Titus: Speak, Exhort, and Rebuke



Scripture verse (Titus 2:15): “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.”



  1. Students should memorize the verse and understand its content and context.
  2. Students should know what “exhort” means; is it the same as “nag”?


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.  There they found a Christian Church already in existence.  Where had it come from? Many think that Jews from Crete, in Jerusalem on Pentecost and receiving the gospel at that time, returned to Crete with the message. Paul and Titus taught the young believers more about the faith. Then Paul went on whileTitus 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.


  1. Discuss the background of the book. Who was Titus? Where have we met Titus before? (He was a trusted co-worker of Paul and had carried the first harsh letter to the Corinthians.) Why was Paul writing to him? (Titus is Paul’s letter of instruction to Titus, reminding Titus of all the things he was to teach to the believers in Crete.)

      To memorize the verse, try playing "Mother, May I?" Students line up on opposite side of room from teacher. Each one in turn gets to take a "giant step" if he can give the next word in the verse. First student to reach the teacher is the winner.

  1. Scripture lesson: Titus 2:15 + have the students search the book of Titus and write down any time they see the word “exhort”.


  1. What does “exhort” mean? Webster’s defines it as follows: “to urge earnestly by advice, warning, etc. to do what is proper or required; to admonish strongly”. What does “nag” mean? “to annoy by continual scolding, faultfinding, complaining, urging, etc.” Review the references you found in verse 3: was Titus exhorting or nagging? What’s the difference?


  1. Role-play the difference between exhorting and nagging:

Your little brother has messed up the room you share and you want it cleaned up.

You lent your favorite book to a friend and you want it returned.

You caught a Christian friend cheating on a test and you want him to confess to the teacher.

                        Can you think of some other situations?


            6.   Close with prayer.