Final instructions and closing for Titus – Titus 3:12-15 – 03/10/2016
This bible study is part of a series on the book of Titus, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Titus for other studies in this book.
Titus 3:12 (ESV) When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
Paul continues his thought in the middle of this letter in verse twelve of chapter three; let’s look at it in a verse by verse basis…
V12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
Paul just finished reminding Titus to stay on course and now he finishes the letter with some closing greetings. I love reading this as it shows that apart from being a great apostle and a dynamic theologian, Paul was also one who impacted lives, he invested in people and remembered people in person and in prayer.
To the reader who is reading this some two thousand years later we may not do much with this information apart from maybe gloss over it as we do not know the people. I know that when I have previously studied the epistles I have not spent a great deal of time parked here and pondering this. We see that Paul was a man also who made plans, took precautions and made advance notice of where God’s will was sending him.
For me also it shows the humanity of Paul that he remembers people that he has no day to day contact and whilst it is easier for me to keep up with various pastors I pray for all over the world these days through internet, I appreciate the heart of Paul here using the medium of the day to let the readers know that he has a heart for the ones he is writing to as well as the ones he has been training and about to send out, we read about two who are about to be sent in the next verse.
V13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.
Paul is coordinating the sending of Zenas and Apollos to aid Titus, Paul was asking that these missionaries be given all that they need to succeed. When you are on mission (and speaking as a Scotsman who has a desire to teach the word of God in a foreign country with me now living in the USA) it is much easier to do the work of God as a team effort. When a friend of mine was planting a church in North London I was happy to see that he had a team of people go with him to establish that church and he has had people who have been with him for seasons in addition to the obvious amount of people who have been praying for him and his family. I know this man’s heart and he would have a similar heart to Paul that if I called him up tomorrow and asked if I could labor in the field that God has placed him in he would see to it I had lacking nothing.
We must realize that we have a responsibility as fellow brothers to help those who are doing God’s work at both home and abroad. One of the things that does bug me though is that international church plants and domestic church plants are not held in the same manner. I admit that it is difficult to gain support as a missionary going abroad to a foreign land but imagine how hard it would be to get support for a church planted in the same country. I do wish that we would do as much for our “domestic church plants” as we do for our international. Paul makes a request that they “would lack nothing” I am not expecting that to mean they would have the biggest house or the fastest chariot, but simply that the church would band together and make sure their basic needs are met. For me teaching the Word of God is a calling as opposed to an occupation and even if I was ever paid to do so, I doubt I would be richer than I am at the moment. It does sadden me to read of those who want to do God’s work to get rich, it was never meant to be this way. I believe that if a Pastor is doing full time hours they should be entitled to a salary for the work that they do and this is not a decrying of those who are in paid ministry, simply a call to look at the heart of the one who is being called.
The very fact that Paul is sending others to this work states that Titus has been fruitful in the Lords work and that Paul being a wise leaders is sending others to aid the work that Titus is doing there. As leaders we are responsible for the people that God places in front of us and equipping them for the work of the ministry. We are also in need of folks who are called to certain areas and can serve using the talents that God has given them. If we are aware of someone’s talents then we can make best use of them. If you have made your Pastor aware of talents that you have and you have not been given opportunity to use those talents then that is really on the leadership. If you are not suited to something after being given a safe place to try out those callings then that is one thing and I would agree with the pastor, but if you are not given the opportunity to do what is a calling then the issue lies with those who assign the tasks.
V14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
Paul again calls the people to be a good example and lift up those who are in case of urgent need, that is a vital lesson for us all to be discerning of people’s needs, to not be enablers. If someone is in constant need and is frivolous at spending then something is not right with this picture. If you have someone giving their last dollar to help fund someone be reckless then you may have an issue.
On the flip side however, we have to learn to maintain the good works, we must be overflowing with fruit that our faith is genuine, we must be genuine, we must be real with one another and realize that what we have been given is from God and none of it is our own, and that we are simply custodians of the money and possessions that we have. We can’t allow anything and especially nothing as silly and temporary as stuff we have been blessed with that can be removed in the blink of an eye to allow us to become dry and unfruitful. Let me give you an example…
I have a car in my driveway, it is a Hyundai, it will rust, it will get old, and I have a cell phone in my pocket and with every day that passes the technology on that phone become obsolete. I have a mortgage on a home that will eventually fail and things will go wrong with it. These are all temporary things that I will not and do not put my faith in. My faith and trust is in the Lord and I refuse to become dry because I will not use these gifts for the Lord. Will you?
Paul closes this letter with the following words…
V15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
Paul closes the letter in much the same way as when he began the letter with a mention of “grace” and he closes the letter stating that “all who are with me send greetings to you” and advising Titus to “Greet all who love us in the faith” so Paul intended that the blessings in the epistle be shared and despite there being a lot of personal coaching for Titus it also had some golden nuggets for a wider audience and this letter is still bearing fruit in my life and I pray that as you read this article you will examine the words that have been presented to you and commit them to your hears.
Thank you for going through the book of Titus with me and Lord willing, in our next article we will begin studying the second letter by Paul to the Corinthian church and my hope is to do the first seven verses of this letter. I pray that you are able to join us as we go through the bible, line by line and precept by precept.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.