The ministers of Christ are the peoples’ remembrancers of their duty as children of God. They should urge upon Christians the duty of subjection to the government, the truth of the unmerited favor of God in Christ, and the necessity of maintaining good works for His glory.
1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
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.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
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;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
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.
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
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.
13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
14 And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
¶ It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia.
Titus 3:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 3:2-7 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 3:8-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Titus 3:1-7 – Making Return to God’s Loving-Kindness.
Throughout this Epistle, the Apostle insists on good works (2:7, 14; 3:8, 14). We must not work to be saved, but being saved we must be ready to every good work, and careful to maintain good works. In this last phrase the Apostle apparently refers to the trades and callings by which his converts were to earn their daily bread.
What singular beauty there is in this allusion to the appearance of the kindness and love of God our Saviour! These appeared in the person of Jesus, whose human nature alternately veiled and revealed them. The full outshining of God’s love was curtained by the veil of his humanity, but enough was shown to irradiate the life of humanity, if only men’s eyes had not been blind. Paul speaks of the washing of regeneration (v. 5), because the new nature, which we receive when we are born again, is clean, and cleanses the entire life from within outward. This is the result of the daily renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom God is ever pouring richly into our hearts. Is this your experience? Will you not claim an ever-increasing inflow? You have been born again; then, as an heir, enter upon the double portion of the first-born (v. 7). (Meyer)
Titus 3:4—The kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared.
The emphasis must surely rest on appeared. Kindness and love towards man were always in the heart of God, but they were not clearly revealed. They might have been perceived in the order of nature and human life; but there are stormy winds as well as zephyrs in the one — and in the other deaths as well as births; knells of hope as well as marriage peals. But in Jesus the true heart of God towards man was manifested. It is thus in human life.
At first God blessed us anonymously. — In Cowper’s memoirs we read how Theodora, his cousin, pursued him throughout his sad life with her gifts; but they always came without indication of their source. As the poet unwrapped his new — come treasure, he would say, “Dear Anonymous has come again; God bless him.” So, through years of thoughtless childhood, and afterwards in opening youth, we were the recipients of myriads of gifts contrived with the most exquisite skill to give us pleasure; but we did not trace them to their source. They were from God.
Since then his grace and loving-kindness have appeared. — We have had eyes to see, and hearts to understand. The Anonymous Benefactor is now recognized as our Father and Friend. We no longer praise our earthly loves for our cornfields and vineyards, but our Heavenly Spouse (Hosea 2). In the breaking of the bread we have recognized the Son of God, and we know now who it was that walked with as along the path of life, and why our hearts burned. (Meyer)
“Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
Titus 3:8-15 – Maintaining Good Works.
It is wise advice that we should try to shun controversy and disputations. Small benefit accrues from such methods of advancing the truth. After all, the Lord’s test is the true one for all teachings which are in question – What is their fruit? “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). Let us, therefore, cultivate the grace and beauty, the righteousness and purity, of a holy life. Let us yield ourselves to Jesus to be wholly possessed and used by him; and let our one aim be to get glory for him and success for his Kingdom. Then our views of truth will become clear and sound, and the beauty of our lives will have the most convincing effect on gainsayers. It is better to live a holy life than be a successful disputant. The best proof of orthodoxy is a Christlike life.
Paul, having been liberated from his first imprisonment, was itinerating in Asia Minor and Macedonia, accompanied by several friends. He was intending to winter at Nicopolis in Epirus, and was about to send Artemas or Tychicus to relieve Titus in Crete, so that Titus might join him in the winter sojourn. These plans were probably canceled by his own sudden arrest at Nero’s instigation. (Meyer)