These small group studies of Titus 3:1-7 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 3:1-7 Bible Study Commentary and Questions

Outline

I. Being a good testimony in society (1-2)
II. Our new condition in Christ (3-7)

I. Being a good testimony in society (1-2)

Discussion Questions

• Who is the “them” in verse 1?
• What does it mean to “be subject”?
• Who would classify as rulers or authorities?
• Which authorities do you have the most challenging time submitting to? Why? What if the leaders are not Christian? What if you disagree?
• How can you be “ready for every good deed?” What does this imply about how we should approach each day?
• What can we do to be peaceable with others? What if someone just wants to fight?
• What is the significance of the adjective “all” in “all men”? How can we show consideration for all men?

Cross-References

Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

1 Peter 2:13-15 – Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Romans 13:1-3 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Remind – As overseer of the churches on Crete, Titus was responsible for continually exhorting the believers to live in a Christlike way. This is not something that can be done once and then finished. It is like taking a shower or washing the dishes. You never finish these things. They need to be repeated again and again.

Scripture is not always new revelation. Much of it is reminders of past instruction. God gives us frequent reminders because we tend to forget what He has said and drift away.
Christian leaders also need to remind the flock again and again how to live and follow Christ. Some preachers may feel the need to give a new perspective, insight, or angle every time they give a sermon. But this is not necessary. Most of the time, the preacher’s job is to give reminders of what the flock already knows.

Every one of us needs reminders and encouragement to keep pushing forward in our walks with Christ because the world’s influence is very strong. The rest of this chapter is mostly very practical and application-oriented. The book of Titus is focused on the qualities of a mature church. And to have a sound church, you must have mature individual believers in the church. And the sign of maturity is not having a wealth of knowledge but obedience to what is already known.

2. Be subject to authorities – The first reminder Titus was to give was to be subject to authorities.

A. The sin of rebellion

It is not always easy to be subject to authorities. We will all go through life having various authorities at different times, including parents, teachers, bosses, and the government. Our flesh does not naturally like to submit to the will of others.

The very first sin in history was rebellion against authority. Satan had a great life in heaven in paradise. He was powerful, beautiful, and smart. He had everything he needed to live and be joyful. But for him, it wasn’t enough. He lusted for power. He wanted to be in charge.

The second recorded sin was once again a rebellion against authority. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command in the garden. Satan convinced Eve that God was unfairly restricting their freedom. By eating the fruit God had told them not to eat, they were casting off God’s authority and declaring themselves to be independent of Him. It’s a crazy thing to declare independence from your creator.

From that time until now, people have resisted authority.

Reflect – Why is it difficult for people to submit to authority?

People don’t only rebel against “unfair” authorities. They rebel against any authority. It is our sin nature.

For over a decade, I taught at a training center with many young children. One of their very favorite words was “no.” From very early on, children struggle against authority. You see it in babies who arch their backs and scream when their parents try to change them.

On the rebellious tendency of humans from the very earliest stages, Voddie Bauchum said, “People who don’t believe in original sin, don’t have children. It’s not a little angel. It is a viper in a diaper. The angry cry happens early. The demanding cry happens early. The stiffening up of the body happens early. It’s so cute! Nah, that isn’t cute. One of the reason God makes them so small is so that they won’t kill you. One of the reasons He makes them so cute is so that you won’t kill them.”

B. Submission requires doing things we don’t like –

Sometimes it is easier to obey authorities than others. For example, if a mother gives a child 100 dollars and tells him to go buy himself something, most children will be delighted to obey their mothers. But if the mother tells the child to stop playing and do his homework, he might not be so happy.

Submission often requires doing things that we don’t want to do. It is not finding the parts in the Bible that we agree with and following those. Submission requires joyful obedience to things that we don’t enjoy doing, think we could do another better way, or even disagree with. Some might make the excuse that their authority (be it the government, boss, teacher, etc.) is just unreasonable and not worthy of submitting to.

C. All authorities are established by God –

But in fact, all authorities are established by God. They are not perfect, but they have a purpose. The Cretans were under the authority of the Roman government. Was that a good government? No, it was pagan, corrupt, and war-hungry. It condoned slavery, gladiators, and at times was rife with homosexuality. But Paul still told the people to submit to authority. No government is perfect, but we are commanded to obey. Only if a government requires us to sin must we disobey, choosing to follow “God rather than man.”

Application – Submit to governing authorities. Do so with a good attitude from the heart.

3. Be ready for every good deed – Two words stand out in that sentence. The first is “ready.”

Doing good deeds is not something that will happen automatically. Our flesh will often resist the chance and instead choose the lazy, easy, or selfish route.

Reflect – What does it mean to be “ready” to do good works?

Here are a couple of examples. If you are sitting on a bus and not mentally prepared or thinking about giving your seat to someone in need, it will be easy to offer excuses or just ignore the need when the chance to give your seat comes.

The better way to approach it is to have the mentality that you are reserving the seat for the old. Then when you see them, you can jump up and give it to them right away.

I had a friend who took the bus often. He looked for opportunities to give his seat away. He would try to sit near the front of the bus so that he could quickly offer his seat if anyone elderly boarded the bus. He was ready to do this good deed.

Another example is giving to beggars. If you are not ready, you will probably walk past and not offer any assistance.

How can you get ready?

You could prepare some small bills to have in your wallet all the time so that when you see a person begging, your immediate reaction is to help.

Reflect – What good deeds can you be “ready” to do in everyday life?

Application – Being ready requires a willingness and quickness to help. We should look for opportunities to do good to others. We should then take the initiative when those opportunities come.

4. Be ready for every good deed –