Titus - Paul's Son in the Faith

"And he departed thence, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue." - Acts 18:7 ASV

            When Paul arrived at Corinth, as was his custom, he first approached the Jewish community with his message of the Good News of Jesus, the Messiah. His first contact was with a Jewish Christian couple who had been banned from Rome under the decree of Emperor Claudius in 52 AD. They were tent-makers by trade as was Paul, and he stayed with them. In his letter to the Romans[1] he calls them 'his fellow-workers in Christ Jesus'.

            For three months Paul held discussions and teaching sessions with the Jewish community in the synagogue. By the end of that time his assertions that Jesus was the Messiah became such a point of contention that Paul decided it was time to take his message to the Gentiles, — Greeks and non-Jews in Corinth.

Paul searching for a venue suitable to his purpose, found a house right close to the Synagogue.

 It was owned by a Greek man who was a worshipper of God, named Titus Justus. Paul began holding meetings in the Justus home and it was not long before the owner himself accepted Jesus as his own Lord and Savior, under Paul's preaching. Years later, writing to this man who had become Paul's close companion and a minister of the Gospel, he calls Titus 'my true child after a common faith'[2]

            Almost immediately other leaders began to accept Jesus, including Crispus the Ruler of the Synagogue in Corinth, one of the few people Paul baptized.[3] The Corinthian church began to grow over the following year and a half, until an attempt was made by the Jews to have Paul arrested for preaching a worship contrary to their law. Gallio was the Roman Proconsul in Corinth, a powerful Roman, brother of the famous philosopher, Seneca. Gallio recognized Paul's standing as a Roman born citizen and refused to take action against him. In fact he ordered his 'Lictors', the men who administered punishment of sentences, to drive the Jews away with their whips.

            During this time of church growth another convert to the Christian community was Sosthenes, who had replaced Crispus as ruler of the Jewish synagogue. The Jews took him and publicly beat him in front of Gallio, hoping for some action against the Christians, but Gallio would have none of it, and ignored them.

With leaders like Crispus, Sosthenes and Gaius[4], the City Chamberlain of Corinth, Paul felt the church was in good hands so he took leave of the church, and accompanied by Pricilla and Aquila, set out to go to Jerusalem.[5]

After some time Titus joined Paul in ministry.

When a division occurred in the church at Corinth, Paul wisely chose Titus to join him in Macedonia to bring him a reliable report of the circumstances surrounding the problems.[6] The responsibility for taking up the offering from the Corinthian church for the relief of the drought-stricken Christians in Jerusalem[7] was also placed on Titus shoulders. As one of the foundation members of the church of Corinth, he was a trusted member.

            Titus Justus, was given difficult assignments because Paul knew he could handle them, and would faithfully carry out his responsibilities. Finally Paul took Titus with him to settle the issue of the Gentile controversy in Jerusalem.[8]

Titus was assigned to pastor the church in Crete, again a challenging job, as you will soon appreciate if you read the letter Paul wrote to Titus in the New Testament.

Fausett's Bible dictionary records that a 'ruined church on the site of Gortyna bears the name of Titus, whom tradition makes bishop of Gortyna. His name was the watchword of the Cretans when invaded by the Venetians'.

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© 2013 Jim Cole-Rous

References:

[1] Romans 16:3 ASV

[2] Titus 1:4  ASV

[3] 1 Corinthians 1:14 ASV

[4] Act 19:22 ASV

[5] Act 18:18  ASV

[6] 2 Corinthians 2:13, 7:6 ASV

[7] 2 Corinthians 8:14, 8:16-17  ASV

[8] Galatians 2:3 ASV