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Titus 2:1-2 Context Illustration

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 6, 2013

With Paul it is especially important to look at context. Paul’s letters are a lesson book on context. He always introduces his subject at the beginning and summarizes at the end of each chapter and letter. We can examine chapter 2 and see this example.


Titus 2:1-2 NLTse As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. (2) Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.

Titus 2:14-15 NLTse He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. (15) You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.


The introduction and summary share the word TEACH. The following statements are also related:



exercise self-control

worthy of respect

live wisely

have sound faith

be filled with love and patience



gave his life

free us

cleanse us

make us his very own people

totally committed to doing good deeds

encourage the believers

correct them when necessary


Paul’s subject and lessons are consistent and show a building process beginning with the believer learning what the qualities of a leader are, finding and refining the qualities found in Jesus and finally sharing, “totally committed to doing good deeds.”


People often establish the context of this chapter based on a single word translated in the KJV as doctrine. Titus 2:1 KJV But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:


The NTL translated doctrine as, “wholesome teaching” We can see which translation actually fits the texts by looking at the original Greek.



G1319 didaskalia did-as-kal-ee’-ah

From G1320; instruction (the function or the information): – doctrine, learning, teaching.


G1320 didaskalos did-as’-kal-os

From G1321; an instructor (generally or specifically): – doctor, master, teacher.


G1321 didasko? did-as’-ko

A prolonged (causative) form of a primary verb dao? (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application): – teach.


This word covers terms of a professional life or carrier of a, doctor, master, teacher, to be used as examples of how we are to follow and seek Christ.


Another method to check context is to look at the introduction and summation of the letter. When we write personal letters we still follow the same literary outline using introductions and summaries Paul used.


Titus 1:1-3 NLTse This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth thatshows them how to live godly lives. (2) This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God–who does not lie–promised them before the world began. (3) And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.

Titus 3:9-11 NLTse Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and awaste of time. (10) If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. (11) For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.


Like a teacher Paul repeats words and terms to establish the main point. We see this pattern in both the introduction and summary.







revealed this message




Do not get involved

foolish discussions



Jewish laws


waste of time

causing divisions

turned away from the truth


Paul’s introduction reveals the message, his summary warns against straying away from it. Paul’s message is clearly explained at the beginning of his letter.


This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how tolive godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God–who does not lie–promised them before the world began(Titus 1:1-2 NLTse)


The subject of this letter is to teach the TRUTH, which leads to ETERNAL LIFE and has been PROMISED (CONSISTENT) since BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN.


The only consistent source of truth is God’s Word. This is the only source we should use to look at the example of the man and woman of God. Too many people get confused by the word doctrine, and substitute a prearranged, condensed version of God’s word to measure their spiritual growth and condemn others. Doctrine can never by used to gauge or measure one’s spiritual growth or relationship with God. Man made doctrine never has and never will possess the power of God’s Spirit to reach and change lives like His Word. Doctrines can never show the same ability to transform and relate to an individual’s emotional state — which everyone can find in God’s Word. A Psalm can effect a person one way today, and quite differently a year from now based on the personal experience at the time.


Doctrines also lack in the teaching Paul refers to in His letter. Doctrines cannot teach the lessons recorded in the Bible. Doctrines do not list the good Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Daniel, or Jesus did in their lives. Doctrines do not provide an ample list of the mistakes Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses made. Paul does not show Titus all the details because there are too many to list. Paul does point him back to the source, Jesus and His Word. Experience showed Paul how to leave people in the capable hands of the Holy Spirit.


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