Q: What does Paul mean in Titus 1:3 that God manifested His Word through preaching? Is Paul suggesting Holy Spirit fillings with respect to preaching? Why didn’t Paul say: “manifested His Word through writings?”

“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;” ‭‭Titus‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Is the book of Acts the best way to understand such a phrase?. Or to put it another way: How do we describe the method of “manifesting His Word through preaching”?

2 Answers 2


I will try to answer your questions, but out of sequence.

Third question (why not through writings?), Paul identifies that preaching, not writing, has the prominent place in God’s design to save.

1 Corinthians 1:21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Scripture is the deposit and archive of God’s precious revelation, and preaching is the proper heralding of it from the ambassadors of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.

Second question (Is Paul suggesting Holy Spirit fillings... ?) “fillings” not necessarily, especially if you mean charismatic tongue speaking.

Forth question (Is [the history described] in Acts the best way [place to] to understand the phrase?) No. One hermeneutical principle is to let clear passages interpret the more obscure.

First question [my paraphrase] (what is meant by “manifesting His Word through preaching”)

Word (logos) has many English translations, but generally meaning something spoken, or a topic, subject, reasoning, etc. Strongs Greek Dictionary

“The meaning here (Titus 1:3) is, that he has made known his eternal purpose through the preaching of the gospel” Albert Barnes

Is there an additional possibility? We know most importantly, that the Word (logos) became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14

Paul declares the most amazing aspect of preaching in Romans 10:14. This makes preaching to be far more than just giving a lecture. Not only is the privilege great to represent the King, but as Paul sets forth in this verse, the hearer is not just hearing about Christ, but is hearing Christ himself!

Romans 10:13-14 Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom [not “of whom”] they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Let the scholars inform our judgment here.

First, John Murray. Romans, Eerdmans, 1959 “A striking feature of this clause is that Christ is represented as being heard in the gospel when proclaimed by the sent messengers. The implication is that Christ speaks in the gospel proclamation. It is in this light that what precedes and what follows must be understood. The personal commitment which faith implies is coordinate with the encounter with Jesus’ own words in the gospel message. And the dignity of the messengers, reflected on later, is derived from the fact that they are the Lord’s spokesmen.”

Next is R. C. H. Lenski (the Lutheran Greek Scholar, Lutheran Publishing Concern. 1936) “To have heard of him or about him is only an inferior substitute. …οὗ is the genitive of the person heard speaking and not the adverb: ‘where’ they did not hear. To make this the adverb introduces the incongruous idea of place, whereas everything turns on persons…… There are two ways of hearing a person: when he himself speaks in his own person as Jesus spoke when he was on earth; and when he sends a herald to utter his message as Jesus sent his apostles as heralds. … Luke 10:16 ‘He that heareth you heareth me….’ Applied to us who preach today, this means that we are Christ’s heralds through whom men hear Christ himself, [but] only when we transmit his Word exactly as he has commanded it to us”

In conclusion, preaching becomes the prominent means by which the hearer is brought, by the Spirit, into contact with Christ as He is faithfully proclaimed. That is, God is manifesting (renders apparent) His Word via preaching.

  • Well constructed answer, +1
    – Cork88
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 7:12
  • I meant “filling of the Spirit” in terms of being “full of His power”: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:…” Acts 4:8 No speaking of tongues required. I take the cessationist position anyhow.
    – Cork88
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 7:15

The "word" that is manifested through preaching, is λόγος (logos):


The λόγος (logos) calls to mind John 1, particularly verses 1-3:

John 1:1-3 (ESV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

From these few verses, we see that the λόγος (logos), which eventually "became flesh" (see v. 14), is the means whereby God created all things.

In preaching, when the λόγος (logos) is manifested, what is happening is that God is using the λόγος (logos) to create. The audience, upon hearing and receiving the message being preached, has something created inside of them: faith.

When someone preaches the Gospel, and hearts are open (or opened) to receive It, God makes use of the λόγος (logos) to engender the necessary faith that saves. You get what you preach.

Even if you preach false doctrine, you end up creating false brethren. If you preach "another Jesus" the people who are open to that receive "another spirit" (2 Corinthians 11:4).

As far as Paul referring to a preacher being filled with the Spirit, i.e. to be "full of God's power", the answer is "yes", because (and this helps answer your question about the Book of Acts) we see several times that the writer of Acts explicitly indicates the following: being filled with the Spirit (Acts 4:8, 4:31, 7:55-56, and 13:9).

As these instances show, the men who were so endowed by the Spirit then began to preach.

Of special note is Acts 13:9-12 (ESV)

9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Note the sequence:

  1. Paul is "filled with the Holy Spirit"
  2. Paul denounces Elymas by the Holy Spirit with a gift of prophecy
  3. The very thing Paul prophesied against Elymas came to pass as the λόγος (logos) created Elymas' blindness
  4. The proconsul believed

This is the λόγος (logos) at work, being manifested through the Apostle. Acts really is the best, and I would say, correct place to see Titus 1:3 in action and fulfilled, at least in the lives of the earliest believers. Apart from Acts, you see the λόγος (logos) manifested in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus, and the things He preached, in the Gospels.

Finally, why didn't Paul indicate to Titus that the λόγος (logos) is manifested through the written Scriptures?

Because the written words of the Bible are not what properly manifest or reveal the λόγος (logos). Only preaching the written words of the Bible does that. Hence:

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV),

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the λόγος (logos); be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

The λόγος (logos) is not just words, written or spoken. The λόγος (logos) is a Person: Jesus of Nazareth, the the manifestation of God in flesh.

To preach then, per Titus 1:3, is to do more than merely reveal what the Scriptures have to say about something. To preach the λόγος (logos) is to reveal Someone, to make Someone known.

  • Makes sense, +1
    – Cork88
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 16:51

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