You’ve got your colored pencils and fine-tip markers. You’ve got a double-spaced copy of Titus printed out on regular copy paper. And you’ve got an eagerness to get into the Word of God. So you’re wondering: When are we getting into it? Now!
John 14: 26 says “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” And John 16: 13 says ,”When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
We see that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to 1) teach you all things, 2) bring Jesus’ words to your remembrance, 3) guide you into all truth, 4) speak what He hears, and 5) disclose things to come. Because those are His jobs, it makes sense for us to let Him do what He does best. So before you begin, pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you. Ask Him to disclose things, to speak all He hears, and to teach you. To enter into a program of Bible study without using the Helper that God provided would be foolishness. Don’t forget to ask for His help.
The next thing you should do is to read the book of Titus as if it came in the mail this morning. That was how Paul intended it to be read; it is a letter after all. Read the whole thing, start to finish, in one sitting, just as you would a letter from your grandma. Then do it again. Don’t skip this part, thinking that this sounds elementary. A lot of what I’ll ask you to do will sound simple – and it is, but is also very necessary.
One of the important principles of Bible study is to look for things that are obvious. I’ll not ever encourage you to go find something “new” out of a passage, or to dig until you uncover some truth. That’s not the way it works. The Holy Spirit is leading you to the truth, so the truth will be obvious to you. In the end you will see and learn things that you had no idea were there, but you won’t learn them until they are glaringly obvious to you.
With that said, after reading through Titus at least twice, what is the most obvious thing? Because this is a letter, and because “Paul” is the first word of that letter, Paul is the most obvious thing. Now is the time you’ve been waiting for: you get to use a colored pencil!
Grab a color that you’d like to represent Paul. For me he’s always light green (I don’t know why). We’re going to read through the entire book of Titus again, scribbling light green over Paul’s name and over any of his pronouns. A pronoun takes the place of a noun, so any word that is a substitute for “Paul” should also be colored green. It will most likely be words like “me”, my”, and “I” and plural pronouns like “we” and “us”.
So start scribbling: Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowlege of the truth which is according to godliness . . . (I underline “bondservant of God” and “apostle of Jesus Christ” with Paul’s green because those are phrases which he uses to describe himself).
Verse 3: but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I (Paul) was entrusted according to the commandment of God our (Paul and someone else) Savior,
Verse 4: To Titus, my (Paul) true child in a common faith . . .
Verse 5: For this reason I (Paul) left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I (Paul) directed you.
Now, if you have prayed for the Holy Spirit’s guidance (I trust you didn’t skip that part), continue with all three chapters of Titus, marking Paul the whole way. When you’re finished, come back to find out the next thing to mark; it will be obvious to you, I’m sure.