Sunday School Bible Survey:      TITUS

Theme: Church order (same as I Timothy)

Key verse:
"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee" (1:5).

From the Scofield Study Bible:

WRITER: The Apostle Paul (1:1)

DATE: Practically the same with First Timothy (c. 65 AD)

THEME: Titus has much in common with First Timothy. Both Epistles are concerned with the due order of the churches. The distinction is that in First Timothy sound doctrine is more prominent (I Tim. 1:3-10), in Titus the divine order for the local churches (Titus 1:5). The permanent use of these Epistles lies in this twofold application, on the one hand to churches grown careless as to the truth of God, on the other, to churches careless as to the order of God's house. The importance of this order is made solemnly emphatic in that the tests by which true elders and deacons may be known are repeated (I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9).

There are two divisions:

  1. The qualifications and functions of elders (1).
  2. The pastoral work of the true elder (2, 3).


  1. Titus was a Gentile (cf. Gal. 2:3), whom Paul led to Christ. He was probably from Syria or Crete, a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Greece and north of Libya.
  2. Crete is about 150 miles long (east to west), and varies in breadth (north to south) from 35 to about 7 miles. Crete was taken over by Rome in 67 BC.
  3. Titus was a close friend and trusted colleague of the apostle Paul. We know from Galatians 2 that Titus was with Paul in Jerusalem at the meeting referred to in Acts 15.
  4. Titus' name appears nine times in II Corinthians in reference to the collection for the poor. He is also mentioned in Galatians and II Timothy.
  5. He is not mentioned in the book of Acts.
  6. We learn from Paul's epistle to Titus that Paul had either sent Titus to Crete, or left him there to deal with disorders that had arisen in the church.
  7. Titus, and I & II Timothy are referred to as the "Pastoral Epistles" because they include instruction, exhortation, and guidelines for local churches (cf. Titus 1:5).

The Return of Christ:
"In this epistle to Titus, one of his last, the blessed hope still possesses the soul of this intrepid pioneer of faith, 'Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ' (Titus 2:13). This is the hope that occupied the guest chamber in the heart of Paul during all of his life, beginning at the Damascus Road and going on to the Appian Way" (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible).

Outline (from J. Vernon McGee):

  1. The church is an organization (Chapter 1)
    (As such, it should be orderly [v. 5].)
  1. Introduction (1:1-4)
  2. An orderly church must have ordained elders who meet prescribed requirements (1:5-9)
  3. The bad reputation of the Cretans (1:10-16)
  1. The church is to teach and preach the Word of God (Chapter 2)
  1. The church must teach sound doctrine (2:1-10)
  2. The church must preach the grace of God (2:11-15)
  1. The church is to perform good works (Chapter 3)
    (To do this, it should be eager, anxious, and learning to perform good works [3:1, 8, 14].)
  1. Good works are evidence of salvation (3:1-7)
    (The work of the Holy Spirit in contrast to the old life.)
  2. Good works are profitable for the present and future (3:8-15)

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —