Titus 3 - Outline of Titus (Menu Page)
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.
Titus was also to instruct God's people in the godly way of interacting with the unsaved world around them.
  • ...be subject to principalities and powers... obey magistrates...
    Although our true citizenship is in Heaven, we should be good citizens in the land of our earthly pilgrimage. In so doing, we honor the King of glory whom we serve. Mat 22:21; Rom 13:1-7; 1Pet 2:11-17
  • ...ready to every good work...
    The believer is to be ready {GK=hetoimos, prepared for opportunity} to do whatever will best honor the Lord. 'Every {GK=pas, all} good work' includes...
  • ...speak evil of {GK=blasphemeo, speak reproachfully, revile} no man...
    While unsaved men may be less than honorable, nevertheless, believers are to be respectful when speaking to or about all men. Jam 3:8-10; 1Pet 2:18
  • ...not brawlers {GK=amachos, not contentious}
  • ...but gentle {GK=epiekes, equitable, fair}, shewing all meekness {GK=praotes, gentleness, mildness} unto all men.
    'All men' includes those who are not kind or fair to you. Yet, to such people, believers are to demonstrate kindness and love. Col 3:12,13; 2Tim 2:25
    Why? Because, until we met Christ, we also were unsaved and living according to our sinful condition.
For we ourselves also were sometimes {ie., in time past}...
(Our former condition was that of all unsaved men (Rom 1:29-31; 3:9-18).
  • foolish {GK=anoetos, without understanding}
  • disobedient {GK=apeithos, unpersuadable}
  • deceived {GK=planao, led astray, in error}
  • serving {ie., in bondage to} divers {ie.; diverse, various} lusts {GK=epithumeo, hot desires} and pleasures {GK=hedone, desire for pleasure}.
  • living in malice {ie., desire to harm} and envy {GK=phthonos, a corrupt and wasting desire for that which belongs to another (eg., Mat 27:18)}.
  • hateful {GK=stugnetos, detestable}, [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.
While we were in the same condition as our unsaved neighbors.
God showed His kindness and love to us, when our Savior appeared to redeem us. Titus 2:11,14; Heb 9:24-28
He saved us...
  • according to His mercy...-
    not because we were worthy (we had no righteousness of our own), but because He extended undeserved favor {grace} toward His enemies (Rom 5:8; 3:20-25; 4:5; Gal 2:16; 2Tim1:9,10).
  • by the washing {ie., bathing} of regeneration...-
    By nature our sinful hearts were corrupt beyond cleansing (Joh 3:3-6; Rom 8:7,8). Therefore, within the believer, God places a completely new nature which is created in His likeness (1Pet 1:3; 1Cor 6:9-11; 2Cor 5:17).
  • ...and the renewal of the Holy Spirit...-
    - The Holy Spirit energizes the new nature within the believer, enabling him to live a holy life that honors God (Rom 8:8-14; 12:1,2; Col 3:10).
    - The Holy Spirit is shed {poured out} abundantly, upon hearts that hunger and thirst to know and serve God (Isa 44:3; Joh 7:37-39).
    - The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within believers "through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Joh14:16-18; 16:7).
  • ...that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    By His grace, we are not only a people for his own possession (Titus 2:13,14), but also His sons and heirs (Rom 5:2; 8:15-17; 1Pet 1:3,4; 1Joh 2:25; 3:2,3). Having been afforded such an inheritance, we can afford to be gracious toward all, who as we once were, are still 'without God and without hope in this world' (Eph 2:12,13).
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly,
...a faithful saying...- In the pastoral epistles, this phrase frequently introduces a statement which summarizes Paul's teaching on a given issue (eg., 1Tim 1:15; 4:9,10; 2Tim 2:11,12).
...that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.
These things are good and profitable unto men.
This statement expresses the essence of what Titus was to teach his people concerning living according to sound doctrine. Believers should 'be careful to maintain' {ie., thoughtfully give attention to} 'good works,' toward other believers (2:1-15) and also toward the unbelieving world (3:1-7). When Christians live in such a way, it is profitable {ie., advantageous, beneficial} to all, encouraging harmony within the church, and commending the faith to unbelievers.
9. But avoid foolish questions {ie., matters of controversy}, and genealogies,
and contentions
{ie., debates}, 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.
...but avoid {ie., turn away from, shun}... for they are unprofitable and vain {ie., useless}.
While godly living is profitable, arguing about unimportant side issues is a useless distraction from the ministry of the Word. Paul repeatedly warned the young pastors, Timothy and Titus, against such entanglements. Titus 1:14; 1Tim 1:3-7; 4:7; 2Tim 2:15-18,23 (For more, see the Book Notes at these references.)
...a man that is an heretic {GK=hairetikos}... reject...
The word 'heretic' is rooted in a word {GK=haireomai} which means 'to choose' or 'to prefer.' An heretic chooses to follow his own understanding, rather than the sound teaching of God's Word. Yet, the man of God has a responsibility to admonish him {GK=nouthesia, lit., make him mindful, give him understanding} of the truth (2Tim 2:24-26). If the heretic continues to reject God's Word, he is to be rejected {GK=paraiteomai, refused, excused}. That is, the man of God is to refuse, or excuse himself from, further discussion, lest he be distracted by unprofitable debate.
...knowing {ie., perceiving, seeing} that he is subverted {GK=ekstrepho, twisted, turned inside out}...
The man of God is relieved of responsibility, after he has warned the heretic and perceives that the man will not respond to the truth, because by refusing God's Word, he is self-condemned. (Examples: Joh 3:18; 5:39,40; Acts 13:46; Rom 3:19; 1Tim 1:19,20; Heb 10:26; 2Pet 3:16; 1Joh 5:10-12)
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 ours 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.
...when I send Artemas... or Tychicus... be diligent {ie., make haste} to come unto me...
These men were some of Paul's co-workers, to whom he could entrust the pastoral work in Crete, to allow Titus to depart to assist Paul in Nicopolis. There were several cities with this name. It is uncertain which is intended.
     The postscript to this letter in some manuscripts refers to this as Macedonian Nicopolis, which was in the region of Thrace (modern Bulgaria), near the border with Macedonia, about 50 miles inland on a river. This is generally considered as an editorial error by a scribe. Most scholars believe Paul was referring to Nicopolis of Epirus, on the west side of modern Greece. This was an important regional hub and port. It was also a regional center of church heirarchy, circa 200 - 400 AD.
     In any case, Titus knew which city Paul had in mind. No doubt, Paul had planted one or more churches in the vicinity, and needed Titus to set things in order there also (Titus 1:5).
     Artemas is not mentioned elsewhere in scripture. According to Christian tradition, he served as bishop in Lystra.
     Tychicus is named as a traveling companion and co-worker with Paul in several passages (Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; Col 4:7). Many believe that he is the unnamed, but well known and trusted, 'brother' who assisted Titus in the collection of aid for the church in Jerusalem (2Cor 8:16-24). He may have filled in as pastor at Ephesus, to allow Timothy to visit Paul, a year or two after this letter to Titus (2Tim 4:12-13,21).
...Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
We know nothing about Zenas, except what we read here. He was apparently a believer, who needed to travel in his work as a lawyer. Apollos was a traveling evangelist. Both of them were involved in 'good work.' Both were in need of assistance, perhaps in the form of hospitality (food and lodging), as they passed through Crete.
...and let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
The believers were to give attention to good works (such as showing hospitality to travelers, 3Joh 1:5-8). But "for necessary {needful, required by circumstances} uses {ie., business, duty}," is not limited to hospitality, and would include any activity that would help brothers in Christ in their service for the Lord (whether in spiritual ministry or in any legitimate business). Titus 3:8; Acts 18:3; 20:35; Rom 15:26-28; Heb 6:10-12
Paul closes his letter with personal greetings and a blessing, or prayer, for the spiritual well being of Titus and the churches which he served:
"Grace be with you all. Amen."

This concludes the study in Titus 3.
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