in service without wages
First, in verse 1,
Paul says that he is “a bond-servant of God,
apostle of Jesus Christ.”
When Paul says that he is a
bond-servant of God,
he is saying that he is willingly self-committed
permanent service of the Lord.
a slave or serf;
one bound to service without wages.
Please turn to Titus 1:1-4.
In this letter, Paul is writing to Titus
to establish the Christian church on Crete.
Paul wants to help Titus pastor Christian congregations
in the context
of an immoral culture and to encourage those Christians
adorn the gospel of God our Savior
in all of life by the way that they live.
The gospel has the moral power to transform lives and social relationships, and that
gospel power serves as a
to the world around us that the
gospel is a reality
worked in us by the
And so Paul has in view an exhortation to Titus to
help this people adorn the
gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is just Paul’s word of greeting,
but in it we observe three things.
First, in verse 1,
we see the title of the messenger.
Then, in verses 1-3,
we see the
service of the messenger.
Finally, in verse 4,
we see the blessing of the messenger.
I. The Title of the Messenger.
First, in verse 1,
Paul says that he is “a
bond-servant of God,
apostle of Jesus Christ.”
When Paul says that he
is a bond-servant of God,
he is saying that he is willingly self-committed to
permanent service of the Lord.
And when he says that he
apostle of Jesus Christ,
he is telling us
that he did
not call himself
Instead, he was sent
into the ministry.
Notice how even in that title, Paul is supplying us with truth which serves as not only an example as to how to live the Christian life in an immoral culture, but it also
serves as an exhortation
to us to
commitment and to mission.
As an apostle of the
Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul has a clear sense of his mission.
He knows what his purpose
is in life,
and he not
only knows his mission,
gladly, willingly, wholeheartedly,
permanently committed to it.
There were individuals in these local Christian congregations who were being pastored and nurtured by Titus who were being
influenced by the world around them.
had forgotten their
and purpose in life
which was to adorn the
gospel of God in all things.
And so Paul’s sense of mission and his commitment to that mission serve as an example to follow for the Christians that Titus was ministering to and to us as well. When we are living lives that
contradict our profession of faith in God,
one of the things that is always going on is that we are forgetting
who we are.
We are forgetting what
God called us to,
what He made us for, and what our purpose is in life.
Our purpose is to glorify
and enjoy God forever. And that purpose evokes a permanent
disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. The Service of the Messenger.
In verses 1-3,
Paul says that the
service of the messenger
is aimed at three things which include
and encouraging hope.
Paul says that his ministry is aimed at
promoting saving faith
among the chosen of God.
Paul’s desire is that those who have been
chosen by God will
believe and trust
Jesus Christ for salvation
as He is
in the gospel.
God’s choice of them
is at the root
of their response to God
but Paul’s purpose in ministry is to
teach and to preach
and disciple so that the chosen of God will exercise
He longs for them to respond to the
free and gracious overtures
by trusting in God,
and in the gospel.
he also says that he is an
for the knowledge of the
that is according to godliness.
In other words, Paul is saying,
“My ministry is aimed at producing a
the people of God.
I don’t simply want them to have more information than other people.
I don’t simply want them to be smarter than other people.
I’m not interested in them knowing certain facts
that other people don’t know.
My goal in ministry
that is productive of real godliness and piety.”
Paul is saying,
“My goal in ministry is with a view to the
faith of God’s people
and the sanctifying knowledge
of the truth
in light of the hope of
The motivation for Paul’s labor and the motivation
for their living of the Christian life is this
hope of eternal life.
It is a hope that has been
promised by God
who cannot lie.
It is a hope that has been promised long ago
but is now being manifested
to the full in the proclamation of Paul and the
III. The Blessing of the Messenger.
In verse 4, Paul tenderly concludes this salutation with a word of blessing. Specifically, he says,
“To Titus, my true child in a common faith…” and then he
pronounces the blessing,
“Grace and peace from God the
Father and Christ
Jesus our Savior.”
In other words, Paul is saying,
"Titus, your encouragement in ministry
in that local setting
is not going to be drawn from the
its circumstances, or the culture.
It’s going to be
drawn from God.
So just as the Christian life begins with
God’s grace and peace,
I pronounce God’s
grace and peace on you so
that you will remember that if this ministry
is going to prosper,
it’s going to be because of God’s grace and peace.”
The Christian life starts with
God’s unmerited favor
reaching out to us first.
We simply respond.
God’s grace is there,
the Christian life has not yet begun.
And the Christian life begins with God’s peace,
God’s unmerited favor comes to us
in Jesus Christ,
the just condemnation which
He has against us is
and our enmity toward Him is
so that for the first time in our lives we begin to experience
fellowship and communion with God.
So the Christian life begins with grace and peace, but the Christian life ends with grace and peace as well. And it is the grace and peace of God that supplies the encouragement to the Christian in every circumstance, in every congregation, and in every culture.
The Christian longs to experience God’s unmerited and undeserved favor eternally and everlastingly and the peace that flows from His grace. Not just a peace which means the cessation of God’s judicial judgment against us, but a peace which means all of the blessings of being in the family of God and a child of God. May God grant that we would believe the
sanctifying truth of theWord;
that we would have instilled in our
hearts and stoked by the Spirit the hope
of eternal life; and that we would live reliant upon His heavenly benediction.
A bondservant is a slave.
In some Bibles the word bondservant is the translation of the Greek word doulos, which means
who is subservient to,
entirely at the disposal of,
his master; a slave.”
Other translations use the word
slave or servant.
In Roman times,
the term bondservant or slave could refer to someone who
voluntarily served others.
But it usually referred to one who
permanent position of servitude.
Under Roman law, a bondservant was considered
the owner’s personal property.
Slaves essentially had no rights
could even be killed with
impunity by their owners.
The Hebrew word for “bondservant,” ‘
ebed, had a similar connotation. However,
the Mosaic Law allowed an indentured servant
to become a bondservant voluntarily:
“If the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and
pierce his ear with an awl.
Then he will be his servant for life”
Many prominent men of the Old Testament were referred to as servants.
God spoke of Abraham as
(Genesis 26:24; Numbers 12:7).
Joshua is called the servant of the Lord
as are David (2 Samuel 7:5) and Isaiah (Isaiah 20:3).
Messiah is called God’s Servant
In all of these instances,
the term servant carries the idea of humble nobility.
Being God’s servant is
During the time of Jesus and the first-century church,
as much as one third of the Roman population were slaves,
and another third had been slaves earlier in life.
It was common for freeborn men and women to work
with slaves as street sweepers, dockworkers, doctors, teachers, and business managers. Convicted criminals became bondservants of the state and usually died working in the mines or on galleys.
reveal that it was not unusual for Jews to own slaves
during the New Testament period.
Because slavery was a familiar part of the culture,
Jesus sometimes referred to
slaves and owners in His parables
(e.g., Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 12:41-48).
Also, Jesus taught that the greatest
would have to become
“the servant of all”
Such a concept was unthinkable to a Roman citizen,
who prided himself in his freedom
and would never identify himself as a
But Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world
and the selfish values of earth
are of no consequence
Throughout the New Testament,
the word bondservant, slave, or servant
is applied metaphorically
to someone absolutely
devoted to Jesus.
Paul, Timothy, James, Peter,
and Jude all describe themselves as “bondservants of Christ”
(Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1, NKJV).
Believers today should still consider themselves bondservants
or slaves of Christ
(1 Corinthians 7:22; Ephesians 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:24).
He is our Lord,
and our allegiance
due to Him alone.
As bondservants, we renounce other masters
and give ourselves totally to Him
Being a bondservant of Christ is not drudgery.
His “burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Also, we have this promise:
“Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life”
Were you a bondservant when called?
Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise
he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
You were bought with a price;
do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in
each was called, there let him remain with God.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Count it all joy,
when you meet trials of
James 1:1-2:26 ESV / 6 helpful votes James,
a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Count it all joy, my brothers,
when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith
And let steadfastness have its
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him. ...
Philippians 2:7 ESV / 6 helpful votes But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Galatians 3:28 ESV / 6 helpful votes There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
James 5:12 ESV / 5 helpful votes But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV / 5 helpful votes All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Ephesians 6:5-6 ESV / 5 helpful votes Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
James 1:26 ESV / 4 helpful votes If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
James 1:5 ESV / 4 helpful votes If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 4 helpful votes Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.
So glorify God in your body.
John 4:24 ESV / 4 helpful votes
God is spirit, and those
who worship him must worship
in spirit and
Isaiah 53:1-12 ESV / 4 helpful votes
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the
arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom
men hide their faces he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. ...
Revelation 2:26 ESV / 3 helpful votes
The one who conquers and who
keeps my works
until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,
James 4:11 ESV / 3 helpful votes
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother
or judges his brother,
speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
James 2:1-26 ESV / 3 helpful votes
My brothers, show no partiality as you
hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lord of glory.
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say,
“You sit here in a good place,”
while you say to the poor man,
“You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”
have you not then made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brothers, has
God chosen those who are
poor in the world
to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom,
which he has promised
to those who love him? ...
James 1:20 ESV / 3 helpful votes For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Titus 1:1 ESV / 3 helpful votes
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
sake of the faith
of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth,
which accords with godliness,
Philippians 2:6 ESV / 3 helpful votes
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count
equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:5-8 ESV / 3 helpful votes
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming
obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Romans 13:10 ESV / 3 helpful votes Love does no wrong to a neighbor;
therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 6:23 ESV / 3 helpful votes For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 1:1 ESV / 3 helpful votes Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Acts 21:18 ESV / 3 helpful votes On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
Acts 9:1-43 ESV / 3 helpful votes But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. ...
John 7:35 ESV / 3 helpful votes The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?
John 3:3 ESV / 3 helpful votes Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 5:44 ESV / 3 helpful votes But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Daniel 11:1-45 ESV / 3 helpful votes “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. “And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these. “Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority. ...
2 John 1:1-13 ESV / 2 helpful votes The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. ...
1 Peter 4:14 ESV / 2 helpful votes If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
1 Peter 1:6 ESV / 2 helpful votes In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
1 Peter 1:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
James 2:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
James 1:22 ESV / 2 helpful votes But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:18 ESV / 2 helpful votes Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
James 1:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
James 1:11 ESV / 2 helpful votes For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
James 1:4 ESV / 2 helpful votes And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Hebrews 11:31 ESV / 2 helpful votes By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
Hebrews 6:1-20 ESV / 2 helpful votes Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, ...
Colossians 2:9 ESV / 2 helpful votes For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
1 Corinthians 15:7 ESV / 2 helpful votes Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
Romans 6:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Acts 15:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes With the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.
Acts 15:14 ESV / 2 helpful votes Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
Acts 15:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.
Acts 12:17 ESV / 2 helpful votes But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.
John 17:4 ESV / 2 helpful votes I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
John 5:17 ESV / 2 helpful votes But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
John 1:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Luke 22:30 ESV / 2 helpful votes That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 2:1-52 ESV / 2 helpful votes In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. ...
Mark 15:40 ESV / 2 helpful votes
There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the
younger and of Joses, and Salome.
Matthew 24:1-51 ESV / 2 helpful votes Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying,
"I am the Christ,’ and they will
lead many astray. ...
Matthew 13:55 ESV / 2 helpful votes Is not this the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother called Mary?
And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
Matthew 10:3 ESV / 2 helpful votes Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Matthew 5:48 ESV / 2 helpful votes You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:22 ESV / 2 helpful votes But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 5:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 2:11 ESV / 2 helpful votes And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Malachi 3:6 ESV / 2 helpful votes “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi 3:1 ESV / 2 helpful votes “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
Psalm 22:1-31 ESV / 2 helpful votes To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame. ...