Titus: He Saved Us

TITUS AND PHILEMON

Scripture verse (Titus 3:3,5): “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another…but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”

 

Objectives:

  1. Students should understand the context and content of the verse.
  2. Students should understand the concept of forgiveness. 

Background on the book:

            Titus was a Gentile believer who traveled with the apostle Paul.  He was a trusted co-worker, the one who delivered the scathing letter to the Corinthians. After Paul’s first release from imprisonment in Rome around AD 63, Titus joined Paul and Timothy in revisiting the churches of Asia Minor.  After leaving Timothy in Ephesus, Titus and Paul went on the Crete.  Titus remained in Crete.  This letter was written by Paul to Titus before Paul’s second imprisonment, reminding him of the things he should teach the believers in Crete. Later, when Paul was imprisoned a second time in Rome, Titus was sent to Dalmatia. Titus then returned to Crete and became the first bishop of Crete.

            The letter to Philemon was written by Paul during his first imprisonment in Rome around AD 61-63. Philemon was a wealthy Christian from the city of Colossae. He owned slaves, one of whom, named Onesimus, stole from Philemon and escaped to Rome.  There Onesimus became a believer and knew that he must return to his master.  Paul sends this letter asking Philemon to take Onesimus back and forgive him. It was written about the same time as the letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians and traveled with Tychicus and Onesimus to Colossae. Philemon would later be ordained bishop of Colossae and Onesimus bishop of Ephesus.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer. Review the background of the book and find the places on the map.

 

  1. Scripture lesson: Titus 3:3-7, I John 1:9, Psalms 103:12, Romans 3:23, 7:14-24, 8:1-6, John 1:29, 3:17, John 8:3-11. Review the story of the Prodigal Son; his sins were pretty awful, weren’t they?

 

  1. In Jerusalem, there is a Wailing Wall.  In the classroom, put up a large sheet of paper and title it the “Wall of Shame”. The students can write up examples of people they know who have “really blown it”. Why do we do these things? How do we feel when we really “mess up”? Have we ever “messed up” badly? Do we have trouble forgiving ourselves, so much trouble that we wonder if God can possibly forgive us?

 

  1. Discussion questions:

 Does everyone sin? Why is this important? Why do we sin, when we know we shouldn’t? Should God forgive us if we sin even “voluntarily”?

What was Jesus’s mission? What did that have to do with sin? Whose sin? Is there any sin too great for His cleansing? How do we access His forgiveness? (Confession) Is there any sin God will not forgive? Do we have any sin still before us we have not confessed and received forgiveness for?

In what sacrament are we "washed"? In which does the Holy Spirit renew us?

            5.   Close with prayer.