Like Paul’s two letters to Timothy, his letter to Titus is a pastoral epistle, meaning it was written to the individual pastor of a church rather than the church as a whole. Titus was leading a church in Crete, whose congregation was comprised of diverse groups in strife with each other. There were the native Cretans, who had a reputation for being angry, dishonest, drunk, lazy, and violent. There were the straightlaced Jews who did not know the full truth of Jesus. There were also people of great age difference, as well as slaves and free men. As new Christians, they were all immature in their faith.
Paul wrote to Titus to help establish a means of selecting and developing church leaders. As he did so often in his other writings, Paul fell back on the importance of sound doctrine. He preached that good Christians ought to have self-control, to be obedient, truthful, peaceable, considerate, and humble. He warned against not just the evil behavior the Cretans were known for, but also the myths and laws to which the Jews still held to. He tied it back to justification by grace, that we are not saved by our actions but by Christ, and that our actions should reflect our salvation rather than tarnish it.