3:1 Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities,
to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
3:2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle,
showing all humility toward all men.
3:3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another.
3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward
3:5 not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but
according to his mercy,
he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by
3:6 which he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our
3:7 that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.
3:8 This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I
that you affirm confidently,
so that those who have believed God may be careful to
These things are good and profitable to men;
3:9 but shun foolish questionings, genealogies, strife, and
disputes about the law;
for they are unprofitable and vain.
3:10 Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning;
3:11 knowing that such a one is perverted, and sins, being
3:12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to
to me to Nicopolis,
for I have determined to winter there.
3:13 Send Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos on their journey
that nothing may be lacking for them.
3:14 Let our people also learn to maintain good works for
uses, that they may not be unfruitful.
3:15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in
Grace be with you all. Amen.
vs 1-2 What kind of behavior should Christians have in the
How do Christians often behave differently around other Christians
church than around non-Christians in the society? vs 3 To what extent does this describe you before you became
To what extent does it still describe you after becoming a
Christian? vs 4-7 What does it mean to be saved?
What are we saved from?
On what basis are we justified?
What does it mean by the washing of regeneration (rebirth) and
by the Holy Spirit? vs 8 How do these facts motivate a Christian to do good
works? vs 9 What kind of arguments should Christians avoid?
How should you deal with "heretics"? vs 14 What characterizes the kind of good works Paul refers
Titus 3:1,2Remind the people to be subject
rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do
good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and
true humility toward all men.
Many of the commands in the letters has to do with vertical
relationships, part of which involves those under authority
subordinate to those in authority over them, whether it be the
to their parents, the wife to her husband, or the slave
his master (employer). And likewise with regards to civil
Of course in practice human authority only has a limited realm
authority outside of which they are not legitimate authority.
an authority were to command you to do something outside of
of authority, you are not obligated to obey them in that regard
as they are not in authority with regards to that command. But
regards to acting within their legitimate realm of authority,
are to comply. And this regardless of the authority is a
whether they are harsh.
the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any
do not believe the word, they may be won over without words
behavior of their wives" 1Peter
yourselves to your
masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and
considerate, but also to those who are harsh."1Peter 2:18
Live the Christian life intentionally, not passively. Prepare
to do good. And in your zeal, beware of misrepresenting others.
to be conciliatory in conflicts. True humility will be revealed
you and others respond to personal criticism and by complying to
legitimate authority within their legitimate realm of authority.
3:3At one time
were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds
passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being
hating one another.
This is much along the lines of Eph
As for you, you were
dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live
you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the
the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the
our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the
rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
But despite this being our characteristic behavior and attitude
to coming to faith, notice in both these cases the past tense is
Likewise in 1Cor 6:9-11 "Do you not know that the wicked
not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the
sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes
homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor
slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that
what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified,
were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the
of our God."
Reborn by Grace
Titus 3:4-7But when the kindness and love of
our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we
had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through
washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured
on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having
justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of
The reason for the characteristic change in our behavior and
from verse 3 is due to the effect of regeneration brought upon by
impartation of the Holy Spirit. Thus John writes, "No one who is born of God will
continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go
sinning, because he has been born of God." 1John 3:9,10
This is the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, just
previously noted concerning 1Cor
6:11"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed,
were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord
Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Ezekiel prophecied, "I will sprinkle clean
water on you,
and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your
from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new
in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you
of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow
decrees and be careful to keep my laws." Eze 36:35-37
is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away;
new things have come."2Cor
God having graciously justified us, we become heirs to a new life by
that same grace. A life of Christ-likeness. This gracious
of the Holy Spirit and the regeneration he brings was prior to and
related to any righteous act we had performed, such as good works,
water baptism, repentance from sin, all of which are intended to be
outworkings of our faith - the faith that saved us. Thus "it is by grace you have been
(Eph 2:5b) and works
Titus 3:8This is a trustworthy saying. And I
want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in
may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These
are excellent and profitable for everyone.
While those of a "salvation by works" mentality tend to add the
phrase "in order to be saved"
at the end
of every command and instruction in the New Testament, the Apostles
teaches us that we should do good not in order to be saved, but
because we are saved and thus we do because we are, rather than we
because we do. Doing what is right is characteristic of our new
It is what we were made to be. "For
God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do." Eph 2:10
Indeed this is the identifying mark of those born of God. "This is how we know who the
of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does
do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not
his brother."1John 3:10
Therefore identify what good things the Holy Spirit is leading you
do. Get in the habit of doing good. Find some good things to devote
yourself to. For having been saved and made an heir to eternal life,
this is now your purpose in Christ Jesus. "And he died for all, that those who
live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for
and was raised again."2Cor
Titus 3:9-11But avoid foolish controversies and
genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because
unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then
him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You
sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Paul's alluding back to chapter 1 concerning those like the cult of
circumcision, but the principle applies more generally today.
over the Word is valuable. Many times people will come up with
arguments and interpretations they claim to be based upon the Bible,
but which are highly speculative, not well founded upon a
inductive study of the Word. Some are worth arguing about just to
their weakness. But if it ends in a quarrel, might be best to leave
Consider how the book of Acts ends, Paul explained and solemnly
of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from
Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And
persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.
when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after
said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the
prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say:
you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will
not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they
see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should
understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal
"Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has
sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" And when he had
these words, the Jews
departed and had a great dispute among themselves.Acts 28:23-29
So the idea is not to dimiss a divisive person at first, nor second.
But there will come a time if he continues, then stop arguing with
But be careful not to mischaracterized people. For that would be
slander on your part. But as for characterizing this man, "divisive"
literally "heretic" or "hairetikos" in the greek. So we're not
about a small matter. And secondly "sinful" is "sinning" in the
tense, which from our study of 1John indicates that such a person
not been born of God. So understand, this is the kind of person Paul
referring to. In general avoid arguing about mere arm-chair theology
and non-application oriented issues. The immature in faith are quick
get caught up in tabloid issues. And if you are not doing what the
Bible clearly says then why should God reveal more to you?
Titus 3:12-15 As soon as I send Artemas or
to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have
to winter there. Do
everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their
and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote
themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide
daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. Everyone with me sends you
Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
Although this is the only time Atemas is mentioned in his letters,
Tychicus had been mentioned as accompanying him on his missionary
journey in Acts 20:4. It
also apparent that he was the one who delivered the letter to the
Ephesians to Ephesus. (Eph 6:21) He was sent again to Ephesus
near the end of Paul's life in 2Tim 4:12. He was a faithful
persevering Christian who Paul often used as a messenger. Paul also
endorsed the ministry of Zenas, the lawyer. And yes, in Greek he
doesn't simply say "a lawyer", but "the lawyer", there being
prominent about his profession. Likely along with Apollos he was a
powerful apologist, as lawyers often are who come to Christ. Apollos
was a very powerful preacher and the pastor of the Corinthian
would infer that Zenas and Apollos teamed up to do evangelism among
As for verse 14, this is a common theme in Titus - namely the
purpose of the Christian life is to do good. Now in particular
emphasis of doing good is with regards to meeting practical needs.
is not simply about making people feel good. It's about meeting
practical necessities. The problem with Christians in affluent
societies where practical needs are largely already met, is that
is often confusion between desires and needs. Consequently
in affluent societies should consider perhaps focussing their
generosity towards Christians in the Third World.
"Greet those who love us" is really "greet those who like us".
"Phileo" is used rather than "agape". This may sound kind of
Greet only those who like us or prefer us. But if they don't like
then don't greet them. He is referring to the heretics in this, to
which he is applying the separation idea of verse 10.