A study of Christology in “Titus”

POST OVERVIEW. Paul’s letter to Titus contains some of the apostle’s strongest teaching about Jesus’ divine nature. In this article, we will examine specific passages in Titus that point to Jesus’ deity.

in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior. – Titus 1:3

TITUS 1:3. Ever since Paul encountered the risen Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9; 20:24; 22:6-11; 26:12-23), he had been fully committed to preaching the gospel (“the proclamation with which I was entrusted”) to the Gentiles. Thus, “the proclamation” in this verse refers to the gospel. Paul was preaching the gospel “according to the commandment of God our Savior.”

Then we must ask the question, “Who gave Paul the commandment to preach the gospel?”       

Acts 9:15 – The risen Lord Jesus sends him to the Gentiles.

Acts 20:24 – Paul received from the Lord Jesus the ministry of preaching the gospel.

Acts 22:21 – The risen Jesus sends Paul far away to the Gentiles.

Acts 26:17-18 – The risen Jesus sends Paul to the Gentiles.

We have been very methodical in this analysis to make sure that our conclusion is consistent with Scripture. So, the answer to the question above, “Who commanded Paul to preach the gospel?” is, “Jesus did.”

Since Jesus gave Paul the commandment, and Paul writes that he received the commandment from “God our Savior,” we must conclude that Jesus is God.

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. – Titus 1:4

TITUS 1:4. In Titus 1:3, Paul used the phrase “God our Savior,” and here Paul writes “Christ Jesus our Savior.” The apostle intends for his readers to make the connection between 1:3 and 1:4 and to reach the obvious conclusion that Christ Jesus is God. This also confirms what we already determined by analysis in 1:3.

adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. – Titus 2:10

TITUS 2:10. Since Paul has already used the phrase “God our Savior” to refer to Jesus (1:3), it is almost certain that this usage of “God our Savior” also refers to Jesus. But let’s approach this phrase in another way to see if that is true. This section of Titus (2:1-10) instructs believers to behave in a way that will commend the gospel so that unbelievers will be open to hearing about Jesus. Therefore, the godliness of those who were formerly “liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (1:12) will “adorn the doctrine (commend the gospel) of God our Savior in every respect” (2:10). If this understanding is correct, then “the doctrine of God our Savior” would be interpreted as “the gospel of Jesus Christ,” and we would once again conclude that God our Savior is Jesus Christ, or “Jesus Christ is God.”

looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. – Titus 2:13

TITUS 2:13. In my opinion, it is impossible to miss or to avoid the deity of Christ in this verse. If the apostle Paul had intended to communicate anything other than the fact that Jesus Christ is God, he surely failed. Paul was highly skilled at communicating very subtle doctrinal truth with great precision. But in this verse, all subtlety is abandoned and Paul is striving for unambiguous clarity. His message? Jesus Christ is our great God and Savior. Consider these points.

  • All believers have, as an anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:19), the blessed hope of the appearing (ἐπιφάνεια Greek) of Jesus. Thus, Jesus is our great God.
  • Our blessed hope is that, when He appears, Jesus will be in “glory,” and we will be glorified with Him (Col. 3:4; 1 John 3:2). Thus, Jesus is our great God.
  • In the entire New Testament, the only one anticipated to appear in glory is Jesus. Thus, Jesus is our great God.

We must conclude that Christ Jesus is our great God and Savior since everything in this verse and in orthodox theology requires this conclusion. This is Paul’s clearest teaching on this doctrine and expresses the biblical truth.

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared – Titus 3:4

TITUS 3:4. Once again we encounter the phrase “God our Savior,” but in this instance, a close examination of the context reveals that “God our Savior” refers to God the Father, not to Jesus, so we will skip over this.


In the New Testament, the Savior is Jesus Christ, but in this study in Titus, we have also seen that this Savior who appeared and who “became flesh and dwelt among us” was God in human likeness. The Bible teaches that this “Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), this Jesus, this King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16) is our great God.

Soli Deo gloria            rmb                 2/12/2023                   #620

Psalm 110: A brief lesson in Christology

The LORD says to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand . . .”


Thus, David begins Psalm 110, a psalm that held many mysteries for those who lived before the Incarnation. “The LORD says to my Lord.” “Yahweh says to my Adonai.” Right from the start the psalm presented difficulties. God is talking to God. Yahweh is talking to Adonai, so there appear to be two persons here, but the Shammah from Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” So how can this be? There is no clear solution to this puzzle.

            Jesus Himself brings out another conundrum from the psalm, as He questions the Pharisees during Passion Week. At that time, Psalm 110 was accepted by Hebrew scholars as a messianic psalm. The images and the drama of the psalm made it obvious that it pictured the victorious exploits of the Messiah. But the Holy Spirit had inspired David to write a theological riddle. So, Jesus asks, “Whose son is the Christ (Matthew 22:42ff)?” “The Son of David,” the Pharisees reply. The trap has been set and the bait has been taken. Jesus then quotes Psalm 110 and asks the obvious question: “If (in Psalm 110) David calls him (the Messiah) ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” In other words, “How can the Christ (Messiah) be both David’s son and his Lord?” No answer is offered because no answer is available. The Pharisees have no solution to the riddle.

            But the mysteries are even deeper than that. While the psalm was acknowledged to be about the victories of the Messiah, the only reference for the pronouns “You” and “Your” in verses 1-4 and the only reference for the pronoun “He” is verses 5-7 is “the Lord,” which in Hebrew is Adonai, a divine name of God. Therefore, taking all this into account, from Psalm 110 we discover that the Messiah is the Lord Adonai, but He is also the human Son of David “according to the flesh (Romans 1:3),” a Man like us who “will drink from the brook by the wayside (Psalm 110:7)” to quench His thirst. Sort of like a God-Man.

            Does that sound familiar? It should because Psalm 110 points unerringly to the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, this psalm is one of the most complete pictures of Jesus Christ in both His first and second advents in the Bible. The psalm provides us with a lesson in Christology that is supported by many other Scriptures. The rest of this article will explore Psalm 110 verse-by-verse and show how it reveals Jesus to us.


  • Verse 1 – The Lord is told to sit at the right hand of the LORD because He has accomplished something that merits the seat of honor. Christ is exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3) because He has accomplished the work of redemption that He was given to do (John 17:4). He is highly exalted as a result of His perfect humiliation by his death on the cross (Philippians 2:5-11). He has been allotted a portion with the great (Isaiah 53:12).
  • Verse 1 – We have already talked (above) about the divine and human natures of the one who is the Lord (Adonai) and yet the Son of David.
  • Verse 2 – A “strong scepter” is a symbol of this King’s power. “The LORD sends forth Your strong scepter from Zion.” This scepter is the gospel that is sent forth and allows Christ through His church to rule in the midst of His enemies, “as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16)”. With the scepter of the gospel Christ will conquer the nations and bring many into His kingdom.
  • Verse 3 – There is a certain day in the future, “the day of Your power,” when His power will be on full display. We know that this will be the day of the Lord, the day of Christ’s return. In that day, “Your people will volunteer freely” and they will be dressed “in holy array.” This is describing the glorified saints arrayed in white robes who will come with the Lord Jesus upon His return. (See 1 Thess. 4:14; 2 Thess. 1:10; Revelation 19:14)
  • Verse 4 – The LORD has taken an oath and has sworn, and when God Himself takes an oath, it indicates the unchangeableness of the promise (Hebrews 6:13-20). This is the solemnity of the oath that the LORD has made to the Lord Jesus. The oath cannot be broken or changed.
  • Verse 4 – What is the nature of the oath? That Christ is “a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” First, then, He is a Priest as well as a King. There were no such kings in the Davidic line, for the priests were descended from Aaron in the tribe of Levi and the kings were from David in the line of Judah. Thus Christ, the Son of God, is the only one allowed to be both King and Priest because He is of the priestly order of Melchizedek. As a priest, Jesus makes intercession for His people. As priest, He is also the one who brought the blood of the eternal sacrifice to the heavenly mercy seat (See Hebrews 9-10).
  • Verse 4 – Christ is a priest forever. The priesthood of Jesus had no beginning and will have no end. In eternity past, the LORD swore with an oath that Jesus was a priest forever. He always lives to make intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:25). His people always have an advocate, a priest to intercede for them with the Father.
  • Verse 4 – For a study of Melchizedek as a type of Christ, spend time in Hebrews 7.
  • Verse 5 – “The Lord is at Your right hand.” Thus, begins the day of the Lord’s wrath. Verses 5-6 speak about the day of Christ’s return in wrath and judgment. We recall from verse 1 that the LORD invited the Lord to sit at His right hand. On the day of wrath, the Lord will still be at the LORD’s right hand as they render judgment to the unrighteous. In Revelation 6:16, the kings of the earth say to the mountains, “Hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne (the LORD), and from the wrath of the Lamb (the Lord).”
  • Verse 5 – “He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.” From that same passage in Revelation 6:15-17, the Lord shatters kings and the great men in the day of His wrath. Psalm 110:5 is describing the events of Revelation 6:15-17.
  • Verse 6 – The Priest-King of the order of Melchizedek “will judge among the nations.” Can there be any doubt that this is the terrible day of Christ’s final judgment? This is described in Matthew 25:31-46, when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats and casts those on His left “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (v. 41).” We see a glimpse of this in Luke 19:27 and in Revelation 14:9-11. Psalm 2:9 also mentions that the Son “will break them with a rod of iron and shatter them like earthenware.” Finally, in Revelation 19:11-16 we see the Lord Jesus coming in His final judgment.
  • Verse 6 – “He will fill them with corpses.” In the great day of judgment, there will be many slain by the Lord Jesus as He returns to deal out retribution. In Revelation 19:17-21, the Scriptures declare that the birds in midheaven will feast on “the flesh of kings and the flesh mighty men,” and all of these will be “killed with the sword that came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.” The one on the horse is the Lord Jesus in His Second Coming. There will be many corpses on that day.
  • Verse 6 – “He will shatter the head over a broad country.” What would it mean for Jesus the Messiah to “shatter the head?” In Genesis 3:15, we read that the Messiah, the seed of the woman, will bruise Satan on his head. Now here we read that the great Priest-King, the Messiah “will shatter the head.” Psalm 110:6 is speaking of how Jesus crushed Satan’s head when He was crucified at The Place of a Skull. We also know that Jesus will finally “crush Satan’s head” when throws him into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
  • Verse 7 – The final verse may be the most mysterious of all. “He will drink from the brook by the wayside.” From this phrase it is unmistakable that this Warrior is human, for He thirsts and so He must stop by the wayside to drink from the brook. He wields the divine sword of judgment, yet He also needs water to slake His thirst.
  • Verse 7 – There may be more intended from the phrase, “He will drink from the brook.” For we know that, during His first advent, Jesus the Messiah was required to drink the cup of God’s wrath which He was given (John 18:11; Matthew 20:22). We know that, while He was on the cross, the Messiah thirsted (John 19:28). It is possible, then, to understand this phrase as speaking about His suffering in His earthly life. He drank from the brook of suffering that ran by the wayside of His life.
  • Verse 7 – If drinking from the brook does, in fact, point to Jesus’ suffering in this life, then the second half of the verse fits well into Scripture. In Isaiah 53:11, “As a result of the anguish of His soul . . .” Then in 53:12, “Therefore, I will assign Him a portion with the great.” In Philippians 2:8, Jesus was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” But 2:9, “Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.” (See also Revelation 5, where the Lamb is given glory and honor because He has conquered.) Because the Messiah endured the cross, “Therefore He (the LORD) will lift up His (the Lord’s) head.” And this understanding would bring us back to the start of the psalm when Jesus ascends to the right hand of the LORD.


            Psalm 110 presents us with a powerful picture of Jesus the Messiah in His first advent as the suffering Servant, but also in His Second Coming as the Warrior-Judge. This psalm also highlights the prophetic nature of some of the psalms as clearly foreshadowing future events. Finally, the psalm reveals again the divine inspiration of the Scriptures as these words written by David a thousand years before Jesus’ Incarnation are fulfilled by our great Priest-King.

SDG                 rmb                 10/20/2020