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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Titus 3

Verse 1

Tit 3:1-2. Put them in mind means for Titus to remind the brethren in Crete of the following obligations. Principalities and powers refers to the units of authority in the civil government in force over the country. Magistrates are the particular officers who execute the government referred to in the preceding sentence. This obligation of Christians to the law of the land is taught also in Rom 13:1-7. To be ready to every good work. If the country calls upon Christians to perform some kind of service, they should be ready to serve. All of this is with the proviso expressed at Act 5:29. Speak evil of no man does not prohibit us from condemning a man who does wrong, but we should not use evil expressions that are not founded upon facts. To be no brawler means not to be contentious, or dispute merely for the sake of opposition. Gentleness does not mean we need compromise with evil, but in our approach to persons in error, let us use language that is appropriate. Meekness is the same about as humility.

Verse 3

Tit 3:3. The separate items of this verse have been considered in many places. The main point the apostle is making is one of consideration for others. If we think back over the time before we became Christians, we will the better realize what it means to "turn round" and give up the practices that have been followed a great part of our life.

Verse 4

Tit 3:4. This verse is similar in thought to verse 11. In that place the grace of God is given credit for the offer of salvation to man. In the present passage it is the kindness and love of God that appeared in behalf of sinful man.

Verse 5

Tit 3:5. Man must perform the works of righteousness in order to be saved, but it was not such works that caused God to bring forward the plan. It was because of God's mercy that the offer of salvation was made for poor fallen humanity. Washing of regeneration refers to the same act as that in Heb 10:22. Renewing of the Holy Ghost refers to the spiritual nourishment that children of God need to sustain their life of service to Him. That nourishment is the sincere milk of the word (1Pe 2:2). This word was given by men who were inspired by the Holy Ghost (or Spirit).

Verse 6

Tit 3:6. The pronoun which stands for the favor of salvation that is mentioned in the preceding verse and in chapter 2:11. This salvation was shed on us or was brought within our reach by Jesus Christ.

Verse 7

Tit 3:7. The original word for justified has a great many shades of meaning, depending on the connection in which it is used. In this place the definition of Thayer is, "To judge, declare, pronounce, righteous and therefore acceptable." No man can be called just on his personal merit, but by the grace or favor of God, a sinner can be pardoned upon obedience to Christ, and then he will be "pronounced acceptable." After being thus freed from sin, he becomes an heir to eternal life toward which he may hope.

Verse 8

Tit 3:8. This is a faithful saying means it is a truthful one, referring to that in the following words, namely, that believers should follow up their conversion with good works. They will be profitable because they will bring much spiritual gain to man.

Verse 9

Tit 3:9. Foolish questions are those which are unprofitable. Genealogies. This subject is treated at length by the comments at 1Ti 1:4. Contentions means useless arguments conducted merely from a motive of opposition. Strivings about the law refers to the disturbances caused by the Ju-daizers. Titus is told to avoid all these because they are unprofitable (bring no gain) and vain (or useless).

Verse 10

Tit 3:10. A heretic is a false teacher according to Thayer's lexicon. When Titus came in contact with such in his work on the island, he was to admonish him to cease his false teaching because it was divisive. He was to be given a second opportunity to cease his heretical teaching, and if he persisted in it, Titus was to reject him, which means he was to avoid all association with him.

Verse 11

Tit 3:11. Subverted means to be turned aside from the proper course. Since nothing outside the proper course can be right, it follows that when a man leaves that course he sinneth as it is here stated. Condemned of himself. Not that he acknowledges his wrong, but is condemned by the things he himself is doing.

Verse 12

Tit 3:12. Chapter 1:5 states that Titus was "left" in Crete for some extensive work. Hence this instruction for him to meet Paul at Nicapolis (of Macedonia), was for consultation. Artemas and Tychicus were friends and companions of Paul, whom he was planning to send to Crete, at which time Titus. was to come to the apostle as instructed. That particular meeting place was designated because Paul had decided to pass the winter there.

Verse 13

Tit 3:13. Zenas was a lawyer, meaning an expert in the law of Moses. He and Apollos were to be escorted by Titus to the presence of Paul, and be provided with all things necessary for their transportation.

Verse 14

Tit 3:14. Ours refers to the disciples in Crete, who are commanded to maintain good works. This is rendered "profess honest trades" in the margin, which is a correct translation. The reader should see the comments at 1Th 4:11-12 and 2Th 3:10. The subject is the importance for disciples to work for a living and not be a parasite upon others. A man who is too lazy to work has no right to eat. If he is unable on account of things beyond his control, that makes him a just object for the care of others. But all men are expected to contribute to the maintenance of himself and all who are depending on him lawfully for support.

Verse 15

Tit 3:15. Paul usually had brethren and friends with him who were interested in the work he was doing, and who also were kindly disposed towards the disciples to whom he wrote his epistles. When the apostle wrote them, it was common for them to join in sending salutations to the brethren thus separated from them. Such expressions indicated the love and in terest they had for their fellow disciples. In turn, Paul asked for like greetings for those who were his friends in the island. Grace or favor was wished by the apostle for all the saints in the island. Amen means emphasis on the things that have been written.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Titus 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.