Titus for You by Tim Chester
We are often unfamiliar with the Pastoral Epistles in the church. Church government and leadership puzzle us because we’d rather get on with the show. Yet, the book of Titus, is such an important book for the church today. Pastor Tim Chester gives us much to chew on as he opens up the book of Titus to us in his new commentary, Titus for Everyone, published by thegoodbook company. In the introduction, Tim brings out the point that appointed church leadership is part and parcel of the book of Titus, but this is important in the context of evangelical zeal for the gospel. The process of appointing church leaders should not denigrate zeal for the gospel but promote life giving energy for the good news of Jesus Christ (12).
Tim quickly gets into some troubling waters for many Christians when writes about the sovereignty of God in salvation. Why preach the good news if God is the one who elects sinners? Tim writes, “But for Paul it had the opposite effect. He knew there were people out there who God had chosen to make alive. All they needed was someone to preach the gospel. And he could be that person. If he preached, then those who God had chosen would put their faith in Christ. It might be a long process, but God would save his elect (16).” The very fact of God’s choosing or electing sinners for salvation should push us to see the grand occasion we have for proclaiming God’s salvation in Christ. Paul knew that the gospel being proclaimed depended upon his words, his life, and his witness to what Jesus had done for him. Tim reminds us that Titus finds this harmony of sovereignty and proclamation at the heart of God’s mission in the world.
Tim’s emphasis on grace in writing about Titus 2.11-15 is also very illuminating. He writes, “Grace does not simply prepare us for the future age (by saving us from God’s judgment). Grace also shapes our lives in the present (78).” There is a sanctifying grace that we inherit and a saving grace that we experience but also future grace. Paul is pleased to talk about the appearing of Jesus in light of his grace and glory. What does this mean for present believers? Well, for one, it means that we do not live the Christian life like a man alone on a raft at sea, but amidst a believing community that shares in the same grace. Tim’s outline of (Grace has appeared, What grace teaches us, Glory will appear, an How grace teaches us) is helpful in understanding the comings of Jesus.
Overall, this short commentary is very beneficial in outline the major contents of Titus. While being bother pastorally sensitive and theologically solid, this commentary will be a great resource for pastors and students alike.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and thegoodbook company for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.