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Titus

June 13, 2009
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Titus

[TIGH tuhs] (pleasant) - a "partner and fellow worker" (2 Cor 8:23) of the apostle Paul. Although Titus is not mentioned in the Book of Acts, Paul's letters reveal that he was the man of the hour at a number of key points in Paul's life.

Paul first mentions Titus in Gal 2:1-3. As an uncircumcised Gentile, Titus accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem as a living example of a great theological truth: Gentiles need not be circumcised in order to be saved.

Titus next appears in connection with Paul's mission to Corinth. While Paul was in Ephesus during his third missionary journey, he received disturbing news from the church at Corinth. After writing two letters and paying one visit to Corinth, Paul sent Titus to Corinth with a third letter (2 Cor 7:6-9). When Titus failed to return with news of the situation, Paul left Ephesus and, with a troubled spirit (2 Cor 7:5), traveled north to Troas (2 Cor 2:12-13).

Finally, in Macedonia, Titus met the anxious apostle with the good news that the church at Corinth had repented. In relief and joy, Paul wrote yet another letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians), perhaps from Philippi, sending it again through Titus (2 Cor 7:5-16). In addition, Titus was given responsibility for completing the collection for the poor of Jerusalem (2 Cor 8:6,16-24; 12:18).

Titus appears in another important role on the island of Crete (Titus 1:4). Beset by a rise in false teaching and declining morality, Titus was told by Paul to strengthen the churches by teaching sound doctrine and good works, and by appointing elders in every city (Titus 1:5). Paul then urged Titus to join him in Nicopolis (on the west coast of Greece) for winter (Titus 3:12). Not surprisingly, Titus was remembered in church tradition as the first bishop of Crete.

A final reference to Titus comes from 2 Tim 4:10, where Paul remarks in passing that Titus has departed for mission work in Dalmatia (modern Yugoslavia).

Titus was a man for the tough tasks. According to Paul, he was dependable (2 Cor 8:17), reliable (2 Cor 7:6), and diligent (2 Cor 8:17); and he had a great capacity for human affection (2 Cor 7:13-15). Possessing both strength and tact, Titus calmed a desperate situation on more than one occasion. He is a good model for Christians who are called to live out their witness in trying circumstances.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Titus 1:1-11

1:1 PAUL, A bond servant of God and an apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) to stimulate and promote the faith of God's chosen ones and to lead them on to accurate discernment and recognition of and acquaintance with the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness,

2[Resting] in the hope of eternal life, [life] which the ever truthful God Who cannot deceive promised before the world or the ages of time began.

1.       This includes not only the salvation of the soul, but also the resurrection of the body; this was not clearly understood or clearly revealed under the Mosaic law, but fully revealed under the Gospel.

3 And [now] in His own appointed time He has made manifest (made known) His Word and revealed it as His message through the preaching entrusted to me by command of God our Savior;

1.       God caused the Gospel to be published in that time in which it could be published with the greatest effect.

2.       Jesus was manifested precisely at the time in which that manifestation could best promote the glory of God and the salvation of man.

3.       Made know His word: by the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

4.       God, our Saviour; the commission was given by Jesus Christ alone, and this is another proof that Paul believed Jesus Christ to be God.

4 To Titus, my true child according to a common (general) faith: Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) and [heart] peace from God the Father and the Lord Christ Jesus our Savior.

1.       Since Paul was the instrument of converting Titus to the Christian faith, he declared that he had the same right as any man can have in his own begotten son.

5 For this reason I left you [behind] in Crete, that you might set right what was defective and finish what was left undone, and that you might appoint elders and set them over the churches (assemblies) in every city as I directed you.

1.       It appears that Paul didnít spend much time in Crete before, (after Paulís first imprisonment at Rome), and that he had to leave before he got the church properly organized.

2.       Appoint elders well instructed in divine things, able to instruct others, and observe and enforce the discipline of the church.

3.       It appears that those who are called elders in this place are the same as those termed bishops.

4.       In every city: the apostle went over the whole of the hecatompolis, or hundred cities for which this island was celebrated; it is not likely that he would have left one in which he had not preached Christ crucified.

6[These elders should be] men who are of unquestionable integrity and are irreproachable, the husband of [but] one wife, whose children are [well trained and are] believers, not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly.

1.       Faithful children: believers, household is converted to God: if a man cannot rule his own house, he cannot rule the church of God. (1 Tim 3:5)

7 For the bishop (an overseer) as God's steward must be blameless, not self-willed or arrogant or presumptuous; he must not be quick-tempered or given to drink or pugnacious (brawling, violent); he must not be grasping and greedy for filthy lucre (financial gain);

1.       Self-willed: not one who is determined to have his own way in everything, setting  up his own judgment to that of others.

2.       Quick tempered: not one who is irritable, who is apt to be inflamed on every opposition.

8 But he must be hospitable (loving and a friend to believers, especially to strangers and foreigners); [he must be] a lover of goodness [of good people and good things], sober-minded (sensible, discreet), upright and fair-minded, a devout man and religiously correct, temperate and keeping himself in hand.

9 He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].

10 For there are many disorderly and unruly men who are idle (vain, empty) and misleading talkers and self-deceivers and deceivers of others. [This is true] especially of those of the circumcision party [who have come over from Judaism].

1.       Disorderly & unruly: persons who will not receive the sound doctrine, nor come under wholesome discipline.

2.       Mere talkers: empty boasters of knowledge, rights, and particular privileges; all noise, & no work.

3.       The circumcision: Judaizing teachers, who maintain the necessity of circumcision, and ov observing the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, in order to the perfecting of the Gospel.

11 Their mouths must be stopped, for they are mentally distressing and subverting whole families by teaching what they ought not to teach, for the purpose of getting base advantage and disreputable gain.

1.       Expose them, make manifest their ignorance and hypocrisy.

2.       Ruining whole households: They turn whole Christian families from the faith, ministering to disorderly passions, and promising salvation to their proselytes, though not saved from their sins.

12     One of their [very] number, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, hurtful beasts, idle and lazy gluttons.

a.       [One of themselves, even a prophet of their own] This was Epimenides, who was born at Gnossus in Crete, and was reckoned by many the seventh wise man of Greece. Many fabulous things are related of this poet, which are not proper to be noticed here. He died about 538 years before the Christian era. When Paul calls him a prophet of their own, he only intimates that he was, by the Cretans, reputed a prophet. And, according to Plutarch (in Solone), the Cretans paid him divine honours after his death. Diogenes Laertius mentions some of his prophecies: beholding the fort of Munichia, which guarded the port of Athens, he cried out: "O ignorant men! if they but knew what slaughters this fort shall occasion, they would pull it down with their teeth!" This prophecy was fulfilled several years after, when the king, Antipater, put a garrison in this very fort, to keep the Athenians in subjection.

b.      [The Cretians are always liars] The words quoted here by the apostle are, according to Jerome, Socrates, Nicephorus, and others, taken from a work of Epimenides,

13     And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error,

a.       [This witness is true.] What Epimenides said of them nearly 600 years before continued still to be true. Their original character had undergone no moral change.

b.      [Rebuke them sharply] Apotomoos. Cuttingly, severely; show no indulgence to persons guilty of such crimes.

c.       [That they may be sound in the faith] That they may receive the incorrupt doctrine, and illustrate it by a holy and useful life.

14[And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.

1.       Commands of those: the injunctions of the scribes and Pharisees, which they added to the law of God.

2.       Turn their backs on the truth: such persons that made the word of God of no effect by their traditions; the persons in question despised the truth and taught others to do the same.

15     To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted.

d.      [But unto them that are defiled] In their consciences, and unbelieving, apistois, unfaithful both to offered and received grace, nothing is pure-they have no part in Christ, and the wrath of God abides upon them.

                                                               i.      Their mind is contaminated with impure and unholy images and ideas, and their conscience is defiled with the guilt of sins already committed against God.

 

16     They profess to know God [to recognize, perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind.

a.       [They profess that they know God] He still speaks concerning the unbelieving Jews, the seducing teachers, and those who had been seduced by their bad doctrine. None were so full of pretensions to the knowledge of the true God as the Jews.

b.      They would not admit that any other people could have this knowledge; nor did they believe that God ever did or ever would reveal himself to any other people; they supposed that to give the law and the prophets to the Gentiles would be a profanation of the words of God.

c.       Hence, they became both proud, uncharitable, and intolerant; and in this disposition they continue until the present day.

Titus 2:1-15

2:1 BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].

1.       This is a conclusion drawn from the preceding chapter.

2.       The Judaizing teachers not only taught a false doctrine, but by their actions they deny Him.

a.       Titus 1:16

b.      The people are to be well instructed in that principle and practice must go hand in hand.

2 Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ].

1.       Worthy of respect: KJ: grave: venerable, honorable.

3 Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble,

1.       Not slanderers: KJ: false accusers: from the Greek diabolos: a traducer; specially Satan.

2.       Addicted to much wine: Itís interesting to note that Paul also instructs the older men, in the same way.

a.       Both among the Greeks and Romans, old women were generally reputed to be fond of much wine.

b.      The Greek philosophers and physicians, who denied wine to young persons, judged it to be necessary for the aged.

4 So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children,

1.       Train the younger women: Greek: sophronizo: to make of sound mind, to discipline or correct.

5 To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).

1.       Pure: Gr: hagnos: clean, innocent, modest, perfect.

2.       Busy at home: keepers at home: Gr: oikourgos: domestically inclined, a good housekeeper.

3.       The enemies of the Gospel are quick to point out imperfections: If they find women professing Christianity, and acting otherwise, they will use it to malign the word of God.

4.       Our witness is so important, the world is watching.

6 In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously].

1.       Change should begin with the old; they have the authority, and they should give the example.

2.       Self-control is a rare quality in the young.

7 And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness.

1.       Integrity:Gr: aphthoria: incorruption, soundness

2.       Seriousness: Gr:semnotes: venerableness

8 And let your instruction be sound and fit and wise and wholesome, vigorous and  irrefutable and above censure, so that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing discrediting or evil to say about us.

1.       Soundness of speech: Gr: hugies: healthy, well (in body) true (indoctrine)

2.       Healing doctrine: Human nature is in a state of disease; and the doctrine of the Gospel  removes the disease, and restores all to perfect health and soundness.

3.       False doctrines leave men under the influence of spiritual (and physical) disease.

9[Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict,

10 Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.

1.       It was common to not only steal, but embezzle anotherís property, keeping back a part of the price of any commodity sold on the masterís account; this is the crime of which Ananias and Sapphira were guilty.

2.       Among the pagans, this kind of fraud was very frequent.

3.       It was necessary, that the apostle should be so very particular in his directions to servants, as they were in general thieves, almost by profession.

11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.

1.       Salvation: Gr: soterion: from soteria: rescue or safety (physically or morally)

12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,

1.       Ungodliness: Gr: asebeia: impiety, wickedness, irreverence.

2.       World lusts: Gr:epithumia: a longing (especially for what is forbidden)

13 Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

14     Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. [Deut 14:2; Ps 130:8; Ezek 37:23.]

a.       Purify: Gr: katharizo: to cleanse

b.      His very own: KJ: peculiar: Gr: periousios: being beyond usual, special, (oneís own)

c.       Eager to do what is good: KJ; zealous of good works. (Not conditions for salvation!!) 

15     Tell [them all] these things. Urge (advise, encourage, warn) and rebuke with full authority. Let no one despise or disregard or think little of you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect].

a.       Encourage: Gr: parakaleo: to call near, invite, invoke (Paraklete, used for Holy Spirit: one who walks beside, encourages.

b.      Rebuke: Gr: elegcho: to confute, admonish, reprove.

c.       Authority: Gr: epitage an injunction or decree

Titus 3:1-16

3:1 REMIND PEOPLE to be submissive to [their] magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be prepared and willing to do any upright and honorable work,

1.       See also Rom 13:1-7

2.       The rulers & authorities are the Roman emperors & deputies of the emperors such as proconsuls.

3.       This doctrine of obedience to the civil powers was highly necessary for the Cretans, who were reputed to be ready to cause insurrection if they felt the rulers would infringe on their liberties.

4.       To strenuously preserve our civil rights and privileges is highly praiseworthy, but to raise public riot to defend these civil privileges is not the part of patriots, but insurgents.

a.       Remember Cretans ďwere ever liars, ferocious wild beasts, and sluggish gluttonsĒ. Such persons would have problems submitting to the restraints of law.

2 To slander or abuse or speak evil of no one, to avoid being contentious, to be forbearing (yielding, gentle, and conciliatory), and to show unqualified courtesy toward everybody.

3 For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another.

1.       Paul is referring to all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, were this way before conversion.

2.       Hateful: Gr.: Stugeetoi: abominable; hateful as hell. Comes from the Greek word Stux (Styx), the infernal river

4 But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared,

1.       Love toward man: Gr:philanthropia: fondness of mankind, benevolence.

5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

1.       Washing: Gr.: loutron: a bath, immersion, baptism

2.       Regeneration:Gr.: paliggenesia: rebirth, spiritual renovation.

3.       Renewing: Gr.: anakainosis: renovation

6 Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

7[And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope.

1.       Justified: Gr.:dikaioo: to render just or innocent

2.       Having the hope of eternal life. Hope: Gr.:elpis: to anticipate, usually with pleasure, expectation. Eternal: Gr.:aionios: perpetual, past time, or past and future.

3.       Jn 17;3 No this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

8 This message is most trustworthy, and concerning these things I want you to insist steadfastly, so that those who have believed in (trusted in, relied on) God may be careful to apply themselves to honorable occupations and to doing good, for such things are [not only] excellent and right [in themselves], but [they are] good and profitable for the people.

1.       Those who have trusted in God: All Christians; for who can maintain good works but those who have the principles from which good works flow: for without faith it is impossible to please God.

2.       These things are excellent and profitable: They are good in themselves and calculated to promote the well-being of men.

 

9 But avoid stupid and foolish controversies and genealogies and dissensions and wrangling about the Law, for they are unprofitable and futile.

1.       The Jews delighted in the most frivolous questions, and took every opportunity to show that they had descended from godly ancestors.

2.       Of their frivolous questions, the following is an example of the answers given to them by the wisest and post reputable of their rabbis:

a.       Rabbi Hillel was asked: Why have the Babylonians round heads? He answered: this is a difficult question, but I will tell the reason: Their heads are round because they have but little wit.

b.      Question: why are the eyes of the Tarmudians so soft? Answer: Because they inhabit  sandy country

c.       Question: why have the Africans broad feet? Answer: Because they inhabit a marshy country.

10[As for] a man who is factious [a heretical sectarian and cause of divisions], after admonishing him a first and second time, reject [him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],

1.       Divisive: Gr.:hairetikos: a schismatic, heretic

11 Well aware that such a person has utterly changed (is perverted and corrupted); he goes on sinning [though he] is convicted of guilt and self-condemned.

1.       Self-condemned: Being conscious of ones own insincerity, or knowing whatís right and intentionally not doing it. (Possibly to support oneís livelihood.

12 When I send Artemas or [perhaps] Tychicus to you, lose no time but make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.

 

13 Do your utmost to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they want for (lack) nothing.

1.       Zenas the lawyer: This is the only place where this person is mentioned; whether he was Jewish, Roman, or Greek lawyer, we donít know.

14 And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honorable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives.

1.       Daily necessities, or necessary demands, KJ: necessary uses: That they may be able at all times to help the church of God, and those that are in want.

  1. All who are with me wish to be remembered to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace (God's favor and blessing) be with you all. Amen (so be it). 

d.      Love us in the faith: All that love us for Christís sake, and all that are genuine Christians.

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