Bible Study Guides

Titus

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.

Titus 2:7-8

Titus had for many years been a co-worker with Paul. Paul left him behind on the island of Crete to sort out some major problems within the Cretan Church. In this short letter, Paul advises Titus about the criteria for selecting elders, and stresses the need to confront wrong teaching within the church. Paul then advises Titus about how to teach different groups within the church and to encourage them to live lives worthy of the gospel.

We have provided this resource to facilitate small group discussion. There are questions for three sessions. You can download these questions in an A5 booklet or A4 format or you can view them online by clicking on the links below. We encourage everyone in the group to read the book before the first session. The letter to Titus takes approximately 8 minutes to read.

 
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Resources provided by Bibleworld Museum & Discovery Centre, Rotorua, New Zealand

Introduction to 

the Book of Titus

Audience: Titus had for many years been a co-worker with Paul. Galatians 2:1-4 mentions Titus as an early travelling companion. He was an uncircumcised Gentile, who was later sent by Paul as a delegate to Corinth during the time when Paul was facing conflict with the Corinthian church. In 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 7:13-14; Paul describes how delighted he was with the report that Titus brought about the Corinthian church. Paul then has high praise for Titus and his companions: ‘these brothers are representatives of the churches. They are splendid examples of those who bring glory to Christ’ (2 Corinthians 8:23).

 

Titus had been left by Paul on the island of Crete. It is unlikely that Paul himself had spent much time on the island of Crete, although he had stopped there briefly on his trip to Rome and may have visited after his release from his Roman imprisonment. Jews from Crete had also been present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). The people of the island had a reputation of dishonesty, cruelty and greed. Paul quotes a prophet from Crete who said ‘The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons’ (Titus 1:12). Titus was given the difficult task of overseeing the churches in this environment.

 

Occasion of Writing: The letter to Titus is very similar to 1 Timothy and it has been suggested that both letters were written at the same time. This would date Titus to around 63 A.D. Paul wrote to Titus to provide him with some practical suggestions for leadership.

 

Themes: Paul addresses several issues facing Titus. He urges Titus to confront wrong teaching and to instead train people in the truth. He advises him to appoint capable men as elders in each of the churches. Titus was instructed to choose men of sound character for this role. One of the clear roles of the elders was to teach the people and oppose wrong teaching. Paul then advises Titus about how to teach different groups within the church. Church members of all ages were to be instructed to live lives worthy of the gospel. All people regardless of age or gender had a role within the church.

 
 

Discussion Questions for the Book of Titus

Session One: The Importance of Godly Leaders

What particularly stood out to you as you read the book of Titus?

 

Paul introduces himself as a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Would you describe yourself in the same way? If so, what implications does this have for your life? If not, how would you describe your relationship with God?

 

According to Paul, what characterizes a godly elder or church leader?  How can a local church congregation raise up godly elders or leaders?

 

One of the roles of an elder /leader is to teach sound doctrine and refute those who teach what is false. See Titus 1:9. What can an elder/leader do to ensure they are well equipped for this task?

 

An elder or leader must be blameless or above reproach (Titus 1:6-7). What's the difference between blameless and sinless? 

 

One of the modern debates is whether women are able to fill the role of elders/church leaders. As a group, can you identify the key arguments for and against the role of women in leadership?

 

Would you like to be an elder /church leader? Why or why not? Is there anything you could be doing to equip yourself to fill this role in the future?

Discussion Questions for the Book of Titus

Session Two:  The Importance of Correct Beliefs

When you hear a sermon, listen to Christian teaching, or read a Christian book, how do you determine if it is Biblical teaching or false teaching?

See chapter 1:10-16. Do you know any examples today of people benefitting financially from promoting false teaching?

 

What can you do to help yourself identify and resist false teaching?

 

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8

 

In what settings do you yourself advise /instruct/ guide/ teach other people, either formally or informally? What can you do to equip yourself to pass on sound Biblical teaching in your everyday conversation, within a small group or within any other ministry setting?

 

Have you ever had the opportunity to train up a new believer or a younger person? Why or why not? Have you ever considered it?

 

Discussion Questions for the Book of Titus

Session Three: The Importance of Living a Godly Life

Paul instructs Titus ‘In everything, set them an example by doing what is good’ (Titus 2:7). Why do our actions matter to God?

 

What changes has God brought to the world through the person and work of Jesus Christ?

 

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  (Titus 2:11-14)

Discuss the changes in 2:12-14a that happen to a genuine believer as God’s grace transforms them.

 

What outward changes in your life testify to the hidden work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7)?

 

Would you say that you are setting an example for other believers (Titus 2:7)? Are you ’eager to do what is good’ (Titus 2:14)? What is one further thing you could do that would make you a better example for other believers?

 

Suggestions for leading a small group Bible study

We believe there is great value in studying a book of the Bible as a whole, within a small group setting. If you are new to this we encourage you to begin with a shorter book such as Colossians, James or Ruth. We have put together these study guides based on the following five guidelines.

 

1. Encourage everyone in the group to read the book repeatedly.

2. Trust God to help you understand and apply his Word.

3. Focus on what the book reveals about God/Jesus.

4. Focus on what it clearly reveals about how God wants us to live.

5. Don't get bogged down on minor, uncertain or controversial issues. 

 

1. Encourage everyone in the group to read the book repeatedly.

We enjoy a Bible study group when everyone has read the Biblical text and comes along ready to discuss it. It makes for a much more interesting evening than a leader providing a monologue about the Bible! For that reason, we also like to hand out questions to everyone ahead of time, so everyone can come prepared to contribute in a thoughtful way. As a leader we encourage you to try and get everyone in the group to participate if they wish to.

 

There can be a temptation to read books or commentaries about the Bible rather than reading the Bible itself. Books about the Bible can be helpful, but we encourage everyone to spend the majority of their time becoming familiar with the Bible text itself. It may sound like a huge commitment to read through a book of the Bible ten times, but for a 15 minute book like James, this only takes about 2 ½ hours in total.

 

We have used the term ‘read the Bible’ however we are increasingly becoming fans of the practice of ‘listening to the Bible’. We highly recommend that everyone tries out an audio Bible to see how they find it. We suggest checking out the Bibleis app. An audio bible on your phone provides the opportunity to listen to the Bible while waiting, doing housework, commuting or while exercising.

 

2. Trust God to help you understand and apply his Word.

We need to trust that God wants to help us understand his Word. We encourage you to pray for wisdom as individuals and to pray when you come together as a group.

 

'If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.' James 1:5.

 

3. Focus on what the book reveals about God/Jesus.

God reveals so much about himself through the Bible. We have tried to come up with questions that focus on God - his abilities, his activity in our world and his character.  How does God work in people’s lives? What is important to God? For New Testament books, we are also interested in what we can learn about Jesus? What mattered to him?

 

4. Focus on what it clearly reveals about how God wants us to live.

Try to focus on how the members of your group can apply the message of the Biblical book to their lives. What does this book clearly reveal about how God wants us to live? What can we specifically do? What are the particular challenges that people are facing? What hope does this book provide?

 

5. Don't get bogged down on minor, uncertain or controversial issues. 

Accept that there are things in the Bible that we don't understand. We can waste a lot of time in a small groups on unhelpful discussion. Paul sums this up well in his letter to Timothy: Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels. (2 Timothy 2:23). There is however a difference between a robust healthy discussion and petty quarrelling. We encourage you to aim for the former and seek to avoid the latter.

 

There is a sense in which the Bible is both easy to understand and hard to understand. It covers over 4000 years of history. It is set in locations on three different continents (Africa, Asia and Europe). It is written in a range of literary styles (history, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, letters, gospels and apocalyptic). Some of the customs and practices of the people are quite foreign to us. However despite these difficulties there is a sense it which the Bible is easy to understand. We have a loving God who has sent his son Jesus so that we can enjoy life to the full and spend eternity with him. If you would like some further help with Bible study, we recommend the book ‘How to Read the Bible for all its worth’ by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.