Jeremiah 49:23-50:46, Titus 1:1-16, Psalms 97:1-98:9, Proverbs 26:13-16
Today is the 26th day of October. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we round the corner and head home or through or toward the end of another week. And it is spectacular that we can do this together. Sorry…I’m like adjusting all my stuff hear as I’m talking…getting my headphones all situated. And you’d think after all these years I’d have the routine but not today. Now I’m set. I hope your set because off we go. We’re continuing to read from the book of Jeremiah in our Old Testament reading and then we get to our New Testament reading we have another letter of Paul, the third of the of the pastoral epistles known as Titus and we’ll talk about that when we get there. But first, Jeremiah chapter 49 verse 23 through 50 verse 46 today.
Introduction to Paul’s letter to Titus:
Okay. So, like we mentioned at the beginning of the program, we are entering into another of Paul’s letters. This is Paul’s epistle to Titus, which is the third of the pastoral letters. And, as we’ve already discussed, those are first and second Timothy and now Titus. And also as we’ve already discussed, these are personal letters to specific men that Paul had entrusted a great deal. These were sons in the faith to Paul. So, Titus was an early convert through the apostle Paul’s ministry and after that conversion he was a part of Paul’s ministry from then on. He was trusted enough to accompany Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to attend the Jerusalem Council spoken of in the book of Acts. And, of course, this was the council where probably the most pivotal decision of the early church was to be made. And that was about whether conversion to Judaism, including all of the customs which would include male circumcision was required for Gentiles in order to be accepted into the community of Christ. So, basically the question was, does a person need to become Jewish before they can become a follower of Jesus or before they can become a Christian. So, Titus was a Gentile at this Jewish council and his presence was instrumental in the outcome according the apostle Paul. Ironically, Titus isn’t mentioned in the book of Acts. The way that we know him is through Paul’s letters. So, the most likely scenario for the letter to Titus is that Paul was released from his first imprisonment in Rome and then Titus accompanied Paul to the island of Crete after that in order to share the good news. And the message of Jesus had apparently never been introduced to the Cretans who were notoriously carnal. And whenPaul preached, as was the case everywhere he went pretty much, new faith sprang up and then Paul left Titus to form leadership among the forming churches and to navigate the culture, which was sure to influence the believers. And Titus…Titus was suited for that work. Paul had sent Titus as an ambassador carrying several letters into complicated situations. And, I mean, we’ve read Paul’s letters and he doesn’t mess around about what he’s trying to say. He’s pretty clear and direct. So, Titus, having to walk in and deliver some of these letters, he’s kind of used to this territory. So, Paul sent this letter to Titus on the island of Crete after he had already departed and probably about the same time that he wrote a personal letter that we know as first Timothy. So, the letter to Titus, of course, was intended to encourage him. But beyond that it also gave him apostolic authority. Like, Paul put it in writing that Titus was authorized to act in Paul’s name in doing the work of organizing these newly formed communities on Crete. And doing this, Titus would need to appoint pastors and deacons. So, Paul gave criteria for those who seek ordained ministry as he did in the first letter to Timothy. And, of course, these passages are used in the ordination process until today, the world over. So, ultimately, it’s not a very long letter and it’s a personal letter and it’s an intimate look at the instructions given from a spiritual father to his spiritual son who has been commissioned to do a pretty big job in a short amount of time. But Titus had been faithful and unsuccessful in all the Paul and asked him to do. And, so, Paul was confident and wanted Titus to be empowered and confident in the task at hand. And, so, we begin Titus chapter 1.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for the council and the disruption of it, and the comfort of it ,and all of the issues of life that are contained in it. We thank You for this gift in the way that You speak to us. So, we invite Your Holy Spirit as we move through the apostle Paul’s letter to Titus to speak to us. And as we move toward the conclusion of Jeremiah we invite Your Holy Spirit to speak to us. As we continue to absorb the wisdom of the ages in the book of Proverbs we invite Your Holy Spirit to speak to us. And as we enjoy and meditate upon the Psalms we invite Your Holy Spirit to us. Lead us into all truth as You have promised to do and as we can see that You are, for You are faithful. Your steadfast love endures forever. And we thank You God for that. Plant the words from the Scriptures today in our lives. May they reorient us to Your will and Your ways. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.