Tim Chester. Titus for You. The Good Book Company, 2014. 128 pp. $19.99.
Titus for You is the latest book from the God’s Word for You series from The Good Book Company. The stated aim of the series is to take you to the heart of a book of the Bible, and to apply its truth to your heart; it’s designed to be used in several ways: to read straight through, to feed oneself by using it as a guide in personal devotions, and as a resource to lead and teach God’s Word to others (7). Like its predecessors, Titus for You combines faithful exposition with practical application and is written at a level accessible to new believers. It’s largely free from technical jargon, but instead explains profound truths in simple language.
I think Titus might be the most neglected Pauline epistle. Whenever it does get some attention, the focus is usually on the qualifications for elders in chapter 1 or the discipleship models in chapter 2. Yet Titus is rich in gospel truth, and one of the main overarching themes of the epistle is that the gospel by nature produces godliness in believers; “knowledge of the truth accords with godliness” (1:1) and the grace of God trains us to renounce ungodliness (2:11-12). And the grace-empowered godliness that accords with sound doctrine has a missional component (2:5, 8, 10).
As Chester guides us through the Epistle to Titus, he draws out these themes in a devotional and sermonic way. He demonstrates how this epistle exhorts us to “give one another a vision of the gospel that creates a life of good works, that changes our lives so that we are profitable in God’s service” (10). And he demonstrates how this “good life” overflows into others’ lives as a missional force. There is much in this epistle concerning practical Christian living and godliness, yet Chester ever grounds these exhortations in the gospel, reminding us that legalism is just as much an error as licentiousness. Chester offers a sound exposition of biblical grace that counters both legalism and antinomianism.
Like the other books in the series, each chapter in Titus for You contains two parts with reflection questions at the end of each part. A short bibliography at the end provides recommended commentaries. Titus for You is not a commentary; therefore other works should be consulted both for serious individual study of Titus as well as in preparation for teaching and leading. However, as a standalone resource, this book is an excellent devotional that faithfully expounds upon the main truths of the epistle and draws out practical application. I highly recommend Titus for You for devotional use and as a teaching supplement.
I received a free copy from the publisher via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an unbiased review.