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12. The Letter to Titus

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Through Paul’s letters, we have learned many truths about Christ. Repetition is good for the memory.

  • In Romans, Christ is our righteousness. Every believer is equally right with God and has equal righteousness from God.
  • In 1 Corinthians, Christ is the wisdom of God, greater than any human wisdom or strength.
  • In 2 Corinthians, Christ is our comforter when we hurt.
  • In Galatians, Christ is our freedom from the law of works to earn God’s acceptance.
  • In Ephesians, Christ is the powerful head of the church. Christ’s power works in us to help us live God’s way and for us to protect us from anything evil.
  • In Philippians, Christ is the supplier of every need of yours so that you can help others.
  • In Colossians, Christ is Lord over everything. He is Lord over the universe, the earth, the angels, and our behavior.
  • In 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Christ is our returning Lord. When He comes, we will receive new bodies and live forever with Him.
  • In 1 Timothy, Christ is our mediator. As mediator, Jesus understands our needs and the best way for God to take care of our needs.
  • In 2 Timothy, Christ is the giver of crowns. He rewards those who are faithful to Him.

This lesson covers Paul’s letter to Titus.

“That's how we should live as we wait for the blessed hope God has given us. We are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear in all his glory. He is our great God and Savior.” (Titus 2:13 NIRV)

The Key Question

What is hope? Your answer depends on your perspective. The kind of hope that the world offers is generally the wishful thinking kind where someone is not sure they will get what they want or need but “hopes” they will. Biblical hope is the confident expectation of something that will definitely take place because it is based on God’s promises.

1. When do you need hope?

2. What happens when you lose hope?

The key word for our lesson today is hope. You need hope whenever you are facing something tough to do, when you are sad and/or when you can’t see the end. The result of losing hope is discouragement. The questions to ask are, “What is hope in the Bible, and how does hope affect our lives?” Paul’s friend Titus needed to give the people in the churches on the island of Crete the answer to those questions.

The People and Their Need

During Paul’s first missionary journey, a young man named Titus heard Paul preach about Jesus. Titus was a Gentile—he had not grown up worshiping the God of the Bible. As he listened to Paul, Titus’ heart responded to the message, and he believed in Jesus. Paul brought him to Jerusalem to show the apostles and other Jewish believers how a Gentile could love God just as much as they did. Titus represented all the other non-Jewish people who became Christians and were completely accepted by God through their faith in Jesus Christ—like most of us! Hooray!

Titus continued to travel with Paul on missionary journeys, helping in the work of sharing the gospel. During the 3 years Paul was in Ephesus teaching them about the amazing power of God (third journey), Titus was there. Then, Paul sent him to Corinth to help that church with its work. Paul thought of Titus not only as a very faithful friend but also as his spiritual son because he had led him to trust Christ.

After Paul was released from the Roman prison where he had been for two years, he and Titus traveled to the island of Crete. The people, called Cretans, were known to be very rough people who were liars, were lazy, and loved to eat and argue with one another. Paul and Titus taught them about their need for God and the good news about Jesus. God was certainly powerful enough to change their hearts and their behavior. Soon there were enough believers to start churches in several towns.

Paul wanted to go visit the church in Corinth so he left Titus to continue teaching the new Christians and to appoint church leaders for each new church. When someone came to replace him in Crete, Titus met Paul in western Macedonia and continued the missionary work northward into what is now Albania. The gospel was spreading farther into Europe.

While on the island of Crete, Titus was a busy man as he cared for all the new Cretan believers, especially because the people just didn’t know how to do what is good in God’s eyes. Paul knew Titus needed some encouragement and reminders of what was important to teach the people. So, Paul wrote a letter to Titus. We have that letter called Titus. It is a gift from God to us. In it Paul reminded Titus, the Cretans, and us that Christ is our hope for any kind of life that pleases God. Our hope in Christ sets us free from the bad things we used to do and teaches us to do what is good. Let’s find out more about this hope we have in Christ.

The Answer: Christ Is Our Blessed Hope

3. Read Titus 2:11-12.

  • Paul says God’s grace teaches us to say “no” to godless ways. What do you think are “godless ways”? See also 3:3.
  • If we say “no” to godless ways, we must say “yes” to something else. What does Paul say in the rest of verse 12?

4. Who gives you power to live this way—your own strength or the Holy Spirit living inside you?

Godless ways are things that go against God’s way of living a life that pleases Him. We are to say “no” to godless ways and “yes” to doing what is right in today’s world. The Holy Spirit living inside of us is the only way we can consistently do what is right. Don’t forget that. Jesus wants us to live in dependence on His Spirit inside of us to be able to live the kind of life that pleases God.

5. Read Titus 2:13.

  • What is one promise given to us in this verse?
  • What is Christ called in this verse?

In Titus, Christ is our blessed hope. The word "hope" in the Bible is the confident expectation of something that will definitely happen because it's based on God's promises and faithfulness. It has been promised to you, it is good, and you know it will happen. In Titus 2:13, the promise is that Christ is going to appear in all his glory. He is coming back. We will see Him at some point in the future—guaranteed. That’s hope we have in Christ. Let’s see some of the other good things we have.

6. Read Titus 2:14.

  • What has Christ already done for us?
  • For what purpose?

7. Read Titus 3:4-6.

  • What has Christ already done for us?
  • How are our lives renewed?

8. Read Titus 3:7. What other hope do we have?

We have already been set free from doing bad things in order to do what is good. Our sins have been washed away permanently. We’ve been given new life now by God’s Holy Spirit who lives inside us from the moment we believe in Jesus. That life lasts forever. The Spirit gives us power to live the kind of life that pleases God. We’ve been adopted as God’s children. All these things have been provided for us by Christ who is our hope.

9. Knowing God’s promise that all those good things will happen to you, how does that make you feel?

In Titus, Christ is our blessed hope. The word “blessed” means “happy.” We can be truly happy in our hope because we know all those things promised to us will happen. Hope is God’s gift to us.

Remember that hope is the confident expectation of something that will definitely happen. We have this blessed hope in Christ. It can never be taken away from us. Knowing this can help us in two ways: 1) We can look at life as an adventure with God because the best is yet to come for us. 2) We can let God’s Spirit give us a longing to do what is good.

Let’s look at each one of those.

First, looking at life as an adventure with God. What do you think would happen if you began each day by asking, "What new adventure do you have for me today, O God?" How would that affect the way you looked at your day?

Second, longing to do what is good. We will long to please God—not because we have to do good things but because we are so thankful for what God has done for us that we want to do what pleases Him. We can be teachable—letting God’s Spirit teach us how to say “no” to godless ways and “yes” to doing what is right while we are waiting for Jesus to come back.

10. Where do you need to say “no” and “yes” in your life?

11. Who gives us the hope to live a life of adventure with God and learn to do what is good?

In Titus, Christ is our blessed hope—the confident expectation of something that will definitely happen because God has promised it to us. That kind of hope will never disappoint.

Living Dependently on Christ

1) Bible verse to learn:

“That's how we should live as we wait for the blessed hope God has given us. We are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear in all his glory. He is our great God and Savior.” (Titus 2:13 NIRV)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

This time respond through any creative means you choose (journaling, prayer, poem, drawing, painting, song) to illustrate what you have learned from this lesson about Christ being your hope. An extra page is added at the end of this lesson for you. This will be your praise to Him today.

3) Getting to know Him more:

Spend a few minutes each day reading this wonderful letter and reflecting on how God’s marvelous grace offers you a life of freedom and joy.

  • Read Titus chapter 1. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Titus chapter 2. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Titus chapter 3. Reflect on what you read.

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