“To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” (Titus 1:4 (ESV)
Following his introductory remarks in Titus 1:1-3, the Apostle Paul then addressed the recipient of his letter; Titus. Titus was pastoring on the island of Crete (1:5).
“Titus was a Gentile believer (Gal. 2:1-3). If the Epistle to the Galatians was written before the council recorded in Acts 15, his conversion was the fruit of Barnabas’ and Paul’s early ministry in Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:19-30). Although Paul addresses this letter to Titus, he intended for it to be read to the whole church (3:15),” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
Titus was also a true child of the faith. He was a true convert to Christianity. True (γνήσιος; genesios) means genuine, real and sincere. Child (τέκνον; teknon) refers to a dear friend. God had chosen Titus to understand the truth of the Gospel unto salvation and evidence this understanding by his godliness (1:1). He became a dear companion to Paul. Titus was not a mere professor of the Gospel but rather a genuine possessor of grace and faith in Christ. This was in contrast to others who served alongside Paul but had deserted the faith (2 Tim. 4:10; I John 2:19).
The word common (κοινός; koinos) means that Paul and Titus has a mutual and shared faith; or trust in, dependence upon, commitment to and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith was not only trust in Christ for salvation but also the doctrines of the Christian faith; “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
“Paul identified Titus as his “true child in a common faith” (Titus 1:4). Blood ties were important to Paul, but for him our true, eternal family in Christ supersedes mere physical relations. Scripture says in many places that our real family is formed not by blood ties but through faith in Christ (Mark 3:31–35). Ultimately, only our relationships with true believers will endure eternally, and so we must look to the church to be our family and allow ourselves to be family to other believers,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
Do you have close relationships with other believers in your church? Who are these individuals? Let us all do what we can to strengthen the bond of love with other Christians by prayer and encouragement.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!