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Titus Philemon Jude New Testament Letters

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Sound teaching, unconditional forgiveness, and false teachers are the respective issues at hand in TITUS, PHILEMON, and JUDE. Addressed to a young pastor in Crete, Paul wrote TITUS to spur on his protégé in the ministry. Similarly, in his letter to a slave owner in Colossae, the epistle to PHILEMON was the apostle’s attempt to inspire submission, equality in Christ, and forgiveness between the affluent and the subjugated. And JUDE, written by the Lord’s half-brother, took to task the many heretics who had infiltrated the Church at large.
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    The Three Letters in the New Testament: Titus  –   Philemon  –   Jude Research and Study by Rev. Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th.,D.D. General Introduction Sound teaching, unconditional forgiveness, and false teachers are the respective issues at hand in TITUS, PHILEMON, and JUDE. Addressed to a young pastor in Crete, Paul wrote TITUS to spur on his protégé in the ministry. Similarly, in his letter to a slave owner in Colossae, the epistle to PHILEMON was the apostle’s attempt to inspire submission, equality in Christ, and forgiveness between the affluent and the subjugated. And JUDE, written by the Lord’s half  -brother, took to task the many heretics who had infiltrated the Church at large. (Image: Military and Roman civilian dress)  2 The New Testament World Titus Titus was a Gentile (Greek) convert and a travelling companion of Paul. Around A.D. 63  —  64, and after Timothy stayed in Ephesus, Paul and Titus continued to Crete. Titus remained to establish the Christian church while Paul continued his missionary journey. Philemon was a prestigious and well-respected Christian in Colossae. Philemon's Epistle is a personal letter from Paul addressed to him concerning his runaway slave, Onesimus. In order of time Titus followed I Timothy. Paul, having left Ephesus, went to Macedonia and perhaps sailed from there to Crete, where he had been a visitor on his voyage to Rome. On this occasion he spent some time there, but left Titus to complete the establishment of the church and to rectify its errors. One wonders whether Paul felt that his time was short and that he wanted to return to Ephesus, for he spoke of sending Tychicus to Crete (Titus 3:12) at a later date. His ultimate goal was Nicopolis (probably in Epirus), where he planned to winter. The situation in Crete was discouraging. The church was unorganized, and its members were quite careless in behaviour. If the injunctions of chapter 2 are any indication of what the churches needed, the men were lax and careless, the older women were gossips and winebibbers, and the young women were idle  3 and flirtatious. Perhaps the preaching of the gospel of grace had given the Cretans the impression that salvation by faith was unrelated to an industrious and ethical life. Six times (1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14) in this short epistle Christians are urged to do good works. Although Paul says that salvation cannot be earned by good works (3:5), he affirms with equal vigor that  believers must be careful to maintain good works. The disturbance in Crete had been caused by a combination of the ethical laxity that sprang from the natural tendencies of the Cretans (1:12  —   13 ) and the disputation over Jewish fables and commandments that were promoted by a Judaizing group (1:10) who were godless (1:16), unruly (1:10), divisive (1:11), and mercenary (1:11). These teachers differed from those that troubled the Galatians in that their error was moral perversity, whereas that of the Galatians was stringent legalism. Both are condemned by this epistle. Both I Timothy and Titus were written to counsel an understudy who was working out the problems of a difficult pastorate. Titus, the recipient of this epistle, had been an acquaintance and associate of Paul for fifteen years or more. He was a Gentile convert of the early days in Antioch, whose conversion was so convincing that he served as Exhibit A of the uncircumcised Gentile believers when Paul and Barnabas went up for the conference at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1, 3). He must have been with Paul during his third journey, for he acted as Paul's emissary during the trying days of the church's rebellion in Corinth, and he was successful in bringing them back to penitence and loyalty (II Cor. 7:6-16). He had travelled widely in Macedonia to collect the funds that Paul was raising and had his hearty approval (8:16, 19, 23). He may have been included in the us of Acts 20:5, though he is not mentioned by name anywhere in Acts. The last allusion to him in the New Testament states that he had gone to Dalmatia (II Tim. 4:17). He seems to have been a stronger character than Timothy and better able to cope with opposition. Outline   The Sound Doctrine in Titus I. Salutation: The Source of Sound Doctrine 1:1-4 II. The Administration of Sound Doctrine 1:5-16 The Appointment of Elders 1:5-9 The Exposure of False Teachers 1:10-16 III. The Preaching of Sound Doctrine 2:1-15 Application 2:1-10 To aged men To aged women  4 To young women To young men To himself To slaves Definition 2:11-15 IV. Counselling by Sound Doctrine 3:1-11 V. Concluding Salutations 3:12-15 Content The general content of Titus is like that of I Timothy, except for a stronger emphasis on creedal formulation. In two passages Paul states the closest approach to a formulated creed in the whole New Testament (2:1114; 3:4-7).  Note the elements contained in these passages: 1.   The personality of God (2:11; 3:6). 2.   The qualities of his love and grace (2:11; 3:4). 3.   His title of Saviour (2:10; 3:4). 4.   The saviourhood of Christ (2:13; 3:6). 5.   The Holy Spirit (3:5). 6.   The implication of the triune being of God (3:5-6). 7.   The essential deity of Christ (2:13). 8.   The vicarious atonement of Christ (2:14). 9.   The universality of salvation (2:11). 10.   Salvation by grace, not by works (3:5). 11.   The incoming of the Holy Spirit (3:5). 12.   Justification by faith (3:7). 13.   Sanctification (purification)> of his own people (2:14). 14.   Separation from evil (2:12). 15.   Inheritance of eternal life (3:7). 16.   The return of Christ (2:13). The foregoing points constitute a fair digest of New Testament theology. Titus, is a good summary of the doctrinal teaching of the church as it emerged into the institutional stage. Although it was written to a pioneer missionary, he represented a church that had passed the pioneer era and that had settled policies and faith. The word sound implies that a recognized standard of doctrine had  been acknowledged, to which correct life and teaching must conform.

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