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by Thomas Coke
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TITUS.
TITUS, who, as well as Timothy, was honoured with the office of an evangelist, had been left by St. Paul in the island of Crete, now called Candia, to overlook the churches in that isle, and provide them with fit and able ministers; Ch. Titus 1:5. St. Paul gives him the same instructions as he had given to Timothy in the two preceding epistles. Among other things, he lays down a general rule, which ought to be ever a law to the faithful in regard to their ministers, namely, never to receive those men or those doctrines or precepts that turn from the truth, 2 Timothy 4:14. He then enforces in very strong terms the obligation which the doctrines of divine grace lay us under to apply ourselves to devotion and holiness; and, speaking in the same place of our redemption, he calls Jesus Christ the great God, Ch. Tit 2:13 an expression so strong and energetic, as alone ought for ever to silence those who have dared to dispute his divinity. After that, returning in the third chapter to the doctrines of grace, he attributes our acceptance with God so entirely to the divine mercy, as clearly to exclude every kind of merit. And, lest any one might erroneously suppose, that a doctrine making our justification entirely flow from grace through faith, without depending at all upon the righteousness of works, were capable of cooling in our souls the ardour of devotion, and the pursuit of holiness, St. Paul immediately adds this important explanation, serving to silence equally the profane and the careless mind, and depriving the advocates for justification by works of their best argument: 2 Timothy 4:8. 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.
the Second Week of Advent