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Book of Titus
Theme: The church is to perform good works
This Letter gives us the picture which covers the entire range of what God wants for the church. We saw in the first chapter that God wants the church to be an orderly organization. Chapter 2 tells us that the church is to be sound in doctrine. Now we shall learn that, to be all that God wants for the church, the church is to perform good works.
Good words are nothing without good works. They were not to be quarrelsome, but to show meekness at all times, not just to friends, but to all men, although with wisdom (Jam.3:13). This Letter teaches us how wrong it is for a Christian to be rude to anyone, but especially to the worst, weakest and most miserable saints.
The servants of sin have many masters. And we ALL were servants of sin before we were saved. The never ending desires of sinners make them run in all directions. Pride commands one thing, covetousness another. They are hateful, deserving to be hated. It is the misery of sinners, that they hate one another; and the duty and happiness of saints to love one another. Only by the mercy and grace of God, can we be delivered out of this miserable condition of sinners to the glorious condition of children of Almighty God! Thank You Jesus!
Good Works Are an Evidence of Salvation (Titus 3:1-7)
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (KJV)
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers . . . the first thing Paul mentions is the fact that the church must have members who are law abiding. A TRUE believer should obey the laws of the land in which he lives unless those laws conflict or contradict his duty and relationship to God. All the secular powers at that time were pagan, and not friendly to Christians, which might be a temptation for those Christians to rebel against them, or at least NOT to yield them so freely.
To obey magistrates . . . by principalities and powers, Titus might understand this to be the supreme rulers, by magistrates, those of inferior ranks; as the apostle Peter expressed himself more fully (1 Pet.2:13-14).
To be ready to every good work . . . to be free, and prepared to do every work which is acceptable to God and honorable in itself. The church is to instruct individuals to be eager and anxious to learn to do good works (Tit.2:7,14; 3:1,8,14).
There is also a negative side to the encouragement:
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (KJV)
To speak evil of no man . . . means we are to hurt NO one. We are NOT to repeat gossip. We are not to repeat what we hear. Many evil reports are passed from person to person without even a shred of evidence that what was said is true. It could also mean to blaspheme no man. Blasphemy is a speaking evil, whether it be applied to God or man, although most think of it as blaspheming God.
To be no brawlers . . . be no fighters, neither with hands or tongues.
But gentle . . . be meek, modest, fair and equitable.
Shewing all meekness unto all men . . . being patient, merciful and mild mannered; forbearing wrath and passion with all, in the reception of injuries (Mat.5:6; Eph.4:2).
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (KJV)
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish . . . without any knowledge, wisdom, or spiritual understanding (Eph.2:2-3).
Disobedient . . . I think this means the unbelieving as well as the disobedient, neither persuaded to agree to the Truth, nor to live up to the rule of the Gospel.
Deceived . . . by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb.3:13).
Serving divers lusts and pleasures . . . being slaves to our carnal appetite.
Living in malice and envy . . . allowing wrath to rest in our bosoms, until it boiled up into a desire of revenge, and showed itself in actions of that nature, and was obsessed with the good and prosperity of others.
Hateful . . . deserving to be despised by good men.
And hating one another . . . and hating good men, or those who were neighbors. Having been so ourselves before (Eph.2:1-3), we ought to pity these . . . since they are still so.
Nothing can promote humility, and check pride in saints, than to think back on their past state and condition, what they themselves once were. Since the apostle Paul himself, and Titus, and other saints, whom he intended this as an instruction for, were formerly, in their unregenerate state, just such persons themselves; they therefore should NOT glory over them, and treat them in a scornful manner, but go to God in prayer and thank Him!
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, (KJV)
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared . . . kindness is compassion, goodness, gentleness which manifests the grace of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is commonly intended by our Saviour, and is several times called God our Saviour in this Letter (Tit.1:3-4; 2:10,13; 3:4,6), and who IS truly God, and the ONLY Saviour of lost sinners; and whose kindness and love towards them has appeared in many ways. I thinkby God our Saviour here could mean God the Father as well, because He certainly was/is involved in our salvation.
I think this shows just how little the Cretan Christians had to be proud of in themselves, and how much they despised others not Christians (Tit.3:2-3). It is to the "kindness and love of God," NOT to their own merits, that they owe salvation.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (KJV)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done . . . the kindness and love of God our Saviour means SALVATION. The apostle Paul clearly denies that salvation it is brought about by any works, not even the best or greatest works of men. Works of righteousness are works done according to a righteous law, and in obedience to it, and they CANNOT save you. Works of righteousness: (Ps.143:2; Isa.57:12; Lk.10:27-29; Rom.3:20,28; 4:5; 9:16,30; 11:6; Gal.2:16; 3:16-21; Eph.2:4,8,9; 2 Tim.1:9)
But according to his mercy . . . the mercy of God is a natural characteristic to Him, which comes from deep in His own bowels (heart), and is freely bestowed upon persons in misery.
He saved us . . . He has given us a right to eternal salvation when we believe Him and accept His only begotten Son (Jn.1:18; 3:16,18; Heb.11:17; 1 Jn.4:9). 1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (KJV)
By the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost . . . NOT the ordinance of water baptism; for that is never expressed by washing, neither is it the cause or means of regeneration. Regeneration is brought about by the Spirit of God, and by the means of the Word of God (Rom.10:8-17). BUT . . . when persons are regenerated, they should be baptized.
Regeneration: (Jer.32:39; Eze.11:19; 36:26; Jn.1:13; 3:3-8; 1 Cor.4:15; 6:11; 2 Cor.3:3; 5:17; Gal. 4:29; 6:15; Ep.2:10; Jam.1:18; 1 Pet.1:3,23; 2 Pet.1:4; 1 Jn.2:29; 3:9; 5:1.18).
Sevenfold Salvation of the soul:
- The manifestation of the kindness and love of God toward man (Tit.3:4)
- Not by works of righteousness by man to merit it (Tit.3:5; Eph.2:8-9)
- By God's mercy He saved us (Tit.3:5)
- By the washing of regeneration in the precious blood of Christ and the Word of God (Tit.3:5; Mat.26:28; Eph.5:26; Col.1:14-22; 1 Pet.1:18-23; Jam.1:18)
- Renewing of the Holy Spirit (Tit.3:5; Jn.3:5; Eph.4:24; Rom.12:2)
- Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ (Tit.3:6; Rom.5:5; 8:14-16; 2 Cor.12:13)
- Justified by His grace, we are made heirs of the hope of eternal life (Tit.3:7; Rom.3:24-31; 5:1-11; Eph.2:8-9)
Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (KJV)
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour . . . what an awesome God we have! He makes us His children (1 Jn.3:1-3)! He gives us eternal life FREELY by His grace! We do not have to work for it. Thank You Jesus! Abundantly is richly. The meaning is, that the Holy Spirit had been imparted in a bountiful measure in order to convert them from their former wickedness. The sense is, that the Holy Spirit had been imparted richly to all who were converted, at any time or place, from the error of their ways. What the apostle says here is true of all who become believers, and can be applied to all who become believers in any age or land.
The love and kindness of God the Father, comes through His Son, Jesus, the mercy of God streams through Him; the salvation itself is by, and through Him; the grace communicated in regeneration is out of His fullness; the Spirit Himself is given forth from Him (Jn.14:16-18); and every supply of grace that we need shall be supplied. Every good thing comes from His Hands; and everything done in us, that is well pleasing in the sight of God, is through Him; and even the gift of God (Ep.2:8; Rom.3:23), eternal life itself. All three persons of the Trinity are mentioned in these verses because all three participate in the work of our salvation. Based upon the redemptive work of His Son, the Father forgives us and sends the Holy Spirit to wash away our sins and continually renew us. We are indeed privileged when we are God’s children.
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (KJV)
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life . . . being justified (Rom.3:24; 5:1) through the wondrous love of God, having the guilt of our sins removed, and the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30), accredited to us for righteousness, we should be made heirs, through adoption, be made children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, (Rom.8:15,17). According to the hope of eternal life . . . this refers to the hope of eternal life (Tit.1:2), meaning that we have that hope in the advantage of our being adopted into the family of God, and being made heirs. He has received us as His children, and permits us to hope that we shall live with Him for ever. The hope of eternal life is again pointing to the great hope of the believer, the coming of Christ for His church (1 Thes.4:13-18).
Good Works Are Profitable For the Present and Future (Titus 3:8-15)
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (KJV)
This is a faithful saying . . . we see this phrase in Timothy (1 Tim.1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim.2:11). It can be applied to the verses that went before this, and what follows.
And these things I will that thou affirm constantly . . . Paul tells Titus that he wants him to be
be firm in these doctrines. He was to stand firm and persistent in them, and speak of them with certainty, boldness and confidence to others, and try to confirm and establish the doctrines in the people.
That they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works . . . those who accept and agree to these things as true, and have submitted their souls to God and Christ Jesus for eternal life and salvation, should be careful to practice all that God hath commanded them in all their dealings.
These things are good and profitable unto men . . . all these things are true in themselves, and profitable for men to know and understand. This does not mean good works, although these are good in themselves, and profitable in their results; but instead the doctrines of the Gospel are here intended.
Paul summarizes what Christ does for us when He saves us. We move from a life full of sin to one where we are led by God's Holy Spirit. In becoming a Christian, the believer acknowledges Christ as Lord and is well aware of Christ's saving work. We gain eternal life with all its treasures. We have a new life through the Holy Spirit, and He continually renews our hearts. None of this happens because we earned it or deserved it; it is all God's gift to us.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (KJV)
But avoid foolish questions and genealogies . . . (1 Tim.1:4; 2 Tim.2:16,23) do not meddle with idle questions that lead to no godly edifying.
And contentions, and strivings about the law . . . (1 Tim.1:4; Acts 18:15) strifes about words, or unprofitable things as the Jews stated about various matters connected with the law about meats and drinks; perverse disputings, and oppositions (1 Tim.6:4-5,20).
And strivings about the law . . .particularly questions about the law, the traditions and constitutions of the elders about it.
For they are unprofitable and vain . . . empty things, of no use at all, to inform the judgment, improve the mind, or influence the life and conversation.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; (KJV)
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject . . . two things make up a heretic: #1. An error in matters of faith. #2. Stubbornness and persistence in the holding and maintaining of it. After the first and second admonition reject . . . Paul says admonish them twice; if they will not stop, refuse them, reject them. Refuse (Acts 25:11; 1 Tim.4:7; 5:11; Heb.12:25). Avoid (2 Tim.2:23). Entreated (Heb.12:19).
Whether excommunication is meant in this text, is not told. I think the prevailing meaning, as used here, is, to reject in relation to an office; meaning Titus is to decline appointing one to an office.
Titus 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (KJV)
Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself . . . he that is a heretic is subverted . . .turned away from the true and right road; and sinneth, is an offender, being condemned of himself . . . condemned by his own conscience, for he who spends his time with questions and genealogies, and strifes of words, and little questions about the law, instead of preaching Christ, is told by his own conscience that he does not do his duty. He has gone from the right way, and therefore he should be rejected by Titus as an elder.
Titus 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. (KJV)
When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus . . . these were both ministers of the Gospel; there is no mention of Artemas anywhere else. Some say he was one of the seventy disciples, and that he was afterwards bishop of Lystra; but this is uncertain (Lk.10:1). Tychicus is often spoken of; and a great character is given of him by the apostle Paul (Acts 20:4; Eph.6:21; Col.4:7; 2 Tim.4:12).
Be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis . . . which was a city in Thrace, situated by the river Nessus, and had its name from a victory obtained there. Paul would have Titus come to him, after one or the other of the above ministers came to Crete. Paul took care of all the churches and he would not remove a minister from one place to another, without making a provision to replace him. His reasons for having Titus come to him, might be either to know the state of the churches in Crete; or because he stood in need of his assistance; or to send him elsewhere.
For I have determined there to winter . . . Paul had decided to spend the winter there, to preach the Gospel, and administer the ordinances to the saints there.
Titus 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. (KJV)
Bring Zenas the lawyer . . . whether he was brought up to the civil law, either among the Greeks or Romans, is not certain; it may be he was a Jewish lawyer, or scribe, an interpreter of Moses's law among the Jews; for with them a lawyer and a scribe were one and the same, as appears from (Mat.22:35).
And Apollos, on their journey diligently . . . Apollos (1 Cor.3) was a Jew born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures; who had preached at Corinth, but was now at Crete. That nothing be wanting unto them . . . Paul desired that they might be met with hospitality from Christians in Crete, that they might not be embarrassed for want of that which was needed for their journey. It would seem most probable that they had been sent by Paul on a visit to the churches.
Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. (KJV)
And let ours also . . . either those who ministers of the Gospel, or those that are Christians.
Learn to maintain good works . . . to excel, to maintain, it rather means, that they should be distinguished for good works, including benevolent deeds, acts of charity, honest work, and whatever would enter into an upright life.
For necessary uses . . . for the necessary uses of the church, or of others, or for their own necessary uses.
That they be not unfruitful . . . that it may be seen that their religion is not barren and worthless, but that it produces a happy effect on themselves and on society (Jn.15:16; Eph.4:28)).
Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. (KJV)
All that are with me salute thee . . . all the fellow laborers, and the ministers of the Gospel that were with Paul, and all the members of the church where he was, sent their Christian salutation to Titus; he being a person greatly esteemed, and whose praise was in all the churches.
Greet them that love us in the faith . . . not merely as men, but as believers; because of the doctrine of faith, professed and preached; and because of the grace of faith obtained and possessed; or who love us faithfully, sincerely, and uprightly, from their hearts, and not in word and tongue only,
Grace be with you all, Amen . . . this is the common ending salutation in all Paul's Letters. This shows that this Letter was not intended for Titus only, but for the saints at Crete.
Book of Titus
Ch.1 . . Ch..2 . . Ch.3 . . Special Comments