| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 214 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
The Epistle to TITUS.
pp. 6 - 9
It is always important to note when dealing with the epistles of Paul, the way they
group themselves with relation to the dispensational dividing line at Acts 28: While
Israel was still in covenant relationship with God, and this held good right through the
Acts, Paul wrote seven epistles, Galatians, Hebrews, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians,
I Corinthians, II Corinthians, & Romans. After the Acts, when Israel became lo-ammi,
not My people, that covenant relationship was broken and they were soon scattered in
judgment throughout the world. The Apostle is then inspired to write seven more
epistles, namely, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, I Timothy, Titus and
It is evident by what Paul said when he wrote to Philemon and the church at Philippi
that he expected to be released from his Roman prison (Phil. 2: 24; Philemon 22). Then
follows some five years in which he resumed his ministry as a free man.
During this time the possibility is that he realized his intention of visiting Spain and
preaching the gospel there (Rom. 15: 23, 24). This view is supported by writers of the
early church, such as Clement, first bishop of Rome, Eusebius and Chrysostom as well as
the Muratorian Canon. Towards the end of the five years the Apostle evidently returned
to Ephesus and found the predictions which he had long ago uttered to the Ephesian
overseers were already receiving their fulfillment. People like Hymenaeus and Philetus
were sowing seeds of error which were destined to bear deadly fruit in time to come.
Jewish superstitions and erroneous teachings concerning the law, together with the
baneful influence of the Gnostics, the self-styled aristocrats of knowledge, were already
doing deadly work among the assemblies.
From the epistles to Timothy and Titus written about this time, we gather that Paul
was prevented by other duties from staying in this region and hence he writes to these
two fellow-labourers and gives them instructions how to meet this error in order to
prevent its spreading and overthrowing the faith of believers.
Furthermore we must remember that after the truth of the Mystery had been revealed
in Ephesians, local assemblies did not cease to exist. They embraced the new teaching as
a whole and continued to function as before. Consequently at this time the Truth was still
organized and leaders like Timothy would need guidance as to how to conduct
themselves in the "house of God" which was the "church of the living God"
(I Tim. 3: 15).
By the time that we come to II Timothy, which cannot have been written much later
than I Timothy and Titus, we find a state of affairs which is anything but healthy.
"This thou knowest, that all that are in Asia turned away from me" (II Tim. 1: 15 R.V.)
and in chapter 4: 16 we read "At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook