Titus for You (God’s Word for You series) by Tim Chester
“Living the good life of the gospel is always a challenge when we live in a culture that defines the good life in other ways. It is particularly hard in a culture where newspapers cannot be trusted and politicians are corrupt; a harsh, selfish, racist culture in which there is a fear of crime; a culture where people are reluctant to do manual work, which is therefore left to migrant workers; a culture in which people routinely overeat. And that was the culture of first century Crete.”
In the Bible the book of Titus, located near the end of the New Testament, is short and compact. It is easily read in 10 minutes since it contains only three chapters. But it is by no means an insignificant book. It has surprising relevance for us today. Tim Chester’s book, Titus for You, effectively shows his readers just how appropriate this little book is for you and me today.
The Apostle Paul and Titus had traveled to Crete and professed Christ to many who became saved by faith. Then Paul moved on leaving Titus there to continue to preach the gospel and organize groups of believers in many towns. A few years later, Paul writes this epistle (a short letter) to encourage Titus to choose leaders for these growing churches. The Apostle Paul’s guidelines had very little to do with the structure of a church as we might have expected. Instead his message was about keeping the gospel message central.
In the first chapter of Titus, Paul encourages him to appoint Christ-centered leaders who would counter false teachings. The second chapter focuses on keeping the gospel central in their/our daily lives, and the third chapter further emphasizes the gospel message focused on Jesus Christ so that our lives demonstrate Christ to others–our mission.
This short book is less a commentary than it is a Bible study or devotional on Titus. It is the perfect length for those who don’t have time for detailed studies but want something that will be applicable for our daily walk as Christians.
Two topics of discussion caught my attention in this book. The first is the principle of mentorship and relationships as they pertain to growth and maturity within the membership of the young church in Crete. Mentorship is an important aspect of Christian vitality. It focuses us on relationship rather than rules, which the author rightly believes is key to a church’s ability to stay intent on its mission to share the gospel with the nations. Mentorship is an urgent need in today’s youth-focused peer dependent culture. So this author spends a significant amount of space on this topic.
The second subject I found interesting is the relationship between the false teachings Titus was supposed to deal with, the author’s discussion of legalism, and what he had to say about divisive people. It didn’t matter so much what the false teachings were that Paul was referring to, whether it was a form of legalism or not, but how the ones perpetuating the deceptive beliefs became divisive within the body of believers. It all had to do with respect and lack of respect for the authority of the leaders, rebellion, and staying close to the original gospel message as shared by Paul. In the book of Titus, Paul warns us to be on guard against people who reject authority and love controversy in whatever form it took.
I am excited about the God’s Word for You series and this book in particular. It has successfully served to open up the little book of Titus and revealed the hugely relevant message it contains for Christ’s followers even today. I would love to see this series in every church library and widely read. I think you will find the contents fresh and fascinating.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC)on behalf of The Good Book Company . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”