Reading for Today:
- Jeremiah 49:1–50:46
- Psalm 119:121-128
- Proverbs 28:6
- Titus 1:1-16
Jeremiah 50:23 hammer of the whole earth. The description was of Babylon’s former conquering force, and God’s breaking the “hammer” He had once used. The fact that God used Babylon as His executioner was no commendation of that nation (Hab. 1:6, 7).
Titus 1:1 bondservant. Paul pictures himself as the most menial slave of New Testament times, indicating his complete and willing servitude to the Lord, by whom all believers have been “bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19). This is the only time Paul referred to himself as a “bondservant of God” (Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Phil. 1:1). He was placing himself alongside Old Testament men of God (Rev. 15:3).
Titus 1:12 a prophet. Epimenides, the highly esteemed sixth century B.C. Greek poet and native of Crete, had characterized his own people as the dregs of Greek culture. Elsewhere, Paul also quoted pagan sayings (Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33). This quote is directed at the false teachers’ character.
Titus 1:14 fables and commandments of men. Paul reemphasized (v. 10, “those of the circumcision”) that most of the false teachers were Jewish. They taught the same kind of externalism and unscriptural laws and traditions that both Isaiah and Jesus railed against (Is. 29:13; Matt. 15:1–9; Mark 7:5–13).
Titus 1:15 defiled. The outwardly despicable things that those men practiced (vv. 10–12) were simply reflections of their inner corruption. mind and conscience. If the mind is defiled, it cannot accurately inform the conscience, so conscience cannot warn the person. When conscience is accurately and fully infused with God’s truth, it functions as the warning system God designed.
DAY 1: Who was Titus, and what was his role in the church?
Although Luke did not mention Titus by name in the Book of Acts, it seems probable that Titus, a Gentile (Gal. 2:3), met and may have been led to faith in Christ by Paul (Titus 1:4) before or during the apostle’s first missionary journey. Later, Titus ministered for a period of time with Paul on the Island of Crete and was left behind to continue and strengthen the work (1:5). After Artemas or Tychicus (3:12) arrived to direct the ministry there, Paul wanted Titus to join him in the city of Nicopolis, in the province of Achaia in Greece, and stay through the winter (3:12).
Because of his involvement with the church at Corinth during Paul’s third missionary journey, Titus is mentioned 9 times in 2 Corinthians, where Paul refers to him as “my brother” (2:13) and “my partner and fellow worker” (8:23). The young elder was already familiar with Judaizers, false teachers in the church, who among other things insisted that all Christians, Gentile as well as Jew, were bound by the Mosaic Law. Titus had accompanied Paul and Barnabas years earlier to the Council of Jerusalem where that heresy was the subject (Acts 15; Gal. 2:1–5).
Crete, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, measuring 160 miles long by 35 miles at its widest, lying south of the Aegean Sea, had been briefly visited by Paul on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). He returned there for ministry and later left Titus to continue the work, much as he left Timothy at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3), while he went on to Macedonia. He most likely wrote to Titus in response to a letter from Titus or a report from Crete.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.