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Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

series index
Great Unknown People of the Bible
Titus and Timothy
 


      INTRODUCTIONS:
            Titus Galatians 2:1-3
            Timothy Acts 16:1-3 

      Timothy's Training, Call, and Ordination:
            1 Timothy 4:11-16
            2 Timothy 1:3-6
            2 Timothy 3:14-17
            2 Timothy 4:1-5, 11-16
       Timothy's health: 1 Timothy 5:23
      
      TITUS' MISSION:
            in Corinth  2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:5-8:23 (Acts 19)
            in Crete    Titus 1:5
            in Nicopolis Titus 3:12
            in Dalmatia 1 Timothy 4:10 

      TIMOTHY'S MISSION
            in Macedonia
                  Acts 17:13-15; 18:5 (1 Thess. 3:1-7)
                  Acts 19:21-22
                  Philippians 2:19-24
            in Corinth
                  1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10
            in Ephesus
                  1 Timothy 1:3
            in Prison
                  Hebrews 13:23
            with Paul
                  Acts 20:1-4
                  Romans 16:21
                  2 Corinthians 1:1
                  Philippians 1:1
                  Colossians 1:1
                  1 Thess. 1:1
                  2 Thess. 1:1
                  2 Tim. 4:9-13,21
                  Philemon 1

    If you recall, when Paul had returned to Jerusalem from his Damascus trip… three years late, and now a Christian, the Christians in Jerusalem were very reluctant to accept him or trust him, for they remembered him as Saul the persecutor. It was Barnabas who took the chance and extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul. When the disciples learned that Paul's life was in danger, they shipped him off to home town of Tarsus in the region of Cilicia, as it is called here. Then later Barnabas was sent north into Antioch in Syria, and Barnabas recruited Paul to be his assistant.
       
      22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ.
      23 But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy."
      24 And they glorified God in me
    Now what Paul doesn't tell about here is his first missionary trip, the one that Luke reports in Acts 13 & 14, where Paul and Barnabas go to Cyprus with John Mark, and then north to Lystra and Derbe, and then back to Antioch.
       
      [GALATIANS 2]
      1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.
     
    Aha! Here he is, for the first time. We can only assume from the context that Titus had been a member of the congregation at Antioch. But his country of origin we do not know, other than that we know from the next couple verses that Titus was a Gentile. He wasn't not Jewish.
     
    Why did Paul, Barnabas, and Titus go to Jerusalem? Paul answers that question in the next verse:
       
      2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
       
    If you recall from the first verses of Acts 15, Luke reports:
     
      1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
      2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them [e.g. Titus?] should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
       
    The rest of Acts 15 is Luke's report of very important Jerusalem counsel, in which the Apostles discerned that it was God's plan that Gentiles be saved entirely by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, not by Works of the Flesh under Jewish Law.

    Paul continues in Galatians 2:

       3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
      4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
      5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
       
    For the moment, that is all we know about Titus. Since he was part of the delegation, representing Gentiles from the church in Antioch, we can safely assume that Titus returned there with Paul and Barnabas.
     
    Now Paul begins his second missionary journey. Again, if you recall, Barnabas and Paul part company, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, and Paul taking Silas north back through Cilicia, and then continuing west to Lystra, where they meet Timothy.
     
    Now we pick up the story in Acts 16:
     
      1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.
      2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
      3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
      4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.
      5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
     
    Now what's the deal? Titus, the gentile, doesn't need to be circumcised, put Timothy does? Don't we have a double standard here?
     
    No. For if you recall, the issue for Titus and the Antioch church was that whether or not circumcision was needed for eternal salvation – and with circumcision comes the commitment to the whole Jewish Cerimonial, in the false hope that one could be made righteous through the Law. The Law of God does not make us righteous. It only shows that we are unrighteous, and in need of a Savior. And for Titus to submit to circumcision in Antioch would be to deny the free gift of Salvation offered him by the sufficient sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
     
    But the issue for Timothy was not his personal salvation, but rather, opportunity to bring the Gospel of Jesus to Jews, with whom he could claim kinship through his mother's family. And as long as he remained uncircumcised, the door of opportunity to witness to fellow Jews would remain closed to him. Paul's concern in having Timothy circumcised was not a concern for Timothy's salvation, but the salvation of other Jewish folk with whom they might have the opportunity to share the Gospel.
     
    Earlier in our series we touched on Timothy's upbringing and training in Scripture, when we learned about his Mother and Grandmother, Eunice and Lois. If you missed it, you can get it from this church's web site. In the follow passages from 1st & 2nd Timothy, Paul reminded Timothy of God's calling on his life to preach and teach the Gospel.
       
      [1 TIMOTHY 4]
      11 These things command and teach.
      12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
      13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
      14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
      15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
      16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
       
      [2 TIMOTHY 1]
      3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
      4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,
      5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
      6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
      7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
      8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
       
      [2 TIMOTHY 4]
      1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
      2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
      4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
      5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
       
    Titus and Timothy not only traveled with Paul in his ministry, but they often traveled for Paul to carry on his ministry in places were he wanted to go, but couldn't.
     

    Chronology of the Minstries
    of Titus and Timothy

    Between Paul's first and second missionary journey

      Titus travels with Paul from Antioch to Jerusalem to clarify the circumcision question with the elders and Apostles (Galatians 2:1-3)
     
    Paul's second missionary journey
     
      Paul meets Timothy and adds him to his ministry team. (Acts 16:1-3)
     
      Paul is forced out of Macedonia, so he leaves (or sends) Timothy and Silas to continue the Macedonian ministry in his absence. (Acts 17:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:107)
     
      Timothy and Silas catch up with Paul again in Corinth. (Acts 18:1-5)
     
      Following their year and a half stay in Corinth, and a brief stop in Ephesus, Paul, Silas, and Timothy go Jerusalem, and then return to Antioch
       
    Paul's third missionary journey
       
      Paul and company spend between 2-1/5 and 3 years in Ephesus. (Acts 19)
       
      Paul sends Titus (probably carrying the letter we call First Corinthians) to Corinth. (2 Corinthians 2:9-13; 7:5-8:23)
       
      Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, with the intent that they continue on to Corinth (Acts 19:21-22; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10)
       
      Paul takes a quick trip to Troas, then Macedonia, in hopes of meeting Titus returning from Corinth. (2 Corinthians 2:9-13; 7:5-16)
       
      Paul sends the letter of Second Corinthians to Corinth. The courier is not named, but is likely Titus.
       
      Paul and company go to Corinth to collect the offering taken for the Jerusalem Christians. (Acts 20)
     
    Paul's first Roman imprisonment
     
      Timothy is with Paul in Rome. (Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; Philemon 1)

      Paul sends Timothy back to minister in Macedonia. (Philippians 2:19-24)

        [PHILIPPIANS 2]
        19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
        20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
        21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
        22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the
        Gospel.
        23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.
        24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
     
    Paul's post-Acts missionary journeys
     
      Paul sends Titus to Crete to pastor the church there, with instructs to meet up with him in Nicopolis (Titus 1:4; 3:12)
       
      Paul sends Timothy to Ephesus to pastor the church there. (1 Timothy 1:3)
       
    Paul's final Roman imprisonment
     
      Paul sends Titus to minister in Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)
       
      Timothy is working somewhere in Asia (western Turkey) with Aquila and Priscilla. Paul asks Timothy to leave that work, and bring Mark and a few of Paul's possession to Rome as soon as possible. (2 Timothy 4)
       
    An unspecified time
     
      Timothy is released from prison. (Hebrews 13:23)
     
     Paul's Letters to Timothy and Titus
     
    The final matter of importance relating to Titus and Timothy are the three letters Paul wrote to them, which are preserved for us in Scripture: Two to Timothy, and one to Titus. The letters of First Timothy and Titus are very similar in content and style. Paul's motivation for writing them both was to give instruction to Timothy in Ephesus, and Titus on the Island of Crete, instruction concerning the organization and oversight of the churches Paul had asked them lead. These two letters are foundational to the way we chose leaders and do ministry in the church today. Paul wrote both letters while he was still in active mission work, some time following his release from his first Roman incarceration.
     
    Paul's second letter to Timothy however, was quite different in tone and content. Paul knows he will soon be executed, and so he simply urges Timothy to be faithful to his call.
       
      [2 TIMOTHY 4]
      6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
      7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
      8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
      9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;
      10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica; Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
      11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
      12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
      13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come; and the books, especially the parchments.
       
      19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
      20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
      21 Do your utmost to come before winter [with that cloak!]…
      22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.