who exemplified biblical womanhood by influencing others toward godliness.

Choose any of the women below and read their stories (click on their names). Then consider the following questions:

1. In what ways did this woman exemplify biblical womanhood in her culture, context, circumstances, family situation, or church?

2. Which godly character traits or Fruit of the Spirit were especially obvious in her life, words, and actions?

3. Which Scripture passages come to mind as you read this woman’s story? In what ways did she live these Scriptures out (or fail to live them out)?

4. Are there any instances of sin in this woman’s story? If so, how can you learn from what she did wrong and avoid this sin in your own life?

5. How does this woman set a godly example that you can apply to your own life?

6. In what ways did this woman point someone to Jesus, serve the Kingdom, or help God’s people?

Women of the Bible

Esther

Ruth

Abigail

Deborah and Jael

Miriam

Mary

Priscilla

Lydia

Dorcas

Women of the Reformation

Catherine d’Bourbon

Jeanne D’Albret

Marguerite de Navarre

Katharina Schutz Zell

Anna Adlischweiler

Anna Reinhard

Katharina von Bora Luther

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 5

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4

Read Titus 2:7-15

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. In lesson 4 (link above, see question 2) we noted that 1:9 and 2:1 bookend the section (1:10-16) on false teachers. Today, note how 2:1 and 2:7-8 bookend the section (2:2-6) on the character and behavior qualities of church members. What aspect(s) of the pastor’s life, ministry, and/or character does verse 1 address? Verses 7-8? How does the spiritual health, doctrinal soundness, and maturity of the church both begin and end with the pastor? How can both a pastor’s teaching (2:1) and his character / behavior (7-8) impact the church toward godliness? How can the pastor’s teaching and character / behavior set a godly example for older and younger men and women (2:2-6)?

3. Compare the exhortation to older women in 3-5 to the exhortation to pastors in 7-8, especially the “so that’s” in 5b and 8b. What differences and similarities do you see? The “so that’s” explain the purpose of each of these instructions. What are those purposes? Review your answers to this question alongside your answers to question 5 from lesson 4 (link above).

4. Why do the character and behavior qualities of bondservants (9-10) seem almost to be added as an afterthought – outside the “bookends” of the pastor in 2:1 and 7-8 – to this section? Is it because they are somehow “second class citizens” in the church? Describe the character and behavior qualities of bondservants in 9-10. Why are more instructions given to bondservants than some of the other church members in 2:1-8? While there are character qualities and behaviors that are unique to, say, pastors and women, how do the character qualities and behaviors of bondservants translate to all of us who are servants of Christ? Compare the “so that” of bondservants (10), stated in the positive, to the “so that’s” of women (5) and pastors (8), stated in the negative.

5. Examine 11-14. What does the word “For” mean at the beginning of 11? Summarize the main points of 11-14. What is the reason(s), in these verses, for the instructions that have been given in 2:1-10, and even since 1:1? Why do we as individual Christians and as the church body comport ourselves as we do and carry out the tasks we carry out?

Carefully study verse 12. What does it look like for…

  • Christians in general
  • the members of your local church
  • you, personally

…to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age”? What are some specific things each of those groups would do differently in their particular situations if they were renouncing ungodliness, etc.? How does God’s grace “train” (11) us to live the way verse 12 describes? Compare the description of God’s grace “training” us (11-12, 14) to pastors training and teaching the congregation (1:9, 2:1, 15), and to older women teaching and training younger women (2:3-5). Notice how each (God’s grace, pastors, older women) trains in both the positive (“do this”) and the negative (“don’t do that”). How does teaching / training from pastors and older women reflect the way that God’s grace trains each of us?

What is the purpose for which Christ gave Himself to redeem us (14)? How is Christ giving Himself for us to redeem us (14) the impetus for renouncing ungodliness, etc. (12)? Is it possible to live the way verse 12 describes if you have not been redeemed by Christ? Why?

Imagine you have a “Christian” friend whose outlook on life is, “I prayed the prayer and walked the aisle. I’ve got my ticket to Heaven punched, so it doesn’t really matter how I live between now and my death. I can do whatever I want.” How would you correct her with verses 11-14?

6. Who is the “you” in verse 15? How does this verse – and Paul continually circling back to Titus – help remind us that the book of Titus is a pastoral epistle? What is the purpose of a pastoral epistle?

Notice the emphasis on a pastor’s authority in verse 15. Consider the authority of your pastor and other pastors you may know in light of this verse. Why is it important for a pastor to exercise godly authority and oversight over his congregation? Compare verse 15 to these passages. Describe biblical pastoral authority.


Homework

Study the theme of self-control in Titus 2. How many times is self-control mentioned, and in which verses? For which individuals or groups in the church is self-control a required character trait, and why? How does self-control, exercised by each individual and group in the church, lend itself to the orderliness, unity, and spiritual maturity of the church? What specific ways can you personally, and the older and younger women in your church practice self-control?


Suggested Memory Verse

Titus Bible Study

Titus: God’s Order of Service ~ Lesson 4

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3

Read Titus 2:1-6

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. Look back over the latter part of chapter 1 (9-16). How do 1:9 and 2:1 “bookend” this section on false teachers? How is the teaching of sound doctrine both the prevention and the cure for false doctrine? To what group of people (2:1-6) is Titus to teach sound doctrine?

3. In 1:5, Paul instructed Titus to “put what remained into order”. Examine the orderliness of the structure of 1:5-2:6. Notice the “first things, first” order of priority of Paul’s instructions. What is first, second, etc. on Paul’s “to do list” for Titus, and why?

  • 1:5b-
    • 1:6-9-
  • 1:10-16-
  • 2:1-
  • 2:2-
  • 2:3-5-
  • 2:6-

4. Compare the style and tone of 2:1-6 to 1:5-9. Titus 1:5-9 gives us the qualifications and character traits of an elder. Similarly, Titus 2:1-6 gives us what? Which three categories of church members are listed in verses 1-6?

  • 2-
  • 3-
  • 6-

Make a four column chart for each category: older men, older women, and younger men. In column 1, list each qualification or character trait of a godly, healthy church member. In column 2, explain this qualification / trait according to what you know of Scripture. In column 3, explain how this qualification / trait helps the church, makes it healthier, or contributes to its orderliness. In column 4, indicate whether or not this qualification / trait is the same or similar to a qualification / trait in either of the other two categories. Which are common to all three, and why?

When a church considers hiring a new pastor, we examine whether or not he meets the qualifications / traits of 1:5-9. In a similar way, should a church examine, when possible, the qualifications / traits in 2:1-6 of a potential new church member when considering whether or not to accept that person into membership? Why or why not? How might a church go about this? Does your church do this in some way?

We typically deem a pastor or elder “disqualified” for his office if he violates the qualifications / traits in 1:5-9. Consider the qualifications / traits of church members in 2:1-6 in light of the church discipline process in Matthew 18:15-20. How does a church that properly practices church discipline help to build and grow these godly qualifications / traits in church members? Should a church discipline a church member who violates the qualifications / traits in 2:1-6? Why or why not? How might a church covenant (for example) fit in to all of this?

5. Compare these requirements for elders, with the requirements for older men (2:2), older women (2:3-5) and younger men (2:6). For which groups does Paul give only character requirements? For which two groups does he give character and behavior / action requirements? Are any of these character and behavior requirements the same? Why? Which two groups does he address at greatest length? Why? For which two groups is teaching a requirement? Why?

Compare the pastor / elder leadership (over men and the entire church) and older women’s leadership and guidance (over younger women and children in the church) to the dynamic of husband as head and wife as helpmeet in a marriage. What are some ways the women of the church can serve as a “fit helper” to the pastors / elders and the church at large?

6. Often, the backlash against the extreme of antinomianism is the opposite extreme of legalism. This is what happened with the Pharisees during the intertestamental period after Israel returned from exile. There was such extreme concern about falling back into lawlessness that the Pharisees made up their own laws for God’s people that were even more restrictive than God’s laws. The same thing sometimes happens with Titus 2:3-5. There is such extreme concern about egalitarianism, that some Christians backlash against it with legalism. They twist Titus 2:3-5 to do so, basically saying that the only things women can teach other women are practical domestic skills, like cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. No Bible teaching, no discipling other women in the Scriptures, and so on. Is this what Titus 2:3-5 actually teaches? What does “teach what is good” mean? How is an older woman to teach a younger woman to “love her husband and children” without teaching her what the Bible instructs us about love? Or to be kind, self-controlled, or submissive to her husband without training her in the Scriptures about those things? I would encourage you to watch my teaching session Teach What is Good: Discipling Younger Women in the 21st Century (starting at 1:18:02 on the video) to learn more.


Homework

Consider again the paradigm of the women of the church serving as a fit helper to the pastors / elders and the church at large. How are the women of your church doing in this regard? Are they a loving and hard working Proverbs 31-type “helpmeet,” striving to nurture and do what’s best for the church? Or are they more like the quarrelsome wife of Proverbs?

Think, pray, and talk with other women and your pastor / elders about ways the women of your church could be a better “helpmeet”. Just as Paul prioritized what was most needful for the orderliness of the church in Crete, come to a wise and prayerful consensus on what is the highest priority issue that needs to be addressed for the women of your church, whether that’s learning the Bible better, hospitality, quelling gossip, servanthood, or whatever it might be. Rally a few other godly women, formulate a plan to address this issue, and, under your pastor’s / elders’ leadership, implement it.


Suggested Memory Verse