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Book: Pastoral Epistle

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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A Christ-centred, Biblical-based, Holy Spirit-enabled, Life-changing commentary, bible study, and devotion



Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Paul’s pastoral letters are, as good as, his last testament. He knew his time was coming to an end soon. With his last and final exhortation to his disciples, he continued to press home the point to ‘be faithful’ to Christ, as he himself has been throughout his ministry. What a great and amazing disciple of Christ, Paul was – one who irrespective of the terrible treatments he had received from his persecutors and the enemies of the Gospel, yet he could say that ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul, too, did not deliberately only say the nice things to present a good picture of himself and his ministry.

He was very firm with right theological understanding as well as proper and holy living. So, he did not mince his words to lash out at those who taught heretical doctrines and those who practised immoral and impure living. He recognised that the churches had been infiltrated with many worldly influences and traditions. Thus, he strongly condemned the inconsistent and improper elements that had existed in the churches that caused divisions and destroyed good testimonies. He encouraged his beloved disciples, Timothy and Titus, to return to teach the redemptive work of Christ.

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1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Lesson 16

Lesson 16


Titus 3: 1-15, submit to authorities, avoid foolish disputes, farewell

VV 1-3, 1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

Christians should submit to authorities and rulers, be obedient, not speak evil of others, peaceful, gentle, and humble, remembering that they were once foolish, disobedient, deceiving, lustful, malicious, envious, and hateful.

VV 4-7, 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

People are not saved by doing good works but by Christ’s mercy and grace, through the washing of the Word of God and regeneration of the Holy Spirit. People are saved and justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. When people believed in the finished work of Christ on the cross, they are regenerated or born again and adopted as heirs of God.

V 8, This is a faithful saying and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

Good work is not a prerequisite of salvation but the result of salvation. Faith in Christ is a prerequisite of salvation. Good work is our response to God’s grace, mercy, and love.

VV 9-11, 9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Christians should avoid disputes on doubtful matters, genealogies, and legalism. Christians should reject argumentative and disruptive people after going through the due process of admonitions.

VV 12-14, 12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. 14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.

Paul would be sending Artemis or Tychicus to Titus in Crete. Paul would be meeting Titus in Nicopolis in winter.

V 15, All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

In his farewell address, Paul pronounced a blessing of grace to Titus.


As Christians, we should submit to authorities and rulers, obedient, peaceful, gentle, and humble, remembering that we were once foolish, disobedient, deceiving, lustful, malicious, envious, and hateful. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. We are saved by faith in Christ, not by works. We do good work in response to Christ’s grace, mercy, and love.


Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the energy, strength, and perseverance to complete 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Thank You for Your timely Word. that transcends culture and time. We pray for wisdom to understand and apply scripture into daily living, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Lesson 15

Lesson 15


Titus 2: 1-16, Christian relationships

VV 1-5, 1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Paul spelled out proper Christian relationships according to sound doctrine. The older men should not be drunk with wine, respectful, calm, faithful, loving, and patient. The older women should be respectful, not slanderers, and not be drunk with wine. She should teach younger women to love their husbands and children and be good, discreet, chaste, and obedient housewives.

VV 6-10, 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. 9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

Young men should not be drunk with wine, be above reproach in character, sound in doctrine, respectful, incorruptible, and graceful in speech. Slaves should obey to obey

and not pilfer their master’s goods.

VV 11-15, 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

People are saved by the grace of God. Christians should stay away from ungodliness and lust, not be drunk with wine, live righteous and godly lives in the present age while anticipating the second coming of Christ. Greek for appearing is “epiphanes”, which means manifest or become visible. The glorious appearing of Christ speaks of His second coming. Christ gave Himself for us on the cross to redeem us from sin. Paul encouraged Titus to encourage, and correct the people under his care with authority and allow no one to despise him.


As Christians, we should not be drunk with wine, respectful, calm, faithful, loving, and patient. We should be above reproach in character, sound in our doctrine, and graceful in our speech. Christian employees should obey and not pilfer their employer’s goods. Christians should live righteous and godly life.


Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that scripture is the Your inspired, infallible, and inerrant words to us. Sanctify us by Your Word of truth so that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Lesson 14

Lesson 14


Heavenly Father, thank You for inspiring the writings of apostle Paul that transcends time and culture. Thank You for the life of an apostle par excellence to the Gentiles, in Jesus’ name, Amen. .

Titus 1: 1-16, Salutation, criteria for selecting elders and bishops, rejecting false teachers

VV 1-4, 1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, andpeace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

Paul’s spelled out his credentials, a slave of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, and God’s elect. God who cannot lie, promised in eternity past the promise of a Saviour who came in the flesh through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Paul committed himself to preach the gospel of Christ. Paul pronounced a greeting of grace, mercy, and peace to Titus from God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

VV 5-9, 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

Elder, “presbuteros”and bishop, “episcopos” refer to the same office, the overseers. Paul spelled out the criteria or qualifications of an elder or a bishop. He must be above reproach, husband of one wife, and had faithful children. He must not be self-willed, not quick tempered, abstain from wine, gentle, not money greedy, hospitable, sober, just, holy, self-controlled, faithful to the Word, and able to teach sound doctrine to encourage, convict, and correct.

VV 10-16, 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

“Those of the circumcision”, were the Judaizers, the Gnostic, legalistic, heretic teachers who peddled in the teaching of Jewish myths, Mosaic law, circumcision, and Jewish rituals. Paul rebuked them for idle talking, abusing the gospel for dishonest monetary gain, lying, evil, laziness, and gluttony. Paul said that to the pure everything is pure, but to the impure nothing is pure because of corrupt and defiled conscience. These people profess to know God denied the existence of God by what they did.


Not all teachers teach sound doctrines. We should be able to discern and reject heretic teachings and doctrines. We must avoid idle talking, abusing the gospel for monetary gain, legalism, dishonesty, laziness, and gluttony. Churches will do well if they follow Paul’s criteria for selecting elders, bishops, and leaders.


Heavenly Father, we pray for wisdom to discern and reject heretic doctrine and heretic teachers. Protect us from deceptions, thieves, robbers, and scammers, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Lesson 13

Lesson 13


Heavenly Father, we pray for Your living bread, living manna, living eater, and living Word of eternal life to nourish, strengthen, sustain, and nurture our souls, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Introduction to Titus

Author, date, recipient, setting:

Apostle Paul wrote the epistle of Titus from an unknown location to a person named Titus in Crete, between 63 and 65 AD, after his release from his first Roman imprisonment but before his rearrest to serve his second Roman imprisonment in 66 AD. Paul wrote a personal pastoral letter to Titus, his protege and spiritual godson in the faith, to help him lead the churches in the Crete.


Crete, modern-day Candia, is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean. Crete was prosperous with a large thriving population, but Cretans were notorious for immorality. A Crete poet Epimenides said, “all Cretans are liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” Titus 1:12.


The main themes are the relationship between faith and practice, belief and behavior, truth and heresy, instructions for Christian living, and the criteria for selecting church leaders.


After release from his first Roman imprisonment, Paul visited Crete. He left Titus in Crete to oversee the churches that he had planted. He advised Titus to reject the heretic, gnostic, Judaizers, Titus 1:10, 14. This “circumcision party” had insisted that Gentile Christians believe in Jewish myths, keep the Mosaic law, and undergo circumcision. Paul instructed Titus on Christian living, to select elders and bishops, and to reject heresy,


Titus 1: 1-16, Titus 1: 1-16, Salutation, criteria for selecting elders and bishops, rejecting false teachers

Titus 2: 1-16, Christian relationships

Titus 3: 1-15, submit to authorities, avoid foolish disputes, farewell


The epistle of Titus transcends time. Paul’s instructions, encouragements, and teachings to Titus also apply to us. Heretic doctrines in first-century Israel continued into our days. We must be able to discern and reject heresy and deviant teachings that are so rampant today.


Heavenly Father, teach us Your Words and Your doctrines. May we walk away from here refreshed, renewed, and recharged. We acknowledge that Your Word is Holy and True and is powerful to save lives. May we remain in You, and may Your Word remain in us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.