Theology 101, Part 1 – True Faith vs. False Faith
This week, we began a sermon series on Paul’s letter (epistle) to Titus. It is a small letter, but it
imparts to Titus a massive task. Titus was given the task of planting/establishing churches in every town
in Crete (there may have been as many as 90 towns on the island at the time). Paul had already
preached the gospel there, so there were some Christians, but those new converts needed connection
to a church in order to grow in their faith. To make the task more daunting, it appears from chapter 1
that the culture Crete was not exactly “fertile soil” for the gospel message. Crete was full of irreligious
behavior, and what religion did exist on the island was not helping the situation.
Titus chapter 1 lays out the groundwork for Paul and Titus’ strategy. Local church leaders in every
town would help change the culture. It was imperative, however, that these local leaders show a
different way of living. They had to be immune from the cultural influences that kept Crete from being
respected and trustworthy. Sound doctrine is only sound if it is actually leading a Christian to more
godly behaviors and lifestyles. The theme passage of Titus, 2:11-14, makes clear how this works: when
we remember God’s grace in our lives, we in turn become more gracious, pure, and loving people. The
rest of our study in Titus will give practical examples for how this looks in everyday life.
- What did you learn about the book of Titus that stood out to you from this weekend’s sermon?
- Read Titus 1:1-16. What is the value of planting local churches for the spread of the gospel?
- Titus 1 describes the situation of 1st Century Crete as not very friendly to Christian values. What
challenges do local churches face in such a climate? How can local churches be a positive influence in such circumstances?
- Read Titus 2:11-15. How is the gospel different from both religion and irreligion?
- Do you know the grace of God that is being spoken of? If so, how has it changed the way you live?
- Describe the relationship between Christian theology and Christian ethics, according to Titus?
Pray: Open your Bibles to 1 John 3:1-3. Read through the passage and pray through these points:
- Thank God for making you his child and for his Fatherly love in your life.
- Ask God for the strength and desire to become pure like he is pure.
- Ask God to give you hope in the areas of your life that have you frustrated or “stuck.”