Today Paul closes his letter to Titus in typical fashion.
When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
We see that Artemas or Tychicus are to be sent to Crete to carry on the work that Titus has been doing, and that Zenas and Apollos are to be sent out from the church, fully supported. The practical instructions from Paul to Titus about Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas, and Apollos add a dimension of reality to the letter: these are real people in a real place being addressed by a real person in a letter to another real person. These personal closing words add real authenticity to the text.
Paul gives Titus a nutshell-summary of the entire letter when he writes, let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
The entire text has been about what Titus should and shouldn’t do as the pastor, what he should and shouldn’t focus on, what he should and shouldn’t teach, and this is all so that the people learn to devote themselves to good works…and not be unfruitful.
In essence, Paul to Titus to the people is saying look, there needs to be fruit to evidence the root. As we’ve said in previous days, faith alone saves but saving faith is never alone, it will be accompanied by good works (3.8).
Titus is a wonderful little letter for us to read whether we are in full-time vocational ministry or whether we are serving the Lord and His people in another line of work. There are points for us all to apply, there are principles for us all to apply, there are do’s and don’ts, and they are all built on the platform that He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Our prayer is that having walked thought-by-thought through Paul’s letter to Titus you have a fuller picture of the life of a believer, have a richer appreciation for Scripture, and a deeper love for the Saviour to whom it all points.