TITUS: TEACHING THE TRUTH
The Bay of Vai (Crete)
Photo by Marc Ryckaert
All Scripture quotations in this publication are from the holy Bible, New International Version, except where noted (published by Zondervan Corporation, copyright, 1985)
© 2014 Jim Gerrish
Titus is one of the three important little books that are together known as the Pastoral Epistles. They are made up of First and Second Timothy and Titus. Rather than being written to churches, these books were written to Paul’s ministerial helpers. However, it seems obvious, especially in Titus, that Paul is writing in such a manner as to be “overheard” by the churches. Like Timothy, Titus was a faithful helper of Paul and had traveled with him on many occasions. Unlike Timothy, he was not of Jewish blood but was rather a Gentile (Gal. 2:3).
Titus was also probably converted by Paul and thus considered as a spiritual “son” of the apostle just like Timothy (1 Tim. 1:2). Titus seems to have been one of Paul’s most important helpers and trouble-shooters. We see Titus with Paul as early as the mid-century Jerusalem Conference mentioned in Galatians 2:1-3. It appears that Titus, the Gentile, was a sort of test-case in the Jerusalem debate concerning circumcision. Later he is working with the Corinthians in the delicate matter of raising a large offering for Jerusalem (2 Cor. 7:13-14; 2 Cor. 8:6, 16, 17, 23; 2 Cor. 12:18). Paul is seen anxiously awaiting him on his return from Corinth. The apostle is overjoyed with the good news he brings (2 Cor. 2:13; 7:6, 13, 14). Not only was Titus assigned to Crete to straighten up the churches there but in 2 Timothy 4:10 we see him sent also to Dalmatia. We note in 2 Corinthians 8:16, that Titus was very likeminded with the apostle.
In this epistle we realize that Titus was laboring on the large island of Crete. Paul had apparently left him there after they had served together for some time. This almost had to have happened after Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, and would have to be dated sometime after AD 62. We note from Luke’s account in Acts that Paul never visited Crete in his three missionary trips. The only time he was at Crete was when he was headed for Rome as a prisoner (Acts 27:7-13). Of course, there would have been no opportunity to preach at this time and also Titus was not with him.
The isle of Crete was the birthplace for the ancient Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC). This was probably the earliest recorded civilization in all of Europe. 1 Crete was the largest of the Greek islands and was very well placed from a commercial standpoint, being an almost equal distance from Asia and Europe.
We cannot be certain as to the beginning of Christianity on the island. We do note in Acts 2:11 that there were Cretan Jews present at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. It is very possible that some of these brought the faith back to their island from that experience. By the time of this epistle Paul and Titus had started a number of churches on the island. Apparently Paul had to move on to other places and he left Titus in charge of finishing the work. It is likely that he was writing Titus from somewhere in Macedonia. To make matters worse on Crete, a heresy very similar to the one at Ephesus was brewing among the churches there. The heresy seemed to be a combination of Greek speculative thought (Gnosticism) and Jewish legalism, much like what Timothy had faced.2
This little letter is almost a condensation of First Timothy.3 Since it deals in a compact manner with duty in the church (1:5-16), in the home (2:1-15) and in the world (3:1-11), it has been a popular book for Christians and Christian leaders.4
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— Titus 1:1
Here Paul calls himself a “servant of God” a title he uses nowhere else in his superscriptions. 1 However, he often designates himself as servant of Christ. He also calls himself an apostle or “sent one,” a title which is characteristic of Paul’s writings. The term “servant” was a most servile term in the Greek culture. It spoke of one who was born in slavery.2 Yet, it began to be used as a term designating all true believers in Christ. We even see this term used to designate certain believers in the Old Testament, such as Moses (Josh. 1:2) and Joshua (Josh. 24:29). Of course, the title was used of Jesus, who would be the supreme picture of God’s servant (Isa. 49:5; Rom. 15:8).
Paul was called of God and sent of him regarding the faith and knowledge of believers everywhere. The expression “full knowledge” (epiginōskō), is a favorite one of the apostle. It means a “full experiential knowledge,” or a knowledge leading to true conversion (cf. Jn. 8:32; 1 Tim. 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Jn. 2:21; 3 Jn. 1).3 Everywhere around us today we see a cultural Christianity that does not result in full experiential knowledge, nor does it result in real salvation.
This knowledge is a knowledge of the truth. It is a sad thing today that we are rapidly losing our grip on truth. In the last half-century so our society has been overwhelmed by what we might call “false truth” or “broken truth.” This postmodern concept of truth was created by a group of philosophers – Michael Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Richard Rorty. This postmodern philosophy now declares that all reason is deeply flawed and affected by bias. It holds that all information, even hallowed scientific information, can no longer be trusted. This doctrine proclaims that all “truth” is culturally conditioned, and that what is true for one group may not be true for another.4 Truth is therefore an ever-changing and relative thing.
The Christian philosopher and researcher, Nancy Pearcey, says: “The divided concept of truth produces young people who are double-minded, unstable in all their ways.” 5 Pearcey goes on to say: “That’s why it is crucial for Christians to address the crack-up of truth itself. Before they can make the case that Christianity is true, they first have to clarify what they mean by truth.” 6
We can see how seriously truth has been eroded in recent times with some research by the Barna Group that was published in Christianity Today back in 1992. Barna asked if there was such a thing as absolute truth. He discovered that an amazing 66 percent of American adults believed that there was no such thing. What was really shocking was that 72 percent of those 18-25 years of age did not believe in absolute truth.7 How clearly this situation seems to parallel Romans 1:25 where it is said: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…”
There is an additional thing that is apparent in this first verse. Real truth or “true truth” leads to godliness or God-centeredness (eusebia). The English scholar John Stott says here: “Any doctrine which does not promote godliness is manifestly bogus.” 8
Paul goes on in verse 2 to speak of “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…” (1:2). Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714), the English Presbyterian minister and commentator says of this, “Here is the stability and antiquity of the promise of eternal life to the saints.” 9 The faith and knowledge of God’s saints rests on the hope of eternal life. In our day hope has become a weak and wobbly matter for many. It is almost a wistful thing with no certainty attached to it. People say, “I hope tomorrow will be a nice day” or “I hope I get the job.” Unlike this, biblical hope is certain, because it is based on the word and promises of God. 10
The Christian hope is based on the eternal life which God has promised us, and God cannot lie. How beautiful and exciting this gospel of eternal life must have sounded to those pagans who heard it for the first time. Since ancient days people had concerned themselves about life after death, but before the gospel there was no real hope of such a life (2 Tim. 1:10). We see here that this eternal life was actually promised before time began. The Greek language had difficulty with the concept of eternity. The expression used is “chronon aionion,” and it has the meaning “before the times of the ages…that is before time began to be reckoned by aeons.” 11
Paul says: “and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior…” (1:3). There is always an appointed time or season for God’s work. The word for appointed season or times of God is the Greek kairos, and it means “those strategic times in the calendar of God.” 12 When Christ came to earth it was indeed a strategic time. There was a common Greek language all over the Roman world. Travel was easy and relatively safe because of the Roman roads and protected sea lanes. The known world was generally at peace (pax Romana). People were also uniquely conscious of their need for a savior. 13
In this ideal season the apostle Paul was sent out with the gospel or the good news of salvation. He did not go of his own will but he was commissioned by God and divinely sent out (Gal. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; & Rom. 1:1). It was the proper message for the proper time (1 Tim. 2:6; Gal. 4:4). God had chosen to send out his saving message through the “foolishness of what was preached” (1 Cor. 1:21). Although preaching is generally spurned and even ridiculed by the people of this age, it is still God’s way of saving souls.
TITUS, PAUL’S HELPER
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Titus 1:4
As we have said, Titus was one of Paul’s best helpers and trouble-shooters. The renowned American Greek scholar A. T. Robertson thought it very strange that Titus was never mentioned in the Acts account written by Luke. He suspected that Titus was possibly Luke’s brother.14 If he was related to Luke, this gospel writer may have considered it unprofessional to mention him.
Titus had been Paul’s helper since before the Jerusalem Conference, which was held around AD 50. Robertson mentions that Titus had been successful in Corinth while Timothy had not been. 15 All in all, he was a very faithful and successful apostolic legate for Paul. The apostle mentions that he was a true son in the common faith. We must be aware that our faith can never be just an individual thing. We are part of a body, a household, a fellowship of Christians, and that fellowship is world-wide. This goes against much that is believed in our present day.
The expression “Christ Jesus our Savior” is worth our special attention. This expression clearly links God the Father with Jesus the Messiah by use of the term “Savior.” This was a common way for New Testament writers to assert the deity of Christ (cf. Tit. 2:10, 13;3:4-6). 16
THE WORK OF TITUS ON CRETE
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. Titus 1:5
So obviously, Titus was left by Paul on Crete. The implication is that the two had worked together there for a period to establish churches on the Island and that it was finally necessary for Paul to leave Titus there alone to finish the work. The Greek word for “left” used here is apoleipo and it has the meaning of leaving behind temporarily. Obviously, Paul was giving Titus only a temporary assignment on the island.17 The work on Crete could have been widespread since the early Greek writer Homer had called the island, “Crete of the hundred cities.” 18
Work with the natives of Crete could have been especially challenging with what we know from historical records. Crete was infamous for its many liars and lazy people. Its residents were noted for their drunkenness and licentiousness. Even a temple to Bacchus was there on the island. 19 Bacchus was known as the Greek god of wine.
Paul left Titus to “straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders.” This was obviously no easy task for young Titus. The word here is epidiorthōsē. It is an unusual one occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. It means “to set right or correct.” Some writers see it as speaking of correcting a broken limb. The seventeenth century Anglican commentator John Trapp says it means to “straighten the things that grow crooked in the church.” 20
In order to permanently correct things on Crete, Titus was instructed to appoint elders there. This is a rather common-sense thing in any form of management. Our youngest son is a district manager over a number of large retail stores. Since he cannot personally care for all these stores, he has the job of choosing, training and establishing local managers in stores below him. Without good managers, the stores would not be productive and would likely not survive. When a particular store is suddenly without top leadership, our son sometimes has to go there himself and assume temporary management until he can find a qualified person to do that job.
Elders in the New Testament certainly didn’t conform to managers in the business world but there were some similarities. There were also a lot of differences. For instance, biblical elders were chosen with the help of the Holy Spirit as we see in Acts 20:28.
The Greek word for “elders” is presbuteroi, and it is a word that is seen as synonymous with “overseers” and “pastors.” Elders reflect a Jewish background, while “overseers” reflect a Greek political-administrative background. It is interesting here that the requirement of “not being a new convert” has been left out (1 Tim. 3:6). Obviously, the churches of Crete were not old and established ones like Ephesus but were new churches that were just being formed. 21
REQUIREMENTS FOR ELDERS
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Titus 1:6
We note here that these requirements for elders are very similar to those found in 1Timothy 3:1-7. It would be helpful for the reader to return to these verses and to review our comments about them for a fuller discussion of these elder requirements.
In the New Testament, elders are generally mentioned in the plural. This could very well be the case because each city had several house churches, with each one requiring an elder. John Stott says, “The emergence of three orders of ordained ministry (bishops, presbyters and deacons) belongs to the beginning of the second century. It is not found in the New Testament.” 22
First of all, an elder must be blameless (anenkletos). The great reformer John Calvin remarks of this: “When he says, that a bishop must be…blameless, he does not mean one who is exempt from every vice, (for no such person could at any time be found,) but one who is marked by no disgrace that would lessen his authority. He means, therefore, that he shall be a man of unblemished reputation… not only must the bishop himself be free from reproach, but his whole family ought to be a sort of mirror of chaste and honorable discipline.” 23
An elder must be the husband of one wife. The idea here is that he must be “a one-woman man.” 24 Of course, there has been much discussion about this idea through the centuries. Long ago Jerome said that the bishop had to teach monogamy and continence by his example. 25 The popular 20th century commentator, John Dummelow, held that this is likely not an objection to polygamy since this was rare, but rather it was a reference to divorce and remarriage, which was a common thing. Dummelow did not think it was a reference to remarriage after the pastor had lost his first wife in death, and that he would thus be disqualified from office. 26 Peter Pet of England adds: “Being the husband of one wife excludes polygamists, divorced persons, adulterers, those engaged in sexual misbehavior and probably, but not necessarily, single men (the point might be not more than one wife).” 27 We must remember however that Jesus and Paul were single men.
The elder is also to have believing and obedient children. This is no easy task. I remember in the days of my youth that there were several really bad “preacher’s kids” around. In fact “preacher’s kid” almost came to be synonymous with “bad.” Such a condition cannot help but bring reproach upon the church and also upon the pastor. This is exactly what Paul is trying to prohibit with his instructions.
In the Bible we learn that careful instruction is vitally important for children. In Genesis 18:19, God says of Abraham: “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice…” (NKJ).28 Abraham’s ability to instruct his children seems to have influenced God’s choice of him in the Lord’s redemptive plan. The Scottish Greek scholar William Barclay says here, “The true training ground for the eldership is at least as much in the home as it is in the church.” 29
“Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless— not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain” (1:7). The whole idea behind all this is that the overseer of God’s household must be blameless. He must have a good reputation. The overseer who is God’s steward (oikonomos) reflects two Greek words, oikos, “house,” and nomos, “law.” He is one who administers the house. 30 “By describing the overseer as God’s steward, Paul brings to mind the picture of the church as God’s household (cf. 1 Tim. 3:5; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:20-21; Eph. 2:19-22).” 31
Because he is administering the house of God he cannot be “overbearing” as the NIV has it. The words are me authade and should read self-willed, stubborn or arrogant. 32 Next, he should not be quick tempered (me orgilon). He must be “not a choleric man; one who is irritable; who is apt to be inflamed on every opposition; one who has not proper command over his own temper.” 33 “Someone said: ‘Temper is such a wonderful thing that it’s a shame to lose it.’” 34
The bishop cannot be a wine bibber. This would have been rather natural in the wine-loving society of Crete. The Greek word here is paroinos and it has the meaning of being given over to wine indulgence. Later the meaning was broadened and eventually described outrageous conduct as well. 35
The list continues. The bishop must not be a striker or brawler (plekten). He must not be given over to the lust for disgraceful gain (aischrokerdes). Polybius said of the Cretans: “They are so given to making gain in disgraceful and acquisitive ways that among the Cretans alone of all men no gain is counted disgraceful…Plutarch said that they stuck to money like bees to honey. The Cretans counted material gain far above honesty and honor.” 36 The pastor had to steer clear of all this lust for gain.
John Trapp said, “It is better, saith one, to live so as thine enemies may be amazed at thy virtues than that thy friends should have cause to excuse thy vices.” 37
MORE ABOUT ELDERS
Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. Titus 1:8
An elder, bishop or pastor must be hospitable. The Greek word is philoxenos and it literally means that he is to be a lover of strangers. 38 The first century world was sorely in need of this virtue. There were plenty of Christians who were on the move, and some because of severe persecution. Others were Christian traveling ministries. They needed Christian homes opened to them. At that time the inns were notoriously bad and some were mere houses of prostitution. 39 Travelers and strangers needed to be taken into the home and showered with love and blessing. There are several scriptures that emphasize the command of hospitality (cf. Rom. 12:13; 1 Tim. 3:2; Heb. 13:2; 1 Pet. 4:9; 3 Jn. 1:5). Of course, it was expected that the pastor would take the lead in this.
The early Christian writer Hermas (late first century) speaks of: “Bishops given to hospitality, who always gladly received into their houses the servants of God, without hypocrisy. And by their ministry, these bishops never failed to protect the widows and those who were in need. And they always maintained a holy life.” 40
The pastor was to be a lover of good. This word philagathos can have various meanings. It can mean a lover of good people or it can also mean a lover of good things. 41 The meaning could possibly include just loving good things in general, like good books, music or any other good thing. 42
The pastor must also be self-controlled or temperate (egkratē). While this virtue is often connected with abstinence from liquors, it includes much more. It can mean having control of the earth’s passions and appetites. We note that it is mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:23.
The bishop is to be upright. The Greek word is sophron which has the meaning of self-controlled, sensible and prudent.43 He is also to be holy and disciplined.
“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (1:9). If there ever was a time when this scripture was relevant, it is surely today. We have seen in the Pastorals that even the church of God is deep into mythology and make-believe. We have seen in our society how our postmodern philosophers have cut the ground out from under the very meaning of “truth.” Today, Bible knowledge is almost nil with our younger generations. It is surely time to rebuild and restore the foundations of many generations. It is a time to teach and preach the Word of God. It is no time for theological speculations and academic doubts.
As we have seen several times in the Pastorals, Paul once again brings up the subject of “sound doctrine.” Here again the idea is healthy doctrine (hugiainouse) and it is from the Greek root of this word that we get our word hygiene. We have already pointed out in the Pastorals how much of the teaching today even in the church is unhealthy. The same is certainly true out in the world. As Christians we need to rise up and proclaim the truth instead of the myths that are so popular. By healthy doctrine and sound doctrine we need to refute these peddlers of error. Calvin once said, “A pastor needs two voices, one for gathering the sheep and the other for driving away wolves and thieves.” 44
Star Parker, the popular writer and TV personality illustrates for us just one area of unhealthy doctrine. She says:
A growing body of evidence suggests that a high percentage, as high as 90 percent, of women who have an abortion suffer emotional and psychiatric stress, including as many as 10 percent requiring psychiatric hospitalization or other professional treatment. As many as 30,000 women each year suffer emotional trauma severe enough to render them unable to work. And women who have had abortions are nine times more likely to commit suicide than those who haven’t. Over 200,000 women who have had abortions in America have joined post-abortion support groups such as Women Exploited by Abortion,… 45
No doubt, many Christians and even some pastors think abortion is OK. But here we see that abortion, like so many things in our society, is positively unhealthy.
REBELLIOUS PEOPLE, TALKERS AND DECEIVERS
For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. Titus 1:10
Through most of Paul’s ministry he was dogged by false Jewish believers. Because they claimed to be Christians, they were given easy access to the congregations. However, their beliefs were legalistic and had much resemblance to the Pharisees (cf. Acts 15:5). These people felt that the gospel was much too simple and that one had to come under the authority of the Jewish law in order to be saved. They also gave much credence to Jewish traditions, fables, genealogies and certain teachings of the Rabbis. One of the worst things about them was that they were not under authority and refused to acknowledge apostolic doctrine. 46 We can imagine how impressive their appearance, credentials and message might have been, since many of them probably came from Jerusalem. They no doubt discounted and scoffed at Paul’s authority and at his version of the gospel.
The pastor and commentator Warren Wiersbe advises here: “Beware of teachers who will not put themselves under authority.” 47 If we are wise and observant we will see that there are lines of authority everywhere and in all areas of life. There are lines of authority at home, at work, and in the community.48 The wise person will always look for these lines and submit to those in authority. This takes the steam out of the devil’s program because he was and is a rebel and he teaches others to be rebellious.
Let us look at some of the descriptive words Paul uses here. Not only were they rebellious and insubordinate (anypotaktos) but the false teachers were purveyors of empty and fruitless talk. 49 This word is mataiologoi and it means empty talkers. 50 It is very similar to the “meaningless talk” or “vain jangling” of 1 Timothy 1:6. Along with their Judaism, these empty talkers no doubt tried to impress people by throwing in a little Greek philosophical thought which was an early form of Gnosticism. Such Gnosticism with its mysticism is still very attractive to itching ears today.
“They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach— and that for the sake of dishonest gain” (1:11). The Texas Baptist professor Bob Utley mentions three areas of exploitation. They are money, sexual freedom and claim to unique and direct revelation. He says, “If your religious leaders want your money, your wife, and claim God told them — run!” 51
Paul says these false teachers must be silenced. The Greek word he uses here is epistomizo, and it means to “stop the mouth” or “to put something into the mouth, as a bit into a horse’s mouth.” 52 When he speaks of households being disrupted we need to remember that in the first century Christian assemblies met in private homes. Whole households spoken of could well mean whole churches. 53 Today we see the devil greatly attacking families and households. There is a reason for this strategy. William Barclay says, “Any teaching which tends to disrupt the family is false for the Christian church is built on the basis of the Christian family.” 54
Of course, one of the basic motivations of these false teachers was base gain. We see so many teachers today, especially on television, who seem to only be after the money.
CRETANS WERE INFAMOUS FOLKS
Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” Titus 1:12
The Cretans had a reputation and it was not a good one. Paul is quoting here from one of their own prophets by the name of Epimenides (659 BC). Interestingly, Paul sometimes quotes from other pagan prophets, philosophers and poets in the New Testament (cf. Acts 17:28). Their own prophet’s description of them here is not flattering.
All over the Mediterranean world they were considered liars and cheats. The Greeks had coined a couple of words based on these Cretan characteristics. Their words kretizo (lie or cheat) and kretismos (falsehood) were the result. 55 “As for being evil beasts or ‘dangerous animals’, Epimenides himself went further and joked that the absence of wild beasts on the island was supplied by its human inhabitants.” 56
“This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (1:13-14). When we hear Paul agreeing with Epimenides we want to say, “Wait Paul, you can’t say those kind of things about people!” Yet, Paul is only stating facts about the Cretans that were well known and accepted throughout the Mediterranean world. The writer Simpson thinks that Paul was speaking with a “twinkle in his eye” and that he had the Cretans on the horns of a dilemma. “If they endorsed their prophet’s statement, they condemned themselves; if they repudiated it, they made him the liar he said they were!” 57 Paul says that they were to be reproved sharply so that they could be “healthy” in the faith. The expression for rebuking sharply means “to cut off with a knife.” 58
We can now see why it was so important for Titus to appoint elders over all the churches. The people needed strict discipline if the churches were to survive. Despite the conditions on Crete, Paul knew that the gospel had power to change even the most vile and depraved.
Their ears had to be turned away from Jewish myths and commands. Possibly these were some of the very commands once condemned by Christ (cf. Mk. 7:2-8). The inexhaustible commentator, James Burton Coffman, remarks here saying that their purpose was “to subvert Christianity by amalgamating it with Judaism, and not a true Judaism at all, but having an inordinate stress upon the Pharisaical doodlings which were condemned by Jesus…The population of Crete had a predominantly Jewish element.” 59
We cannot help but compare the situation on Crete with our modern and postmodern proliferation of various sects and cults. Philip Towner, dean of the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society, compares the situation in Crete with the cults that are so prevalent today. He notes the religious lies spun by the cult leaders in order to draw people to themselves. The cult’s leader and the ruling elite draw away people to gratify themselves and they prey on the ignorance of their followers.60
GAINING A PURE MIND
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15
Paul has already said in 1Timothy 4:4-5, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” Long ago Chrysostom said, “Things then are not clean or unclean from their own nature but from the disposition of him who partakes of them.” 61 The simple truth, overlooked by these Judaizers, is that Jesus made all foods “kosher.” We see this in Mark 7:19 and we see it reflected in Rom. 14:14. It is no longer a matter of what enters into us but of what comes out of us (particularly from our mouths) that renders us unclean (cf. Matt. 15:18-20).
Some have taken this verse and distorted it for their own selfish and sinful purposes. The “all things” here cannot mean sinful things. David Guzik, pastor and web commentator, is sure Paul would never include such sinful things as pornography and illicit drugs, and call them pure. 62 If our hearts are pure there is really not anything on earth that can defile us. And we remember that God looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good” (1:16). They claim to know God but their knowledge is not a full-knowledge as is shown by their works. They are in fact detestable before God. The word for “detestable” is bdeluktoi and it means abominable and to be abhorred. 63
The other word used here for “unfit” is adokimos. Interestingly, it is used in Greek to describe a counterfeit coin, a stone with a flaw, a cowardly soldier or a rejected candidate for office. 64 Paul was saying by all this that the false teachers were pretty useless and worthless.
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1
Here Titus is challenged to be a true teacher in the face of all the false teachers that were on the Isle of Crete. Once more, Titus is challenged to teach “sound doctrine.” The word is hygiainouses, from the verb hygiaino. This word means “to be healthy.” 1 We have already encountered this concept in 1:9 & 13. Also, we have previously dealt with it in 1Timothy 1:10; 6:3 and 2 Timothy 1:13 & 4:3. As we can see, “healthy doctrine” is a pretty standard teaching in the Pastorals. It is also a pretty important teaching.
Healthy teaching is contrasted to “sick teaching” presented by the false teachers. Their theology was maimed and diseased. It had bits and pieces missing. So it was not sound or healthy. 2 The famous English pastor F.B. Meyer says here, “The supreme test of all Christian teaching and Christian work depends on whether they produce healthy characters, which are not contaminated by the noisome and germ-laden atmosphere around.” 3
“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (2:2). First of all Paul wishes to instruct the older men that they will be sound in the faith. They should rightfully be the examples for everyone else.
Paul’s use of “older men” here can be a bit confusing since he uses the same word (presbutas) that he earlier used for “elders” (Tit. 1:5 and 1 Tim. 5:1,17). The context here, and following, requires a different translation. He is most likely referring to seniors, to men over the age of 60. 4 He is not speaking of elders or other church leaders.
The aged men should be examples to the younger. Old men have “been there and done that,” so to speak. They should have learned through the “school of hard knocks” that the devil’s clever ideas do not work. As the British commentator Peter Pett says, “They should have learned that the pleasures of self-indulgence cost far more than they are worth… a man recognizes, the closer that he gets to eternity, the more he must live in the light of it.” 5
Unfortunately, it does not always work that way. We have come to a time when grey hair does not necessarily speak of wisdom. Old age sometimes hardens people, makes them irritable and set in their ways, even in their evil ways. Long ago Seneca said: “A young man addicted to a life of luxury transgresses; an old man thus addicted runs mad.” 6 I well remember as a youth hearing some of our small town’s elders say some dangerous and provocative things. They were all sitting on a bench loafing in front of one of the merchandise stores as some girls passed by. The elders of our town then began to chide all of us boys urging us to hurry and commit fornication with the girls. Like the saying goes, “There is no fool like an old fool.”
Let us look quickly at some of the characteristics that should be displayed by elderly men. They should be temperate or sober (nephalios), abstaining from much wine. They should be worthy of respect, grave, venerable and reverent (semnos). In addition they should be self-controlled, curbing their desires and impulses (sophron). They should be men of faith. Here “faith” has an article before it and thus has the meaning “the faith.” This indicates the whole body of Christian doctrine. Once more the participle “healthy” (hugiaino) is added to faith as we have seen earlier. Along with faith they must have love. With Christian love there must be endurance (hupomeno). This conveys the idea of “remaining under” all the trials and afflictions that come our way as we seek to serve God.7
THE OLDER WOMEN
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good” (2:3).
Now Paul deals with the senior women. Once more, he is not dealing with church officers but only with the elderly. His use of the word “likewise” probably indicates the closeness of comparison with what he has said about the elderly men. 8
Let us look at Paul’s instructions to the women. They should first of all have a reverent demeanor. The idea is a holy demeanor or bearing (hieroprepes). The older woman’s bearing should be like that of a holy priest or priest(ess). 9 Perhaps the ancient church father Clement of Alexandria (c.150 – c. 215) had it right in saying: “The Christian must live as if all life was a sacred assembly.” 10
Women are cautioned not to be slanderers (diabolous). We have met this word before in the Pastorals and we need to remember that it is the word for devil. Those who slander others are doing the devil’s own work and there is no faster way to destroy a church than this. We remember that the Law commanded against this, saying: “Do not go about spreading slander among your people…” (Lev. 19:16). Calvin once remarked about this sin adding: “Old women, by their slanderous talkativeness, as by a lighted torch, frequently set on fire many houses.” 11 Of course, it is much better to say good things than to repeat slander. I remember hearing the story of a woman who always had something good to say regardless of the person or the situation. Someone asked her if she could say anything good about the devil. She paused and then said, “Well, he is a hard worker.”
The general idea behind Paul’s teaching here is that the godly woman should stay home and care for her household and children. We need to remember that in the Greek culture the respectable woman lived a totally secluded life. She was confined to her quarters and was not even able to have meals with the menfolk in the family.12 We can understand how women liberated by the gospel could easily bring disgrace and become stumbling blocks for others in such a culture.
The apostle goes on to say that a noble woman should not be addicted to much wine. The Greek word for addicted is douloo and it signifies bondage or slavery to drink. 13
Based upon what we have already said about the culture on Crete, we can understand how wine and alcoholism could become a very big problem for both men and women. Rather than ruining her life with alcohol and being a poor example, the godly woman was to be a teacher of good things.
“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (2:4-5). Since the older woman was to be a teacher of good things there was plenty of work to do and no excuse to be idle. It was, and still is today a very natural thing for older women to teach the younger women. By their teaching and holy examples they can save much trouble and heartbreak to the younger women. Guzik advises here, “If there was a young women’s Bible Study group, Titus shouldn’t teach it. The older women should.” 14 The pastor should be very careful in teaching younger women. Many pastors have lost their ministry by such unnecessary exposure.
We should pause and think how much of a tragedy it is in this postmodern era that in so many churches— even mega-churches, there are so few older people around to advise and help the young. It is always great to have young people and even small children in church, but it is sad and alarming when the older Christians disappear.
We see here that the older women are to train the younger women to love their husbands. Today in our long-extended “me generation” we sorely need this kind of instruction. Our society has grilled into the youth that “it is all about them.” However, this is not Bible and this is not reality. It is really “all about the family,” or “all about the husband and the children.” Young women need gentle and patient instruction in order to break free from the utter selfishness of this age and to begin living and sacrificing for others. Today the Christian divorce rate is just as high or even slightly higher than the pagan rate.15 This tells us that there is something dreadfully wrong with church teaching. What a blessing the instruction of wise older women could be in this very needy hour.
Older women are to teach the young women to love their husbands and their children. Interestingly, this is something that can be taught. Just think how we are missing out on this in the postmodern church! Today, not only are husbands spurned and demeaned because of the utter mythology of feminist teaching, but children are also spurned. Today we are deluged with sad stories of how a mother drowns her children in the bathtub or how she leaves them in the car to suffocate while she goes shopping. Much of this could be avoided with the gospel and with proper teaching of it. Robertson remarks here, “This exhortation is still needed where some married women prefer poodle-dogs to children.” 16 Plutarch once spoke of a Spartan woman, that when her neighbors were showing their jewels, she brought out her children, who were virtuous and well taught. She said to the neighbors, “These are my ornaments and jewels.” 17
We see that the younger women should be taught to be self-controlled and pure. The first word sophronos is one we have seen on several occasions in the Pastorals. It means to act discreetly and with sound mind. 18 Young women are to be taught not to be busybodies but to be busy at home. Bob Utley reminds us again here: “The characterization of young women as obedient homemakers was the expected social norm of the first century Mediterranean culture (cf. 1 Tim. 2:10).” 19
Young women must be taught kindness. As Proverbs 31:26 (NKJ) says: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Last of all young women should be taught to be subject to their husbands. Because of several decades of feminist teaching, women have been taught to demean and even despise their husbands. Here are just a few statements from radical feminists teachers which have brought on our present problem. These statements are taken from the author David Kupelian, in his book, The Marketing of Evil: Gloria Steinem says; “We have to abolish and reform the institution of marriage…” Vivian Gornick; “Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession…” Germaine Greer; “If women are to effect a significant amelioration in their condition it seems obvious that they must refuse to marry.” Andrea Dworkin; “Like prostitution, marriage is an institution that is extremely oppressive and dangerous for women.” Jill Johnson; “Until all women are lesbians, there will be no true political revolution.” 20
The safe, blessed and biblical place for any married woman to be is in submission to her husband. The Lutheran commentator, Paul Kretzmann, says here: “Women that have a Christian husband know that this acknowledging of the headship of the man does not interfere with their own dignity, but elevates them all the more in the eyes of God and of their own husbands.” 21 In truth, it elevates them in the eyes of the church and the eyes of most thinking people.
THE YOUNG MEN
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. Titus 2:6
The word “similarly” or “likewise” tells us once more that there is very little difference in the instruction given to men, women, young women and young men. Indeed, some of the very same Greek words are repeated throughout this chapter.
It should be noticed that the young men are strongly urged to gain self-control or self- mastery. Especially for young men, the period of one’s youth is a time when hormones are raging. It is a difficult time of temptation and it presents great opportunity for one to make a mess of things. Young men especially need that common sense or prudence that will keep life safe. 22 They must hold high the Christian standard of chastity and bridle their intense lusts.
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (2:7-8). To the young men and to everyone else in church, Titus must show himself as a pattern, model and example (tupos) of good.
Titus was instructed to show integrity, seriousness and soundness in his teaching. The word for integrity (aphthoria) has the literal meaning of “uncorruptness.” 23 Titus is to be without any corrupting mixture in his teaching, theology or way of life. His teaching especially is to be sound, pure and full of integrity. Barclay says, “The greatest compliment that can be paid a teacher is to say of him: ‘First he wrought, and then he taught.’” 24
His speech is to be “healthy.” Once more Paul speaks of healthy doctrine as we have seen so often in the Pastorals. Today a lot of speech and even preaching is sickening. It gives people wrong ideas about God, life and reality. We can see from the Bible that our speech can kill or make alive. In Proverbs 18:21 we read, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The true Christian life is to be rich in good words and deeds so that it is impossible for the enemies of God to condemn. They may persecute serious Christians but they will find no reason to condemn them. On one occasion Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin and questioned about their beliefs and about a prominent healing of a crippled beggar. The elders wanted to punish them, “But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say” (Acts 4:14).
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, Titus 2:9
Slavery was a vast social problem in the Roman Empire. The estimates of slaves in the Empire vary wildly. Barclay puts the figure at about 60 million.25 Other estimates guess the slave population of Italy alone at about 30-40 percent of the total as the New Testament period dawned. 26 Slaves were everywhere and there were many slaves in the new Christian church. This presented some serious problems for leadership and the proper formulation of doctrine.
Many slaves lived grueling lives and were consigned to the most difficult of manual labor. However, other slaves were educated and sometimes held important positions like that of doctor, or finance manager for their owner. In the church, slaves and masters worshipped together. It was even possible that the slave might become an elder and be in a position above his master. 27 We can thus see how conflicts could easily arise.
Paul says that the slave had to be subject to his master and try to please him without a lot of backtalk. Christianity would eventually put an end to slavery but that end would come centuries downstream in history. For the church to try to put an end to slavery in the first century would have been disastrous and would have caused immense problems for Christianity. It was unthinkable. Paul was not out to destroy the Roman culture but to bring it to salvation.
In Ephesians 6:5-6, Paul issues similar instructions as he gives here: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.” We might remember that Paul gave Timothy instructions about slaves. In 1Timothy 6:1 he said: “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.”
While most slaves served in pagan households, some were fortunate enough to have Christians for their masters. They had to take special care not to abuse their position but to serve their Christian masters wholeheartedly just as they would serve Christ.
Slaves were taught by Paul to be faithful to their masters, “…and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (2:10). The early British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke says of stealing, “This type of offence was so common in the ancient world that sometimes the words ‘servant’ and ‘thief’ were used interchangeably.” 28 A servant was almost expected to pilfer or purloin (nosphizo) his master’s goods. Of course, if a slave was in charge of his master’s financial affairs, the losses could be substantial. Interestingly, this same Greek word (nosphizo) is used in reference to Ananias and Sapphira who stole from the Lord in Acts 5:2-3.
The apostle says that by their submission and honesty the slaves, even in their low position, could make the gospel attractive to others. The Greek word he uses here for making attractive is kosmeo. This word spoke of an arrangement of jewels in such a manner as to bring out their full beauty.29 This is not so far-fetched as we see in Malachi 3:17 (NKJ): “They shall be Mine, ‘says the LORD of hosts,’ On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
The whole subject of slavery may sound really outdated to us in our postmodern world. However, the principle Paul mentions is readily applicable today for all of us who labor in positions of trust with our employers. According to the US Chamber of Commerce 75 percent of employees steal from their employers and do so repeatedly. The Chamber also notes that 30 percent of corporate bankruptcies result from employee theft.30 No doubt, some of this employee theft is carried out by people who call themselves “Christians.” It is certainly not a good advertisement for the church, and neither does it crown the gospel and make it attractive to employers and others.
THE GRACE OF GOD HAS BEEN REVEALED
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Titus 2:11
This is a majestic verse with an amazingly wide scope. It tells us of the advent of Christ as he appeared (epephanē) to the world long ago in Bethlehem. He came not because we deserved his coming, for we were all sinners. He came purely by the grace of God. God simply had grace and mercy upon us all and he sent the deliverer, his divine Son.
In the ancient Greek world grace (charis) always spoke of a favor freely done to another without any claim or expectation of return. Such grace was always conferred upon a friend. 31 What a blessed change with the gospel message! We now see the grace of God conferred upon his enemies. We should not forget that salvation is solely by the grace of God and it is not dependent upon anything we humans can do.
We note here the astonishing universality of God’s grace and salvation. He has appeared to all people, for in a very real sense he offered his saving grace to all people everywhere. The aged Simeon, when he beheld the Christ child exclaimed: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people…” (Lk. 2:29-31).
It is almost incredible to think that the salvation offered, the preaching of Christ, was hidden and kept secret since before the world began. Now in these last days it is clearly revealed to us that we all might be saved from our sins (Heb. 1:2).
“It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” (2:12). Here we learn that the advent, epiphany or incarnation of Christ teaches us. What does it teach us? Calvin answered this saying: “The manifestation of the grace of God unavoidably carries along with it exhortations to a holy life.” 32 If there really is a God and if he is a righteous and holy God as the Bible says— if he has really sent his holy Son to this earth to die on a cross for our redemption as the Bible says—then, we suddenly have a tremendous responsibility to believe the gospel and begin living as holy and redeemed children of God (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2). The advent changes everything. We are really living on a visited planet.
We should note that we are living in a time period known as “this present age.” Jewish people spoke in the past and still do, of the present age (ha-olam ha-zeh) and the age to come (ha-olam ha-bah). We see these descriptions in the New Testament. Here the Greek words nun aioni translate “now age.” We see these two ages contrasted in Luke 18:30 and in Ephesians 1:21. Today we all live in what the Bible calls “the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4). It is an age that is greatly influenced by the devil. Kenneth Wuest, the Greek scholar, says of it, “Christians live in this atmosphere. We breathe it. It confronts us wherever we go. It seeks our destruction. It is pernicious. It surrounds us like the air we breathe.” 33 Long ago the church father Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395) remarked: “Who does not know that the deceit of demons filled every corner of the world and held sway over human life by the madness of idolatry?” 34
In the next verse, Paul will begin speaking of the age to come. This coming age will be controlled solely by God and by his Son, Jesus Christ. The longer we live on this earth the more we long for the age to come. Our fervent and continuing prayer is “come Lord Jesus!”
Our sojourn here is spent in anticipation, “while we wait for the blessed hope— the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…” (2:13). Here we have the hope of the church, that the one who appeared in the flesh as the Christ and as the servant and “man of sorrows,” will appear once more in total victory as Savior. Stott says, “He appeared in grace; he will reappear in glory. In fact, this future epiphany of glory is the supreme object our Christian hope.” 35
Those disciples who watched Jesus ascend into heaven from the Mount of Olives were told by the angels, “…This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Although there are many who do not agree with this today, the Bible teaches two epiphanies (not three). Jesus the Son of God came to this earth once as a babe in Bethlehem. This same Jesus will come again as King of the whole universe and as judge of the wicked. At his second epiphany all his enemies will be destroyed. The ancient church father Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 313 – 386) stated this truth long ago saying: “For Paul has also shown us that there are these two comings, in his epistle to Titus…So our Lord Jesus Christ comes from heaven and comes with glory at the last day to bring this world to its close.” 36 Guzik remarks here, “he came the first time and stood before Pilate; he will come a second time and Pilate will stand before him.” 37
The expression, “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” has drawn a lot of comment from the scholars. Stott says, “…this is perhaps the most unambiguous declaration in the New Testament of the deity of Jesus…First, there is no definite article before the noun ‘Savior,’ which suggests that the one article covers both nouns. In Greek, ‘nouns linked together by one article designate the same subject…Secondly, the majority of the ancient Greek fathers understood the phrase in this way.” 38
The Baptist evangelist and mission pastor Robert Neighbour summarizes this verse well:
The Lord’s return is the hope of the church. There are some persons who imagine that the church will convert the world, but that is absolutely contrary to God’s word. According to the Bible the church is ever to be a suffering minority, a people called out from among the nations with but one hope set before it, and that, the hope of Christ’s return. Increasing darkness, moral disillusion, civic and social collapse, the rumors of wars, and distress of nations never upset the peace of the church which knows the fact of the Blessed Hope. 39
Paul continues, speaking of the Great God, “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (2:14). Jesus came to the earth to save us sinners and redeem us from all our wickedness. The word for “redeem” is the Greek “lutroō.” It means “to set free by the payment of ransom” (cf. 1 Pet 1:18). 40 In an exchange which we could never understand fully, Jesus died on the cross to save us. He did so by exchanging himself and his blood for our salvation, by making our necessary offering. He, in a very real sense, became the ransom for our souls as Mark 10:45 tells us: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He did not save us so we could strut around and be proud, thinking that we are something great. He saved us for his own purposes that we could do his good will. Because of Adam’s fall our whole race was doomed to sin and we were not capable of doing anything good. Now, with the salvation of Christ, doing good and pleasing God is again possible. We are once more a chosen people, a holy people and a special treasure to God. (cf. Deut. 7:6). The 20th century British New Testament scholar, Donald Guthrie, says here, “The Greek words underlying the translation a people that are his very own (laos periousios) first occur in Exodus 19:5, and mean ‘a peculiar treasure.’” 41
“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you” (2:15). There can be no doubt that the Cretans were a real challenge to young Titus. Apparently, he was up to the task. With sound and healthy doctrine Titus taught, encouraged and rebuked when necessary. Not only did he represent the authority of the apostle Paul, but in a real sense, all authority in heaven and earth was given him through the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18).
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, Titus 3:1
Successful teachers repeat things in order to make sure their students really get the message. Someone has called it the Holy Grail of teaching. You “Tell them what you are going to tell them; you tell them; and then you tell them what you have told them.” Certainly, Paul often reminded people of what he had told them previously.
In the past, Paul told people how important it was to submit to rulers and authorities. Half of the 13th chapter of Romans is taken up with this instruction. It is a good chapter to go back and review. There, he tells us that all authorities are established by God and that if we resist authorities we are resisting and rebelling against God. Authorities are established by God to protect us and to bring swift punishment upon the wicked. For these reasons we are to respect the authorities, cooperate with them, and pay taxes to them.
Peter gives similar advice saying: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:13-15). It is amazing that both Paul and Peter would give such advice, considering that evil Nero was then emperor of Rome (AD 54-68). Both these men advised submission to Nero, although he later would take the lives of both men before his grisly reign came to an end by his suicide.
Early Christians took this advice seriously. The early church writer Mathetes in his Epistle to Diognetus (c.125-200) says of believers, “Christians obey the prescribed laws. In fact, they actually surpass the laws by their lives.” 1 The Latin fatherTertullian (c. 197) said: “We offer prayer for the safety of our rulers to the eternal, true and living God…We offer prayer without ceasing for all of our emperors. We pray for their prolonged lives and for security to the empire. We pray for protection of the imperial house, for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, and a world at peace.” 2
We might wonder if we today are so prone to pray for our leaders, especially the bad ones. We must understand that it is not Satan who has appointed the rulers of this world, but God. After all, God says, “By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just…” (Pro. 8:15). So we Christians live in the nations, we cooperate with the government and pray for our particular nations although in the truest sense we are not really a part of them. We live in the world, even the present evil age, but we are not a part of that either. Towner says, “Biblical Christians are by definition in a predicament. Christians must live in this world, but they are not of this world (Jn. 17:14-18).” 3 We have a dual citizenship but our most important citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). This of course does not mean we can neglect the responsibilities of earth.
While the Christian must be subject to the government, there is a point where the Christian must object and even resist. That is the point where the government oversteps its authority and ventures into the area of religion and worship (Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29). In early times Christians refused to make sacrifice or give worship to the Emperor, who had declared himself to be god.
Paul’s instruction to Titus, and indirectly to the church, concerning submission to governments must have been really needed at the time. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (between 60-30 BC) charges the Cretans with riotous insubordination. 4 Crete had been subjugated by Rome in 67 BC, but they were continually chafing under Rome’s yoke. 5
Paul’s additional advice to the Cretans was, “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men” (3:2). We have previously spoken of slander (blasphēmein) and how the word can mean to slander both God and men. There are several good qualities mentioned here, most of which we have noted before. There is amachous (being uncontentious); there is epieikes (showing gentleness or graciousness) and there is prautes (gentleness, humility, courtesy, or consideration). 6
WHAT WE WERE BEFORE CHRIST (BC)
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. Titus 3:3
We have discussed this before, but there is a great move on among the thinkers of this present evil age to try and idealize pagan life. Even the twentieth century Nazi movement was in many ways a wide-scale return to paganism. Of course, witchcraft, the occult and the New Age Movement are also a shift in this direction. The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) led the way in this type thinking as he spoke of the “noble savage.” Other philosophers, poets and painters followed as they presented the supposed wonderful life of savages before they were corrupted by Christianity and biblical morality. This was all pure make-believe and mythology.
The pagan life was horrible as it is presented in this verse. We can learn more about it in Romans 1:18-32. It was a foolish life style. People were totally enslaved to evil passions. Likely because of these unbridled passions they ended up hating each other. This was unhealthy doctrine at its worst. Sex abuse, homosexuality, prostitution and lesbianism were accepted as popular ways of worship. Just imagine, young girls were often required to spend a night in the pagan temple as they offered themselves to the pagan gods (and no doubt to other rascals who came along in the night). All this type of activity certainly did not make for good relationships among neighbors.
This verse points out that humanity is deceived. The Greek word used here is planōmenoi and it is the picture of a false guide leading people astray. 7 This is certainly an accurate picture since, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). The word for pleasures in verse 3 is hēdonais. It is from this word that we get the English term “hedonism.” 8
The Bible assures us that we are all sinners and because of that we are condemned to an eternal death (Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23). All our supposed righteousness is like a pile of filthy rags before God (Isa. 64:6). We all need to get the blinders off and look to Jesus and his cleansing blood. That is the only thing that will really help us and deliver us from this present evil age of neo-paganism.
THE WORK OF OUR GRACIOUS SAVIOR
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-5
We have something really astounding here. We are told that the Creator and God of the whole universe loves each one of us. The word is philanthropia, and yes, it is from this word that we get philanthropy. 9 This is really something difficult for other world religions and for the neo-pagans of our day – that there is a God who loves us. What a revolutionary message! He came to earth and lived here in the flesh some 33 years all because he loved us. He then died on a cross for our redemption. This is the glorious gospel of Christianity. This love, kindness and goodness of God should logically lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Unfortunately, because of Satan’s activity it often leads people to distrust God and even despise him.
God decided to save us sinners simply because of his goodness, mercy and grace. It was not because of the “good” things we had done but solely by grace. This is the part of the gospel that chokes so many today. Someone has said that it is a lot easier to give up our sin than it is to give up our supposed righteousness. It is ingrained deeply in human nature to want to do something to earn God’s mercy and salvation. Thus, we have people crawling on their bloody knees to some shrine, mistreating their bodies— even trying to crucify themselves in order to somehow earn God’s favor. Also, people try their best to keep God’s laws in order to impress him and supposedly earn favor. Yet, the Bible says that those who try to live under his law by their own strength are under a curse from God (Gal. 3:10).
Well, none of this will do. There is not a blessed thing we can do to earn God’s favor and his salvation. It is a gift from God solely because of his love and mercy. Can we believe and accept this? If we can, then we can be saved.
Now Paul gets into the manner of how God saves us. Over the centuries this part of verse 5 has almost driven some commentators mad. It definitely has been the source of endless debate. Paul says, “…He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…”We need to first look at the Greek words used here. The word “washing” is loutron and it presents the idea of bathing or complete ablution. The word for “regeneration” is palinggenesia, and it means a recovery, restoration or revival.” 10
The question that confronts us here is that of baptismal regeneration. In other words, does baptism have some part in saving us? If it does, it immediately disputes the earlier part of verse 5 where Paul says that salvation is not because of our righteous acts. Baptism, of course, would qualify as a righteous act. Even some early Christian church fathers had trouble with baptism. Irenaeus (c.180) speaks of “…that regeneration that takes place by means of the bath.” 11 Cyprian (c. 250) said, “From [baptism] springs the whole origin of faith, the saving access to the hope of life eternal…In the bath of saving water, the fire of Gehenna is extinguished…In the baptism of water, there is received the remission
of sins.” 12
So today, some people and some groups believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, most Christian denominations do not believe in baptismal regeneration. This is precisely the quandary theologians face as they look at this section.
How will we understand this difficult passage? There are several verses of scripture that seem to link baptism with the saving process (cf. Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16; & Jn. 3:5). Then, there are several other scriptures making plain that it is faith and grace alone that saves and not any outward work of righteousness (cf. Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:9). We are left with a tension, as in the case with several other difficult doctrines of the Bible.
It seems that baptism, although extremely important, is more of a sign or symbol of our salvation rather than being an integral part of it. All through the scripture, God is dealing with our flesh, including fleshly works, fleshly living, fleshly thoughts, and fleshly plans. The scripture says plainly, “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…” (1 Cor. 15:50). In the Old Testament, circumcision was a sign and symbol that the flesh was cut off. Men were no longer to reproduce according to the flesh. It is made clear in the Bible that circumcision was a “sign” (Gen. 17:11; Rom. 4:11) of the spiritual work done in a life. It is also made clear that Abraham was justified by faith long before he received this sign of circumcision in his body (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6).
In the Bible, crucifixion, circumcision and baptism all have to do with cutting off the flesh, getting rid of it or even burying it. Romans 6:3-7 presents baptism as a symbol of our dying to the flesh or to sin and being raised to new life. Clearly, baptism is a symbol of our dying with Christ and our resurrection with him. In Colossians 2:11-12, we see that circumcision and baptism are obviously connected. The early American Presbyterian commentator Albert Barnes says it well, “…baptism is the emblem or symbol of regeneration…” 13 Adam Clarke says, “Baptism is only a sign, and therefore should never be separated from the thing signified.” 14
Now, there are some serious things we need to say about this symbol. In Israel, if a person refuses to be circumcised and receive this sign in his flesh, that person is no longer considered to be a part of Israel. In a very real sense, if a person refuses to be baptized, that person is probably no longer considered as a Christian. As we can see, the sign or symbol is of great importance for us. When we come to Christ we should be baptized immediately.
Once we are saved and baptized we can begin to do the good works God speaks of. Sometimes get it all backwards and try to do good works first. Guzik sums it up well saying, “the sinner’s prayer does not save. Baptism does not save. Church attendance does not save. Giving does not save. Reading the Bible does not save. …God is always the initiator, and we receive from him before we give anything back….” 15 Today it is very unfortunate that there are millions and millions of baptized people who have never entered into a saving relationship with Jesus. How sad and tragic it is!
Paul now speaks of the Holy Spirit, “whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (3:6-7). Here Paul introduces the blessed doctrine of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was about to leave this earth he promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to us to help us: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (Jn. 14:16-17). In John 14:18 he says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
So the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and Helper as we live on this earth. The Holy Spirit is God living in each of us. What a wonderful thought! Once again God is incarnate, but this time he is incarnate in each believer. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit first came to the church on the Day of Pentecost. However, each believer is expected to be individually filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul says “…be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:18-20) Clearly, there is a miraculous element involved with the Spirit’s infilling. In fact, it elevates us into a truly miraculous realm of living.
Obviously, the church has not made use of this wonderful gift. Many Christians feel that the Holy Spirit filling was only something for the first century. God clearly says in these passages mentioned that the Holy Spirit will never be taken away from the church. This verse makes plain that the Holy Spirit is now “poured out richly” (plousiōs) on us. 16
Not only do we have the Holy Spirit poured out generously and richly upon us but our Savior Jesus has now justified those who trust in him (Rom. 5:1; 8:30). Justification means to absolve, to vindicate, or to set right. It is a judicial act of God based upon Christ’s completed work. It is his divine declaration of “not guilty” expressed toward sinners. So we can see that justification is the very opposite of condemnation. While it does not ignore God’s righteous requirements, it nevertheless declares that these requirements are all fully met in Jesus. It is important to note that this act of God does not make people righteous but it declares them righteous, based upon the complete righteousness of Christ. The business of making people righteous is reflected in a second great biblical doctrine, that of sanctification. This second doctrine speaks of the drastic change in character accompanying those who have been justified.
Justification is thus a forensic term from the law courts. Dr. J.I. Packer says: “Justification is decisive for eternity, being in effect the judgment of the last day brought forward.” 17 While there may be a great degree of difference in the level of sanctification in individual Christian lives, it is clear that one Christian cannot be “more justified” than another. We are all justified the same by one act of God’s grace.
Through God’s great saving and justifying work and through his Holy Spirit we have now become heirs in God’s kingdom. Paul revels in this saying, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Rom. 8:17). Just imagine! We are co-heirs of the vast universe, heavens and earth with Christ. What a wonderful salvation and eternal life Christ has procured for us!
RESULTS OF GOD’S SALVATION
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:8
Now that we know God’s justification and salvation, and only now, can we begin to do good works for him through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. It is no longer us working but God working in us. As the scripture says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13). We must take care not to get the “cart before the horse” in this matter of good works.
We see from Paul’s emphasis here that good works are of utmost importance for Christians. Since the Reformation, this aspect of Christianity has probably not been emphasized enough. Paul says we must be careful to devote ourselves to this. Barclay says of the word practice or devote: “The word we have translated to practice fine deeds is proistasthai …which literally means to stand in front of and was the word used for a shopkeeper standing in front of his shop crying his wares.” 18 We are to be urgent about this. After all, “The only evidence the unsaved world has that we belong to God is our godly lives. ‘Good Works’ do not necessarily mean religious works or church work…Babysitting to relieve a harassed young mother is just as much a spiritual work as passing out a gospel tract.” 19 Several commentators have pointed out, that the teaching of maintaining good works is a major topic of the Pastoral Epistles. 20
CONTROVERSIES, ARGUMENTS AND QUARRELS
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9
Stott says here, “Paul concludes his letter with a cluster of miscellaneous messages. What unites them is that they are all requests or instructions to Titus to do something.” 21 He is first to avoid foolish controversies, arguments and so forth. We should note that it is foolish controversies he should avoid. There are definitely some controversies about the faith that he should not avoid but deal with promptly and sternly.
We see here that the controversies in the time of Titus involved genealogies. This tips us off that there were Jewish elements in these arguments. So we see here that the problem on Crete was not that much different than the problem Timothy faced at Ephesus (cf. 1 Tim. 1:4, 7; 6:4, 20; 2 Tim. 2:16, 23). Again it was some mixture of legalistic Judaism plus a sprinkling of early Gnosticism.
Titus is to avoid such foolish arguments. The word used for “avoid” is peristemi, which has the idea of turning oneself around and facing the other way. 22 Titus was literally to give such arguments the “cold shoulder.”
“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him” (3:10). The word used here for divisive person is hairetikos. It is the Greek word from which we get “heretic.” It is noteworthy that the original meaning of the word applied to one who takes sides or chooses for himself. 23 In later times it began to describe those who held false doctrines. We see that we are to deal carefully with divisive people and warn them a couple of times before we turn from them (cf. Matt. 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1; 2 Thess. 3:15; Jam. 5:19-20).
We should understand that the fellowship of the church is a serious thing to God. We must always be cautious in breaking that fellowship, even in times when we might be offended by teaching or actions from the church or its leadership.
“You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (3:11). Warren Wiersbe says, “I have learned that professed Christians who like to argue about the Bible are usually covering up some sin in their lives, are very insecure, and are usually unhappy at work or at home…” 24 Some people are experts at laying down a “smoke screen” or a “rabbit trail” that will throw the pastor and others off about the real problems in their lives. The wise pastor will not be deceived about such things. We no doubt remember the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:4-26, 39-42). When Jesus began to talk to her about her soul she asked him if she should worship in Samaria or Jerusalem. This was a rabbit trail to keep him away from her messed-up life. Jesus would have none of it. He told her to go call her husband. Of course, she had been with five husbands and the one she was presently with was not her husband. Although Jesus taught her many deep things he refused to be sidetracked from her sinful life. That was likely her main problem and Jesus was able to deal with it and make a drastic change in her life.
FINAL INSTRUCTIONS AND REMARKS
As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. Titus 3:12
Paul is about to dispatch either Artemas or Tychicus to Crete. We know nothing else about Artemas, but Tychicus is a very familiar name and faithful helper of Paul (cf. Acts 20:4; Col. 4:7; Eph. 6:21; 2 Tim. 4:12). Apparently, it was eventually Artemas who replaced Titus on Crete, because we see Tychicus later replacing Timothy in Ephesus as 2 Timothy 4:12 notes. 25
Paul was planning to establish his winter quarters at Nicopolis. Nicopolis has the meaning of “victory city.” It was established by Octavian in 28 BC to mark his victory in the famous battle of Actium. The city had a busy port and was an easy connection between the eastern and western sections of the Mediterranean. Se see here that in the winter months ahead when sea travel was impossible Paul would still be busy consulting with his apostolic legates and making plans for work in the spring. This is of note since Paul probably had at this point only a few months to live.
“Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need” (3:13). Commentators have wondered whether these two men were already on Crete or whether they were being sent in that direction. It seems from the text that they were already there and were contemplating travel to other parts. We know nothing else from the Bible about Zenas. He is said to be a lawyer, but this was likely not in the secular sense. Wuest says, “it seems best to assume that Zenas was a nomikos (lawyer) in the usual New Testament sense, an expert in the Mosaic law.” 26
Apollos we know from several New Testament references. He first appeared in Ephesus and because of his thorough knowledge of the Bible he confounded the Jews (Acts 18:28). However, he knew only the baptism of John. It was faithful Priscilla and Aquila who took him aside and instructed him thoroughly in the gospel (Acts 18:24-26). He then became a very powerful worker for the Lord (1 Cor. 3:6; Acts 18:27-28).
Paul instructs that these faithful workers be helped. It was customary for the Lord’s workers to be supported by the churches rather than by the Gentiles (3 Jn. 1:7). Chrysostom remarks here: “Paul urges that they not wait for those who are needy to come to them but that they seek out those who need assistance.” 27
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives” (3:14). David Lipscomb points out that there have been eight reminders in the Pastorals, urging us to be zealous in good works (cf. Tim.2:10, 5:10, 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit. 1:16, 2:7, 14). He remarks how the exhortations to do good work for Christ stand as some of the last inspired utterances of the apostle. 28 Good works must truly be something important for us. Some commentators are not sure whether Paul is speaking about engaging in honorable professions or simply doing good Christian works. Perhaps the two go together.
“Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all” (3:15). We are reminded once more that Christianity is a body, a fellowship, a community of brothers and sisters. Paul was never alone in his ministry but was constantly surrounded by a band of brothers who were also pouring out their lives to take the precious gospel out to the Gentiles.
Several sources I have cited here are from the electronic media, either from websites or from electronic research libraries. Thus in some of these sources it is not possible to cite page numbers. Instead I have cited the verse or verses in each chapter of Titus (e.g. verse v. 2:1 or vs. 3:1-2) about which the commentators speak.
2. Bob Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey: 1Timothy, Titus & 2 Timothy, Intro. http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/new_testament_studies/VOL09/VOL09_08.html.
Warren Wiersbe adds: “One group of false teachers was trying to mix Jewish law with the gospel of grace (Tit. 1:10, 14), while some of the Gentile believers were abusing the message of grace and turning it into license (Tit. 2:11-15). Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 788.
3. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), p. 788.
4. John Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996), p. 167.
1. John Dummelow, John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible, 1909, vs. 1:1-6. http://www.studylight.org/com/dcb/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
2. Kenneth S. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1952), p. 181.
3. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:1.
4. Dennis McCallum, ed., The Death of Truth (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1996), p. 31.
5. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 30.
6. Ibid., p. 31.
7. Christianity Today, October 26, 1992, p. 30.
8. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 169.
9. Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry Complete Commentary, 1706, v. 1:2. http://www.studylight.org/com/mhm/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
Bob Utley adds here: “This sense of election is expressed well in Acts 13:48. The church is the elect of God (cf. Rom. 8:32; Col. 3:12; 2 Tim. 2:10). The church was not a new entity, but an extension of the OT people of God” (Utley, 1:1).
10. Philip H. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), v. 1:2. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ivp-nt/Titus.
11. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 182.
13. David Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, 1997-2003, v. 1:3. http://www.studylight.org/com/guz/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
14. A.T. Robertson, Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, 1932-33, v. 1:4. http://www.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
16. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:4.
17. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 183.
18. William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1975, 2003), p. 263.
19. David Guzik, Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, v. 1:5. See also James Burton Coffman, Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, Titus, v. 1:5. http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
20. John Trapp, John Trapp Complete Commentary, 1865-1868, v. 1:5. http://www.studylight.org/com/jtc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
21. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:5.
22. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 174.
23. John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, 1840-1857, v. 1:6. http://www.studylight.org/com/cal/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
24. Justyn Martyr, as quoted in Guzik, Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 1:6-8.
25. Peter Gorday, Ancient Christtian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, IX (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 287.
26. Dummelow, John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible, v. 1:6.
27. Peter Pett, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, Titus, 2013, v. 1:6. http://www.studylight.org/com/pet/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
It is clear from the writings of the early church that Christians then took a stern view toward divorce. Oden (p. 136) quotes from the early writer Clement of Alexandria who said of divorce: “Guilt in this does not attach merely to the man who divorces her. It attaches also to the man who takes her on, since he provides the starting point for the woman’s sin.”
28. Robert E. Neighbour, Living Water Commentary on Titus, vs. 1:5-6. http://www.studylight.org/com/lwc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
29. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 264.
30. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 184.
31. Pett, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, Titus, v. 1:7.
32. Wescott & Hort, on Bible Works computerized Bible, v. 1:7.
33. Adam Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus, 1832, v. 1:7. http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
34. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 789.
35. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 266.
36. Ibid., as quoted in, p. 267.
37. Trapp, John Trapp Complete Commentary, v. 1:7.
38. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 268.
39. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:8.
40. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, trans., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2 (Edinburg & Grand Rapids: T&T Clark & Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., reprint 1989), p. 53.
41. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 268.
42. Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus, v. 1:8.
See also Wiersbe, p. 789.
43. Wescott & Hort, on Bible Works computerized Bible, v. 1:8.
44. Quoted in Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p.179.
45. Star Parker, Uncle Sam’s Plantation (Nashville: WND Books, 2003), p. 108.
46. Paul E. Kretzmann, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary, 1921-23, vs. 1:10-16. http://www.studylight.org/com/kpc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
47. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 790.
48. Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 1:10-11.
49. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 180.
50. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 271.
51. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:10.
52. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 186.
53. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 790.
54. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 271.
55. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 181.
Stott says: “ Church fathers like Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Chrysostom and Augustine all identified the author of this saying as the sixth-century BC Cretan teacher, Epimenides of Knossos.”
57. Quoted in Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 181.
58. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 1:13.
59. James Burton Coffman, Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999, v. 1:14. http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
60. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentaries, v. 1:16.
61. Gorday, Ancient Christtian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, IX, p. 292.
62. Guzik, Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, v. 1:15.
63. Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, 1870, v. 1:16. http://www.studylight.org/com/bnb/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
64. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 277.
1. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 185.
2. Ibid., p. 186.
3. Frederick Brotherton Meyer, F. B. Meyer’s ‘Through the Bible’ Commentary, 1914, vs. 2:1-8. http://www.studylight.org/com/fbm/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=1.
4. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, vs. 2:1-8.
5. Pett, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, Titus, v. 2:2.
6. Quoted in Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus, v. 2:2.
7. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 190.
8. Donald Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, Revised Edition (Grand Rapids: Inter-Varsity Press, 1990), p. 204.
9. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 188.
10. Quoted in Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 279.
11. Calvin, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, v. 2:3.
12. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 280.
13. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 205.
14. Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 2:4-5.
15. Barna Report, http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released.
“In fact, when evangelicals and non-evangelical born again Christians are combined into an aggregate class of born again adults, their divorce figure is statistically identical to that of non-born again adults: 32% versus 33%, respectively.”
16. Robertson, Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, v. 2:4.
17. Trapp, John Trapp Complete Commentary, v. 2:4.
18. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 191.
19. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, vs. 2:5.
20. David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil, (Nashville: WND Books, 2005), pp. 111-112.
21. Kretzmann, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary, vs. 1-5.
Stott adds here: “God has established a created order which includes a masculine ‘headship’, not of authority, still less of autocracy, but of responsibility and loving care” (Stott, p. 189).
22. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 282.
23. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 190.
24. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 285.
25. Ibid., p. 137.
27. Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 2:9-10.
28. Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus, vs. 9-10.
29. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 209.
Many slaves managed their masters’ business interests and were responsible for any money involved” (Towner 2:9-10).
31. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 193.
32. Calvin, Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible, v. 2:11.
33. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 194.
34. Gorday, Ancient Christtian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, IX, p. 298.
35. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 194.
36. Gorday, Ancient Christtian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, IX, p. 298.
37. Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 2:12-13.
38. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 194.
Wuest inserts: “We have Granville Sharp’s rule here, which says that when there are two nouns in the same case connected by kai (and), the first noun having the article, the second noun not having the article, the second noun refers to the same thing the first noun does and is a further description of it. Thus, that blessed hope is the glorious appearing of our Lord. The translation should read, “that blessed hope, even the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” The same rule applies to the words, “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Both the expressions refer to the same individual. The deity of the Lord Jesus is brought out here by a rule of Greek syntax” (Wuest p. 195).
39. Neighbour, Living Water Commentary on Titus, vs. 2:1-15.
40. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 196.
41. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 213.
1. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds. The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956), p. 27.
The early writer Mathetes also says, “What the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world” (p. 27).
2. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds. The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol.3, p. 42.
3. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentaries, vs. 3:1-8.
4. Robert Jamieson & A.R.Fausset, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, 1871, v. 3:1. http://www.studylight.org/com/jfb/view.cgi?bk=55&ch=0″.
5. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 199.
6. Ibid., p. 200.
7. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 215.
8. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 3:3.
9. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 199.
10. Ibid., pp. 199-200.
11. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol.1, p. 543.
12. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol.5, pp. 382, 476 & 497.
13. Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, v. 3:5.
14. Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Titus, v. 3:5.
15. Guzik, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible, Titus, vs. 3:4-8.
16. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 218.
17. J.I. Packer, Sola Fide: The Reformed Doctrine of Justification.
18. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 297.
19. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 794.
20. Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus, p. 207.
21. Ibid., p. 209.
22. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 220.
23. Utley, Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey, v. 3:10.
24. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 794.
25. Towner, 1-2 Timothy & Titus, IVP New Testament Commentaries, vs. 12-15.
26. Wuest, The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, p. 202.
27. Gorday, Ancient Christtian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament, IX, p. 307.
28. Cited in Coffman, Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, v. 3:14.