When we read the book of Titus we see the Apostle Paul sending a letter to a leader he left to care for the churches in Crete. We see several parts to this letter, a salute, affirmation, doctrine, encouragement, and correction. In Titus 1:4 he calls Titus his own son after the common faith, not far different than how he addresses Timothy. He shows confidence he has in Titus in 1:5 when he says he left him there to set in order things that were wanting. Would we today see men in leadership of denominations send men of character, integrity, a knowledge of God and love to churches that are in need of being set right. He clearly states that the church at Crete had problems and things that needed to be set in order. And he affirms to any who were read this letter that Titus was given that authority to make corrections. He did not leave doubt in that matter. He tells Titus he has the authority and then tells the church he has given that authority to Titus. This is the proper way leadership should handle giving someone a job.
What a privilege. What an honor. What a responsibility. Titus has learned from Paul, has seen Paul minister and is now confirmed in the mandate he was given to mature the churches in Crete. It would be wonderful if the church today had pastors who were maturing the saints rather than running a church. If they were doing that babes would be being brought in and they would be cared for because the saints would be doing that. All the pastor needs do for that to happen is mature them, give them space to work and provide support, guidance and direction when they either miss it or need help.
Let’s look at the letter, line by line.
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Paul identifies himself here as a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. It is a proclamation that may have raised some concern in some circles, to proclaim oneself as an apostle today would certainly stir up concern. I for one question some of those self-proclaimed ones today because they lack good fruit. But Paul’s proclamation is an interesting change and we need to see it for what it is. Up till then the Apostles were ones who walked physically with Jesus, even though the replacement for Judas was not from the “inner twelve” he was from ones who had followed and known the Master. How significant is that statement? If one today proclaims that he or she becomes a target in the church. “How can he/she be so arrogant?” they will say. And I for one will want to walk carefully in acclaiming that one as an apostle. I believe those who know the person will know before the proclamation! Paul says it totally unabashed not only here but also in some form as the salutation of all his letters. If it is so wrong to do this, why did Paul do it? If it is right, why are those who so state today so maligned? There is a reason why that happens today. First is lack of knowledge. Many think that no man today can be an apostle. This is clearly a contradiction of scripture. At least one scripture says that with 100% clarity, Ephesians 4:11 and there are others that support it. The second reason is the abuse of titles in the church which is rampant. This is covered more in The Five Fold Ministry http://www.relijournal.com/Christianity/The-Five-Fold-Ministry.52406
So what was he declaring? Paul was simply stating who he was in Christ. He was stating his place. He was not declaring himself as royalty. He was declaring his place of service in the Kingdom. This is the thing many who will claim titles and positions in the church miss including many who lay claim to the mythical five fold ministry. The Apostle is not a position of royalty. It is a place of service. The apostle gets to serve many. He actually gets to serve more than the pastor or teacher. There are many who claim to be apostles. Some create more confusion in the church than anything they set in order. These are not apostles. So what about those who claim to be apostles and are not? Look at what the Apostle John says in Revelation.
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars;
John calls those who say they are apostles and are not “liars”. Note also that he lumps them with those who are evil. And later in the book he pronounces their fate.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
So those who claim to be apostles and are not will have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. What a fate! How do we recognize those who say they are apostles and are not? Easy. Look at those who claim to lead and do not serve. They are easy to spot. If they are apostles they will be servants. If they practice being royalty, the are not, and John says they are liars.
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Paul makes a couple of points. God has promised eternal life and he cannot lie. Wow. And this was not an after thought or a “plan b”. It was His plan from the time the world began.
Titus 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
“Now that it is due time He is manifesting His word through preaching.” This is interesting because today preaching is considered by many to be foolishness. Unfortunately many of them are in the church. Many other things have become important when we gather. Next Sunday go to church and time the service. No, I don’t mean how long it takes. Time the various components. Time the worship. Time the prayer. Time the announcements. Time the various other components. And time the sermon. Make a list. Then look at the small component preaching is in many churches. I’ve seen ninety-minute services with fifteen-minute “sermon-ets”. And I have seen one hundred-minute services that had sixty-minute sermons. Want to guess which setting creates the most growth? Dee and I grew most in a time when we were in a church where the Sunday AM sermon was just about an hour, sometime just over and we were in two other services each week that added up to over 100 minutes more of preaching. Preaching today in most churches is limited by the psychological concept of attention span. Look at the models in the bible. People stayed to hear Jesus in spite of being hungry. They stayed to listen to Peter till one of them fell asleep and fell out the window. Preaching in the early church was important to the people. And the early church grew. I ask why it was then and it isn’t now. Let me put it this way, if the church today isn’t growing, why?
1 Cor 1:21
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The question is this. “How will they hear without a preacher?” The corollary question of course is this, “How will they hear unless the preacher preaches?”
Let me state one other thing here least I be misunderstood. The scripture also says, “Pray without ceasing.” I am convinced that nothing happens without it being supported by prayer. Certainly if there is any activity that should successfully vie for time in the service it must be prayer. As much as I love worship and feel it sets the stage I at times wonder at the emphasis that has been given to this activity. I believe our culture has had a lot more impact here than His design. One thing that is nearly absent in many churches is fellowship. Some time look up the word fellowship and do a study of it. I’ll let that thought dangle for now.
I Jn 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Here Paul says the blessing over Titus. And what a blessing! Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. What else can one say to bless. Paul has shown with this blessing the admiration and confidence he had with respect to Titus.
Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
Most successful men who on the field of battle field knew their orders, their goal, their mission. Few successful ones did not. Most who did not were not successful. Joshua Chamberlin knew his mission at Little Round Top in Gettysburg in July of 1863 – hold that hill. Brigadier General Mcauliffe knew his at Bastogne in December 1945 – hold that town. Paul wanted Titus to know his orders. This is why I left you in Crete. You are to set the things that are wanting in order. You are to ordain elders, leaders of the church in every city. Your mission is to build the church there so that the gates of hell could not prevail. He continues with instructions to Titus on how to accomplish that. I am sure this was not news to Titus but a reminder of what was to be done.
Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
There were requirements for the elders Titus was to ordain. First, they were to be blameless. The world and much of the church will tell you today, “nobody’s perfect.” Yes. Nobody’s perfect. I all too well know one person who is not, me. But the scripture uses the word blameless, not perfect and that transposition, that altering of God’s word is what is wrong. It is always wrong to alter God’s word. It always brings confusion since the Garden of Eden when Satan, the original modifier of God’s word did it to seduce Eve. What does it mean to be blameless? It is simply to be without blame. There may be imperfections, there may be missing the mark, but the character of the person is to be without blame. They are to take those sins and place them under the blood for forgiveness from God and confess them and make right with man.
Why? Are the elders to be some group of elites like the communists who were to lead the people? No. No. A thousand times no. To be that would to be easily be lifted up in pride. It would make one ripe for a fall. The elders were to be blameless to prevent the church from being held up to public scorn and ridicule. To place one there who was a barroom brawler would be to open the church to ridicule. To place one there who did not care for his family or love his wife is to set in front of the church a bad example.
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Here those who would build church structure take the words “elder” and “bishop” and builds a theology on two words. I do not chose to treat the scripture so lightly. One who leads again should be blameless. He should not be given to wine. Not given to taking money for gain. He is to freely present the word of God. He is to be selfless.
Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
He is to be a lover of hospitality. He is to be a lover of good men. This simply means he will help and cling to those who have good report. It does however not mean he shuns others and certainly it does not mean he loves men in the carnal sense as some who would condone homosexuality would claim. They are to be sober. This means not only not taken to drunkenness but also not taken to riotous living. Total abstinence from alcohol is not mandated, only refrain from excessive use. I personally do not use alcohol and I do not mandate others to do that. I do it out of my own personal conviction, not anything I can teach from scripture. I do believe it is better to abstain than over-use and that is biblical. To go beyond Paul’s statement as some have is to go beyond the commandment of God. In Timothy Paul tells the young man to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake. These men are to be holy before God. This is not a piousness but a respect for God and the things of God. It is not making the building a shrine but treating God’s presence with respect. These men are to be temperate, to take things in moderation. I think that goes with everything – hunting, fishing, television, golf, etc. Note that up to this point Paul is talking only of the social and moral character of those who lead. This is the foundation that must be present, without it the person should not even be considered. In another place the scripture talks of being faithful in the little things, the ones in the natural to be fit to be given responsibility for the spiritual. Paul simply states that concept here in another way.
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Now Paul begins to talk of the spiritual qualifications. Holding fast to the word as he has been taught. The elder is not to be one just grabbed off the street because he looks good, has money and smells good. He is to be one who has been taught. He is to be one who holds fast that teaching. He is one who has held that teaching and allowed it to grow inside him so that he may be able to both exhort others and convince gainsayers. He does not carry the gospel to show how great he is but to show how great God is. There is certainly a need for that one who will lead to have studied to show himself approved.
Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
It is interesting that Paul talks of the unruly, vain talkers and deceivers and makes it specially those of the circumcision. Why not the followers of Baal? Why not those who worship in the groves? Why those of the circumcision? It is simple. These of the circumcision were the ones who were actively trying to subvert the church and they had credibility because they sounded good. They were trying to take the people back into the law. In his letter to the Galatians Paul says, “Oh foolish Galatians. Who has bewitched you?” He asks who is taking them back from grace into the law not someone who is taking them to Wicca or the like. Here he warns Titus of this in a different way. It appears that many Jews were only partially embracing Jesus, then went to trying to teach salvation by works of the law. Unfortunately this continues with some gentiles who only partially embrace grace, and it continues to this day in the church. Paul was not concerned about the teachers of Baal and we should not be concerned about many who teach false doctrines that are so far off that people will recognize them as false. The ones we need to worry about are the false teachers in the church who teach things that look good but are not. Often they are pious and teach using Hebrew words.
Titus 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
Here Paul answers those who today will say, “We should have free speech.” Let me answer this. When they say things that are not of God it is clear here that Paul would not allow this. He suggests stopping their mouths. I am sure this does not mean physically but it does mean taking away any soap box they may use. We should not allow the church to be a forum for someone to present their false doctrines. Paul says they subvert whole houses. Whole families are taken into the error. They were probably going to families and wooing them away from the faith. And they do it buy teaching things they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake. They did it for money! They are teaching what sells. This continues today. There are those teaching the law in the form of holding Seders, teaching the history of Israel “in depth”, teaching their speculation of the end time, teaching their speculation of the beginning, teaching whatever sells. Although some of it is linked to Judaism, there is certainly much that is not. But all of it is ungodly. God help these when they stand before His throne.
Titus 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
Here Paul talks about what has been said of Cretians by one of their own..
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
And he tells Titus, “This witness is true.” And then he admonishes Titus to rebuke them sharply for this ungodly and unbecoming behavior. He is not beating them down. He is to rebuke them so they may become sound in the faith. Here we see a passage like the ones in which Paul talks of proper discipline of children. It is discipline to make strong and promote growth of spirit and character.
Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Here he reminds Titus to remind them to beware of Jewish fables and commandments of men. And we see an interesting comment here, “That turn from the truth.” These teachings of Judaism, although they sound pious they will turn men from the truth because these are not teachings of the New Covenant Jesus died to establish. And here we hit the extremes of the church today. There are those who want to teach the Old Testament or the New Testament or some fragment of the scripture to the near exclusion of the others. The scripture says “all scripture is profitable….” This clearly shows that any extreme is wrong. I prefer to divide the bible by covenants rather than by testaments. Why? Testaments are man-defined but covenants are defined by God. I ask you, “Which are more important?” And the dividing line that those who teach should use is the dividing line between the covenants because this is how we “rightly divide the word of truth.” Any other division is man made, it is of wood, hay and stubble. It will not stand the fire of time or testing. And that dividing line on the line of time is like the perpendicular bisector of a line that divides a line in Geometry. That dividing line is the cross. Before the cross is the old covenant, after the new. Before the law. After it Grace. That cross not only stood on Calvary, it continues to stand on that time line some time about 34 A.D. at that point where Jesus said, “It is finished.” Plan A for man was completed that day. We cannot do more. We only need to appropriate it to our lives. To present the scripture in any other light is to misrepresent it.
Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
There were apparently in the churches in Crete those who were bashing everything and everyone. Everyone was wrong but them. Everything was defiled. Nobody was doing right and they could set them right. Notice that these were not only the unbelievers but also those in the church who had defiled themselves with false teaching. Many take this scripture out of context and look at defiled as sexual. If you look at the next verse, this is clearly not the meaning.
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
And here he continues it. “They profess to know God.” And it does not say their hair is too short, they wear too much makeup, they take too much wine, they do this or that which the religious police find wrong. They are “abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” This is very strong language. Paul is saying they are a problem in the church. It is not just that they make waves, it is not that they ask some hard questions, they just stir the pot continually to make trouble. They do things that harm people. They can’t follow any direction. They frustrate those who would do good works. Today we call them spiritual blood clots, traveling throughout the body making problems where ever they go.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Here Paul gives Titus the direct order. It is like the ones Chamberlin and McAuffle got, clear, short, concise and direct. “Hold the hill at all costs,” “Hold the town till relieved,” or “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Chamberlin, McAuffle and Titus did not have to spend a lot of time understanding the direction. It was clear. History tells us Chamberlin asked one question, “Is that to be taken literally?” The commander lowered his head and nodded yes. He knew Chamberlin would sacrifice the whole 20th Maine to hold that hill if need be and that was the order. Titus was to present sound doctrine to the churches at all cost. This should be the direction of every one who stands before a congregation or small group or teaches one on one. ” But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.”
Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
And here Paul gives some practical instructions. The older men should be examples and what we have called pillars in the church. They are to support the structure on their shoulders by what they are, by their character. They are to be doing good works. They are to be sound in faith, charity and patience. They should be able to present the word, to practice Christian charity and be patient with those they teach. They need not be eloquent but they need to study to be capable. I at times tell the younger people I work with that the job description of a 25 year old includes, “do stupid things.” We older employees (and members in the church) need to recognize this for several reasons. The younger ones are going to do things that do not look bright. But they have not had the benefit of our experience. Here is where love reaches out to them, teaches them and helps them. Here is where we allow them the opportunity to experience and experiment while providing a safety net for them if something goes wrong. And let me assure you, those of us who are older need to listen to these. More than once I have heard wisdom come from one who is young.
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Likewise the older women should set a good example. There must have been a problem in the churches of Crete with older women who were gossips and at least some who drank too much. Paul wanted them to teach good things. He saw value in these people. He saw they could be assets. And he was not too bashful to say they needed to change and be good examples. I believe this is a model for both the women in the church as well as the leadership.
Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Here Paul gives not only the reason for this but also the intended result. He shows the importance of the family by showing that the older women should be mentoring the younger. They are to teach them to be good wives and mothers. There is a real need for mothering and fathering in the church. All too often the younger do not have parents to help them. Sometimes the parents are gone or they are not close enough geographically to help. Sometimes the parents are there but have lost credibility and cannot function as such. Here is where an older Christian Sister or Brother can help. That person must never try to supplant the parents if they are there.
Let me say something further about this. If you were somewhat of a failure at being a good wife and mother (or father) this does not disqualify you from teaching the younger women (or men). You just need at times to say, “I didn’t do it this way all the time. And I paid for it. And if I had followed good advice or looked for good advice I would have been better. And I have learned the hard way. I don’t want you to experience that.” You can teach what you saw that worked as well as teaching to avoid the pitfalls. Sometimes the “not so perfect” (whatever that means) person is more effective in this role because they are easier for those who need help to identify with that the “perfect”.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
They are to be good examples also in every thing. They are to be living epistles that are read and lead people to honor God. Note that Paul calls them “keepers of the home.” The church pressures women to be in the home, keeping the home. After all the children are the most important. The church agrees with that. The church decries a woman in the workplace because she is neglecting the children and the home. But when it comes to the church taking the mother out of the home for various things, that is fine.
I have seen women who would not think of taking a job outside the home, “They must be there for the children.” But those same women will take on things in the church to the extent that the children are deprived of mothering. This is not what Paul describes. God help us for our blindness.
Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
Paul also tells the young men to be sober minded. They are to be learning and building the reputation to become the older men who will in the next generation serve in more important and more difficult roles. Paul is not going for the immediate, he is going for the long haul. He is not only running the major league team, he is running the farm team.
Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Here Paul talks of a pattern of good works. He emphasizes grace but talks of a pattern of good works. But these are not works to attain salvation. These are works to make the kingdom stronger. We do them to thank God for loving us, not to get Him to love us. They are to show soundness in doctrine.
Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Here he sums it up. Be of sound speech. Don’t say anything that can be condemned. Let me put it in the now. Abortion is a sin. I am sure of that. But I will not go out and advocate harming abortion clinic workers or damaging the clinics. Why? Both are illegal and to do so would allow the work of God to be condemned. I restrain myself to trying to make abortion less legal and to make it easier for a woman to carry the child. I will also speak out against the violence against clinics that would only bring reproach on the kingdom. In this way I avoid the appearance of evil.
Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
Here the word “servants” is used but it could easily be employees. If you work for a company you should be the best you can be in serving. All too often Christians hold the idea that they are responsible only to God. This is true but God commands us to submit to those who have authority over us. Being a faithful servant to your company is being faithful to God. This certainly means being ethical.
Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Here the Christian employee is to show goodness in everything. This is to show that the doctrine of Christ is lifted up in every place. This means more than sharing your faith in the work place, in fact it may be NOT sharing it at a time when it would detract from serving the company faithfully. I have seen Christians bring the gospel to shame by preaching on company time rather than giving the boss an honest day’s work. Brethern, these things should not be.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
God is no respecter of persons. It is interesting that he says here that God has appeared to all men. This would seem to me to mean that everyone who has lived has had an opportunity to meet HIM. I can emphatically say I don’t understand how. But I am just as sure that I know that God’s word is true.
And if it says God has appeared to all men, it is so. My finite mind can limit the picture I have of God. It cannot limit His ability to reach out to man. I have oft heard that we try to put God in a box with four walls, a roof and a steeple. I find that we often try to enclose Him with an even smaller boundary, our minds.
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
What does this mean? Does soberness mean we are to walk around as if we were baptized in vinegar? Is that what soberly means? I assure you this is not the case. Sure we are not to revel in the things of the world. We are not to get caught up in its debauchery. We are to exhibit the joy of the Lord. That joy is our strength.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.(KJV)
We must turn our backs on and walk away from the things of this world. We do not fixate on them but on the godly life in Him.
Phil 3:13-1413 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.(KJV)
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
I love this verse. Looking for what? The anti-Christ? The Battle of Armageddon? The falling away of the church? Earthquakes? The mark of the beast? No. No. A thousand times no. We are to be looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Him.
2 Tim 4:88 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.(KJV)
There is no indication that we are to be speculating about the end. Pre, post, mid, pan trib are not important. We are to be looking for Him. He will be appearing in his glory. We know that from this scripture. God would not tell us, through His word, to look for something that is not going to happen. And His appearing will be glorious. And if we stand fast with Him it does not matter what happens.
Mark 14:6262 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.(KJV)
Jesus himself said this. It is not some misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul as some state. He is coming back.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
It is interesting this is much like verse 12. He gave himself for us. Paul sees this as very important. Through Him we are to be freed from the iniquity and purified to be a peculiar people. And here is the relationship of works to the one who is in Christ. We are to be zealous of good works. These works do not redeem us. These works are done because we are redeemed.
Many pastors have misused the peculiar people statement and used it to say Christians are to be weird. We have no mandate for that. We are to be unlike what this world calls normal. We are to be unique.
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Now Paul returns to instructing Titus. He tells Titus to speak the things he has laid down. He is to exhort with all authority. Here Paul gives to Titus his form of the words of Jesus passing on the authority of the scripture and the ones who carry it. He is to exhort and rebuke with all authority.
And he finishes this thought with, “Let no man despise you.” Isaiah put it this way.
Isa 54:1717 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.(KJV)
“Every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” We all too often accept judgments against us by not rejecting them. But the scripture is clear. Let no man despise you. This means that when someone rises up against us to judge us unrighteously were are to rebuke their words. We are to declare with words of no value.
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Here we see some practical instruction. But then, the bible is God’s word and God’s word is practical. Remind them to be subject… Let me rephrase this. Obey the law of the land. In Romans Paul recites this concept.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.(KJV)
Those who rule are not a terror to those who do good. If we do not do well we open the gospel to repute. What testimony do we have if one of the faith is arrested for lawlessness? Is it a good testimony to be arrested for fraud? What about trespassing to picket an abortion clinic? What about being arrested for shooting an abortion doctor or bombing a clinic? If we can justify in out minds one act of lawlessness we can justify another. It is not a slippery slope but an abyss we step into with the first willful lawless act.
Matt 22:2121 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.(KJV)
Jesus put it simply. I’ve heard one and another preacher try to explain that passage away. It doesn’t say, “Obey if the government is right.” “Obey if you agree.” “Obey if you like the president.” I remind you that the government of Caesar was about as repressive as any that has ever existed. Jesus said to render to Caesar what was due him. Do you think Jesus didn’t know Caesar’s government was corrupt?
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
What testimony is a barroom brawler? How much more effective is the one who shows kindness to his fellow man? We are to be the salt of the earth.
Matt 5:1313 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.(KJV)
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Here Paul alludes to the state of all of us before Christ did a work in our lives. He goes to the teaching of the cross. We all did some despicable things at one time or another. But it was the goodness of Christ that brought us from that.
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
But God had a plan. That plan was to send His son to redeem us. It was a plan of love. It was a plan that we should look to in dealing with our fellow man.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
And we are not good enough to do it in ourselves. It is only through His blood that we are saved. And through His intercession we have been given the Holy Ghost. This so much misunderstood part of the God-head is with us.He sent the Holy Ghost to be our constant guide, comforter, and source of strength. Let there be no doubt. Jesus sent the Holy Ghost as the other comforter as He promised. The Holy Ghost is there moment to moment to renew us. It is our choice that we avail ourselves of the comforter only when we get desperate. But unless we avail ourselves of this gift daily we prevent him from doing his full work.
Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
The Holy Ghost is ours if we appropriate it. If not it is like a bank account that you don’t draw from. It is shed, rained if you be, in our lives.
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
We are justified by his grace, not by our own works. In printing justification is proper alignment of letters and text. It is making the spacing and margins right. Likewise justification is proper alignment with Him. It is making the relationship with Him right.
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.
It is not by accident that Paul suffixes a statement on justification by grace with the appropriateness and necessity of good works. “… they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” I believe Christians should be above reproach in their character and in doing good works. Many Christians totally shun community service. If you are one of these, check with God if He would have you use this as an opportunity to show His love. Give blood if you can. Tutor school students if you can. Pick up trash along the highways if you can. Put books on a library shelf. Volunteer at a hospital. Support local functions if you can. If you have a volunteer fire company or ambulance, support it if you can. At one time I was so high minded that I wouldn’t buy a raffle ticket from a fire company because I didn’t gamble. I have changed my view to one that I see that as a donation just as if I handed in the money. I have changed my mind because I know most of the prizes are donations – the people who put them up sowed seed – for the organization to reap a harvest from. If I win I can keep the gift, treat it as God’s blessing on me or I can give it away or in some cases tell them to put it back for a second raffle! I get to be the one to choose. I believe God will give me wisdom on how His kingdom will be best furthered. If not, he would not have allowed me to win. I know one man who volunteers to close graves after funerals at a cemetery. What an act of love! But whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and I assure you, God will reward you. And you may in stepping out into the community be able to bring people to Jesus who may never step inside a church. Let me assure you that those who do not know Jesus and are in the church are the toughest ones to lead to Him.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Paul alludes to this concept several times. Avoid the trivial. Lay hold on the important. Let us not be like Esau. He opted for the lower and ignored the higher. Concentrating on the trivial is exactly what Esau did. There are many contentious teachings in the church, women in ministry, end time predictions, Saturday Sabbath, the Trinity, eternal security, tongues and a host of others. These all fall under this admonition and are not profitable and are vain pursuits. Let us shy away from them and move to the word of Christ.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
This is a hard word. When one shows himself to be an heretick admonish him twice then reject him. This is not to hate the person or shut off lines of reconciliation. It is not to shun him. It is to reject input from that person who no longer speaks for God. Elsewhere it tells us to treat him as a publican and sinner, that is to try to lead him to Jesus. In lifesaving we learn how to prevent a drowning victim from taking us down with them. Here Paul tells us to not allow someone who is in error to take us down.
Titus 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
Paul here gives Titus further information.
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 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
These are personal references.
Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Paul has given to Titus instruction on how to care for the flock entrusted to him.
Other Articles by Ralph Brandt
- Casting Out Demons
- Black Hawk Down
- Being Criticed For The Gospel
- I Count All Of This As Dung
- Slicing And Dicing The Word Of God
- Blind, Bound And Going In Circles
- Because He Lives
- Academia Glossary
- Tearing A Page Out Of The Bible
- Taking A Stand Takes Courage – Even In The Church
- God Is Doing A New Thing?
- President Obama, a Victim of The Right
- Obama – Misuse of Presidential Power
- King Bo and Queen Mo
- Obama and The Supreme Court
- Manure Spreader