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God’s grace changes lives (2:11-3:11)
People are saved only by God’s grace - that loving and merciful attitude of God that freely gives his immeasurable blessings to those who do not deserve them. When people accept the salvation that this grace brings, they learn that their most fitting response is to turn from their former sinful ways and follow the ways of God. They have a desire for holiness, and this desire is increased by their anticipation of Christ’s return (11-13). Christ died not merely to save people from the penalty of sin, but to save them from all wickedness. He wants them to be pure in their everyday lives and eager to do good (14).
Titus must teach these truths vigorously. The Christian teacher must make it clear that God places moral responsibilities upon all who have faith in Jesus Christ (15).
Christians should be obedient to the civil authorities, and courteous and helpful to all. They should have a concern for the good of the society in which they live, and do all they can to promote peace and harmony in the community (3:1-2). Their new lives will be different from their former lives, because God in his grace has cleansed the past, made them new people, and poured out his Holy Spirit upon them. They are saved not because of anything they have done, but because of what God has done for them (3-6). God has declared them righteous, so that they are now acceptable to him. They have eternal life now, and can look forward to the full enjoyment of this life when Jesus Christ returns (7).
Titus must teach plainly this gospel which Paul has just summarized. He must emphasize that if people truly believe it, their lives will be changed. Although they are not saved by good works (see v. 5), they must now devote themselves to producing good works (8). Because of this positive approach to the Christian life, they must not waste time arguing about senseless topics. In fact, they should avoid people who specialize in such things. These teachings are not merely unprofitable, they are harmful, because they lead to quarrels and divisions (9-11).
Personal notes (3:12-15)
In his letter to Timothy written at the same time, Paul spoke of his desire to visit Ephesus (see 1 Timothy 3:14), but in his letter to Titus he says nothing of any intention to go to Crete. Instead he will send Artemas or Tychicus to relieve Titus, so that Titus can go to meet him in Nicopolis in Achaia, where he intends to spend the winter (12).
Meanwhile certain people might visit Titus on their way through Crete, and Paul asks Titus to give them whatever help he can (13). All God’s people should use all the opportunities available to them to help those in need. At the same time they should make sure that they themselves do not become a burden to others. The Christian life should be a useful life (14-15).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Titus 3". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany