Divine faith rests not on fallible reasonings and opinions of men, but on the infallible Word of God, the truth itself which purifies the heart of the believer. By this mark, judge of new and strange doctrines, and stop the mouths of those who handle the Word of God deceitfully.
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;
2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
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.
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:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
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;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
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.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
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.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Titus 1:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:2-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:5 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:6-9 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:10-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:13-16 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 1:1-9 – Appoint Fit Men over the Churches.
God’s elect are known by their faith, and wherever they hear the voice of truth, which makes for godliness, they recognize and acknowledge it. They are also inspired by a great hope, and that hope cannot be disappointed, because it is founded on the promise and oath of God who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:19). God’s promise for us has been in his heart from all eternity, but it was hidden until the gospel was proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit. The germ-thought of eternity has been realized in Jesus and is unfolded in the gospel. Note the frequent recurrence in this Epistle of the phrase, God our Saviour.
The ordering of these early churches was very important. The presiding officers must be godly and consistent men, and able to commend the gospel by their lives. These natural traits of a holy man should be pondered and appropriated by us all; and we must all hold fast to the Word of God, which has been found trustworthy by countless myriads. Many are the seducing voices in the present day that counsel slackening faith and relaxing grasp.
“If all the wiles that men devise beset our faith with treacherous art,
We’ll call them vanity and lies, and bind the gospel to our heart.” (Meyer)
Titus 1:1—According to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth.
These seem to have been the two guiding stars of the apostle’s life — faith and knowledge. Some are afraid of the conjunction. The men of faith are afraid of science, and the men of science often despise faith. But they are not antagonistic.
Faith. — The faith that inspires all elect souls is one and the same. In some there may be more, in others less; but its attitude towards God and its phases of experience, trial, and triumph, are the same in all who believe. In addition to this, the general facts and truths on which our faith lays hold, and from which it extracts its nourishment, are the same: and it is a comfort to know that these have been passed on from age to age from the earliest days, and that we are called to believe in them, and hold them fast.
Knowledge of the Truth. — We need not fear or shun knowledge, which is simply the exploring and discovery of the ways and thoughts of God. “Let knowledge grow from more to more.” Only let her always concern herself with the great facts and methods of God’s universe, rather than with human speculation and fancy. There is a distinction between knowledge and wisdom. The one may be only intellectual; the other is always moral. Those who pretend to know are not always wise; but the wise always know.
Godliness. — True knowledge will make you godly, reverent, devout; filling you with the Spirit of God within, and with likeness to God without. It is only as you are godly, that you will really be wise and know things that are hidden from the wise and prudent. True knowledge leads to godliness, and godliness back to knowledge. (Meyer)
Titus 1:10-16 – Reprove Those Whose Works Deny God.
The Judaizing teachers, who insisted that men must become Jews before they could be Christians, were always on Paul’s heels, visiting his churches and diverting his converts from the simplicity of the faith. Their motive in many cases was very largely self-aggrandizement. Such men were to be resisted to the uttermost and sharply rebuked. Where the work of grace is really commenced in the heart, a sharp rebuke will often turn the soul back to God. The gardener must not hesitate to use a pruning-knife, if the well-being of the tree is at stake.
Note the marvelous power we possess of viewing things in the light or gloom cast upon them from our own temperament. We see life and the world in a glass colored from within. Oh, that we might possess that pure and untarnished nature that passes through the world like a beam of sunshine, irradiating all but contaminated by none! The true test of the knowledge of God is a holy life. These act and react. The better you know God, the more you will resemble him (Psalms 111-112). The more you are like God, the better you will know him. (Meyer)