These small group studies of Titus contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.
Titus 2:6-15 Inductive Bible Study
I. Godly character of young men (6-8)
II. Slave/master relationship (9-10)
III. Jesus came (11-15)
a) This shows us how to live (12)
b) We should long for Him to come again (13)
c) He came to redeem and purify us for His own people (14)
d) These things should be taught to others (15)
I. Godly character of young men (6-8)
Who is supposed to urge the young men towards this kind of living? What does the word “urge” mean? Should we “urge” other believes on in their walks with Christ as well?
Why does Paul especially mention the need for young men to be sensible?
What three facets of the Christian life are mentioned (behavior, knowledge, speech)?
Who is the opponent? Why are unbelievers looking at believers? What do they hope to find? Do they find what they are looking for when they observe your life?
1. Titus had a lot of roles on the island of Crete. One was to appoint elders. The other was to himself go around and exhort people in the church to the right kind of living. The word used is “urge”. This comes from the word “urgent” or “urgency”. You urge someone to do something that is urgent. That means something that is important to be done right away without delay. These qualities are very important. Titus was to impress this importance on them to the best of his ability. How would you go about urging somebody to do something? Keep asking. Keep pleading. Keep reminding. Here it specifically refers to the young men. In the last two weeks we saw a lot about what makes a godly woman and discussed a number of pre-marriage guy-girl issues. The guys also spent some time on what kind of men they should strive to be. These verses discuss that in more detail.
2. They are to be sensible. This means to use common sense, not follow after whims or crazy ideas. Young men should not be rash. They should not be foolhardy. They should not lose their tempers. They should use their minds that God has given them to think over their actions first and make wise plans.
3. Three areas of the Christian life are mentioned: behavior (good deeds), knowledge (purity in doctrine), and speech. Young men are to be an example of good deeds. In that culture, this word can include any male over the age of 12. In today’s society teenagers are often irresponsible and self-centered. But actually it is never too early to start being faithful to God. Can you think of any examples in the Bible of young men who followed God faithfully? (Joseph, David, Daniel, Timothy) 1 Timothy 4:12. None of us are that young anyway, but regardless of your age it is the right time to do the good deeds God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10) and serve God faithfully.
4. It is hard to separate these three areas. Each of them impacts the other. Having right doctrine will influence our behavior. But we should remember it is not enough to have right doctrine. The Pharisees doctrine, in general, was very good, but their behavior was despicable. The difficulty is bringing it down from the level of knowing what is right to doing what is right. This is not an either/or issue. We don’t have to choose one area or the other. Instead of we should choose both, and more correct all three.
5. The third area mentioned is our speech. This is an especially challenging one for young men. What are some common problems in speech that many young men have? Young men tend to be prideful so they tend to boast. They tend to curse more. They tend to have a lot of silly talk/jokes. They sometimes tell dirty jokes. All of these things are evil. We need to ensure that our speech is above reproach. People in the world begin watching us the moment they know we are Christians. They observe, some of them out of curiosity, but some out of a desire to find fault and show that Christians are fake. The world wants to see Christians fail so that they can feel comfortable in their sins and tell themselves that judgment is not coming. Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:16-17. What kind of speech should we have? What kind should we avoid? What kind should we have (the solution is not to be quiet)?
We should actively consider how to build up the people around us. We can share the gospel, share testimonies, share from our quiet times, compliment others, praise others, be polite to others, listen to others, show concern to others-, restrain our temper, do not cut down, etc. People do notice. I will give two examples from my own life. First, my co-workers have told me that they never have heard me cursing. Many of them know this is because I am a Christian. Some have told me that they try not to curse around me either because of that. But I am not perfect. Sometimes I joke to others. For example, maybe someone will say, “Jason I have class with you now.” And I will answer, “Class, I don’t have class. You have to take it yourself.” Or something like this. In my mind it is teasing. But before, somebody said. :”You are lying.” So I need to be careful that I don’t get carried away in joking.
1 Timothy 4:12, Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:16-17
II. Slave/master relationship (9-10)
Why was it necessary for Paul to cover this issue of slaves and masters?
What stance does the Bible take on slavery? Is there any division in the church between slaves and masters? What does this tell you about God’s heart on slavery?
What command did Paul give to slaves?
How might this section of Scripture apply to us today in a world where slavery is more and more rare?
Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:22-4:1 – Parrelel Scripture.
1. The Bible doesn’t speak out against slavery. It was routinely practiced in the culture of that day. But it does speak out regularly against the abuses of slavery and holds masters and slaves to a much higher standard. Basically the point here is that slaves, you are in this position. You can’t get out of it. Serve Christ in it. Unfortunately because sin entered into the world there are a lot of unfair things in society. The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, but this is not true. Some are born slaves or poor and some are born rich or into royal families. We can’t control the circumstances around us, but we can control our actions and how we respond to the circumstances around us.
2. In our study of Exodus we saw that slavery was a very different thing than it has been in much of the world’s history. Can any of you describe the purpose and reasining for slavery in the OT? In the Old Testament slavery was first of all temporary. It wasn’t forced on people by slave traders or kidnappings (which was punishable by death). It was a way for people to pay off their debts, incurred most likely through foolish decisions. Basically it was ancient bankruptcy law. And as such it was much more fair than modern such laws which enable people to keep borrowing and borrowing from others and never pay it back. It was to be humane. It was a last resort choice. It was temporary. And it was voluntary (a person sold himself or his family because of his own choices).
3. In the church, their was to be no slave/master division and no partiality (James, Galatians). I think that this shows us God’s heart. In a perfect world there is no slavery. In God’s mind, every believer is equal regardless of their economic level. But the Bible is a real world book and teaches us how to face problems in the real world. It was a very real question for Christan slaves of that day wondering how they treat their masters. Should they run away? Should they refuse to work? No. They should obey. They should be diligent. They were under their master’s authority and should follow their master as if it was Christ. The Bible seeks to change slavery from the inside out by changing people’s hearts. Many of the strongest opponents of slavery were Christians. If the Bible came right out and tried to ban slavery Christians would have been labeled as revolutionaries and persecuted even worse. The New Testament is primarily written on a personal level, meaning that it regulates the actions of individuals (not of governments).
4. Cover the motivation. This mentions being well pleasing. Other passages elaborate on this telling slaves to do the will of God from the heart Doing the will of God from the heart. This is very important. Slaves weren’t to do their jobs well just to please their masters and hope to improve their position somehow. They were to do it because it was right and because God wanted them to. Even if their masters never noticed and never rewarded them, God saw their obedience and would reward them for it.
5. Cover how this applies to employees/employers.
6. Cover the masters. They weren’t to threaten their slaves, which to me also implies the action that followed the threat (abuse). They were treat their slaves well, with honor and respect. They should recognize that the top Master was watching them. He was not partial and would not be impressed with their wealth or position. He would judge them for their treatment of their slaves.
III. Jesus came (11-15)
What does “the grace of God” refer to? Are there any hints in the text as to what the “grace of God” is? What is the biggest grace of God to us? What is the relationship of these verses (11-13) with the rest of the book?
What are some examples of Jesus instructing us to not be ungodly and to avoid worldly desires?
What are some features of the present age at that time? How about now? Which is easier to serve God in? Why?
Knowing that the world around us is so evil, how can we live sensibly, righteously and godly?
How does our walk with Christ affect our expectation for the future? What is the blessed hope?
Why did Jesus die on the cross to redeem us?
1. Grace, like love, or joy is something that is unseen. But here it says that it has “appeared” and that it instructs us. Therefore, I believe that this “grace of God” refers to Jesus Christ incarnate. Only Jesus has brought salvation to all men so by definition this “grace of God” can only refer to Jesus. Jesus is in fact the most amazing and perfect example of God’s grace ever. Grace means giving a gift that we don’t deserve. Jesus is the greatest gift God has ever given to man and we didn’t deserve Him at all. These verses form the central point of the whole book. It is this grace and salvation that Paul is urging Titus to spread and teach the church himself and by proxy through elders. See verse 15. Christ’s coming has made salvation available to all men when of their own efforts they never could have attained it without Him. It doesn’t mean that every person will be saved. But it does mean that salvation is not restricted to one group of men such as Westerners or Jews. It is available for all and we do know that there will be representatives in heaven from every group of people (Revelation 5:9, 7:9).
2. Jesus Himself was the great teacher. He instructed hundreds of thousands of people in the way that they should live. Once again we see the negative (thing to avoid) and the positive (thing to pursue). We are to avoid ungodliness and worldly desires, but pursue sensibility, righteousness, and godliness. What are some examples of Jesus’ teachings about avoiding ug and worldly desires? How about living righteously and godly? For example, Jesus taught people not to engage in adultery or lust or hypocrisy or pride or divorce or desire riches, but to pray earnestly, forgive others, give with a cheerful heart, and be humble just to name a few.
3. The present age. The present age at that time was different from the present age now in some aspects. There was worse technology, different governments, different cultures, etc. However, the “present age” could also refer to the entire church age. Regardless, there are many similarities between that time and now. One hundred percent of people at that time sinned. One hundred percent of people now sin. One hundred percent faced temptations and one hundred percent face temptations today too. Believers faced pressures/persecutions from their families, places of work, governments and friends just as we do. Sometimes believers will make excuses for not serving God wholly because they will say that it is easier to follow God at other times (back in Bible days) or other places (America since that is a Christian country, ha!) This is not true, however. It is always difficult to follow God, but it is always possible (see Daniel for an example). We never have to do what is wrong.
4. We should be looking forward to the return of Christ. Where is your hope based? What is your biggest hope? If our hope is anywhere in this world (money, career, fame, getting a wife or a husband or a kid, etc.) we will be disappointed one day. People will disappoint us. Money will not satisfy. 1 Thess 4:13-18. These words were read at Christy’s mother’s funeral because they describe the hope that believes should have. See Revelation 21:1-6 (and the last part of the chapter). Our blessed hope should be that we will see Christ, that our sins will be finally wiped away, and that we will live forever with Christ in heaven in absolute holiness and joy. This in fact is the chief end of man (to glorify God and enjoy Him fully.) This hope far outweighs any temporary difficulties you may have here on this earth.
5. This verse also tells us that we should look for the appearing of Christ. 2 Timothy 4:8. Are you looking forward to it? Do you ever pray for it? Do you ever look at the evil in the world and long for something better, something purer, for God’s kingdom? Or do you secretly hope that Jesus will wait a while (maybe for you to get married or have a kid or get that promotion)? Are you scared that He might come back today knowing that you are not ready? I admit that I don’t long for His coming as I should and sometimes I have fallen into both of the previous categories. Where are treasure is there our heart will be. Put your treasure in heaven by serving God faithfully and our heart will focus more and more on Christ and His return. If you find you struggle with this the first place to look is your own life. Maybe you really aren’t ready. Maybe you need to repent of some secret sin or bad habit and ask God to cleanse you. Maybe you aren’t serving Him while He is gone (think of the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30) so know He won’t be happy with you when He returns. Then get up off the chair and away from the TV and computer and start to serve the Lord.
6. Jesus died for a reason. He died to redeem us from our sins. He died so that He could purchase a holy people for His own possession, people who are zealous to do what is right. If you are a believer, then you do belong to God. Are you being subject to your master? (see verse 9). He bought and paid for us with His own blood. This is a debt that we can never pay back. But because He first loved us, we should also love Him in return.
What things are referred to in verse 15? Explain the differences in the three action words, speak, exhort, reprove. How could Titus let no on disregard him?
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