Titus was a Greek who was converted to Christianity (probably by the apostle Paul). He went with Paul and Barnabas to the special assembly of the Christians held in Jerusalem (Acts 15) whcih was to decide whether Gentile Christians had to follow Jewish practices. Titus is mentioned several times in Paul's letters, often as a companion of Timothy. Paul had a great regard for Titus. He called him "my true child in a common faith" (1:4). The "common faith" was the true Gospel, preached by the apostles. It is vital that we also hold this, as the letter says.

Paul left Titus in Crete to "set in order" the ecclesias (churches) and "appoint elders in every city". "Unholy men, vain talkers and deceivers ... heretics" (1:10, 3:10) were threatening to turn the members from the Truth. As in other places, like Galatia, the followers of Christ were in danger of being misled by "Jewish fables" (1:14).

As in the letters to Timothy, Paul stresses the need for "sound doctrine" (1:9, 2:1). Believers must "hold fast to the faithful word" (1:9); they must be "sound in faith" (1:13, 2:2), and set a good example of honesty (3:14). All these words and phrases show how important doctrine is, as the basis for the Christian life. True beliefs and practices still matter today.


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