My Most Favorite Part

Now you’ve been through the book of Titus several times. Probably more times than you’ve ever thought of reading Titus before! It’s such a wonderful book, isn’t it? Fabulous! You’re beginning to get the main ideas of why Paul wrote, what his purpose was, and what kind of guy Titus was. And if you’re not getting those things – don’t worry! We’re not even close to being completed with this study, and you have plenty of time to get it all!

My favorite part of studying the Word is making lists. Irving Jensen, the man who “invented” inductive study, says that “the pencil is the third and most accurate eye.” It is in making lists that we use our pencil as our most accurate eye.

Get a clean sheet of paper and make two headings: Paul and Titus. We’ll work on Paul first, since he was the first Most Obvious Thing. This time through the book, you needn’t read the whole thing, but go through looking for your Paul marks, even those plural ones. At each mark, pretend that you are a newspaper reporter and must record what you learn. A reporter asks “who” “what” “when” “where” “why” and “how”. So at each Paul mark, ask those questions to learn all you can about Paul.

It is important that your answers be factual, and not made up of implications. For instance, in verse 3 Paul says that he was entrusted with the proclamation of the gospel. That’s a fact. An implication may be that he was humble. He may have been humble, but this verse doesn’t say that. Stick with the facts, with as close to quoting the scripture as you can. Challenge yourself by asking, “Is this exactly what the Word says?”

Let’s do some Paul list together. Paul is:

  1. a bond-servant of God,
  2. an apostle of Jesus Christ
  3. was intrusted with the proclamation of God’s word
  4. God commanded him to proclaim His word
  5. God is his Savior
  6. Titus is his true child in a common faith
  7. Christ Jesus is his Savior
  8. Left Titus in Crete
  9. directed Titus to set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city.

You go through the entire book, looking for Paul marks and “listing” what you learn about Paul in each mark. Then do your Titus list.

  1. God is his Savior
  2. he’s Paul’s true child in a common faith
  3. Christ Jesus is his Savior
  4. was left in Crete
  5. is to set in order what remains
  6. is to appoint elders in every city
  7. was directed by Paul how to appoint elders

Again, go through the whole book – not reading, but looking for Titus marks and listing what you learn about him.

Listing is something that we’ll spend a lot of time doing. This is the part of the study that really makes you see what the Word says and what it doesn’t say. I can’t stress enough the importance of writing down exactly what the Word says – when we see the Word through what we think it says, instead of what it actually says, we get in trouble. Jesus warned against that in Matthew 15: 6. He was talking to some Jews who weren’t paying attention to exactly what the Word said, but who were assuming that it meant something else, and He said, “And thus you invalidated the Word of God for  the sake of your tradition.”  It’s a sobering thought to realize that any of my preconceived notions could render the Word to no effect! That shows you just how powerful (and dangerous) preconceived notions about the Word are! That’s why it is so important to 1) pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and 2) see exactly what the Word is saying.

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