Summary: If you want to lead well in a bad world, you need to know your God, and what he's called you to do.
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Your God and Your Mission
SERMON #1 -
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness--
2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
Crete is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean. It was an island 250 miles long, and about 50 miles wide that was home to about 100 cities, towns and villages in the first century. It had rich soil, a pleasant climate, and no poisonous/vicious animals.
We have no record of Paul going to Crete, only of him sailing past it on his way to Rome.
But most scholars agree that Paul was probably released from prison after the end of Acts, and traveled for about 3 years, doing ministry and planting churches. It would have been in this time that he went to Crete, and preached the Gospel & planted churches there. He left Titus there in Crete to manage and organize what was left, and to appoint good biblical leadership in every church. He wrote Titus around the same time as 1 Timothy, to give Titus encouragement and direction on how to complete his task. He planned to replace him (Titus 3:17) and have Titus join him again. But Paul was then arrested again. Titus was with Paul for a time during his second imprisonment & then was sent by Paul to Dalmatia. Paul mentions this in 2nd Timothy, written probably just a few weeks before his martyrdom.
The culture of Crete was one steeped in idolatry and Greek mythology. If you’ve read any Greek myths, it was the birthplace of Jupiter… and the king of Crete would, every nine years, go away to amend the laws of Crete. To help add authority to his amendments of the laws, he would tell the people that he got the instructions straight from the god Jupiter.
The culture was notoriously difficult, characterized by liars, insincere people, who were lazy, greedy, gluttonous and prone to get their way by brute force. (Titus 1:14?) This remind you of anything?
• 74 percent of high school students, in a 2002 survey of 12,000 respondents, said they had cheated on an exam at least once in the past year, according to the Josephson Institute of Ethics. In 1992, 61 percent of students reported having cheated. The latest craze is to use cellular phones to photograph exams and show friends in the following class.