Four major christological titles appear in the Pastoral Epistles: “Christ,” “Lord,” “Savior,” and “Mediator.” The title “Son of God,” used often in the seven undisputed letters of PaulA Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More, does not appear. There is an implicit affirmation of Christ’s preexistence and incarnationIncarnation literally means “embodied in flesh.” It is a Christian doctrine, based on the witness in John’s Gospel, that God’s Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds confess the central importance of the incarnation of Jesus. More (Titus 2:11; see also 1 TimothyThe companion on Paul’s later journeys for whom two pastoral epistles are named More 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:9-10); his true humanity is maintained (see 1 Timothy 2:5; 6:13; 2 Timothy 2:8); and his death is acknowledged (Titus 2:14; see also 1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Timothy 2:11). He has been exalted to heaven and reigns in the present era (see 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2:12). Finally, he will appear at the end of time (see 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:8), when he will judge both the living and the dead (see 2 Timothy 1:18; 4:1, 8).
Life in the World
Like 1 Timothy, the Letter to Titus looks out upon the world as the place in which the Christian is at home. In this letter there is a stress on having compassion for those in need (3:2, 8, 14) and extending courtesy toward all people (3:2), not just Christians.
At 3:5 the writer speaks of baptismal regeneration in one of the most eloquent passages on baptism in the New Testament. He speaks of baptism as a “washing” (in the translations of the KJV, RSV, and NIV, reflecting the Greek word loutron most accurately; but the NRSV has “water”)–a “[washing] of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” The verse is important for the Christian doctrine of baptismJesus was baptized (literally, “dipped”) in the Jordan River by John the Baptizer, at which time he was acclaimed from heaven as God’s Son, the Beloved. Much later baptism became one of the sacraments of the Church, the action by which a person is incorporated… More, and it is quoted in the section on HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Baptism in the Small Catechism of Martin Luther.