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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – Greeting (1:1-4)
Greeting (1:1-4)

How many of us really know who we are and why we are here? Of course, we all have names and our own personal histories. We have goals, dreams and characteristics which we feel give us a special identity, and these things are certainly to be valued. But when we think about reason for being, personal identity and meaning in life, do we do so with God and his will in mind?

The letter to Titus lays that challenge, among others, before us today. Much of the letter encourages rather ordinary believers, who occupy all walks of life, to consider their lives in every facet as an expression of the will of God. In fact, once life is considered in this way, the thought of "ordinariness" departs from Christian thinking about life. No matter what path God has given us to walk, we are intended to be a vital piece in God's missionary plan to reach the rest of the world. Each "piece" has meaning, each human life has inestimable value and usefulness to God, and this realization is a tremendous source of joy, satisfaction and peace. But to comprehend this, we may need to make some adjustments in the way we view life. Let's begin, then, with a look at how Paul defined his own life. Although he was an apostle, the pattern of his thinking ought also to be ours.

As he does in the opening greeting of 1 Timothy, Paul again identifies formally his status and his office and then identifies and blesses the intended recipient. In comparison with 1 Timothy, however, the apostle, using very compact language, describes in more detail his Christian raison d'etre. This sets the tone and introduces the main theme of the letter.

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