I did not know that so much rich truth and practical instruction was packed into the two pages of my Bible that contain Paul’s letter to Titus. Wow. When I determined that I should preach through it on Sunday mornings at Calvary, I didn’t know what I was getting in to – in a good way!
Here’s a line-up of the paragraphs I followed and the sermon titles/themes I used:
Book Theme – Learning and Living
1:1-4 The Christian Life in Three Parts
1:5-9 Delivering Life-Changing Truth
1:10-16 Getting Ready to Learn and Live
2:1-10 Healthy Living – for senior men, senior women, young women, young men, pastors, and people in lowly positions doing menial tasks; “healthy” is based on the meaning of the word translated “sound” in Titus. Did four messages from these verses.
2:11-14 Why Should I?
3:1-2 Learning to Live in Our Community
3:3-7 Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Snobs
3:9-11 Living With Differences
3:12-15 What Really Closes the Gap (focus on “grace” in v. 15 and the other places it occurs in the book)
- I love preaching straight through a book of the Bible. One of the benefits is you address issues that you might not otherwise. When would I have preached on avoiding foolish disputes and rejecting divisive people (3:9-11)? Probably when I thought I needed to, reactively rather than proactively. Another benefit is you never have to wonder what you’re preaching on next Sunday. It’s right in front of you. Just start digging. The sermon will almost write itself sometimes.
- People appreciate understanding a section of Scripture so that when they read it later they know what it’s talking about. That’s one of my goals in preaching – delivering it like Ezra did (Nehemiah 8:8). So I explain a lot, apply a good bit.
- I’m amazed at how the Holy Spirit makes truth personal. Many times during the past three months people have told me how what I preached from Titus was exactly what they needed for a specific struggle, decision, trial, temptation, crisis, etc. I don’t know what everyone is facing, but God does, and so sweetly speaks to us in very specific ways through the ministry of the Word. I love that. Praise God.
- I love my new Bible! It was my family’s gift when I turned the big 5-0. This is the first series I’ve preached from it. Another blog post on that later…
- God’s Word is true. It is relevant to all people, everywhere, for all time. The people on the island of Crete in the first century had the same junk as people in Upstate South Carolina have in 2013. And the answers are the same. It’s all in the Word. It’s pretty much all in the book of Titus! Tightly packaged and condensed.
Titus would be a great book to study yourself this summer (see post on studying the Bible here). It would be perfect for a small group or home Bible study. For big-time memorizers, hide this powerful package in your heart! If someone were going underground because of persecution or being imprisoned for his or her faith, and could only hold on to a few pages of Scripture, Titus would be a portable and concise source of sound doctrine and spiritual nourishment.
There’s a lot in the book of Titus. I preached 15 sermons from it, and could have done more. You can listen to them here. Only two pages of Scripture, but tons of truth.