For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
– Titus 2:11-12 NASB
Like Timothy, Titus was a co-worker with Paul. It was common for the apostles to conduct their work in two’s or three’s. It was a staple of Jewish thinking that, as it says in Deuteronomy and multiple other places in Scripture, “out of the mouths of two or three witnesses, let every fact be established.” Since the purpose of the apostolic mission was to bear witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, a collaboration made perfect sense. Rarely did an apostle travel and minister alone.
Timothy and Titus were not apostles per se. Like Luke, they were co-workers with Paul without having been commissioned by Jesus as apostles. Similarly, the disciple Mark worked with the apostle Peter. In fact, the Gospel of Mark is his transcription of Peter’s memories of Jesus’ ministry. Traveling with Peter, Mark had plenty of opportunities to hear and record what Peter was telling various congregations about the words and deeds of Jesus.
Paul’s other letters were mainly to churches, written to be read aloud to the congregation of believers when it assembled. That’s why their titles have names such as “Romans,”, “1 Corinthians,” “Ephesians” and so on. Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, however, were written to fellow ministers, and that’s why those letters bear those individuals’ names. They are sometimes called “The Pastoral Letters.”
Although these pastoral letters were written to individuals, it is likely that they, too, were written to be read aloud in churches where Timothy and Titus were ministering on Paul’s behalf, so as to give them stature in the congregation’s eyes as well as direct their activities. As with all the letters (also called epistles) of the New Testament, the purpose was to convey and reinforce the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His mission in the world.
The “grace of God” that “has appeared” are the facts about Jesus we read in the four Gospels. This knowledge “brings salvation to all men.” In response, all men should “deny ungodliness and worldly desires” in order to “live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” It’s the least we can do!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, You have secured for us a future beyond this life! Let us live the rest of our days, including this one, in gratitude…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.