Titus Chapter 3
Paul in his desire to see the faith grow and Christ honored laid done some good ground rules concerning Elders in Titus. And while the main subject may have been Elders, there is no reason why these teachings cannot be applied to any believer.
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (Titus 3:1-2 KJV)
- Paul tells Titus that he needs to remind the Elders that they are subject to the rulers and authorities of the land. Poor Titus was not only trying to minister to Gentiles who had no prior training in the doctrine of the Jews, training that might ease their walk in the new faith, but he was dealing with the population of Crete, a race that historically while civilized maybe for that day and time would miss the mark in today’s world.
- Interesting fact about the use of remind is: “In the grammar of the ancient Greek text, remind is in the present tense: “Go on reminding.””[i] So just like many of us today, being told once isn’t always enough’
- He continues pointing out that the believer should always be prepared to do good works. Works as we know cannot save us and are in no way tied to our salvation. But they are the fruit or evidence of our salvation.
- He ends the passage by instructing that we should “…speak evil of no one … showing all humility to all men…” While this is a statement that maybe we should already know if our mother’s taught us proper manners, it is often not the practice of mankind today. We often find more amusement in tearing down by words then building up. But to be Christ like we should walk AND talk as our Savior would.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (Titus 3:3 KJV)
- I would have to wonder if on some mornings poor Titus would hold his head in his hands and wonder what had he gotten himself into. It is possible that as he listened and watched the population of Crete and questioned how a people like them could ever find God. But Paul reminds him that he too was once immature given to foolish things and that God was able to save him and so too could this wayward group could find God.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:4-8 KJV)
- Paul begins this section by reaffirming that we did, nor could we do anything to save ourselves. Righteous works do nothing to tip the scale in our favor concerning our salvation. No, we were saved “… according to his mercy …”. God’s love for us was and is the thing that saves. No acts on our part, only the blood of Jesus Christ.
- When we accept the gift of grace that washes us clean we also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and this provides us with a spiritual cleansing that begins to shape us into what God would have us to be. This washing goes on to become a renewing of our spirit as the Holy Spirit continues to renew, shape and mold us.
- Paul finishes by pointing out the reason we were saved. That reason is that we are to continue the work of the gospel, to maintain good works. These works may vary from sharing the word to feeding the poor, but it must be remembered that God expects us to be willing workers. “The theology of Christianity is based on grace; the ethics of Christianity are based on gratitude.” (Briscoe)
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3:9-11 KJV)
- The Jews were notorious about arguing the finer points of the law, spending countless hours trying to interpret it. We today with all the different Christian Denominations can do likewise. But Paul warns us, that if spending that time is not profitable or adds to the cause of the gospel, ignore it!
- Concerning a divisive man, we need to always seek God’s will in these issues and we need to ask ourselves are the actions or words disturbing the peace of the church? Or is it only issues that our brother or sister is dealing with? I fear that over the years we have used the sound doctrine that Paul lays out here against those who were only trying to become what God wanted them to be but had not yet quite reached the level.
Thanks to David Guzik :: Study Guide for Titus 3of the Blue Letter Bible
[i]David Guzik :: Study Guide for Titus 3of the Blue Letter Bible https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide_Tts/Tts_3.cfm
Copyright Roy Richard