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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Titus 3

Verses 1-7

Paul’s Third Charge to Establish Godly Conduct with the World (Good Works) In Titus 3:1-7 Paul gives his third and final charge to Titus, which is to establish godly conduct among the church members. The first charge focused upon identifying leaders with a pure heart (Titus 1:5-16). The second charge focused upon speaking sound doctrine in order to renew their minds and anchor their souls in the hope of Christ’s Second Coming (Titus 2:1-15). This third charge (Titus 3:1-11) will focus upon their acts, or how their bodies are to be used now that they have been washed in the act of regeneration and renewed by the Holy Ghost. The motive, or reason, for maintaining good works is that we may become heirs of eternal life.

Paul’s third charge emphasizes the conduct of the church with the world. They are to obey those placed in authority over them, guard their tongue, and act with meekness among all men (Titus 3:1-2). The motive for such a lifestyle is our response to the mercy of God that was shed upon us in order that we might have eternal life (Titus 3:3-7).

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Godly Conduct with Authorities and All Men Titus 3:1-2

2. Motive for Such Conduct is the Second Coming Titus 3:3-7

Titus 3:1-2 Godly Conduct with Authorities and All Men In his third charge that emphasizes the conduct of the church with the world, Paul tells them to obey those placed in authority over them, guard their tongue, and act with meekness among all men; this three-fold charge emphasizes the heart in subjection to authority, the mind in subjection to the will, and the body subjected in meek conduct.

Titus 3:3-7 Motive for Such Conduct is the Second Coming - The motive for such godly conduct is our response to the mercy of God that was shed upon us in order that we might have eternal life (Titus 3:3-7). Paul shows Titus how we should be motivated since we, too, were once in darkness like those in the world (Titus 3:3), but God manifested His mercy through the redemptive work of Christ Jesus (Titus 3:4-6). Our godly conduct will result in an entrance into Heaven (Titus 3:7).

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

1 Timothy 1:9, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”

Verses 1-11

Three Charges - The underlying theme of the epistle of Titus is church order. Paul gives Titus several charges regarding how to set the churches of Crete in biblical order. These charges will emphasize the setting of the church in order by appointing men with a pure heart as church leaders (Titus 1:5-16), teaching sound doctrine to give them with a sound mind (Titus 2:1-15), and establishing godly conduct in their actions (Titus 3:1-7). In Titus 3:8-11 Paul summarizes his three charges to Titus (Titus 3:8) and instructs him on how to deal with those who oppose the things of God.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. First Charge: Appoint Elders: Pure Hearts Titus 1:5-16

2. Second Charge: Speak Sound Doctrine Sound Minds Titus 2:1-15

3. Third Charge: Establish Godly Conduct Titus 3:1-7

Verses 8-11

Summary of Charges In Titus 3:8-11 Paul summarizes his three charges to Titus (Titus 3:8) and instructs him on how to deal with those who oppose the things of God.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Summary of Paul’s Charges to Titus Titus 3:8

2. Dealing with Strife and Rebellion Titus 3:9-11

Titus 3:8 Summary of Paul’s Charges to Titus In Titus 3:8 Paul summarizes his charges to Titus.

Titus 3:8 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 3:8 “This is a faithful saying” Comments - Paul will use the same phrase ( πιστο ̀ ς ο ̔ λο ́ γος ) on five occasions within the Pastoral Epistles in the phrases “This is a faithful saying,” or “This is a true saying.” (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 2:11, Titus 3:8). In 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 4:9 he makes the same statement, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.”

Titus 3:8 “that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” Comments - When we busy ourselves with good works, we conduct our daily lives with the attitude that everything we do, we are doing for the purpose of blessing others. This was so clearly demonstrated to me when reading Rebecca Springer’s book Within Heaven’s Gates. She describes young children going around in Heaven doing good deeds for those around them. Many adults were given “missions” in which the Lord sent them out to welcome and escort new comers into Heaven. [29] In other words, everything we will do in Heaven will be to bless others. We will have personal times of meditation, reflection, rest and study, but our tasks will always involve serving others.

[29] Rebecca Springer, Within Heaven’s Gates (Springdale, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1984).

Titus 3:8 Comments In Titus 2:15; Titus 3:8 Paul pauses for a moment to tell Titus that he is to be faithful to the charges given to him, and to speak God’s Word with divine authority.

Titus 2:15, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

Titus 3:9-11 Dealing with Strife and Rebellion In Titus 3:9-11 Paul instructs Titus on how to deal with those who oppose the Christian faith and doctrine.

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Titus 3:9 Comments - These foolish questions, genealogies, contentions and strivings about the law would come from heretics mentioned in the next verse.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

Titus 3:10 Comments - Irenaeus (A.D. 130-200) refers to Titus 3:10 when describing how John the apostle and Polycarp refused to even dialogue with the heretics of their day, but rather went out from their presence in haste.

“There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, ‘Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.’ And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, ‘Dost thou know me?’ ‘I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.’ Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, ‘A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.’” ( Against Heresies 3.3.4)

Titus 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Verses 12-15

Closing Remarks Paul closes this epistle by giving Titus instructions for Paul’s co-workers (Titus 3:12-14) and a final greeting (Titus 3:15 a, b) and benediction (Titus 3:15 c).

Titus 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Titus 3:12 “When I shall send Artemas unto thee” Comments The ISBE says that Artemas “is probably a Greek name, a masculine form of Artemis, or, as has been suggested, a short form of Artemidorus, which was a common name in Asia Minor.” We know nothing about Artemas in Scripture outside of Titus 3:12. However, St. Dorotheus (6 th century), an ascetical writer, tells us that he was “o ne of the seventy disciples and bishop of Lystra.” (see Maxima Biblotheca veteru Patrum, 27 vols. [Lugd, 1677], III, 429 ). [30]

[30] “Artemas,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Titus 3:12 “or Tychicus” - Comments - Tychicus had been a trusted bearer of letters and servant of Paul since his third missionary journey. He is referred to in four other places in the New Testament:

Acts 20:4, “And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.”

Ephesians 6:21, “But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus , a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:”

Colossians 4:7, “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:”

2 Timothy 4:12, “And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.”

Titus 3:12 “be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis” - Comments - Albert Barnes writes, “The name Nicopolis (meaning, properly, a city of victory “nikee” (NT:3529) and “polis” (NT:4172) was given to several places. There was a city of this name in Thrace, on the river Nessus, now called Nikopi. There was also a city of the same name in Epirus, two in Moesia, another in Armenia, another in Cilicia, and another in Egypt, in the vicinity of Alexandria. It is by no means easy to ascertain which of these cities is meant, though, as Paul was accustomed to travel in Greece and Asia Minor, there seems to be a probability that one of those cities is intended.” [31]

[31] Albert Barnes, Titus, in Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), comments on Titus 3:12.

Titus 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

Titus 3:13 “Bring Zenas the lawyer” Word Study on “Zenas” - Greek “zenas” ( Ζηνα ̂ ς ) (G2211) Some scholars suggest this Greek name in full would probably be Zenodorus (see John Gill, JFB), [32] literally meaning “the gift of Zeus” ( Ζήν [poetic for Ζεύς ] + δίδωμι ) (see Liddle-Scott) This name occurs only once in the New Testament being found in Titus 3:13.

[32] John Gill, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, in John Gill’s Expositor, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Titus 3:13; Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Titus, in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Titus 3:13.

Word Study on “the lawyer” Strong says the Greek word “lawyer” “nomikos” ( νομικός ) (G3544) means, “pertaining to the law, an expert in the (Mosaic) law.” Within the context of the New Testament, it means, “a teacher of the Mosaic law.” The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 9 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “lawyer 8, about the law 1.”

Comments John Gill suggest that Zenas was a Jewish scribe, or lawyer, who became a Christian, and as with Matthew the publican, the title appears to have stuck. [33] However, it very well may be that since Paul’s experiences in prison and before Roman courts, he now works closely with an attorney. This lawyer is mentioned along with Apollos, who was learned also in the Scriptures. Perhaps Paul relied upon their skills to guide him through the later years of missionary work.

[33] John Gill, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, in John Gill’s Expositor, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Titus 3:13.

Titus 3:13 “and Apollos” Comments - Titus 3:13 most likely refers to the same Apollos mentioned in the book of Acts, who was converted by Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus, and assisted Paul by staying in Corinth on the third missionary journey.

Titus 3:13 Comments - Scholars suggest that Paul’s epistle to Titus was sent by the hands of Zenas and Apollos, two faithful men who served with Paul. Even today, in this world’s openly sinful condition, it is wise to send ministers on their journeys by twos; for many have stumbled into sin, which is openly offered in places of lodging and streets to lure travelers. But two men are able to hold one another accountable on such lonely excursions from home and family.

Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Titus 3:14 Comments - When Paul refers to “ours” in Titus 3:14 he was most likely referring to his group of co-workers whom he sent out to conduct Christian services; for the context of Titus 3:12-14 is instructions to these workers (Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas, and Apollos) being sent on missions.

However, the context also allows for the pronoun “ours” to refer to the congregations in Crete, who are to maintain good works by helping Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their travel needs, both financial and materially.

Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Titus 3:15 “Grace be with you all” - Comments - In Titus 3:15 Paul basically commends them into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, in much the same way that he did in the book of Acts. We find this statement at the end of all of Paul’s epistles.

Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Acts 20:32, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host (Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle open every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God’s peace and grace upon his readers. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God's peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.”

This practice of speaking blessings upon God’s children may have its roots in the priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. Now Paul closes his second epistle to Timothy by restating the blessing that he opened his epistle with in Titus 1:2.

Titus 3:15 “Amen” - Comments - In the Textus Receptus the word “Amen” is attached to the end of all thirteen of Paul’s epistles, as well as to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and to the General Epistles of Hebrews , 1, 2 Peter , 1, 2 John, and to the book of Revelation. However, because “Amen” is not supported in more ancient manuscripts many scholars believe that this word is a later liturgical addition. For example, these Pauline benedictions could have been used by the early churches with the added “Amen.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Titus 3". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.