3 Questions about the Book of Titus

WordPartners Staff

January 27, 2020

After filming Tim Sattler, WordPartners’ Training Director, preach on the Melodic Line of Titus, Kevin Halloran asked Tim three follow-up questions about the book of Titus. Watch the interview above or read the transcript below.

You mentioned that Titus, in your opinion, is kind of like the “stepchild”of the pastoral epistles. Can you explain why?

Tim Sattler: Well, on my shelf in my library, Titus is always jammed into some other commentary. To me there’s something about us missing that Titus has a message in and of itself. I think that in practice, I remember as a young man, I would always think of Titus as “the other pastoral epistle.” You know, you go to 1 Timothy for the real stuff, but then Titus was other one.

KH: The B Team.

TS: Yeah, the B Team. So, I don’t know – to me it just kind of seems like the stepchild. He’s there in the room but not really part of the family in some ways. And yet, Titus has a great, important gospel challenge for pastors and leaders. Even for just the everyday person in the church, it has real a gospel challenge of what we expect to see the gospel do in our lives.

KH: You mentioned in your message your “melodic line” for the book. Would you mind sharing that with us?

TS: It comes out of this whole aspect of the Cretan culture – that you can trust the gospel. Paul tells Timothy, I didn’t actually say it in this message, that he’s his true child in the common faith. He’s just expressed his gospel’s all about the faith in the gospel – or that proclamation is all about the faith of those who believe in the gospel. And so Titus is one of these men with a common faith. I think that starts driving the book. You’ve got this Cretan culture that says you can’t change a Cretan. And yet the grand message is, you can change a Cretan. They’ve got the wrong framework. Paul has the right framework. The gospel can change even the Cretan in your community.

For me it’s, you can trust the gospel. Titus needs to trust the gospel for everything he’s doing. You can trust the gospel to transform the worst person in your community to become a leader, a godly leader, or fruitful participant in the growth and the glory of Christ’s church.

KH: So, we can trust the gospel because the gospel works.

TS: Yes. 

KH: But there are a lot of temptations to do something else.

TS: Well, I think there are. There always are. There’s always a drift away from the centrality of the gospel and trusting in its power – and everybody’s always looking for something new rather than just the old, old story that God intends to work through.

KH: What are some of the things that people might lean upon instead of the gospel?

TS: There’s programs, there’s personalities, there’s curb appeal in the churches today. That’s a big thing. I think that Paul is really presenting the case that the gospel itself presents a great appeal to people because what you see is power – God’s power – at work in somebody’s life. I think that in reality, if I read the news feeds right, people know that there’s a problem in the world. People know there’s a problem in their life, and people are looking for what might help change that.

KH: We’re trying to manufacture our own power.

TS: Yes.

KH: There’s no comparison to God’s supernatural power.

TS: Exactly.

KH: That ties into my last question for you. You mentioned there is a link between transformation and multiplication of ministries. Can you explain that link a little more?

TS: Pastors look for something that will work to make the next step of change. I think that the reality is that transformation is contagious. If you focus in discipleship on transformation, or if you focus in evangelism on transformation, you get testimonies of what’s happening. People live transformed lives before other people. When that begins to be multiplied, you can’t stop it.

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