Titus (whom many believe was the brother of Luke) was sent by Paul to the island of Crete with the assignment of organizing the churches (1:5). This apparently presented something of a challenge because the Cretans were known to be chronic liars and cheaters (1:12). They were even called lazy gluttons and evil beasts. Talk about a mess!
Paul knew that Titus had a big assignment on his hands. So in his letter Paul emphasized the need for practical godliness. In chapter 1 Paul emphasized the need of godliness in the Church; chapter 2, godliness in the home; and chapter 3, godliness in the world.
The order is significant. It’s easy for Christians to focus on the need of godliness in the world because the world is such an ungodly place. But the Bible puts the focus first on the Church. No kidding. 1 Peter 4:17 reminds us that judgment begins at the house of God. I know it’s a radical thought in this day and age of easy-believism, but God expects the Church to be godly.
From there, the focus shifts to the Christian home. If a guest were invited to spend a few weeks in your home, would they leave with the impression that your home was characterized more by godliness or worldliness? Think about it.
Finally, Paul focuses on the need of godliness in the world. Obviously, the world is in desperate need of godliness. No argument there. But godliness doesn’t start with the world and work its way back to the Church. It starts with the Church, works its way through the Christian home, and into the world.
The NT letter to Titus is a small book that contains a big message. What’s the message? “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (2:12).
Pastor Todd Weston