Titus & Philemon
Did you panic a little bit when you found you had to read two entire books of the Bible today? As you have hopefully found now both Titus and Philemon are pretty short books. In fact, Philemon checks in as the third shortest book of the Bible (only 2 John and 3 John are shorter).
First, let’s talk about Titus. If you owned a business and were looking to hire managers to oversee the company what would you require? Would your job posting read that the applicant needed silky hair, mad four-square skills, and a deep love of chicken nuggets? If so your company would probably not be in business for long because there would be no purpose behind the requirements you wanted. Hopefully, your requirements might be along the lines of: must be self-controlled, honest and just. If so you and God have those requirements in common except these are the requirements that God asks of the elders of the church which is a person who “manages God’s household” (Titus 1:7).
He also has requirements for those who aren’t elders. In chapters 2 and 3, Paul outlines what God expects from everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. It says in chapter 3 verse 1- 2 that we are, “to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign (which means to harm) no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”
Paul carries over the idea of being peaceable and gentle in the book of Philemon. Paul writes to Philemon, who is a brother in Christ, concerning a slave named Onesimus. It seems that Onesimus was full of passion for spreading God’s word so he ran away from his master Philemon to join Paul. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon and requested that Philemon would, “accept him as you would me” (vs.17). Paul treats both parties with grace and love to resolve the issue at hand and so once again practices what he preaches showing that he is a fully committed follower of God just as we are to be.