Paul writes to encourage Titus, the Bishop of Crete. This was the second difficult post for Titus. His previous mission was to tactfully persuade the church in Corinth to return to the teachings of Jesus. This letter offers practical solutions for dealing with a stubborn people.
The congregations in Crete were mostly home based prayer meetings. It was important that if the host family had kids, that they behave respectfully, that order existed.
Paul had started a work in Crete, but it needed continuing leadership. There were many rebellious fishermen within this small coastal village in Greece. Titus was given the task to find and then appoint blameless men as Elders from among these prickly men. There were many who talked the talk of faith but failed to walk it out.
Titus was charged to teach with integrity and by his example, he was to demonstrate self-control. He was to teach the workers to respect the one who employed them, to not steal or talk back. As representatives of Christ on earth we are to behave in attractive ways in order that we bring our Father honor and glory.
Paul reminds us all that at one time we were all foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. Living with bitter envy, we wanted what others had, and instead of encouraging one another, we spoke ill of others to life ourselves up. “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (2 Titus 3:4)
Paul’s final remarks to Titus include the warning to avoid foolish controversies and arguments about genealogies and the law.
Paul writes one short courteous letter to his dear friend Philemon. Tucked within those 25 verses we discover the art of ministering through letter writing. The letter tactfully deals with slavery. Onesimus was the slave who belonged to many masters. Paul was about 60 years old as he aptly addresses Philemon and his wife.
Paul consistently begins his letters with love and thanksgiving. God gave him the wisdom to convey proper sympathies in just the right way, for His glory. “But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.” (Philemon 1:14)
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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“It is finished.” 4/23/19