A
Doctrinal
and Devotional
commentary of
the book of
Titus

by
Rénald Leroux Jr.
Info page

 

A Doctrinal and Devotional Commentary on the book of Titus.

© Copyright 2019 by Rénald Leroux Jr.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author except as provided by the Canadian copyright laws.

One can use this commentary for personal use and for teaching as long as one does not change the text and gives credits to its author Rénald Leroux Jr.

The entire text of Titus is taken from the Lexham English Bible (LEB).

Scripture quotations marked (LEB) are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

All verses taken OUTSIDE of the text of Titus are from the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bibliography

 

Adam Clark Commentary (On Line)

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible (On Line)

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (On Line)

Complete Word Study N-T by Spiros Zodhiates Editor (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.)

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible (On Line)

Expository Dictionary of N-T Words by W.E. Vine (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.)

Expository notes of Dr. Thomas Constable (On Line)

Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible by Jay Green (Associated Pub. and authors, Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.)

John Gill’s exposition of the whole Bible (On Line)

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible (On Line)

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon (1999) (On Line)

New Testament Word Studies by J.A. Bengel (Kregel Pub. Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Strong’s exhaustive concordance of the Bible (Abingdon Pub., Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.)

Strong’s Greek Lexicon (online)

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible (On Line)

Word Studies in the N-T by Marvin R. Vincent (Eerdmans Pub., Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.)

Word Study Concordance (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.A.)

Word study New Testament (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.A.)

 

Titus

01 - General introduction

 

Author, Date and recipient:

The author is the apostle Paul. This letter was probably written between Paul’s first and second imprisonment around 62-64 AD. The recipient is Titus, a co-worker with Paul in the kingdom of God.

 

Goal and theme:

The goal of this letter, is to encourage Titus to persevere in his duties as a minister of God in the island of Crete. The theme, is the church (God’s people) and how the link between belief and behavior is to be unbreakable.

 

Location:

Titus is in Crete which is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. In Paul’s days, life in Crete was filled with immorality, laziness and gluttony.

 

Occasion:

Titus was meeting opposition in his ministry within and outside the church. Paul ‘stepped in’ to give Titus guidelines for his ministry.

 

Strange fact:

Titus is named twelve times in the N-T but never in the book of Acts! Timothy was named eighteen times in the New Testament plus six other times in Acts.

 

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Titus

02 – Greetings
1 :1-4

 

Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of the chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life which God, who does not lie, promised before eternal ages, 3 but at the proper time has disclosed his message in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the command of God our Savior, 4 to Titus, my true child according to a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

(LEB)

 

In our first verse we see that Paul declares who he is and why he is who he is. He is a ‘slave’ (DOULOS) meaning: a slave, bond-man, a servant. This is not unusual, for James, Peter and Jude also declare themselves to be ‘slaves’ of God. We may not like the word ‘slave’ but they understood who they really had become. The Bible clearly states that when a person repents unto Christ for salvation, he no longer is his own master!

 

1 Corinthians 6

 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

(NKJV)

 

Paul is a ‘slave of God’. In other words, there is only one person which he serves and that is ‘God’ (THEOS) meaning: the supreme divinity; the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the creator and sustainer of all things. There may be many idols but only one God.

 

1 Corinthians 8

 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),

 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

(NKJV)

 

May I ask if you are a servant of the one true God or are you still your own master? Do you live as you wish and have little concern for the one who holds your life in his hands? Not so with Paul and hopefully not so with you!

 

He also calls himself ‘an apostle of Jesus Christ’. The word ‘apostle’ (APOSTOLOS) means: a delegate, especially an ambassador of the gospel. If Paul considered himself a slave of God the Father, he also saw himself as an ambassador of ‘Jesus Christ’. In his mind he represented ‘Christ’ (CHRISTOS) meaning: anointed, Messiah. Are not all true believers also called to be the witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)? May we not skip over the word ‘Christ’, for it means Messiah in the Jewish mind. He is the long-awaited Messiah promised by the Lord God in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15).

 

(v.1) …for the faith of the chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness

 

This is ‘why’ he is who he is. It is to bring to ‘faith’ (PISTIS) meaning: persuasion, credence, moral conviction. His calling was to represent the Lord Jesus and bring the gospel story to those around him who wanted to hear.

 

Romans 10

 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

(NKJV)

 

Since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and all are spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-6), God has to intervene in the life of a person to illuminate him and bring him to the cross of Christ (John 16:8, Heb. 10:32). Remember the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? They walked with Christ, talked with Christ and listened to him speak yet they did not recognize him UNTIL Christ broke bread with them and it is written:

 

Luke 24

 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

(NKJV)

 

This is illumination. The Lord God opened their minds and they understood – they believed. All who believe have to be illuminated – touched by the Holy Spirit. The people who have been touched are called ‘the chosen of God’. The word ‘chosen’ (EKLEKTOS) means: select, chosen, elect. If God would not intervene – no one would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Messiah.

 

(v.1) …and the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness

 

So, Paul is an ambassador of Christ, people are illuminated and are saved because they place their faith in the gospel. He is also an ambassador of Christ for ‘the knowledge of the truth’. Not only does the Lord God want to save people he also wants them to grow in ‘knowledge’ (EPIGNOSIS) meaning: recognition, full discernment. He wants his children to become mature and filled with His wisdom. There is no reason why God would not want his child to acquire His knowledge. God does not reveal everything but what he deems important to reveal to man he desires you to know. Not any knowledge is profitable but the ‘knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness’. Adam and Eve gained knowledge that brought them spiritual death, as I said not all knowledge is profitable. It is the knowledge of ‘truth’ (ALETHEIA) meaning: true, truly, verity. God’s ultimate and eternal ‘truth’. This ‘truth is according to godliness’. The word ‘according’ (KATA) means: about, according, as to. The truth of God is according to his ‘godliness’ (EUSEBEIA) meaning: piety, holiness, godliness. The child of God should desire to know God’s truth. There are not ‘many truths’ or your own ‘personal truth’. There is only one everlasting truth and that is what Paul was teaching to those who had ears to listen.

 

 2 in the hope of eternal life which God, who does not lie, promised before eternal ages, 3 but at the proper time has disclosed his message in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the command of God our Savior,

 

But why believe in this ‘truth’? It is because in it is ‘the hope of eternal life’. The deepest desire of all men is to be able to live for all eternity in a place where he is in complete peace and harmony with everything and everyone else. The truth of God leads the believer to this ‘eternal life’. The word ‘eternal’ (ALONIOS) means: perpetual, forever, eternal and the word ‘life’ (ZOE) means: life, literally or figuratively. Eternal life is not only to live for ever for even those who will be judged by the Lord God will live without any end – but in hell! The idea behind ‘eternal life’ means a life lived in the presence of God and receiving all the benefits he has in store for his children. It means to be renewed in every aspect and becoming Christ-like. It means to become a citizen in God’s kingdom where peace and harmony reigns. This is the hope that all of God’s children have.

 

Paul writes ‘who does not lie’ (APSEUDES) meaning: veracious, that can not lie. This promise comes from God himself and he will not disavow his word! We can count and rely on it. Was not the Messiah sacrificed in our stead? Were our sins not forgiven? Are believers not regenerated and sealed with the Holy Spirit?

 

Colossians 1

 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight

(NKJV)

 

The promise of eternal life was given ‘before eternal ages’. This promise was given by God even before time began, before the fall, before creation, before all things created. It was made ‘before’ (PRO) meaning: in front of, prior to the ‘eternal’ (AIONION) meaning: perpetual, for ever, eternal and the word ‘ages’ (CHRONOS) meaning: a space of time, a season.

3 but at the proper time has disclosed his message in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the command of God our Savior,

But this promise was ‘disclosed’ (PHANNEROO) meaning: to render apparent, manifest. It was manifested ‘at the proper time’. The word ‘proper’ (IDIOS) meaning: pertaining to oneself, one’s own. God chose the time to reveal this ‘message’ (LOGOS) meaning: something said, the divine expression. This was God’s ‘proclamation’ (KERUGMA) meaning: a proclamation, a preaching. He did this through Paul, ‘I was entrusted’ (PISTEUO) meaning: commit, to trust, to entrust. God called Paul (and others) and entrusted to them the gospel message, the Good News of the forgiveness that is found in Jesus Christ. Paul sees this as a direct ‘command’ (EPITAGE) meaning: an injunction or decree, from God. This was the mandate he had received and that he kept all of his life. Notice that Paul calls God ‘our Savior’ (SOTER) which means: a deliverer, a Savior. I will come back to this in the next verse.

 

4 to Titus, my true child according to a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

 

Here we first see the recipient of the letter ‘Titus’. This name is of Latin origin, we can therefore believe that Titus was a Gentile believer in the Lord. Paul call’s him ‘my true child’. The word ‘true’ (GNESIOS) means: legitimate, genuine, true. Was Titus the offspring of Paul? Not physically but certainly spiritually for it is written ‘according to a common faith’. He was Paul’s spiritual son like Timothy was. His link with Paul was ‘according’ (KATA) meaning: down in a place or time, about, according, to a ‘common faith’. This is what they had in common – their ‘faith’ (PISTIS) which means: persuasion, credence, moral conviction. We do not know how he came to faith, who his parents were or anything concerning his life before he became a Christian. As I said in the introduction he is not even named in the Book of Acts!

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

This is what Paul wishes for Titus. First it is ‘grace’ (CHARIS) meaning: graciousness, divine influence upon the human heart. He want’s God’s hand to be upon his fellow-worker, so that God would keep him, and protect him and walk before him every where he went. The second is ‘peace’ (EIRENE) meaning: peace, prosperity, rest. There is a peace that only God can give:

 

Philippians 4

 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(NKJV)

 

This is grace and peace from God the Father (PATER) meaning: father. This term (God the Father) is written sixteen times by four different writers (John, Paul, Peter and Jude). God is the Father and it is comforting that he desires his children to see him as such. Grace and peace also come from ‘Christ Jesus’. Here we see that Jesus is the Messiah for that is what the word ‘Christ’ means in Hebrew. I would like for you to notice that God the Father (in verse three) is called ‘God our SAVIOR’ and in verse four Jesus is also called ‘our SAVIOR’. If God is the Savior and Jesus is the Savior would this not mean that Jesus is God incarnate – Emmanuel? Paul uses the same Greek word for Savior (SOTER) which means: a deliverer, a Savior, in both instances. This is yet another verse which manifests the deity of Jesus!

 

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Titus

03 – The Elders
1:5-9

 

5 On account of this, I left you behind in Crete, in order that what remains may be set in order and you may appoint elders in every town, as I ordered you. 6 If anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of dissipation or rebellious. 7 For it is necessary for the overseer to be blameless as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, prudent, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast to the faithful message according to the teaching, in order that he may be able both to exhort with sound instruction and to reprove those who speak against it.

(LEB)

 

In this section there is one main task that Paul reminds Titus that he must accomplish and that was to establish leaders in the churches.

 

5 On account of this, I left you behind in Crete, in order that what remains may be set in order and you may appoint elders in every town, as I ordered you. 

 

The word ‘account’ (CHARIN) means: through favor of, on account of and because of. Titus, this is the reason why you are there – you’ve got work to do for the Lord. He writes that ‘I left you behind’ (KATALEIPO) which means: to leave down, abandon, forsake. As you leave a friend behind to go elsewhere, so Paul left Titus to continue his mission. I believe that this was a sign of the great trust that Paul had towards Titus, he knew that he could do the job well. He left him in ‘Crete’ (KRETE) which is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. This island is about 225 kilometers long and 56 kilometers wide. At one time it was very prosperous, for Homer (9th century B.C.) wrote that it was known as the island of one hundred cities. It had ports and its inhabitants were known to be good sailors. In Acts 2:11 we see that on the day of Pentecost Jews from Crete were present. This may be one of the reasons why Christianity began on this island. Paul made a short visit to Crete on his way (as a prisoner) to Rome (Acts 27). But there is no sign of any evangelism at that time. No one really knows how churches began on that island.

 

Paul refers to ‘what remains’ (LEIPO) meaning: wanting, lack, absent. It seems that some organizational things had begun but needed to be finished. It may be that Paul had received a letter or some information about these churches from traveling Christians who he met. The main command has to do with the need to set this ‘in order’ (EPIDIORTHOO) meaning: to set in order, arrange, straighten. There was a lack in these churches and it dealt with leadership. There was a need to ‘appoint’ (KATHISTEMI) meaning: to place down permanently. Elders were needed to be appointed in various churches. If there is no leadership, the health of the church will suffer. The word ‘elders’ (PRESBUTEROS) means: older, senior, elder. This is an ecclesiastic office along with deacons. There was no exception, for Paul writes ‘in every town’. If there is a church then it needs leadership. This was not a suggestion that Paul made but rather a command ‘as I ordered you’. The word ‘ordered’ (DIATASSO) means: to arrange thoroughly, appoint, command. Titus was NOT a pastor in Crete but a representative of Paul who had apostolic authority. It was the same with Timothy. Some say he was the pastor in Ephesus but he was not, he was the representative of Paul.

 6 If anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of dissipation or rebellious. 7 For it is necessary for the overseer to be blameless as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, prudent, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast to the faithful message according to the teaching, in order that he may be able both to exhort with sound instruction and to reprove those who speak against it.

 

In these verses we see the qualifications Paul gave to Titus for a man to become an Elder in a church. It is unfortunate that many churches no longer follow these much-needed spiritual qualifications. Paul begins by writing ‘If anyone’ as we will see this ‘anyone’ (EI) meaning: if any, he that, whosoever will have to be a man. Again, it is unscriptural for a woman (no matter what her qualifications are) to become an elder or a pastor, or a bishop or an overseer of a congregation. This prerogative is given by God for his own reasons and all true believers should accept this. So here are the qualifications needed to become an Elder:

 

BLAMELESS (v.6)

This word (ANEGKLETOS) means: un-accused, irreproachable. This speaks of his life in relationship with the civil law. Has he or is he accused of breaking the Law? Is he waiting for sentencing? Does he encourage others to be submitted to the local authorities or is he rather rebellious towards them? Does he respect the Law as all Christians should?

 

Romans 13

 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

 4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.

 (NKJV)

 

THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE (v.6)

The word ‘husband’ (ANER) means: a man, a fellow, a husband. The word ‘one’ (MIA) means: one or first. Finally, the word ‘wife’ (GUNE) means: a woman, specially a wife. There are two main views concerning being a husband of one wife. The first view (which few hold) is that an elder is allowed to marry just once and if he marries again, he losses his office. Now, Jesus allows for re-marriage when adultery is the cause (Mat. 5:32). If Christ allows this, then it is highly improbable that an elder who is either a widower or had an immoral wife cannot remarry. The second view (which is held by the vast majority) is that an elder can not have two wives at the same time. We know that polygamy was often found outside of Israel. If a convert to Christ had more than one wife, he could not become an elder. In the Old Testament God, the Father, called Israel his wife (Isaiah 54:5; Jer. 31:32; Ezekiel 16:31-39; Hosea 2). In the New Testament the church is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9). It is because of the exclusiveness of one husband and one wife (as it was in the garden of Eden) that it is asked of an elder to have just one wife at a time.

HAVING FAITHFUL CHILDREN (v.6)

The word ‘faithful’ (PISTOS) means trustworthy, believing, faithful. Some believe that this verse means that all the children of the elder must be of the faith. This is difficult to believe for children when they are small all ‘love Jesus’ but at one point they must make a life-commitment to him and truly be born again. Is an elder eligible to the office as long as his child says he is a Christian? What happens if a child is not of the faith, then he is, then later he no longer is (this happens you know). Does the elder become a yo-yo going up and down, up and down in his ministry? If this was so, then ‘having faithful children’ is a factor that would be totally out of his hands. He would be at the mercy of his children! The other way of seeing this is that the child must be ‘faithful’ to his father. In other words, submits to his father’s authority. May we remember that the word ‘children’ (TEKNON) means: a child, daughter or son. When a child is no longer ‘under the roof’ of his father and becomes an adult, his life is no longer to be considered under the authority of the father. The elder is set free of this child’s actions.

 

NOT ACCUSED OF DISSIPATION (v.6)

The word ‘dissipation’ (ASOTIA) means: profligacy, excess, riot. This speaks of his character. There are people who do not seem to be able to contain themselves or have control. Some just go ‘over board’ because of the excitement or the situation they are placed in. It often ends up with trouble. We are told that an elder is ‘not’ (ME) meaning: a qualified negation, neither, never, nor. This must be totally out of his life. He must not be a person of any excess or be ‘accused’ (KATEGORIA) meaning: a complaint, criminal charge, accusation of having done such a thing.

 

REBELLIOUS (v.6)

This word gives a general picture of the person’s attitude. He is not to be ‘rebellious’ (ANUPOTAKTOS) meaning: unsubdued, insubordinate, unruly. The picture that I have in mind is that of a wild horse that is being ‘broken’ by a trainer. He jumps, he rises on his hind feet, he attacks, he refuses to obey or to be sat on, he may even buck! Some men are like this, they are unsubdued to any authority. A leader must always show the right path and act in a godly way. Being rebellious is walking in the path of Lucifer who rebelled against the Lord God and paid the price.

 

7 For it is necessary for the overseer to be blameless as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain, 

 

BLAMELESS (v.7)

Paul is telling Titus that he has no choice in this ‘it is necessary’ (DEI) means: necessary as binding, be met. Notice that Paul begins verse six with being blameless and he begins verse seven again with the word blameless. In verse five Paul speaks of Elders and in verse seven of overseers. Is there a difference between the two? I believe not, for the word ‘elder’ is the title given to the person who has this office and the word ‘overseer’ is what he is to do. The ‘overseer’ (EPISKOPOS) meaning: a superintendent, bishop, overseer is to be ‘blameless', because he is ‘God’s steward’. The word ‘steward’ (OIKONOMOS) means: a house-distributor. An elder is a person who is given the office of taking care of God’s house (his family). Their main ministry is to be a shepherd and God wants good shepherds for his sheep.

 

NOT SELF-WILLED (v.7)

This word is not like the word rebellious that we have seen, it does not have the same meaning. ‘Self-willed’ (AUTHADES) means: self-pleasing, arrogant. An elder must not look out to please himself in ministry. Church is not for him, church does not function like he desires, ministries are not a reflection of his personality. A good elder does not have an ego to nourish, quite the contrary he is like Christ who lived for others.

 

NOT QUICK TEMPERED (v.7)

The word ‘not’ (ME) means: a qualified negative, neither, never, no. So, this must not be present in this man’s character. Leaders should be wise and be able to control their emotions. The word ‘quick-tempered’ (ORGILOS) means: irascible, soon angry. It speaks of a man who is unable to contain himself, who explodes when he is irritated. Imagine an elder who bursts into anger when someone or something does not go his way? Such a man must not be an elder.

 

NOT ADDICTED TO WINE (v.7)

The words ‘addicted to wine’ (PAROINOS) mean: staying near wine, given to wine. The Bible does not say that a believer is not able to drink wine – even Jesus made wine for people to drink at the wedding of Cana (John 2). What is not permitted is to become drunk (Eph. 5:18). When a person is under the influence of alcohol (or any other substance for that matter) he is no longer under the influence of the Holy Spirit and that leads to trouble.

NOT VIOLENT (v.7)

Again, we see the word ‘not’ so this is an absolute negative, in no circumstance must you be such a person. The word ‘violent’ (PLEKTES) means: to smite, a striker, quarrelsome. This speaks of a man who lifts his hands and responds with a fight. It manifests that he has anger in his heart, that he can not channel this anger except with physical violence. He is not a man of peace and does not bring peace around him. This type of person does not reflect our beloved Lord Jesus as Peter explains:

 

1 Peter 2

 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

(NKJV)

 

NOT GREEDY FOR DISHONEST GAIN (v.7)

This phrase is actually one word in Greek (AISCHROKERDES) which means: given to filthy lucre, greedy of base gain, fond of sordid gain. Again, notice that we have the word ‘not’ which is an absolute negative. You can not have an elder who is inclined to ill-fitting gain. They need to seek the things from above (Col. 3:1) and the kingdom of God (Mat. 6:33) and not the filthy things of this world.

 

8 but hospitable, loving what is good, prudent, just, devout, self-controlled, 

 

Paul has given a list of what an elder should not have as a trait of character, he will now turn to things he should have.

 

HOSPITABLE (v.8)

The word ‘hospitable’ (PHILOXENOS) means: fond of guests, given to hospitality. An elder should have a home where the door is always open for visitors, where people feel welcome and safe. He is a man who can easily speak with people and is agreeable with people he meets. This man has a generous heart and an open hand unto others. He will have the poor, the sinners and the saints at his table like Christ did.

 

LOVING WHAT IS GOOD (v.8)

This phrase is also one word in Greek (PHILAGATHOS) which means: promoter of virtue, lover of good men. Look at what captures his mind and heart and this will tell you many things about a man. Who is he constantly with, what is he looking for in life? Does he encourage virtue and does his life reflect this? Is this a person who reflects the holiness of God in thought and action?

PRUDENT (v.8)

The word ‘prudent’ (SOPHRON) means: sound in mind, sober, temperate. This virtue is greatly lacking in people today. They often do or say the most foolish things. Many do not think of the impact of what they are about to do – imagine if you are an elder in the church! To be ‘prudent’ one needs to think things out before making a decision. One can not jump into a lion’s den and not expect the worst! A prudent man will analyze the situation and seek guidance from the Lord.

JUST (v.8)

To be ‘just’ (DIKAIOS) means: to be equitable in character or act. A just man does not have favorites. He does not look on the outside to determine the value of a man. He is not prejudiced and gives judgments according to the truth and not appearances. A just man is fair in his dealing with others.

 

DEVOUT (v.8)

The word ‘devout’ (HOSIOS) means: formal consecration, pious. An elder must be a man of God. His heart must be in heaven while his feet are on solid ground. He is devoted to his Savior, he can hear his voice and follows him happily. He is searching for the kingdom of God and lives as a child of light. He is willing to pay the price to be a disciple. He is a living witness of the power of God. He gives his body as a living sacrifice.

 

SELF-CONTROLED (v.8)

The Greek word for this is (EGKRATES) which means exactly that: self-control. This quality helps the elder to do his ministry in a godly fashion. He is a man of peace and is able to refrain himself from all upheaval. He knows when it is time to be silent and time to refrain from doing things in haste. He is no gossiper and controls his eyes. He is a man who can master his appetite when food is presented to him.

 

 9 holding fast to the faithful message according to the teaching, in order that he may be able both to exhort with sound instruction and to reprove those who speak against it.

 

HOLDING FAST TO THE FAITHFUL MESSAGE (v.9)

An elder is a man who is ‘holding fast to the faithful message’. The words ‘holding fast’ (ANTECHOMAI) means: to hold, to support, to care for. An elder believes the gospel truth and remains ‘faithful’ (PISTOS) meaning: trustworthy, faithful, sure. He does not change the ‘message’ (LOGOS) meaning: something said, the divine expression. The word of God does not change, the gospel remains the same and God’s standards are never outdated.  He is a man of the Book!

 

(v.9) …according to the teaching, in order that he may be able both to exhort with sound instruction and to reprove those who speak against it.

 

The elder does not seek to find hidden secrets or undisclosed codes in the Bible. His teachings are based ‘according to the teaching’. What he has learned, what he was taught – this ‘teaching’ (DIDACHE) meaning: instruction, doctrine, will remain in his heart. He is solidly grounded on the Holy Scriptures. He does this ‘in order that’ (HINA) meaning: in order that, because, albeit, he will ‘be able’ to do these two things.

The first is ‘to be able to exhort with sound instruction’. He needs to be able to ‘exhort’ (PARAKALEO) meaning: to call near, invite, beseech, intreat. He knows his Scripture and he is able to encourage with ‘sound instruction’ (HUGIAINO DIDASKALIA) which means: uncorrupt doctrine. He responds with sound doctrine, not his own ideas. He rests on the Bible to explain things.

The second is ‘to reprove those who speak against it’. The first deals with encouraging while the second deals with admonishing. To ‘reprove’ (ELEGCHO) means: to confute, admonish, convict. There are times when an elder will need to stand up and speak out against what someone is saying or doing. Here the case is for ‘those who speak against it’ (ANTILEGO) meaning: to dispute, to contradict, to speak against.

 

May all children of God seek to have these qualities in their life. May you also see them in your church leaders.

 

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Titus

04 – Dealing with deceivers
1:10-16

 

10 For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whom it is necessary to silence, whoever are ruining whole families by teaching things which must not be taught for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 A certain one of them, one of their own prophets, has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true, for which reason reprove them severely, in order that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him, because they are detestable and disobedient, and unfit for every good deed.

(LEB)

 

The ministry that one has, depends on where he is and the ‘times’ that are in the Lord’s hand. One may be greeted warmly by the population and sometimes it is the opposite. It seems that the people of the island of Crete were not the easy kind, for the Lord’s work. In this section the apostle Paul will describe the people and how difficult it must have been for Titus.

 

10 For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 

 

Paul speaks of not a few but ‘many’ (POLUS) meaning: much in any respect. These people are described with three words. The first, is that they were ‘rebellious’. The word ‘rebellious’ (ANUPOTAKTOS) means: unsubdued, insubordinate and unruly. You can right away make a mental picture in your mind. They were hard to govern and they lacked discipline. They were not the kind that would easily take orders or even simple advice. The second, is that they were ‘idle talkers’ (MATAIOLOGOS) meaning: senseless or mischievous talkers. They would spend time gossiping and listening to the latest ‘news’. They talked ill of others or babbled on about theories of who did what and why this happened without even knowing the truth. If being rebellious and idle talkers was not enough, they were also ‘deceivers’ (PHRENAPATES) meaning: a mind mis-leader, a seducer. They would openly lie and make stories up with the intention of misleading people. Paul names a certain group whom he called ‘those of the circumcision’. The word ‘circumcision’ (PERITOME) means: circumcision. This always gives the idea of the Jewish people in both the Old and New Testament. Paul tells Titus to be ‘especially’ on the look-out for them. The word ‘especially’ (MALISTA) means: most of all, chiefly, especially. Those are the ones that you need to be careful of.

 

11 whom it is necessary to silence, whoever are ruining whole families by teaching things which must not be taught for the sake of dishonest gain. 

 

Paul tells Titus that it was absolutely ‘necessary to silence’ them. The word ‘necessary’ (DEI) means: it is necessary, ought, should. Something needed to be done and that was to ‘silence’ them. The word ‘silence’ (EPISTOMIZO) means: to put something over the mouth. There was a reason why Titus needed to silence them. It was because they were ‘ruining whole families’. They brought great disturbance within the congregations. They were ‘ruining’ (ANATREPO) meaning: to overturn, overthrow, to subvert, lives and families. I have seen this in churches where a few people bring havoc, disorder and chaos. They destroy entire churches which took years to build up and were torn down within months of their infection.

Now how did they ruin entire families? It is the same pattern we have seen in all the epistles – it is ‘by teaching things which must not be taught’. The word ‘teaching’ (DIDASKO) means: to teach in a broad application. False teachers and prophets are evident everywhere in the New Testament. Jesus warned his followers about them while he was still among them!

 

Matthew 7

 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 (NKJV)

 

They teach what ‘must not be taught’. They taught lies, and deceits. Their aim was to get them to abandon the true faith so that these people would attach themselves to them. They were truly the blind that leads the blind. No, they were even worst because it seems (as we will see) that they knew the truth. They were truly evil people!

 

(v.11) …for the sake of dishonest gain. 

This is the reason why they were teaching these things. Not for the glory of God! Not for the advancement of His kingdom! Not to bring souls to salvation. It was for ‘the sake of dishonest gain’. This is what they were after, a ‘dishonest gain’. The word ‘dishonest’ (AISCHROS) means: shameful, filthy, base. They were out for the money. They wanted it and they would say anything if that would get some people to ‘provide’ for them. This has not changed, how many false preachers and teachers are on television, the net, the radio and the written page? They pollute the lives of countless millions across the world and reap an immeasurable amount of money. One day they will appear before the Lord and they will reap what they have sown.

12 A certain one of them, one of their own prophets, has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 

Paul emphasises the description he has begun giving by reminding Titus of one of Crete’s own ‘prophet’ (PROPHETES) meaning: an inspired speaker, by extension a poet. The poet that Paul is speaking of is Epimenides who lived in the sixth century B.C. The first description is that they ‘are always liars’. The word ‘always’ (AEI) means: ever, always and the word ‘liars’ (PSEUTES) means: a falsifier, a liar. People of Crete were known to be people who you could not count on to tell the truth. What an awful thing to be known for! They did not lie once in a while but regularly did so! The second description is ‘evil beasts’! The word ‘evil’ (KAKOS) means: worthless, depraved, bad, evil and the word ‘beasts’ (THERION) means: a dangerous wild animal, a wild beast. This would describe the average way that they lived, spoke and acted. I presume that they were violent in speech and in thought. Again, this is no complement from their own prophet/poet. The third description is ‘lazy gluttons’. The word ‘lazy’ (ARGOS) means: inactive, unemployed, lazy and the word ‘gluttons’ (GASTER) means: the stomach, a gourmand, belly. This is the type of people (in general) that Titus had to deal with: liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. How difficult this must have been for this man of God. Still today there are populations who are like this and believers need to pray for the people who are sent by God to represent him there!

 

13 This testimony is true, for which reason reprove them severely, in order that they may be sound in the faith,

 

This verse seems to point out that Titus had to deal with such people even in the congregation! Paul says that the ‘testimony’ (MARTURIA) meaning: evidence given, witness, that he had just written to Titus about Cretans ‘is true’ (ALETHES) meaning: true, not concealed. In verse eleven it was necessary to ‘silence them’ and now Titus needed to ‘reprove them’. The word ‘reprove’ (ELEGCHO) means: to admonish, to rebuke, to tell a fault. I do believe that the people he is talking about are believers for the following reason. In the bible, we are not told to reprove, rebuke or admonish people in general but only those who say they are followers of Christ. Paul says to ‘reprove them severely’. A pat on the hand is not what Paul is talking about for the word ‘severely’ (APOTOMOS) means: abruptly, sharply.

Another reason why I say that these people are believers in Christ is for the following phrase ‘in order that they may be sound in the faith’. This does not give the idea that they may be saved or so that they may know the Lord. The words ‘in order’ (HINA) mean: in order that, so as. There was a reason for this admonishing and it was that ‘they may be sound in faith’. The word ‘sound’ (HUGIAINO) means: to have sound health, to be uncorrupt. This would not be the first instance in the Scriptures where a believer becomes unfaithful or steers away from ‘sound faith’.

14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of people who turn away from the truth. 

In verse ten Paul speaks of rebellious people who are of the ‘circumcision’. Here we see that these Jewish converts are ‘paying attention’ (PROSECHO) meaning: to pay attention, to apply oneself to. It seems that they were unable to definitively do away with Jewish ‘myths’ (MUTHOS) meaning: a tale, fiction, a fable or giving them too much creditability. Jewish tradition is filled with stories of men and women that are not in the Bible. They also have different ways of analysing the Scriptures.

  • Peshat:        ‘surface’     – the literal meaning.

  • Remez:       ‘hints’          – the deep allegoric symbolism

  • Derash:       ‘inquire’       – the comparative midrashic meaning

  • Sod:            ‘secret’        – the esoteric meaning

They also paid very close attention to the ‘commandments’ (ENTOLE) meaning: a command, a precept. The people who upset believers must have spoken of keeping the Jewish commandments as others did in the past (Acts 15:5;24).

 

When one pays close attention to myths and legends and also the Commandments of the Jewish Law inevitably this happens: ‘people who turn away from the truth’. The words ‘turn away’ (APOSTREPHO) mean: to turn away or back. In other words, you leave the narrow road and walk on the wide path. The ‘truth’ (ALETHEIA) meaning: true, truly, verity – God’s truth loses its validity and one goes astray like a lost sheep. That is why Titus needed to admonish them so that they can be set free from those fables and myths and lies.

 

15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him, because they are detestable and disobedient, and unfit for every good deed.

 

Often these myths, fables and commands deal with being pure by eating certain foods and abstaining from others, as well as the washing of the body and different instruments one uses in life (cups, plates, bowls etc.). Paul remind the believers that ‘to the pure’ (KATHAROS) meaning: clean, clear, pure – the pure of heart mostly. To them ‘all things are pure’. There is no more need for the ceremonial cleansing of self or things for we have been purified by the precious blood of Christ.

 

1 Peter 1

 22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

 (NKJV)

 

Paul continues by saying ‘but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure’. There are those who are ‘defiled’ (MIAINO) meaning: to sully or taint, contaminate. These are not born-again for Paul calls them ‘unbelieving’ (APISTOS) meaning: disbelieving, a heathen, faithless. To them ‘nothing is pure’. The word ‘nothing’ (OUDEIS) means: not even one, none, nobody, nothing is ‘pure’ (KATHAROS) meaning: clean, clear, pure. To this group nothing is pure so they need to become pure by following the Law. It seems that they can not see the depth of the sacrifice of the beloved Son at the cross and how he purifies all true believers as Paul tells us:

 

Colossians 1

 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight--

 (NKJV)

 

These false teachers, who upset believers, do this because: ‘their mind and their conscience are defiled’. The word ‘mind’ (NOUS) means: mind, the intellect and the word ‘conscience’ (SOMA) means: the body as a sound whole. Their entire being is unable to see the absolute perfection which Christ gives because their body and mind is corrupt. Only a new birth can take this away!

 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him, because they are detestable and disobedient, and unfit for every good deed.

After telling Titus what these false teachers say, Paul now shows him what they do. If you do not hear them speak or teach falsehood this is how you can tell them apart from true believers. They ‘profess’ (HOMOLOGEO) meaning: to assent, to acknowledge. They say that they know God, like many people do. So how can you tell if this is true? Paul writes ‘but by their deeds they deny him’. What they do is not what they say! The word ‘deeds’ (ERGON) meaning: to work, toil, make an effort, manifests something else. By their deeds ‘they deny him’, the word ‘deny’ (ARNEOMAI) means: to contradict, reject, deny. They say one thing BUT they do another. The fruit of their actions manifest that they are lying.

Instead of being children of God they are ‘detestable’ (BDELUTOS) meaning: detestable, abominable! They have nothing to do with the Lord and their standing before him is still as an enemy! They are also ‘disobedient’ (APEITHES) meaning: unpersuadable, contumacious. They do not walk with the Lord. Quite the opposite they disobey him constantly. They are still under his wrath. They are also ‘unfit’ (ADOKIMOS) meaning: unapproved, worthless, rejected. God’s favor is not upon them for he does not approve them. Because of this they are ‘unfit for every good deed’. Nothing good can come out of them. This is one more reason why Titus needed to ‘shut their mouths’!

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Titus

05 – Sound doctrine for all the church
2:1-10

 

But you, speak the things which are fitting for sound instruction. 2 Older men are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderous, not enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 in order that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home, good, being subject to their own husbands, in order that the word of God may not be slandered. 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be self-controlled, 7 concerning everything showing yourself to be an example of good deeds, in your teaching demonstrating soundness, dignity, 8 a sound message beyond reproach, in order that an opponent may be put to shame, because he has nothing bad to say concerning us.

9 Slaves must be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not to talk back, 10 not stealing, but demonstrating all good faith, in order that they may do credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.

(LEB)

 

In our last section, we have seen the devastation that false teaching brings to entire families. In our present section, Paul will speak about the teachings that Titus should bring to the believers. You may have noticed that Paul speaks about six different types of people and how they should live their Christian life. We will simply follow the text.

 

First of all, he speaks to Titus (v.1,7,8). Even if Titus represented the apostle Paul and taught the congregation(s) he also needed to be reminded in the ways of the Lord. May we also remember that no matter who we are, we always need to be fed by the Word and grow in the Word. No one has arrived at a point where he knows everything. Anyone who thinks this, knows nothing at all!

 

But you, speak the things which are fitting for sound instruction. 

 

The first main ministry of Titus was to ‘speak’ (LALEO) meaning: to talk, to utter words, to preach. He was to instruct the Disciples of Christ in the ways of the Lord. We can not imagine how spoiled we are today! The believers did not even have the written word of God – the Bible had not been finished yet! They had no videos, no tapes, no CD’s, no books, no radio or television nor any internet. There were only verbal teachings. I wonder how they would have loved to have all the tools we have to read and study God’s Word! May we take every opportunity we have to grow and learn the holy Scriptures.

What Titus had to speak about was ‘these things’. Now ‘these things’ are the instructions that Paul will bring to him in the following verses. These are the things (compared to the false teachings others gave) that are ‘fitting for sound instruction’. The word ‘fitting’ (PREPO) means: to be suitable or proper. There are proper and important things that should be taught because they are of ‘sound instruction’. The word ‘sound’ (HUGIAINO) means: to have sound health, to be well, while the word ‘instruction’ (DIDASKALIA) means: instruction, doctrine, teaching. Healthy doctrine is what should be taught in every congregation. Have you noticed what is taught in far too many churches these days? Churches seem to have become more of a ‘self-help’ institute than a gathering of the children of God. The Holy Scriptures and its warnings and admonitions have been replaced with the gospel of health and wealth! May true believers remain grounded on God’s word instead of man’s itching ears and desires!

2 Older men are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.

The second type of people that Paul is concerned about are the older men. The word ‘older’ (PRESBUTES) means: an old man, an aged man. This would be for men who are in the later part of their lives, men who have experienced life and the difficulties that it brings. There are six things which was important for Titus to teach them.

The first is that they ‘are to be temperate’. The words ‘to be’ (EINAI) mean: to exist, am, to be. In other words, this is how they should live. These are the fruits of the Spirit that they should bear. All six qualities expressed by Paul are to be seen in the life of ‘older men’. If you are an older Christian man then this is for you. You need to be ‘temperate’ (NEPHALEOS) which means: sober, circumspect. This is a general view of how they should live. They need to be, clear-headed, moderate, cautious, prudent and be on guard not to fall under the tricks of the enemy and the traps of the flesh.

Second, older men need to be ‘worthy of respect’ (SEMNOS) meaning: venerable, honorable and grave. This gives the idea that older Christian men should have a life that is looked at by others as being respected and esteemed. They should be models in speech and actions for everyone around them. They should not look for honor like the Pharisees did, nor desire people to look at them in order to be able to gloat (Mat. 6:5-19).

Third, older men should have ‘self-control’ (SOPHRON) meaning: sound in mind, self-control. This word also gives the idea of being temperate, sober-minded, modest and chaste. An older man who has ‘self-control’ is well balanced. His character is not like a roller-coaster, sometimes angry, irritated and annoying and other times gentle, calm and kind. He also is a man who keeps his tongue under control. Always remember that ‘self-control’ is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23).

Fourth, older men should be ‘sound in faith’. The word ‘sound’ (HUGIAINO) means: to have sound health, to be well. The word ‘faith’ (PISTIS) means: persuasion, credence, moral conviction. Older men should be in good spiritual health. They are not to be like children in the faith who are tossed here and there by the waves of false preachers and different doctrines! Older men should be knowledgeable and stand firmly on the only solid foundation which is the Word of God.

 

Fifth, older men should be sound in ‘love’. The word ‘love’ (AGAPE) means: affection, benevolence, love feast. This is certainly a mark of a true believer”

John 13

 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

(NKJV)

Older men should have open hearts towards people. They should care for others and desire the best for them. They should be willing to do the following:

Matthew 7

 12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

(NKJV)

Sixth, older men should be sound in ‘endurance’ (HUPOMONE) meaning: cheerful endurance, constancy. Some people endure while having a bad attitude and are irritable. Older Christian men are to be enduring, with a godly attitude. One can suffer and wait patiently for the Lord’s deliverance.

 

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderous, not enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 in order that they may encourage

 

The third type or group of people Paul speaks about is ‘older women’. The words ‘older women’ (PRESBUTIS) mean: an older woman, aged woman. Paul switches from older men to older women. There are five things Paul wants Titus to teach them.

 

The first is that older women ‘are to be reverent in their behavior’. Just like older men are first of all to be temperate (which is a general attitude) so ‘older women’ should be ‘reverent’ HIEROPREPES) meaning: reverent, as becometh holiness. This also is a general statement concerning the overall attitude they should have. They should live in the Light and flee darkness. Remember what the Lord tells us:

 

1 Peter 1

 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

 (NKJV)

 

It is in their ‘behavior’ (KATASTEMA) meaning: demeanor, conduct, comportment, that older women need to be holy. One should never judge a person only by what he/she says, the behavior needs to follow what the mouth says.

Second, older women are to be ‘not slanderous’. The word ‘not’ (ME) means: neither, never, nor. It is an absolute negative. This should never be found in an older Christian woman’s life. The word ‘slanderous’ (DIABOLOS) means: a traducer, false accuser, slanderer. They should not go around accusing people of different things. In other words, they should not be ‘busy-bodies’, loving to hear gossip and also spreading gossip. If there is one thing they should be spreading; it is the Good News! False accusations are not to be found in any Christian mouth!

Third, older women are ‘not to be enslaved to much wine’. The word ‘enslaved’ (DOULOO) means: to enslave, bring into bondage. There is a difference between having wine once in a while and being enslaved to it. The bible does not stop us from having wine but is definitely against us drinking too much.

 

Ephesians 5

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, ((NKJV)

 

It is disgraceful to see Christian men or women drunk or under the influence of drugs. How many lives and families have been destroyed because of this grave sin! I would personally say – keep away from any form of alcohol or mind changing substances!

 

Fourth, older women are to be ‘teaching what is good’. Older women (like older men) have a very important role to play in society. Filled with life experience and wisdom from above, they are to be ‘teaching what is good’ (KALODIDASKALOS) meaning: a teacher to the right, a teacher of good and noble things. Many things are handed down generation to generation and the same is to be done in Christian families. Here Paul attests that older women are to be teachers of noble and good things to younger women. Naturally, this includes good things that are of God.

A fifth and final thing that Paul mentions is ‘in order that they may encourage’. The aim of teaching younger women is that ‘they may encourage’. The word ‘encourage’ (SOPHRONIZO) means: to recall one to his senses, sober minded. Younger women need to be taught to be sober minded in all aspects of life. Encouragement in life is so important. May we all search to inspire those around us.

4 in order that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, busy at home, good, being subject to their own husbands, in order that the word of God may not be slandered. 

The fourth type or group are the ‘young women’ (NEOS) meaning: new, youthful, fresh, young. This refers not children but young married women. For them, Paul has seven things he wants Titus to teach.

The first is ‘to love their husbands’. Husbands are called to love their wives (Eph. 5:25) and wives to love their husbands. We can see by this that loving one’s spouse does not come automatically and if it does, it does not mean that this ‘feeling’ will be there constantly. The word ‘love’ (PHILANDROS) means: fond of man, loving their husbands. This denotes the special affection of a wife for her husband. There is a special attachment to one’s spouse that is to be learned and respected.

The second is ‘to love their children’ (PHILOTEKNOS). Again, we see in the Greek the PHILO (loving aspect) and TEKNOS (child, children). Children are not always ‘lovable’ especially as they grow and manifest their character. They can be rebellious, impetuous, hard-headed and many other things. That is why mothers are to be taught to love their children even during the difficult times that they may live. Children are people and not all people are endearing.

The third is ‘to be self-controlled’ (SOPHRON) means: discreet, sober, self-controlled. Have you noticed that in Paul’s epistles, self-control is a recurring theme (1 Cor. 7,9; Gal. 5:23; 1 Tim. 2:16; 2 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:8; 2:2,5)? Young women needed to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit and not of anger, antagonism or disdain. Unfortunate and irritable situations will occur because of children, husbands or people. That is why one needs to be in control of her thoughts and emotions by submitting to the Holy Spirit.

The fourth is to be ‘pure’ (HAGNOS) meaning: properly, clean, pure, chaste, pure in thoughts, pure in deeds, pure in their intention in life and pure in their relationship with the Lord. If the heart is pure so will their actions be. Younger women need to keep away from the deeds of darkness, from the wide road that leads to perversion. Their tongues also need to be pure and remain closed, avoiding gossip. Their ears also need to be pure and not listen to indecent or foolish talk.

 

The fifth is to be ‘busy at home’ (OIKOUROS) meaning: a guard, a stayer at home. Young women were needed at home to take care of the children and bring them up to be good citizens. They are needed to protect them and teach them in the Lord. They are not to be ‘busy bodies’ with their nose in everyone’s business! She is to be ‘busy at home’ and taking care of her family’s business. She is to be the administrator of the family’s assets and busy doing good for her family as we see in Prov. 31:10-31.

The sixth is ‘good’ (AGATHOS) meaning: good, benefit, well. That is the general attitude that young women should have. Jesus said:

 

Matthew 7

12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

(NKJV)

 

This is being ‘good’ to others. Young women should open their eyes and see if there are things that they can do for others especially their husband and children. The Father was good by sending his beloved Son. The Son was good by dying on the cross to pay for our sins and to make future believers righteous before the Father. The Holy Spirit was good by convicting people of their sins and their need of Jesus as Savior. All the goodness that we have received is to be manifested in our life towards others.

The seventh is ‘being subject to their own husbands’. The word ‘subject’ (HUPOTASSO) means: to obey, to be under obedience, to place or rank under. This word is used for ALL people in different circumstances.

  • 8:6-8 - submitting unto the Law of God

  • 10:3 - submitting unto the righteousness of God

  • 13:1,5 - submitting unto the governing authorities

  • 5:21 - submitting unto one another

  • 5:24 - submitting unto Christ

  • Titus 2:9 - submitting to their masters

  • James 4:7 - submitting unto God

  • 1 P. 3:22 - angels submitting to Christ

  • 1 P. 5:5 - younger submitting to older people

 

Some believe that being ‘submitted’ or ‘subject’ to another person is demeaning. Was not the Son totally submitted to the Father in all things? Was this a shameful or honorable thing to do? Please notice that the Scriptures writes ‘to their own husbands’. A wife is to be under the obedience of her ‘own’ (IDIOS) meaning: pertaining to self, their own, husband not every man that comes along! Just as the husband must be ready even to give his life for his wife (Eph. 5:25) and not every woman so is the wife to be subjected to her own husband and not every man.

 

(v.5) …in order that the word of God may not be slandered. 

 

This is the reason why young women are to do these seven things. The honor of God is at stake. Just as a foolish child brings shame to his parents honor so do undisciplined children of God bring shame to their heavenly Father. The word ‘slander’ (BLASPHEMEO) means: to speak impiously, defame. When people see a Christian wife, who is rebellious to her husband or uncaring for her children, people will mock her faith and shame will be brought to the Lord. This is the highest reason why true believers act and live in a holy fashion – to bless the person of God.

 

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be self-controlled, 

 

The fifth type or group is the young men. The word ‘likewise’ (HOSAUTOS) means: in the same way. Young men are not excluded from acting in a godly and honorable way. Here Paul writes only one thing but it embraces everything – ‘self-control’ (SOPHRONNEO) which means: to be of sound mind, soberly. When we remember the general view Paul and others had of the people of Crete one can understand that having ‘self-control’ would make all the difference in one’s life. ‘Young men’ (NEOS) means: new, youthful, young. It is the same word used for ‘young women’ and gives the idea of not being old and mature. It is well known that young men are often stupid and lack in common sense! They do things without thinking and often place themselves either in trouble or danger. This group of people really need to be sober in their thinking.

 

7 concerning everything showing yourself to be an example of good deeds, in your teaching demonstrating soundness, dignity, 8 a sound message beyond reproach, in order that an opponent may be put to shame, because he has nothing bad to say concerning us.

 

Once more Paul turns to Titus and encourages him in his walk with the Lord. In ‘everything’ (PAS) means: all, any, every. Paul is speaking concerning every aspect of his life. Some may have a tendency to keep a certain aspect of his life out of the Lord’s control. Paul tells Titus that this must not be so! Titus needed to be ‘showing yourself’. The word ‘showing’ (PARECHO) meaning: to hold near, to exhibit, to show. He was called to be a model for all believers that were in Crete! May we not forget that we are also to exhibit our faith through our life. He was an ‘example’ (TUPOS) meaning: a die, a stamp, a pattern. In other words, Titus was to be an example of what God does in the life of a person, the living proof that God is alive.

Titus was to be an example ‘of good deeds’. The word ‘good’ (KALOS) means: beautiful as an outward sign of an inward good, noble, honorable character. Titus needed to live as a child of light and not a slave of sin! He needed to radiate the transformation he had received through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it this way:

 

Matthew 5

 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

 14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

(NKJV)

 

Titus needed to be an example ‘in your teaching demonstrating soundness,’. The word ‘teachings’ (DIDASKALIA) means: instruction, doctrine, teachings. Whatever he taught, (and we have seen that this is a top priority as Paul’s representative), to the believers of Crete, his teachings absolutely needed to be filled with ‘soundness’ (ADIAPHTHORIA) meaning: incorruptibleness, purity of doctrine. Most false teachers speak of some biblical truth but blend in some falsehood. Since this is just a little part of the whole it is easily accepted. Sometimes it is just a phrase or a word that, with time, will corrupt the entire teaching. Titus needed to keep all of his teaching absolute pure. No one listening to him should leave with a confused mind.

Psalms 119

 140 Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.

(NKJV)

His messages needed also to be filled with ‘dignity’ (DEMNETOS) meaning: venerable, gravity, honest, dignity, seriousness. Teaching the Word of God is not a laughing matter. One must approach it, being aware of what he is doing. The exposition of God’s Word can be a blessing for those who have ears to listen and should be done seriously. Standing before people or just before one the listener sees you as a man of God, so be honorable in your teachings or conversations.

 

His messages also needed to be ‘beyond reproach’, these two words (AKATAGNOSTOS) mean: unblameable, can not be condemned. Too often we hear sermons or teachings and we say ‘what is he talking about’! The person is wrong and leads people far from the Lord. That person is not ‘beyond reproach’. While speaking of the false teachings of the Pharisees, remember what Jesus said:

 

Matthew 15

 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"

 13 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

 14 "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."

(NKJV)

 

This is why Paul places so much emphasis on Titus’ teaching:

 

(v.8) …in order that an opponent may be put to shame, because he has nothing bad to say concerning us.

 

It is because of ‘an opponent’ (ENANTIOS) meaning: opposite, against, contrary. There are people who oppose the gospel and they will be searching anything that they can scrape up to make a case against you and your teachings. By being ‘beyond reproach’ the opponents will ‘be put to shame’ (ENTREPO) meaning: to confound, give shame, to turn about. They will not be able to stand before you if all that you say and teach is ‘beyond reproach’. The opponent will have ‘nothing bad to say concerning us’. The word ‘nothing’ (NEDEIS) means: not even one, none, not at all. They will not have anything ‘bad to say’. The word ‘bad’ (PHAULOS) means: foul, wicked, evil and the word ‘say’ (LEGO) means: to lay forth usually of a discourse. They will be confronted with the truth and will not have anything to say!

 

9 Slaves must be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not to talk back, 10 not stealing, but demonstrating all good faith, in order that they may do credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.

 

The sixth and last group are slaves. Let’s not forget that slavery has been in existence almost since the beginning of time. It was everywhere, not only in the Roman Empire but everywhere else.

 

The word ‘slaves’ (DOULOS) means: a slave, a bond-man. These were people who were bought at markets and used mostly for labor work. The gospel message was also heard and accepted by slaves, so what must they do once they have become believers in Christ Jesus? First of all, Paul writes that they ‘must be subject’ (HUPOTASSO) meaning: to be under obedience, to be subject to. They needed to remain under the authority of ‘their own masters’. The word ‘masters’ (DESPOTES) means: an absolute ruler, lord, master. But notice that it had to be their ‘own’ (IDIOS) meaning: pertaining to self, his own. Slaves were not to do every bodies bidding but only the one that they belonged to. This is just as believers are not to do everybody’s bidding but only their Master’s who has bought them at a great price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23). They were to be subject to their master ‘in everything’ (PAS) meaning: all, any, every. Does this mean that a slave was to do anything – even things that were against the will of God. The answer, naturally, is of course not.

Slaves also needed to be ‘well-pleasing’ (EUARESTOS) meaning: fully agreeable, well-pleasing. This speaks of the attitude of a slave towards his master. Remember Nehemiah who was a slave working in the court of king Artaxerxes. He was well- pleasing to the king so much so that when Nehemiah was upset concerning Jerusalem his master the King noticed this because it was unusual (Neh. 2:1-10). It was because of this that the king allowed Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild it. Never underestimate the value of being pleasant to others!

 

Slaves also needed ‘not to talk back’. This goes with being ‘well-pleasing’. No one likes people who talk back to them – especially when you are the master! The words ‘talk-back’ (ANTILEGO) mean: to dispute, to refuse, to contradict. A slave’s job is to do what he is asked and not to dispute his orders. Imagine a person in authority in the army who gives orders and the soldiers argue or quarrel! By not talking back, we manifest respect and esteem for our superior.

Slaves also needed to be ‘not stealing’ (NOSPHIZOMAI) meaning: embezzle, keep back, purloin. This should easily be understood as it is one of the Ten Commandments. All must respect the property of others.

Slaves should not steal but be ‘demonstrating all good faith’. Instead of demonstrating that you are a thief one should be ‘demonstrating’ (ENDEIKNUMI) meaning: to indicate by word or act, the opposite. What should slaves indicate or demonstrate to their masters? Their ‘good faith’! The word ‘good’ (AGATHOS) means: good in any sense and the word ‘faith’ (PISTIS) means: persuasion, credence, moral conviction. They should manifest what it means to be a true child of God. All believers should be doing this. But why do the slaves (and all disciples of Christ) need to do this?

 

in order that they may do credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.

 

The words ‘do credit’ (KOSMEO) mean: to put in proper order, adorn. It is to lift up, to manifest the reality, to glorify the ‘teaching of God our Savior’. These slaves had heard the gospel message and had embraced it. They had found a new freedom, an absolute freedom in Christ Jesus and their lives were to be a teaching instrument for all to see. And that was to be ‘in everything’ (PAS) meaning: all, any, every, the whole. In all they were and in all they did they were to be teachers of the glory of God and his grace unto all men who received salvation in Christ – even to the lowest class of society – slaves.

 

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Titus

06 – Godly living for all
2 :11-15

 

 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, 12 training us in order that, denying impiety and worldly desires, we may live self-controlled and righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking forward to the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us, in order that he might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15 Speak these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

(LEB)

 

In our last section the apostle Paul told Titus what to teach people concerning their everyday lives, what to do and what not to do. In this brilliant section, Paul will uncover a more theological aspect of our redemption. He will plunge Titus into the very heart of God. May we open our hearts and ears!

 

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, 

 

This is a broad opening statement concerning the plan of God. We first see the ‘grace of God’. It is ‘grace’ (CHARIS) meaning: graciousness of manner or act, that brought everything to being. It was not an obligation that pushed the Lord to create or bring redemption, for no one can pressure God into anything. It was his ‘grace’, his unmerited favor towards us that originated his plan. The ‘grace’ of God is beyond our understanding for David writes:

 

Psalms 8

 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

 (NKJV)

 

Paul writes that the grace of God ‘has appeared’ (EPIPHAINO) meaning: to shine upon, to appear. At one point, God manifested himself in an extra-ordinary way, a way that had never been seen before. He took on flesh and became Emmanuel – God with us. He lived a flawless, sinless and pure life and offered himself as the perfect redemptive sacrifice on the cross. This is GRACE, pure grace. Paul speaks of a unique appearing of God which brought ‘salvation to all people’. The word ‘salvation’ (SOTERION) means: defender, salvation. This word emphasises the direct implication of God in salvation. That is why only God is Savior (Ps. 106:21; Isaiah 43:3). Isaiah perfectly wrote:

 

Isaiah 43

 11 I, even I, am the LORD, And besides Me there is no savior.

 (NKJV)

 

What does Paul mean when he writes that ‘God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people’? Does this mean that ALL are saved because Christ has died on the cross? Is Paul speaking of a universal salvation? Actually, he is referring to ‘all’ (PAS) meaning: all, any, every, the whole and ‘people’ (ANTHROPOS) meaning: a human being. He is saying that salvation is for everybody, whoever you are and wherever you may be. There is no distinction – Jews and Gentiles now have access to salvation when they repent and turn to Christ for their salvation.

 

12 training us in order that, denying impiety and worldly desires, we may live self-controlled and righteously and godly in the present age, 

 

The salvation that believers have received changes them (Rom. 12:1,2) and brings a new life (John 3:16). The Holy Spirit is ‘training us’ (PAIDEUO) meaning: to train up a child, to educate, to discipline. As a parent trains his child to become a mature and wise adult so does the Holy Spirit train the child of God. This is called sanctification and every true Disciple of Christ goes through this process. Paul gives five aspects of this spiritual ‘training’.

The first is ‘denying impiety’. The word ‘denying’ (ARNEOMAI) means: to contradict, disavow and reject. What we have accumulated before our salvation now needs to be re-constructed. We need to put away certain things and never return to them. These things are called ‘impiety’ (ASEBEIA) which means: impiety, wickedness, ungodliness. In other words, all things that do not reflect the character of God are to be rejected. The Holy Spirit works in the believing heart and alerts him when things are not right. One knows when he has gone ‘over the spiritual line’ and needs to turn back.

 

John 16

 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

 (NKJV)

 

The second is ‘worldly desires’. If the first deals with the spiritual aspect of our character the second deals with our flesh. The word ‘worldly’ (KOSMIKOS) means: mundane, corrupt, that which is opposed to the heavenly world. Here Paul is speaking about the flesh and the fight that goes on between the new and old man.

Galatians 5

 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

 (NKJV)

 

The word ‘desires’ (EPITHUMIA) means: a longing especially for what is forbidden. In this case, it manifests a passionate longing for lust. The holy Spirit brings the believer to a place where he naturally rejects the lusts that this world and his flesh offers. His desires become in accord with the Lord’s heart.

 

The third is ‘we may live self-controlled’. Before we were out of control, slaves to sin, chained by our fleshly desires and incapable to truly break free. But now, being renewed in Christ, believers can ‘live’ (ZAO) meaning: to live. Our everyday life can change because now we can be 'self-controlled’. The word ‘self-controlled’ (SOPHRONOS) means: with sound mind, soberly, moderately. I have already spoken about the importance for Paul to be ‘self-controlled’. Because believers are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they gain control of themselves as the Lord first intended them to be. The flesh will always rage war against the believer but this time we have access to victory by God’s grace. If the holy Spirit is showing you certain aspects of your life that needs to be changed, submit to Him and become triumphant.

The fourth is to live ‘righteously’ (DIKAIOS) meaning: equitably, justly, which gives the idea of being approved by God. This is what believers are being trained for, to live a righteous life before the Lord – a life that pleases Him. Like Adam and Eve who hid themselves after they had sinned so do believers also hide because they have also sinned. When we live a ‘righteous’ life we no longer hide but happily live before our Lord and Savior.

The fifth aspect of our spiritual training is to have a ‘godly’ life. The word ‘godly’ (EUSEBOS) means: pious, godly. Reflecting the character of God is called living as the light and salt of the earth. Just as Christ is the perfect reflection of the Father (Heb. 1:1-4), so should His disciples reflect their Master (John 12:26). Paul writes:

 

Ephesians 5

 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

 (NKJV)

 

All of these five aspects of our training need to be lived ‘in the present age’. Our training is not for the after life for we will be transformed them into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). The training is for RIGHT NOW ‘in the present age’. The word ‘present’ (NUN) means: now, present, immediate and the word ‘age’ (AION) means: an age, a space of time. Do not be fooled and believe that the way you live does not really matter since you are ‘saved’. The way you conduct yourself in life is very important because it either glorifies the Lord or bring Him shame.

 

13 looking forward to the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us, in order that he might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds. 

 

This is what all true Christians should be doing while they practice their spiritual training. They should be ‘looking forward’, the eyes of the Disciple of Christ are to be fixed to the future. The words ‘looking forward’ (PROSDECHOMAI) means: to admit, to await, to look for. Our eyes are fixed with anticipation they are ‘looking forward’ for the ‘blessed hope’. The word ‘blessed’ (MAKARIOS) means: supremely blessed. There is a blessing, a supreme blessing that is coming. This is every believer’s ‘hope’ (ELPIS) meaning: to anticipate usually with pleasure. While we live in this world, we are hoping for the one thing that will change everything for the better and that is the ‘glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ’.

This majestic phrase teaches that Jesus is truly God in the flesh. To all who wonder if Christ is truly God this is yet another verse which proves of this. But first Paul speaks of the ‘glorious appearing’. The word ‘glorious’ (DOXA) means: dignity, glory, honor, praise while the word ‘appearing’ (EPIPHANEIA) means: a manifestation, the advent of Christ. If the first advent of Christ was remarkable with the presence of angels filling the Sky and singing praises and the magi coming with their precious gifts, imagine what his second advent will be like! He will come with his bride, the church, and re-establish his reign, having victory over all his enemies. This is the believers ‘blessed hope’.

 

Paul speaks of the ‘appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ’. The following is written concerning this phrase:

 

The commentary critical and explanatory on the whole Bible unabridged writes: One article combines “God” and “Savior’, which shows that both are predicated of one and the same Being.

 

The Expository notes of Dr. Thomas Constable writes: In other words, Paul described the appearing and glory of one person, our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is another of the passages that clearly states that Jesus Christ is God (cf. John 1:1,18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Heb. 1:8-13; 2 Peter 1:1 and possibly 1 John 5:20)

 

In John Gill’s exposition of the whole Bible it is written: not two divine persons, only one, are here intended; for the word: rendered "appearing", is never used of God the Father, only of the second person; and the pro-positive article is not set before the word "Saviour", as it would, if two distinct persons were designed; and the copulative "and" is exegetical, and may he rendered thus, "and the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ"; who, in the next verse, is said to give himself for the redemption of his people: so that here is a very illustrious proof of the true and proper deity of Christ, who will appear at his second coming; for of that appearance are the, words to be understood, as the great God, in all the glories and perfections of his divine nature; as well as a Saviour, which is mentioned to show that he will appear to the salvation of his people, which he will then put them in the full possession of.

 

Yes, Jesus is truly Emmanuel, God who took upon the flesh of man to live and be tempted as all men are.

 

14 who gave himself for us, in order that he might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds. 

 

Jesus ‘who gave himself for us’ is one of the most tender phrases that a believer can hear! The word ‘gave’ (DIDOMI) means: to give, to bestow, to bring forth. Jesus willingly gave his life as a ransom for all who would repent unto him for salvation.

 

John 10

 17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

 18 "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."

(NKJV)

 

Then Paul explains why Jesus laid down his life for us and begins with ‘in order that he might redeem us from all lawlessness’. We first of all see that he laid down his life to ‘redeem’ (LUTROO) meaning: to ransom, to redeem. Christ was the ransom (the sacrifice) that enabled believers to be set free from ‘all lawlessness’. Please notice the word ‘all’ (PAS) which means: all, any, every, the whole. Christ saved us from every single law we have broken – ALL OF THEM. The word ‘lawlessness’ (ANOMIA) means: violation of the law, wickedness. Believers have been set free!

Colossians 2

 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

(NKJV)

 

The second reason why Christ gave his life as a ransom is to ‘purify for himself a people for his own possession’. Notice that it is his sacrifice that can ‘purify’ (KATHARIZO) meaning: to cleanse, clean, purify. Nothing else can do this for we are all sinners and all that we do (if it is not in Christ) does not please the Father. Christ has purified his disciples from all their iniquities – amen! This purification was done so Christ can have ‘a people for himself’. To be his personal people (LAOS) means: a people, but in this case, it is a very particular people. His disciples are set apart and have become a special group ‘for his own possession’. The word ‘possession’ (PERIOUSIOS) means: one’s own. True believers no longer belong to themselves but have been bought by a great price at the cross (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23) and where our Savior is, so shall we!

We are his special people made to be ‘zealous for good deeds.’  Disciples are not to be lazy and idle, they are to be ‘zealous’ (ZELETOS) meaning: zealous. This zeal should push us towards ‘good deeds’. The word ‘good’ (KALOS) means: valuable, virtuous, chiefly good while the word ‘deeds’ (ERGON) means: to work, toil, an act. Believers are to be working in their Master’s vineyard so that the harvest can be plentiful!

 

15 Speak these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

 

Paul tells Titus to ‘speak these things’. The word ‘speak’ (LALEO) means: to talk, to utter words, preach. Again, we see the necessity for Titus to engage in communicating the truth. He also needs to ‘exhort’ (PARAKALEO) meaning: to call near, invite, comfort, the brethren to live a holy life. He finally needs to ‘reprove’ (ELEGCHO) meaning: to admonish, convict, rebuke. Some are easily persuaded to walk straight while others need to be reprimanded. Either way, Titus had to speak to these people. He had to speak ‘with all authority’ (EPITAGE) meaning: a decree, authority, command. Titus needed to be strong and speak with authority. Paul also tells Titus not to let anyone ‘disregard’ (PERIPHRONEO) meaning: depreciate, despise. Like Timothy, Titus needed to not allow people to demean and humiliate him.

 

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Titus

07 – The grace of God
3 :1-7

 

Remind them to be subject to the rulers and to the authorities, to obey, to be prepared for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all courtesy to all people. 3 For we also were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, enslaved to various desires and pleasures, spending our lives in wickedness and envy, despicable, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not by deeds of righteousness that we have done, but because of his mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

(LEB)

 

In our last section, we have seen that the apostle Paul wrote his concerns for five different groups of people and also for Titus. In this section the encouragements are for everyone. This section is divided in two; the first dealing with believers and the second with the Lord God.

 

 1 Remind them to be subject to the rulers and to the authorities, to obey, to be prepared for every good work, 

 

Believers constantly have to be reminded of the things of God. The word ‘remind’ (HUPOMIMNESKO) means: to remind quietly, put in mind. I like the softness Paul asks Titus to embrace. He is not to yell or shout at people but to speak to them with gentleness. This, also, is the way we should all communicate. The believers needed to be reminded to ‘be subject’ (HUPOTASSO) meaning: subordinate, to obey, put under. Remember the description of the Cretans in our first chapter! They were obstinate and hard-headed, no wonder Titus needed to remind them to be subjected to the Roman Empire.

 

The believers needed to be subject ‘to the rulers and to the authorities. The word ‘rulers’ (ARCHE) means: chief, magistrate, ruler while the word ‘authorities’ (EXOUSIA) means: force, capacity, jurisdiction, authority. These two words speak about those who have governmental authority in whatever capacity. In other words, they were to obey the rules and regulations that governed their island. This is no different for all believers today! We all need to be good citizens and be obedient to the laws of our land even if they may seem unfair.

 

They also needed to remember ‘to obey’ (PEITHARCHEO) meaning: to be persuaded by a ruler, to conform. One can obey with a grudge and a tight upper lip. Your attitude may not be the best and it shows in your behavior – this is not what God wants! He want’s you to be persuaded to follow the laws, to do them willingly. Remember what is written:

 

Philippians 2

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,

(NKJV)

 

And also:

 

1 Corinthians 10

 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

 (NKJV)

 

The last reminder was ‘to be prepared for every good work’. This is a spiritual reminder, something that they needed to be doing for the Lord’s work. The word ‘prepared’ (HETOIMOS) means: ready, adjusted, prepared. Children of God need to be prepared, for the Lord may call upon them at any time! Remember the parable of the ten virgins (Mat. 25). Five were prepared for the arrival of the bridegroom and five were not. Those who were not are called foolish virgins. If you are a true believer and you are not prepared in your Christian life then you are also a fool! They needed to be ‘prepared for every good work’. The word ‘every’ (PAS) means: all, any, every, the whole. Be prepared to do anything and everything that the Lord brings into your life. It may have been that the Cretan believers were a bit too ‘laid back’ in their Christian life and needed to be reminded that they were on a mission.

 

2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all courtesy to all people. 

 

They also needed to be reminded of the following. First ‘to speak evil of no one’. The tongue is often very difficult to master as we are told in the epistle of James. This seemed to be also true for the Cretan believers. The words ‘to speak evil’ (BLASPHEMEO) mean: to speak impiously, to defame, to rail. They needed to master their thoughts and speech. Being hot-headed they would be prone to easily speak against people. If one desires to speak concerning another this should be done in a holy manner! There are no exceptions, for Paul writes ‘of no one’ (MEDEIS) meaning: not even one.

 

Instead of speaking against people Paul says that they are to be reminded to ‘be peaceable’ (AMACHOS) meaning: not a brawler. When you defame someone you automatically push him away but when you are a peaceful person you attract people. Christ attracted people and the only ones he spoke against were the religious elite who were blind and were spiritually blinding others (Mat. 15:14).

 

The Cretans also needed to be ‘gentle’ (EPIEKES) meaning: appropriate, mild, gentle. They needed to act in accordance with the situations they were living. Some people have a tendency to inflate situations and make a mountain out of a molehill! Christians are called to remain gentle in all circumstances. Verbal abuse and violence certainly do not enhance a situation – far from it.

 

Finally, they needed to be reminded that they should be ‘showing all courtesy to all people’. The word ‘showing’ (ENDEIKNUMI) means: to indicate by word or act. This is how they should live, how people ought to see them in their daily lives. They needed to manifest ‘courtesy to all’. The word ‘courtesy’ (PRAIOTES) means: gentleness, humility and meekness. This refers to their general attitude towards other people. Be someone people would like to be with. Please notice that Paul writes ‘to all’ (PAS) meaning: all, every, any, the whole. Being kind and good with certain people is easy, with others it is not. We are not to eliminate those who are difficult and be kind and gentle only to those who please us. Imagine if the Lord God did that – no one would be saved. But he did just the opposite:

 

Romans 5

 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(NKJV)

 

Believers often need to be reminded of who they were before their salvation. Some may be a little harsh on people because they live in such a way, forgetting that they had done the same thing. This is what Paul speaks about in our following verse.

 

3 For we also were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, enslaved to various desires and pleasures, spending our lives in wickedness and envy, despicable, hating one another. 

(NKJV)

 

Paul turns away from describing the Cretans to include himself and all other Christians as lacking holiness before they were saved. We see this when Paul writes ‘for we also were’. The word ‘also’ (KAI) means: and, also, even. The following is inclusive – even for Paul! What are we all to remember before being harsh with others?

 

We are to remember that we ‘were once foolish’. The words ‘were once’ (POTE) mean: at some time, afore, in time past. In the past we were all ‘foolish’ (ANOETOS) meaning: unintelligent, unwise, foolish. We all did and said foolish things – we were just like everybody else.

 

We are to remember that we also were ‘disobedient’ (APEITHES) meaning: unpersuadable, disobedient. We were rebellious and unruly whether in our hearts or in our actions. This should help us to be more ‘lenient’ remembering that we also passed through that stage in life. We do not condone disobedience but react in a way that will make it easier to communicate and help the person.

We are to remember that we were ‘led astray’ (PLANAO)meaning: to err, to seduce, to lead astray. We followed our own paths and philosophy of life. We lived the way we desired and often stood our ground. We listened to our ‘heroes’ and often accepted their way of living. Then one day we came to the cross and everything changed. People, especially the younger ones, are so easily ‘led astray’. May we encourage them instead of irritating them.

 

We are to remember that we also were ‘enslaved to various desires and pleasures’. With time, sin entraps us in its snares and we become ‘enslaved’ (DOULEUO) meaning: to be a slave to, be in bondage. We can ‘no longer live without… ’various desires’. The word ‘various’ (POIKILOS) means: various in character while the word ‘desires’ (EPITHUMIA) means: a longing especially for what is forbidden. We become hooked on things or for things that are illicit or not honorable. Let us remember and help those who are entrapped instead of crushing them.

 

We need to remember that we also were ‘spending our lives in wickedness and envy’. We were losing our time ‘spending’ (DIAGO) meaning: to pass time or life. We had no better things to do than living in ‘wickedness and envy’. The word ‘wickedness’ (KAKIA) means: badness, depravity, evil, malice while the word ‘envy’ (PHTHONOS) means: ill-will, jealousy, envy. We acted badly with some people and with others we were jealous of them. It was in us and it seems that this type of sin just grew and grew and for some it took over their lives!

 

We were also ‘despicable’ and ‘hating one another’. The word ‘despicable and hating’ (STUGNETOS) means: to hate, odious, hateful. We were not friendly to some people because we were hating ‘one another’ (ALLELON) meaning: one-another, each other. There was no sense of loyalty or attachment for some there was only disdain offered to them. These are the things we must remember (as the Cretans) about ourselves to not easily find faults in others while forgetting our own! Remember what our Lord and Savior said:

 

Matthew 7

 3 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

 5 "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

 (NKJV)

 

As I said before, this section is divided in two, the first dealing with believers and the second with the Lord God. Here is the second section.

 

4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not by deeds of righteousness that we have done, but because of his mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

Then God intervened in the history of mankind and in the hearts of everyone who would believe – amen! Something happened that would change their (and our) lives. God manifested himself through ‘kindness and love’. The word ‘kindness’ (CHRESTOTES) means: excellence in character and morality, uprightness. God manifested his holy character and also his ‘love for mankind’ (PHILANTHROPIA) meaning: fondness for mankind. He manifested his holy character and his infinite love for mankind by taking on flesh, living among us and dying for us. God (THEOS) meaning: the supreme God is called ‘our Savior’ (SOTER) meaning: a deliverer, a Savior. Paul writes that this Savior-God ‘appeared’ (EPIPHAINO). Now who ‘appeared’? Is it the Father or the Son? This is another statement which clearly states that Jesus is God! By his appearing Jesus ‘saved us’ (SOZO) meaning: safe, to deliver or protect. He came to deliver us from the condemnation that the breaking of the Law brought.

 

Romans 5:1

  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 (NKJV)

 

Romans 8:1

  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 (NKJV)

 

He saved us ‘not by deeds of righteousness that we have done’. This ‘righteousness’ (DIKAIOSUNE) meaning: equity of character is NOT obtained ‘by deeds’. The word ‘not’ (OU) means: no, not, nay, never. So, it is ABSOLUTELY NOT by any ‘deeds’ (ERGON) meaning: to work, toil, an act, that we have done that we gain a standing of righteousness before the Lord. There is nothing in us that pleases the Lord God. Read how Paul describes the non-believer:

Romans 3

 10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;

 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."

 13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips";

 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."

 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;

 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

 17 And the way of peace they have not known."

 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

 (NKJV)

 

How then, is righteousness obtained? Paul writes: ‘because of his mercy’. The word ‘because’ (KATA) means: down in place or time, about, according to. It is according to God’s ‘mercy’ (ELEOS) meaning: compassion, tender mercy. Forgiveness passes through the mercy and grace of God manifested at the cross – nothing else!

(v.5) …through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 

 

Here Paul reminds Titus how his mercy works. God’s mercy works, ‘through the washing of regeneration’. Jesus called it being born again (John 3:3,7). Salvation is ‘through’ (DIA) meaning: denoting the channel of an act. It is through the ‘washing of regeneration’ that we are saved. The word ‘washing’ (LOUTRON) means: a bath, washing and the word ‘regeneration’ (PALIGGENESIA) means: a spiritual rebirth, a regeneration. So, it is the regeneration given to the repentant sinner that washes him completely. When this is given, it brings a ‘renewal by the Holy Spirit’. The word ‘renewal’ (ANAKAINOSIS) means: renovation, renewal. The new believer is drastically changed in his thinking – his mind is renewed and keeps on being renewed (2 Cor.4:16; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10). All of this is done by the work of ‘the Holy Spirit’.

 

 6 whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

 

The ‘he’ mentioned here is the Father. It was the Father’s promise to give the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:14-21) to believers in the Messiah. The Holy Spirit was ‘poured out’ (EKCHEO) meaning: to pour, to bestow, to spill. The Holy Spirit literally flooded the heart of every new believer. The word ‘abundantly’ (PLOUSIOS) means: copiously, abundantly, richly. It is with great measure that the Holy Spirit was given. This was possible only ‘through’ (DIA) meaning: denoting the channel of an act, Jesus Christ who is the ‘Savior’ (SOTER) meaning: a deliverer, a Savior. What we see is the work of the Holy Trinity at work. The Father promised and planned it. The Son went to the cross so it could become possible. The Holy Spirit descended and filled every believer.

 

7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

The goal of this renewal by the new birth is given: ‘having been justified by grace’. The words ‘having been’ (HINA) mean: in order that, albeit, to the intent that. Once believers have been ‘justified’ (DIKAIOO) meaning: to render just or innocent, free (Rom. 3:24,28; 5:1,9; 8:30) the following happens (and this is the goal) ‘we may become heirs’ (KLERONOMOS) meaning: a sharer by lot, inheritor, heir. We have been given the right to become a child of God (Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1,2; 5:2) and heir  (Gal. 4:7).

 

This great blessing is ‘according to the hope of eternal life’. All of becoming righteous and heirs is wrapped up ‘according’ (KATA) meaning: about, according as, by way of, ‘the hope’ (ELPIS) meaning: expectation, confidence, hope. The hope that is given to us which is ‘eternal life’ (AIONIOS) means: a perpetual life. This is the goal to be forgiven and justified and to live with the Lord God forever and ever as it was intended before Adam and Eve sinned.

 

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Titus

08 – Things to avoid
3 :8-11

 

8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist concerning these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and beneficial for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and contentions and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and fruitless. 10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

(LEB)

 

We are arriving near the end of Paul’s letter to Titus and the apostle gives one last general recommendation to his co-worker in the Lord. He emphasizes the importance of what he is about to write by stating: ‘The saying is trustworthy’. He calls, what he is about to write, ‘trustworthy’ (PISTOS) meaning: trustworthy, true, sure. This should lead Titus to open his ears to what he is about to read and so should we.

 

Paul is forceful by saying ‘I want you’. The word ‘want’ (BOULOMAI) means: to will, this is a strong term that underlines the predetermined intention. Paul is trying to ‘catch’ the attention of Titus. This is what he wants Titus to do: ‘I want you to insist concerning these things’. He wants Titus to ‘insist’ (DIABEBAIOOMAI) which means: to confirm thoroughly, to affirm confidently. He was not to refrain or to be shy ‘concerning these things’, the things that Paul has been writing about. Titus needed to stand firm and teach the whole council of God. This is still a good encouragement for today’s teachers and preachers. Some subjects are more delicate or difficult to accept than others but this should not stop the man of God from speaking about them.

 

But why take the trouble and the time to teach the more difficult aspects of God’s will? Why not just talk about the nice things, the things people like to hear? Why have disciples of Christ even resent you for reminding them of their sins and their need to repent! There may be different reasons (and there are) but Paul gives one that should suffice:

 

(v.8) …so that those who have believed in God may be careful to engage in good deeds.

 

One teaches the entire Word of God for the benefit of ‘those who have believed’. The word ‘believed’ (PISTEUO) means: to have faith, to entrust. Titus teach, it is for the good of the brethren. They need to be ‘careful’ (PHRONTIZO) meaning: to exercise thought, be careful. In other words, they need to be thinking about what they are doing and how they are living. They need to ‘engage’ (PROISTEMI) meaning: to stand before, to practice, to preside. They need to be ACTIVE in their faith – by doing ‘good deeds’. The theme of ‘good deeds’ is very strong in Paul’s pastoral letters and is mentioned eight times (1 Tim. 2:10; 5:10,25; 6:18; Titus 2:7,14; 3:8,14)! We know that we are not saved through ‘good deeds’ but through faith in what Christ has done for us. The natural consequence of being born-again is a new heart and vision of life which includes living a new way which is manifested by good works to honor the Lord God.

 

Ephesians 2

 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 (NKJV)

 

Paul continues to speak about ‘good deeds’ by saying that:

 

(v.8) …These things are good and beneficial for people. 

 

These deeds that believers are to do are ‘good’ (KALOS) meaning: properly, chiefly good, virtuous. They are not only honorable and worthy they are also ‘beneficial’ (OPHELIMOS) meaning: helpful, advantageous, profitable, for the people. By doing good works a believer can not lose! He pleases both his Lord and people around him! The word ‘people’ (ANTHROPOS) means: man-faced, a human being. Doing good works is beneficial not only for the brethren but also for all people. So, let’s be good, kind, merciful, patient and forgiving unto others. When we do this, it covers the ‘golden rule’:

 

Matthew 7

 12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

(NKJV)

 

After mentioning what should be done, Paul mentions what should not be done.

 

 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and contentions and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and fruitless. 

 

This same general command is also given to Timothy about keeping away from ‘foolish controversies’ (1 Tim. 1:4, 2 Tim. 2:14,16,23). The word ‘foolish’ (MOROS) means: dull, stupid, absurd, foolish. While the word ‘controversies’ (ZETESIS) means: a dispute, a searching. There are subjects that are not worth our while. This is the first one –‘foolish controversies’. This refers to fighting over things that do not honor the Lord and does not benefit anyone. The second is foolish ‘genealogies’ (GENEALOGIA) meaning: tracing by generations. This was specially done by the Jewish people. Proving their descendance or the descendance of others was a “hot topic’. All of this was to prove one had a better lineage than another! Although this was necessary for a Levite or a descendant of Aaron (for the priesthood), for others it was a root of pride and even discrimination. The third is ‘contentions’ (ERIS) meaning: a quarrel, strife, contention and the word ‘quarrels’ (MACHE) means: a battle, fighting. With these two words we can see that there is an escalation, beginning with a simple quarrel to a full fledge battle ‘about the law’. The subject was ‘the law’ (NOMIKOS) meaning: according to the law. Believers would really get upset on the different interpretations of the law. We saw these theological battles during Jesus’ lifetime and also Paul’s. The Pharisees believed in the literal interpretation of the Law while the Sadducees believed in a more allegorical interpretation and it brought fighting between the two ‘clans’. Paul even used this dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees as a trick to split the unity of those who opposed him in Jerusalem (Acts 23:1-10).

 

Paul tells Titus to ‘avoid’ these controversies. The word ‘avoid’ (PERIISTEMI) means: to be a bystander, to keep away from. Titus was not to engage in such foolish talk and neither should all true believers in Christ. These quarrels are ‘useless’ (ANOPHELES) meaning: useless, unprofitable. There is no gain in quarreling about the law or genealogies or controversies – none whatever! Paul states that they are also ‘fruitless’ (MATAIOS) meaning: empty, profitless, vanity. They are void of any good fruit – so why take time to nourish such controversies?

 

10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

 

So, what was Titus to do with the brethren who did not listen to his admonitions? He was to ‘reject’ (PARAITEOMAI) meaning: deprecate, shun, refuse. At one-point action needed to be taken against such a person (the one that loves controversies). He had to be disciplined! Now this person had to be ‘divisive’ (HAIRETIKOS) meaning: schismatic, heretic. The person who would engage in foolish talk that would bring either heresy or clashing and divisions between the brethren – that person needed to be taken out of the group.

 

This would be done ‘after a first and second admonition’. Only ‘after’ (META) meaning: afterward, following, hence, hereafter, speaking to the person not once but twice would an action against him be taken. An ‘admonition’ (NOUTHESIA) meaning: calling attention, mild rebuke, needed to be given. Notice that it is a ‘mild rebuke’, taking the person aside and explaining calmly why what he is doing is not godly.

 

There was a reason why discipline needed to be given:

 

11 knowing that such a person is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

 

The word ‘knowing’ (EIDO) means: to see, to know, to be awake. This is no doubt about this ‘such a person is perverted’. The word ‘perverted’ (EKSTREPHO) means: to pervert, to subvert, to turn inside out. He is no longer thinking right, he mixes things up and is under a curse!

 

Isaiah 5

 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

(NKJV)

 

That person ‘is sinning’ (HAMARTANO) meaning: to miss the mark, to offend, sin. He is not pleasing unto the Lord. Actually he has become an enemy of the Lord by perverting his word! He is ‘self-condemned’ (AUTOKATAKRITOS) meaning: self-condemned. This word appears only once in the New Testament. When we sin in such a way, we are condemning ourselves to church discipline. No one else can be blamed but ourselves.

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Titus

09 – A few final thoughts and conclusion
3:12-15

 

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make haste to come to me in Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Diligently send on their way Zenas the lawyer and Apollos, so that they may lack nothing. 14 But also our people must learn to engage in good deeds for necessary needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. 15 All those with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with all of you.

(LEB)

 

This is our last section and the apostle Paul gives Titus his last wishes and blessings. He, first of all, tells Titus that he will send someone to him, the word ‘send’ (PEMPO) means: to dispatch, a temporary errand, to send. He will send someone to him but he is not certain who it will be. It is either Artemas or Tychicus.

 

As for Artemas (ARTEMAS), he is only mentioned in this verse. There is nothing else that we know except that he was a worthy Christian, since Paul is thinking of sending him on a mission to replace Titus.

 

Tychicus (TUCHIKOS), is named five times and every time it is in conjunction with the apostle Paul. He accompanied Paul on his voyage from Corinth to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He carried the letters of Paul to the Colossians, Ephesians and first Timothy. He was a good companion of Paul in God’s service.

 

When either one of them would arrive, Paul instructs Titus as follows: ‘make haste to come to me in Nicopolis’. The words ‘make haste’ (SPOUDAZO) mean: to use speed, to make an effort. He wanted Titus to ‘come to me’ as fast as he could. The word ‘come’ (ERCHOMAI) simply means: to come or go. Paul was in ‘Nicopolis’ (NIKOPOLIS), this is probably Nicopolis of Thrace which is in Macedonia. Some disagree since there are other cities also called Nicopolis such as in Epirus which is a city built by Augustus Caesar.

Paul has ‘decided to spend the winter there’. Winter traveling is never pleasant especially if you are sea-faring. It was often very dangerous, so Paul decided to remain in Nicopolis. The word ‘winter’ PARACHEIMAZO) means: to winter near, to stay over the winter season. There may also have been an open door in Nicopolis for the advancement of the gospel. We are not told and Nicopolis is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament

 

13 Diligently send on their way Zenas the lawyer and Apollos, so that they may lack nothing. 

 

He is also asking Titus to take special care of Zenas (ZENAS). This is the only verse where he is named. We can only suggest that he is a devoted Christian, because Paul sent him to Crete to help out in some way. It is written that he is a ‘lawyer’ (NOMIKOS) meaning: according to the law, expert in the law. Is Paul referring to the civil law or the Law of Moses – we do not know. But we can imagine it has more to do with spiritual matters, therefore the Law of Moses, biblical law.

 

He also speaks of ‘Apollos’ (APOLLOS). He is mentioned ten times in the New Testament and is well-versed in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24). He is always spoken of in a fond manner as a true believer and co-worker in the Lord.

 

Paul asks Titus to ‘diligently send on their way’ these two men. It is apparent that they were in Crete with Titus but now they must go on another mission. The word ‘diligently’ (SPOUDAIOS) means: earnestly, promptly, diligently. It is something that needed to be done rapidly, it was a pressing matter. He also reminds Titus that they must not be sent empty handed ‘that they may lack nothing’. The word ‘lack’ (LEIPO) means: fail, be absent, wanting. Paul wanted to be certain, that being sent, they would ‘lack nothing’. The word ‘nothing’ (MEDEIS) means: not even one, none, not at all. It is good that workers for the Lord are taken care of by the Lord’s people (1 Cor. 9:14).

 

14 But also our people must learn to engage in good deeds for necessary needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. 

 

It seems that liberality, hospitality and general care for others is not instantaneous in the believer’s heart. Paul reminds Titus that the Cretan believers ‘our people must learn’ to do this. The word ‘must’ (KAI) means: also, even, that, therefore. They also needed to ‘learn’ (MANTHANO) meaning: to learn in any way. For some it is natural to help out, while for others they must be taught to be generous with the brethren. Now the believers needed to learn ‘to engage in good deeds’. Once again, we see the importance in Paul’s eyes to be active in the faith. He wants the Cretan believers to ‘engage’ (PROISTEMI) meaning: to stand before, to practice, to maintain. They needed to practice ‘good deeds’. The word ‘good’ (KALOS) means: beautiful, chiefly good, virtuous. These are not any deeds but virtuous ‘deeds’ (ERGON) meaning: to work, toil, an act. All Christians need to be active in doing good things for the Lord and there is a reason for that. Paul writes ‘so that they will not be unfruitful’. Remember in the beginning of this epistle there was a description of the Cretans. One of the things said is that they were lazy (1:12). Laziness goes in hand with being ‘unfruitful’ (AKARPOS) meaning: without fruit, barren. Paul does not want the Cretan believers to be like other Cretans. He wants them to stand out and be engaged in gospel work! May we remember that laziness is never acceptable for a disciple of Christ!

15 All those with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with all of you.

 

His last phrase deals with greetings. Those who are with him (believers in Christ) ‘greet’ (ASPAZOMAI) meaning: to enfold in the arms, Titus. We can see that he is well-loved in the Christian community. Paul also asks Titus to ‘greet’ (same word as before) those who ‘love us in the faith’. The word ‘love’ (PHILEO) means: to be a friend to, to have affection for. He wanted Titus to say an affectionate ‘hello’ from those who were with him to the believers in Crete. We should always be glad to hear news from the brothers and sisters in Christ no matter where they are.

 

Final words and surely some of the most important ones in this letter: ‘Grace be with all of you’. Paul’s desire for Titus and the believers in Crete was that the ‘grace’ (CHARIS) meaning: the divine influence upon the heart, God’s favor, would follow ‘all’ (PAS) meaning: all, any, every, the whole. There was no exception to be made in Paul’s mind, all the brethren should receive God’s grace.

 

May you also receive God’s grace.

 

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