4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
4 To Titus,
Paul now indicated the designation of the epistle to Titus. He was a companion and trouble-shooter for Paul during his missionary enterprises. He was the recipient of this epistle. Note the Introduction to Titus at the top of the page for more information about him. Titus’s name occurs only 13 times in the New Testament and not at all in Acts.
Paul had two spiritual trouble-shooters: two young men–Timothy and Titus. He sent them on sensitive missions to work out very problematic church situations.
The first location of the name Titus in the New Testament was in reference to the Jerusalem Council. That Council argued the principle of grace versus the law. Paul brought Titus as a test case to resolve the issue of legalism versus grace (Ga 2:1). He was a Gentile and not circumcised. The issue was whether the church should circumcise him (a symbol of being a Jew). The “truth of the gospel” was at stake, so Paul and his team did not for a moment give in to circumcising him (Ga 2:5). The upshot was that the Council did not compel his circumcision (Ga 2:3). The Council acknowledged the principle of grace.
From the Council Titus accompanied Paul on his missionary enterprises. He eventually landed in Corinth, where he held distinction among the churches there. Later Paul sent a non-canonical letter (a letter to Corinth between 1 and 2 Corinthians). Paul anxiously waited for Titus to come with a response to that letter (2 Co 2:12f; 7:5). Paul was greatly relieved to find that the Corinthian church had received his rebuke with grace (2 Co 7:6-7). Paul wrote 2 Corinthians in response to the message Titus brought from Corinth.
Later Titus returned to Corinth for a second diplomatic mission (2 Co 8:16-17). Paul mentioned him by name nine times in 2 Corinthians. This issue had to do with a collection for the poor churches in Judea. Paul urged the Corinthian church to receive him with love (2 Co 8:23-24).
Much later, after Paul’s release from his second imprisonment in Rome, both he and Titus went to Crete. There were severe problems in that church. Paul left Titus in Crete to trouble-shoot the issues there (Ti 1:5). Difficulty in the Cretan church was the subject of the book of Titus.
Finally, Paul summoned Titus to join him in Nicopolis for the winter after Artemas or Tychicus came to Crete to replace him. The last time we hear of him is a trip that he took to Dalmatia (2 Ti 4:10) and Paul asked him to return as quickly as he could (2 Co Ti 4:9).
Tradition says that Titus returned to Crete to become its bishop and he died there of old age. We cannot verify this.
God uses coworkers who are poles apart.
Paul and Titus were poles apart in their personalities, background, and education. Paul was the aged but Titus was young (Titus 2:6). These two men were poles apart as far as their age was concerned, yet they were almost inseparable. Paul was a Jewish Pharisee but Titus was a Gentile. They were also poles apart as far as their background. Paul was university trained; there is no record of Titus having any formal training at all. No matter how far apart people may be financially, socially, educationally, Jesus abolishes those differences when they come to Christ. They become one in Christ. Civil law cannot do this; only Jesus can do it.