v1-4 - You better take a breath before reading the introduction in the first three verses, since the entire thing (73 words in English) is one long sentence.
This certainly doesn't mean that Paul was an undisciplined writer with poor grammatical organization. Quite the opposite! Look at this screenshot of these verses in an outline format to see how well this sentence is constructed:
This is vintage Paul! One of the best Bible study skills you can learn is to simply paste a Bible passage into a word processor, put it into bullet point format and then use the indent to organize it. You can see how quickly you can make sense of long, seemingly run on sentences that are found throughout Paul's letters.
v5-12- The primary job given to Pastor Titus is to appoint elders in every town on the island of Crete where Titus pastors.
The job of an elder is to manage God's household (v7), which on the surface seems pretty simple, but in reality involves a bunch of moving parts.
Thankfully, Paul doesn't just state the job requirement, but he also gives the primary strategy for getting the job done: "hold firmly to the trustworthy word as taught (v9 ESV)."
If our elders hold firmly to the Word, he can do the two main aspects of his job: encourage (literally: to come alongside) others by sound doctrine, and then refute those who speak against it (both in word and deed).
v13-16 - One of the perineal problems facing all of the early churches were people who'd go around after Paul had founded a church and add extra rules for the new Christians to follow.
They would say that being saved by grace through faith wasn't quite sufficient, and that people needed to follow all of the Old Testament rules in addition to confessing Jesus as Lord.
Paul instructs Pastor Titus to give these people no quarter.
In our day and age, we don't have so much of a problem with people adding rules that must be followed, but rather we have groups that attempt to pry Christians away from God's Words by claiming that the Bible's teachings and morals are outdated, intolerant and unnecessary.
Always remain vigilant against anyone who tries to pull you away from sound doctrine.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul quoted a saying about the people of Crete. What three things did it say about them? (See verse 12.)
In your own opinion, which leadership qualifications mentioned in verses 6–9 are the most urgently needed in the church’s leadership today?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God, who does not lie, promised eternal life before the beginning of time (v2)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to strengthen you to remain sound in your faith (v13)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: