The greeting of Paul’s letter to Titus is filled with as much teaching as any part of his letters. Verse 1 reads,
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness”
Paul identified himself first as a servant of God. The word he used is doulos it means slave. It means one who belongs to someone else without any rights to their own life or will. Although bible translators often translate the word as bond-servant it literally translates to slave. Paul recognized himself as belonging completely to God, in service of God’s will and fulfilling God’s desires. We, like Paul belong to God. We’ve been bought with a price, we willingly give our entire lives to Him. We defer our will to His will and His desires become ours.
Next Paul established his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He was chosen personally by Jesus Christ for this service. Jesus delegated him with a special purpose and job. We too have been chosen by Jesus as jobs, ministries, and purposes. We’ve been given the mission common to all Believers to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19). We also have unique callings based on who God made us to be.
Paul’s calling and ministry, like ours is for the edification of the church. We serve God and strengthen our faith and that of our brothers and sisters. We serve God and add to the church through the Gospel. We serve God and increase our knowledge of God. And through it all we become more like Jesus. Godliness is maturing, becoming more like Jesus. We have a duty to increase in maturity and to aid others to mature in Christ.
Paul knew the absolute joy of serving the Lord with his entire being and he wanted the same for all of the church. He wanted us to know it too. He reminded the church of the great reason, the wonderful hope we have and want for others. Verse 2 reads,
“in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began”
We have hope, not an uncertain hope the way we yearn for something we want but may not get. It is the hope of expectation with the knowledge it is already ours. Because God promised it long before he even created us. A promise God kept when He came to us as the Son Jesus and paid for our sins with His blood. Verse 3 says,
“and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;”
Jesus entrusted Paul to preach the Gospel, the wonderful truth of salvation. God entrusted us with that job as well. He not only commends us to spread the Gospel, He commands it. And since we are His willing servants, his slaves we should gladly obey his commands and do His will. When we speak God’s word to people, Jesus is manifested, hope is revealed, truth is shared and people are given the chance to accept their election into the Kingdom of God.
In verse four Paul describes the recipient of the letter,
“To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
Paul preached the Gospel to Titus at one point and Titus believed. Paul considered all those who, like Titus became Christians after hearing the truth from him to be his spiritual children. He didn’t leave them as orphans to follow Christ alone. He fostered them, he taught them, he encouraged them, and he made sure they didn’t fall away from the truth.
Sharing the Gospel is important, it is a job we have been charged with. But it is only part of the job. We have a responsibility to our spiritual children as well as our other brothers and sisters in Christ to ensure they are following Jesus, maturing in Him, and staying firm in the truth. How loving is it, to invite someone into the family, then forget their welfare?