As I begin studying Titus I didn't get very far before I had to stop with a couple observations. :-)
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God
When you look at the word 'servant' in other translations, such as in NKJV the word 'bondservant' is used. What is a bondservant? The Greek word is doulos and one of the definitions is that a bondservant is one who is devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests.
So Paul is not at all concerned for himself, but is instead devoted to who? To God.
What did it mean to be a bondservant in Paul's time? There was certainly a large portion of the population that were slaves, but this could mean different things and not necessarily the way that we think of the history of slavery in this country. In Paul's time, it could mean that a slave was in a voluntary servant capacity, however, under Roman law slaves were considered personal property and had no rights.
The old testament gives a law for servants that I have heard applied to the New Testament definition of bondservant.
Exodus 21:5-6 But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then
his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to
the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with
an awl; and he shall serve him forever.
It is easy to conclude that a bondservant or slave in this context then is a person who wants to serve, who chooses to serve, who gives up all of himself to serve.
One other observation - as I was scrolling though the verses in which the Greek word doulos is used, one verse jumped out at me.
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Upon hearing that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would have a child called the Son of God (Luke 1:35), Mary then uses the feminine form of the word doulos, doule. She willingly becomes a bondservant to the Lord.
Here is something else that is interesting - the word doule is only used two other times according to the KJV concordance. It is in the song that Mary sings while pregnant and visiting her cousin Elizabeth who is carrying the child, John the Baptist.
Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
And the third use of the word doule is said by Peter right after they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and when he addresses the crowd. He is quoting from Joel 2:28-32.
Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
What is interesting to me is that in all three uses of the word the Holy Spirit is at work in those speaking. But grow with me... If we are to become a bondservant to God, then we need to have the Holy Spirit come upon us and fill us.
Ok, I just realized that I could continue down this path for hours, but I need to get back to Titus 1:1 ...tomorrow!