1 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey
magistrates, to be ready to every good work,” Put them in mind .
(ὑπομίμνησκε – hupomimnaeske – be you reminding); as II Timothy 2:14.
To principalities and powers. To rulers, to authorities. Many uncials, which the
Received Text follows, omit the kai< - kai – and - but it seems necessary to the sense.
The change from “principalities and powers” to” rulers” and “authorities” does
not seem desirable Ἀρχάι – Archai – sovereignties – (from ἀρχή – archae –
beginning, government, rule - is used of supramundane beings who exercise rule,
called “principality); and ἐξουσίαι – exousiai – authorities - (denotes freedom
of action; when used of God, it is absolute, unrestricted; right to act; is a favorite
juxtaposition of Paul’s (I Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians
1:16; 2:10, 15). It occurs also in I Peter 3:22. In all the above examples the words,
it is true, apply to the angelic hosts, but the words are elsewhere applied separately
to human government, and in Luke 20:20, they are applied together to the authority
of the Roman governor. To obey. (πειθαρχεῖν – peitharchein – to be yielding);
only here and in Acts 5:29, 32; 27:21. It follows here its classical use, “to obey a
superior,” well expressed in the Authorized Version “to obey magistrates.” The
simple “to be obedient” of the Revised Version does not express the sense. To be
ready to every good work. Paul is still speaking with especial reference to
magistrates and the civil power. Christians were to show themselves good
citizens, always ready for any duty to which they were called. Christianity
was not to be an excuse for shirking duties, or refusing obedience where it was due.
The only limit is expressed by the word “good.” They were to give tribute to
whom tribute was due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor
to whom honor (Romans 13:7); but, if ordered to do evil, then they must resist,
and obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19). (See the similar limitation in ch.2:10,
note, and compare, for the whole verse, the very similar passage, Romans 13:1-7.)
Political Duties (v. 1)
The apostle now turns to the duties which Christians owe to the pagan
world around them.
· THE NECESSITY OF THE INJUNCTION TO POLITICAL
SUBMISSION. “Put them in mind.” The words imply that the duty was
already known, but needed to be recalled to Cretan memory. It is but too
certain that the injunction was needed. Once a democratic state, now for
over a century under Roman law, and always remarkable for a factious and
turbulent spirit, the Cretan impatience of authority was reinforced by the
spirit of insubordination which was such a characteristic of the Jewish part
of the community.
· THE DUTY OF SUBMISSION TO CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY.
“Put them in mind to be subject to authorities, to powers, to obey the
magistrate, to be ready towards every good work.” The very redundancy
of words used here is significant, as if to exclude the possibility of an
evasion of the command.
Ø Government is of God. “The powers that be are ordained of God”
(Romans 13:1; I Peter 2:13).
Ø The form of government does not affect the duty of obedience.
Monarchies, republics, oligarchies, have in them alike the ordination and
power of God for the welfare of society.
Ø There are limits to this obedience, but the apostle does not fix them.
The exceptional cases are not mentioned, because they are summed up
either in the primary law of self-preservation, which is antecedent to all
government, or in the supremacy of conscience, which must always obey
God rather than men. A king may become insane and murder his subjects,
but the first principles of nature justify their resort to force in self-protection
(Acts 5:29; 4:9, 20). The king may command his subjects to
practice idolatry. In that case, if the Christian cannot resist, he must die.
· POLITICAL DUTY IN THE CASE OF CHRISTIANS INCLUDES
MORE THAN SUBMISSION. They must be “ready toward every good
work.” As the magistrate is appointed to be a terror to evil-doers and the
praise of them that do well (Romans 13:3), the disposition of Christian
subjects to every good work has a tendency to make government easy and
2 “To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all
meekness unto all men.” To speak evil of no man (μηδένα βλασφημεῖν –
maedena blasphaemein). Probably especially pointed in the first place at a natural
tendency of oppressed Christians to speak evil of their rulers (II Peter 2:10; Jude 1:10),
but extended into a general precept which might be especially needful for the rough and
turbulent Cretans. To be no brawlers. (ἀμάχους εἴναι - amachous einai – not to
be contentious; to be pacific); as I Timothy 3:3, note. But be gentle. (ἐπιεικεῖς –
epieikeis – to be gentle); coupled, as here, with ἀμάχους – amachous – not
contentious; not a brawler (see above) in I Timothy 3:3. Shewing (ἐνδεικνυμένους –
endeiknumenous – showing; displaying); a word of frequent occurrence in Paul’s
vocabulary (Romans 2:15; 9:17.22; Ephesians 2:7, etc.; see above, ch. 2:10, note).
Meekness (πραότητα - praotaeta); another Pauline word (I Corinthians 4:21;
II Corinthians 10:1; Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 6:11; II Timothy 2:25). The precept
is given its widest extension by the double addition of “all” and “to all men.”
The roughness, or want of courtesy, of others is no excuse for the want of meekness
in those who are the disciples of HIM WHO WAS MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART!
(Matthew 11:29). All men, whatever their station, the highest or the lowest, are to
receive meek and gentle treatment from the Christian.
Society has reached no ideal perfection in government, nor has God
Himself laid down any outward form as an ideal. All nations are justified in
variety of choice. There has been government by judges, and governments
monarchical, republican, autocratic, and constitutional. All that we need to
notice is that society needs to be governed. Lawlessness always ends in
anarchy, misery, and desolation. Let us learn:
of licentiousness. (As
Compare a river that keeps its bounds to one that overflows its banks. Men
are justified in resisting tyrannies, whether of autocrats or mobs; but they must
not forget that all well-ordered societies exist only by subjection.
and showing that there is
Ø a magistracy of the heart as well as
Ø a magistracy of the state.
The Right Deportment of Christians Toward All Men (v. 2)
It is described first negatively, then positively.
· THEY MUST NOT BE REVILERS. “To speak evil of no man.”
Ø What evils spring from the wrong use of the tongue! “It is an unruly
evil” (James 3:8).
Ø If the evil we speak of others is false, we are slanderers; if it is true, we
sin against charity. It usually betokens a malignant spirit.
Ø It is to forget the example of Christ — “who, when he was reviled,
reviled not again;” and the precepts of Christ, who taught us “to love our
enemies.” Let Christians, therefore, guard their tongues, and let their
words be few and well-ordered.
· THEY MUST NOT BE CONTENTIOUS. “No brawlers.”
Ø Such a disposition mars the influence of Christian people.
Ø It is inconsistent with the spirit of Him who did not strive, nor was
His voice heard in the streets.
Ø It leads to unseemly retaliations from the world, to the dishonor of
· THEY MUST BE FORBEARING. “But gentle.” It suggests the idea
of giving way, of taking wrong rather than of revenging the injuries we
· THEY MUST BE MEEK TO ALL MEN. “Showing all meekness to
Ø Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23.)
Ø It is precious in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:4.)
Ø It is a characteristic of true wisdom. (James 3:17.)
Ø It is necessary to a Christian walk. (Ephesians 4:1-2.)
Ø It is specially needed in our conduct toward our fellow-men
(James 3:13); in our efforts to restore the erring (Galatians 6:1) and
to instruct opposers of themselves. (II Timothy 2:24-25).
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.” Foolish (ἀνόητοι – anoaetoi); a Pauline word
(Galatians 3:1, 3), found also in Luke 24:25 (see I Timothy 6:9); of frequent use
in classical Greek. Disobedient (ἀπειθεῖς) – apeitheis – unpersuadable;
stubborn); as ch.1:16. In Luke 1:17 it stands, as here, absolutely, meaning
disobedient to God and His Law. Deceived (πλανώμενοι – planomenoi -
led astray, made to wander from the path of truth and right); either by
false systems of religion, or by our own evil affections and appetites (see II Timothy
2:13; I Peter 2:25; II Peter 2:15, etc.). Serving. (δουλεύοντες – douleuontes –
slaves to); II Peter 2:19 (see above, ch. 2:2). Lusts. (ἐπιθυμίαις – epithumiais);
not always in a bad sense, as here, though usually so (see Luke 22:15; Philippians 1:23;
I Thessalonians 2:17; Revelation 18:14). Pleasures. (ἡδοναῖς – haedonais –
gratifications – this word is the origin of the idea behind the modern philosophy of
Hedonism [the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence] – CY - 2019); always in a
bad sense in the New Testament (Luke 8:14; James 4:1, 3; II Peter 2:13). Living.
(διάγοντες – diagontes); see I Timothy 2:2, where it is followed by βίον – bion – life
which is here understood. Διάγειν τὸν βίον αἰῶνα χρόνον σάββατον – Diagein ton
bion aiona chronon sabbaton etc., are common phrases both in the Septuagint and
in classical Greek for passing or spending one’s life, time, age, etc. But it is only
found in the New Testament here and in I Timothy 2:2. Malice (κακίᾳ - kakia ). This
word is sometimes used of wickedness generally, as Acts 8:22; James 1:21;
I Corinthians 5:8; and probably Romans 1:29; and even of badness in things,
as Matthew 6:34. But it frequently in the New Testament denotes malice,
the desire to do harm to others, as Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8, etc.
Envy (φθόνῳ – phthono|); almost always found in Paul’s enumeration of sins
(Romans 1:29; Galatians 5:21; I Timothy 6:4, etc.). Hateful. (στυγητοί –
stugaetoi); only here in the New Testament, not found in the Septuagint
(though the verb στυγέω - stugeo – to hate - occurs once or twice in the
Maccabees), but used in good classical Greek. The above is a sad but too
true picture of human life WITHOUT the sweetening influences of
GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT!
Duty (vs. 1-3)
“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers,” etc. “Very
careful,” says Dean Spence, “and searching have been the apostle’s
charges to Titus respecting the teachers of the Church, their doctrine and
their life; very particular have been his directions, his warnings and
exhortations, to men and women of different ages, on the subject of their
home life. But with the exception of a slight digression, in the case of a
slave to a pagan master, his words had been written with a reference
generally to Christian life among Christians. But there was then a great life
outside the little Christian world: how were the people of Christ to regulate
their behavior in their dealings with the vast pagan world outside? Paul
goes to the root of the matter at once when he says, ‘Put them in mind,’
etc.” We have here duty in a threefold relation — in relation to civil
government, in relation to general society, and in relation to moral self.
Here is duty:
· IN RELATION TO CIVIL GOVERNMENT. “Put them in mind to be
subject [in subjection] to principalities [rulers] and powers [authorities], to
obey magistrates [to be obedient].” It is here implied, and fully taught
elsewhere (Romans 13:1-7), that civil government is of DIVINE APPOINTMENT! “There is no power but of God,” says Paul. That the principle of civil government is Divine is not only revealed but implied in
the very constitution of society.
Ø Man’s social tendencies indicate it. Some men are royal in their instincts
and powers, and are evidently made to rule. Others are servile, cringing in
tendency, feeble in faculty, and made to obey. There is a vast gradation of
instinct and power in human society, and it is an eternal principle in God’s
government that the lesser shall serve the greater.
Ø Man’s social needs indicate it. Every community, to be kept in
order, must have a recognized head — one who shall be allowed to rule,
either by his own will or the organized will of the whole. Hence man, in his
most savage state, has some recognized chief. The principle of civil
government is, therefore, manifestly of Divine appointment. We may rest
assured that, civil government being of Divine appointment, it is for good
and good only. Indeed, we learn that Paul’s idea of a civil ruler is that he is
a “minister of God to thee for good.” But what is good? The answer in
which all will agree is this — obedience to the Divine will. What is the
standard of virtue? Not the decree of an autocrat, not public sentiment,
even when organized into constitutional law; but the will of God. “Whether
it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God,
judge ye.” (Acts 4:19) The civil government, therefore, that does not harmonize with His will, as revealed by Christ the infallible Logos, is not the government
of which Paul speaks. Taking Christ as the Revealer of God’s will, we may
infer that the infringement of human rights is not in accordance with the
will of God, and therefore not good. Also that the promotion of injustice,
impurity, and error is not according to the will of God, and therefore not
good. The Bible never teaches, nor does moral philosophy, that we are
bound to obey laws that are not righteous, to honor persons that are not
honorworthy. If we are commanded to honor the king, the precept implies
that the king’s character is worthy of his office; Some kings it is religious
to despise and loathe. If we are commanded to honor our parents, the
language implies that our parents are honorworthy. Some parents display
attributes of character suited to awaken the utmost hatred and contempt.
In like manner we are commanded to be subject to the higher powers, and the
injunction implies that what these higher powers enact is right. The
obligation of obedience is ever dependent upon the righteousness of the
· IN RELATION TO GENERAL SOCIETY. There are three duties here
indicated which every man owes to his fellows.
Ø Usefulness. “Be ready to every good work.” The law of universal
benevolence which we see in nature, our own instincts and faculties, as
well as the written Word, teach us that man was made to serve his brother;
the grand end of each is to promote the happiness of others. No man fulfills
his mission or realizes his destiny who is not an altruist, who is not ever
actuated by regard for the happiness of others. Altruism is God’s social law
and is binding on every one; disregard to it is the source of all social
disorders and miseries. “The soul of the truly benevolent man does not
seem to reside much in its own body. Its life, to a great extent, is a mere
reflex of the lives of others. It migrates into their bodies, and, identifying its
existence with their existence, finds its own happiness in increasing and
prolonging their pleasures, in extinguishing or solacing their pains.”
Ø Charitableness. “To speak evil of no man.” “This,” says a modern
author, “imports more than to speak evil in the ordinary sense: it is to act
the part of a reviler or slanderer; and when used of conduct from one man
towards another, always betokens the exercise of a very bitter and
malignant spirit. Titus was to charge the Christians of Crete to give no
exhibition towards any one of such a spirit, nor to show a quarrelsome
disposition, but, on the contrary, to cultivate a mild, placable, and gentle
temper.” There are evils of some sort or other attaching to all men, and in
some men they are of the most hideous and heinous character. To ignore
them, if possible, would be wrong; to feel them is natural to the pure, and
to denounce them is right. But to speak of them before others, to parade
them before the eyes of others, argues a base and malignant nature. Should
occasion require us to speak of them, it should be in the saddest tones of
tenderness, and even with compassionate indignation.
Ø Courteousness. “To be no brawlers [not to be contentious], but gentle,
showing all meekness unto all men.” How much there is in society, how
much in every department of life — mercantile, mechanical, and mental —
one meets with to annoy and irritate, especially those fated with an irascible
nature. Still, amidst the strongest provocations, courtesy is our duty, yes,
and our dignity too.
· IN RELATION TO OUR MORAL SELF. The apostle urges the duty
of forbearance to what was wrong in government and society, by
reminding them of the wrong in their own past lives. “We ourselves also
were sometimes foolish “ — we had no proper understanding of the true.
“Disobedient” — indisposed to do what is right. “Deceived” — swerving
from the true mode of life. “Serving divers lusts and pleasures “ — slaves
of impure passions, reveling in the sensual and the gross. “Living in malice
and envy, hateful, and hating one another “ — we once spent our days in
the atmosphere of hate and malign passions. It is a duty which every man
owes to himself to remember all the wrong of his past life — remember it:
Ø That he may be charitable towards others.
Ø That he may be stimulated to efforts of self-improvement.
Ø That he may adore the forbearance of God in His past dealings.
Ø That he may devoutly appreciate the morally redemptive agency of
Ø That he may realize the necessity of seeking the moral restoration of
others. Two things may be inferred from Paul’s language concerning the
past moral condition of himself and others.
o The possibility of the moral improvement of souls. The
rough stone can be polished, the unfertile soil can be made
fertile, the wilderness can blossom as the rose.
o The obligation of the moral improvement of souls.
· CONCLUSION. Let us find out our duty and follow it, through storm as
well as sunshine, even unto death. “After all,” says Canon Kingsley, “what
is speculation to practice? What does God require of us but to do justly, to
love mercy, and to walk humbly with him? (Micah 6:8) The longer I live this seems to me more important, and all other questions less so. If we can but live
the simple, right life, do the work that’s nearest, though it’s dull at whiles,
helping, when we meet them, lame dogs over stiles.” In the realization of
our duty is our strength, our nobleness, our heaven.
“Yet do thy work: it shall succeed.
In thine or in another’s day;
And if denied the victor’s meed,
Thou shalt not lack the toiler’s pay.
“Then faint not, falter not, nor plead
Thy weakness: truth itself is strong;
The lion’s strength, the eagle’s speed,
Are not alone vouchsafed to wrong.”
A Humiliating Retrospect (v. 3)
The apostle adds, as a reason for the duties first specified, that “we also,”
including himself with the Gentile Christians, were once in a similar
condition to the heathen, and had received mercy. It is a dark picture of
men in their natural state, proceeding from a description of the inward
source to the outward facts of this evil life.
· HUMAN NATURE DEPICTED AS TO ITS MORE INWARD
CHARACTER. “For we ourselves” were once foolish.
Ø It is foolish. As wisdom is the choice of proper means of attaining our
ends, so folly must be the direct contrary.
o The fool despises instruction and wisdom, and hates knowledge
(Proverbs 1:7, 22).
o He walks in the darkness of a false education (Ecclesiastes 2:14).
o He is self-sufficient and self-confident and a self deceiver
(Proverbs 14:8, 16).
o He makes a mock at sin (ibid. v. 9).
Ø It is disobedient. The word implies that the root of all true obedience is
faith. Human nature is without faith, and is therefore disobedient.
o Disobedience forfeits God’s favor (I Samuel 13:14).
o Provokes His anger (Psalm 78:10, 40).
o Forfeits promised blessings (Joshua 5:6).
o Brings a curse (Deuteronomy 11:28).
o There are many warnings against it (Jeremiah 12:17).
Ø It is deceived. Because it is separated from Christ, who is the Light of
the world. It is easily led astray by all sorts of delusion. It has no pole-star
or compass to steer by, and is therefore in constant danger of shipwreck. It
is deceived by itself as well as by the devil.
· HUMAN NATURE DEPICTED AS TO ITS MORE OUTWARD
Ø Its service was impure. “Serving divers lusts and pleasures.” This
was the character of heathen life in an island like
of this life were of a sinful and debasing nature. Such a service was bondage (Romans 6:6, 16; 16:18).
Ø It implied a life of malice.
o The wicked speak with malice (III John 1:10), and
are filled with it (Romans 1:29) and visit the saints with it
o God requites it (Isaiah 10:14).
Ø It implied a life of envy.
o Envy is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:21).
o The wicked are full of it (Romans 1:29).
o It leads to every evil work (James 3:16).
o It is hurtful to its possessors (Job 5:2).
o It will be punished (Psalm 106:16-17).
Ø It implies hatefulness. “Hateful;” that is, possessing the qualities that
excite hatred and dislike.
Ø It implies a return of hate for hate. “Hating one another.”
o It is characteristic of those without love to God (I John 2:9, 11).
o It is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:21).
o It stirs up strife (Proverbs 10:12).
o It embitters life (Proverbs 15:17).
o It will be punished (Psalm 34:21).
4 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man
appeared,” Kindness (χρηστότης – chraestotaes), used by Paul only in the
New Testament, and by him frequently in the sense of “kindness,” whether of
God (as Romans 2:4; 11:22; Ephesians 2:7) or of man (as II Corinthians 6:6;
Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12). In Romans 3:12, where it has the wider sense
of “good” or “right,” it is the phrase of the Septuagint, who use χρηστότης
for the Hebrew טוב. In like manner, χρηστός – chraestos is frequently used in
the sense of “kind” (Luke 6:35; Romans 2:4; Colossians 3:12; I Peter 2:3).
This is exactly analogous to the use of κακός – kakos and κακία – kakia, in
the limited sense of “malicious,” “malice” (see preceding note to v. 3).
Love toward man. (φιλανθρωπία - philanthropia); only here and Acts 28:2
in the New Testament. It occurs repeatedly in the Books of the Maccabees, and
is common in good classical Greek. (This is where we get our word philanthrophy.
CY – 2013). God our Savior. (see I Timothy 1:1; 2:3; ch.2:10, etc.). 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;” By works (ἐξ ἔργων - ex ergon - i.e. in consequence of). God’s
kindness and love to man DID NOT SPRING FROM MAN’S GOOD WORK
as the preceding and producing conditions (compare Galatians 2:16. Of
righteousness. (τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ – ton en dikaiosunae - done in
righteousness; the particular description of the works wrought in a sphere
or element of righteousness). Which we have done. Did ourselves;
emphasizing that they were our good works, done by us in a state of righteousness.
All this, as the cause of our salvation, the apostle emphatically denies. -Not, etc.,
But according to His mercy He saved us. The predisposing cause, the rule and
measure of our salvation, was GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE, ORIGINATING
AND COMPLETING THAT SALVATION! By the washing of regeneration’
(διὰ λουτροῦ παλλιγενεσίας – dia loutrou palligenesias ). Here we have
the means through or by which God’s mercy saves us. The washing or rather laver
of regeneration (λουτρόν – loutron – laver; bath) — found elsewhere in the New
Testament only in Ephesians 5:26, in exactly the same connection — is the laver or
bath in which the washing takes place. The nature or quality of this bath is described
by the words, “of regeneration” (τῆς παλιnγενεσίας – taes paliggenesias);
elsewhere in the New Testament only in Matthew 19:28, where it seems rather to
mean the great restoration of humanity at the second advent. The word is used by
Jews under Zerubbabel, and by several Greek authors; and the Septuagint of
Job 14:14 have the phrase, ἕως πάλιν γένωμαι, - heos palin genomai -
until my release(change) should come - but in what sense is not quite clear.
Παλιγγενεσία,– palingenesia – regeneration - therefore, very fifty describes
the new birth in holy baptism, when:
· the believer is put into possession of a new spiritual life,
· a new nature, and
· a new inheritance of glory.
And the laver of baptism is called “the laver of regeneration,” because it is the
ordained means by or through which regeneration is obtained. And renewing of
the Holy Ghost. It is doubtful whether the genitive ἀνακαιγώσεως – anakaigoseos –
renewal; renewing - depends upon διὰ (by/through) or upon λούτρου (bath/laver).
It is difficult to hit upon any conclusive argument for one side or the other. But it is
against the latter construction that it gives such a very long rambling sentence
dependent upon λούτρου. “The laver of regeneration and of the renewing
of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ
our Savior.” (this verse and v. 6). And it is in favor of the former that the
“laver of regeneration” and “the renewing of the Holy Ghost” seem to
describe very clearly the two parts of the sacrament:
· the outward visible sign, the birth of water, and
· the inward spiritual grace; the birth of the Holy Ghost.
Renewing (ἀνακαινώσεως - anakainoseos); only here and Romans 12:2,
and not at all in the Septuagint or in classical Greek. But the verb ἀνακαινόω –
anakainoo – to make new - is found in II Corinthians 4:16; Colossians 3:10.
The same idea is in the kainh< kti>siv – kainae ktisis – the new creature - of
II Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15, and the καινότης ζωῆς – kainotaes
zoaes – newness of life - of Romans 6:4, and the καινότης πνεύματος –
kainotaes pneumatos – newness of spirit – of Ibid. 7:6, and in the contrast
between the “old man” (the παλαιὸς ἄνθρωπος – palaios anthropos) and
“the new man” (the καινὸς ἄνθρωπος – kainos anthropos) of Ephesians
4:22-24. This RENEWAL is THE WORK OF THE HOLY GHOST
in THE NEW BIRTH when men are “BORN AGAIN” of the Spirit
(John 3:5). It is evidently parallel with the παλιγγεσία (regeneration). The
connection of baptism with the effusion of the Holy Spirit is fully set forth
in Acts 2. (see especially v. 38; compare Matthew 3:16-17).
(The following excerpt from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New
Testament Words, though in some ways repetitious, should shed light
on such an important event as THE NEW BIRTH IN JESUS CHRIST!
CY – 2013)
palingenesia (παλιγγενεσία), “new birth” (palin, “again,” genesis, “birth”), is used
of “spiritual regeneration,” Titus 3:5, involving the communication of a new life,
the two operating powers to produce which are “the word of truth,” Jas. 1:18;
1 Pet. 1:23, and the Holy Spirit, John 3:5-6; the λουτρόν “the laver, the washing,”
is explained in Eph. 5:26, “having cleansed it by the washing (λουτρόν) of water
with the word.” The new birth and “regeneration” do not represent successive
stages in spiritual experience, they refer to the same event but view it in different
aspects. The new birth stresses the communication of spiritual life in contrast to
antecedent spiritual death; “regeneration” stresses the inception of a new state
of things in contrast with the old; hence the connection of the use of the word
with its application to
as epexegetic, “even”; but, as Scripture marks two distinct yet associated
operating powers, there is not sufficient ground for this interpretation.
In Matt. 19:28 the word is used, in the Lord’s discourse, in the wider sense,
of the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21, rv), when, as a result of the
second advent of Christ, Jehovah “sets His King upon His holy hill of Zion”
(Ps. 2:6), and
the recognition and under the benign sovereignty of its Messiah. Thereby will
be accomplished the deliverance of the world from the power and deception
of Satan and from the despotic and antichristian rulers of the nations. This
restitution will not in the coming millennial age be universally a return to the
pristine condition of Edenic innocence previous to the Fall, but it will fulfill
the establishment of God’s covenant with Abraham concerning his descendants,
a veritable rebirth of the nation, involving the peace and prosperity of the Gentiles.
That the worldwide subjection to the authority of Christ will not mean the entire
banishment of evil, is clear from Rev. 20:7-8. Only in the new heavens and earth,
“wherein dwelleth righteousness,” will sin and evil be entirely absent.
(II Peter 3:13)
(Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)
The Mercy of God (v. 5)
“According to His mercy he saved us.” Mercy is the key-note of
redemption. It is the music of the Psalms; the spirit of Christ’s ministry,
and the motive of the atonement. It is the very heart of God — as
permanent as His justice and His righteousness; “for His mercy endureth
forever.” (Psalm 118:1-4)
according to works of righteousness which we have done.” Good actions
do not make a good man; it is the good man that makes the good actions.
If man is to be saved, he must have new life from within. Mercy meets his
case. God’s pity and compassion are seen in this. He gives the new
heart that makes the new life, and so he saves us from self and sin.
regeneration,” the redemption that comes to the heart through the fountain
opened for sin and uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1). But the removal of the
stain of sin is not all. The heart, however clean, is not to be a blank. A new
likeness is to be brought out. So there is to be the “renewing of the
Holy Ghost.” We are made new creatures in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians
5:17). God’s likeness comes out again in the soul. We are made holy with
God’s holiness, and beautiful with God’s beauty.
6 “Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;”
Which (οϋ - hou); viz. the Holy Ghost. It is in the genitive (instead of the
accusative ὁ – ho - which is another reading), by what [the grammarians call
attraction. He shed. (ἐξέχεεν – execheen – He poured out); the same word
as is applied to the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:17-18, 33, and in the Septuagint of Joel
2:28-29. Abuntantly. (πλουσίως – plousios - richly); as I Timothy 6:17;
Colossians 3:16; II Peter 1:11 (compare the use of πλοῦτος – ploutos – riches -
in Ephesians 1:7; 2:7). Through Jesus Christ. It is our baptism into Christ which
entitles us to receive the Holy Spirit, which we have only in virtue of our union with
Him. The Spirit flows from the Head to the members. In Acts 2:33 Christ is
said to have received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, and to have
poured it forth upon the Church.
7 “That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to
the hope of eternal life.” Being justified by His grace; showing
very clearly that righteousness in man did not precede and cause the saving
mercy of God, but that mercy went before and provided the justification
which is altogether of grace, and which issues in the possession of eternal
life. Heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This seems to be the
right rendering rather than that in the margin, heirs, according to hope, of
eternal life, making “eternal life” depend upon “heirs.” The passage in
ch.1:2, “In hope of eternal life,” is a very strong reason for taking
the same construction here. The answer in the Church Catechism,
“Wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor
of the kingdom of heaven,” follows very closely Paul’s teaching in the
text (see Romans 4:13-14; 8:17; Galatians 3:29, 4:7).
Mercy Begetting Mercy (vs. 1-7)
The practical lessons of the gospel were not exhausted in the preceding
chapter, nor the motives which urge believers to godliness. The call to
holiness in the last chapter was based upon the holy character of God’s
saving grace and the purpose of Christ’s redeeming love. In these verses
the grace and love of God are still the basis of the exhortation, but it takes
its peculiar coloring from the thought of what we were ourselves.
Tenderness, indulgence, and meekness toward our fellow-men are the
duties to which these verses call us; and it is supposed that those fellowmen
may be rough and evil-minded toward us, and provoking in their
ways, and perhaps obstinate in evil-doing. The natural heart might be ready
to speak evil of them, to contend fiercely with them, utterly to reject them
as reprobates, to thrust them beyond the pale of hope and kindness. But
stay! What were you yourselves when the kindness and love of God first
appeared unto you? Were you walking in righteousness? Were your works
the things which attracted God’s love toward you? Nay! you were living in
that folly which you now condemn in others; you were children of
disobedience then as truly as they are now; you were deceived by sin then
as they are now; you were the slaves of your own lusts then even as they
are now; you lived in malice and envy then, both hateful and hating one
· God’s mercy found you out;
· God’s love threw a veil over your sins;
· He provided a fountain to wash away your guilt;
· He sent His Holy Spirit to create in you a clean heart, and
to renew a right spirit within you;
· He justified you by His grace;
· He made you His heirs, and gave you the hope of eternal life.
And will not you have mercy upon your fellow-men? Will
not you, for whom the Divine gentleness and patience has done so much,
be gentle and patient too? Will not you, humble in the remembrance of
your own sins, and abashed at the thought of your own unworthiness, deal
meekly and kindly even with unruly and sinful men, and cherish the hope
that God’s boundless grace may at last reach them, even as it reached you?
Thus the doctrine of God’s mercy toward men begets mercy from man to
man, and the doctrine of grace is the strongest conceivable motive to
The Origin, Nature, Means, and End of Salvation (vs. 4-7)
The apostle reflects that he and other believers had no excuse for treating the heathen
with haughtiness, since it was owing to no merit of his or theirs that their own lives
had become purer.
TO MAN. “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love to
Man appeared.” (v. 4)
Ø The time of this manifestation. The expression implies a definite
point of time. It was “the fullness of the time” (Galatians 4:4).
o It was the period fixed in the Divine purpose from eternity.
(Revelation 13:8; II Timothy 1:9)
o It was the time of the probation of the Jews, ending in the most
awful series of judgments that ever befell a people.
o It was a time when the Greek tongue and the Roman arms made
a highway for the gospel.
o It was a time when pagan thought had exhausted every experiment
In the art of living, to find that all was “vanity and vexation of
spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)
o Yet it is not implied that the manifestation of Divine kindness had
not been enjoyed already in pre-Christian ages; for it was in virtue
of this manifestation, in the fullness of times, that God’s love flowed
forth in blessing during Jewish ages.
Ø The nature of this manifestation.
o It was a manifestation of kindness and love to man.
§ Kindness is the more general term, unlimited,
undefined, all-embracing, touching the whole
§ Love to man is His special and distinguishing love
to the children of men as distinct from angels.
o It was the love of the Father — “OUR SAVIOUR GOD.”
§ The title “Savior,” so often given to the Son, is here given
to the Father, because He is the Fountain from whence
flow all the streams of Divine mercy. The Son is “the
Unspeakable Gift of the Father;” for He “so loved
the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”
(John 3:16). The atonement was not, therefore, the cause,
but the effect, of the Father’s love.
§ This fact, exhibiting the mine of power and love in the
Creator, greatly enhances the certainty and glory of
§ It is our Father who is our Savior. Mark the clear
relationship, in spite of all our waywardness and sin.
works of righteousness we did, but according to His mercy He saved us”
(v. 5). The Divine goodness and love were manifested in salvation.
HE SAVED US!” This salvation, procured by the obedience and death
of Christ, has its origin, not in works of righteousness done by man, as
entitling him to it, BUT SOLELY, IN DIVINE MERCY! Mark the
conditions and the means of this salvation.
Ø The conditions of salvation.
o Not by works of righteousness.
§ We are not saved by our own works, even though they
should be done in obedience to a righteous law (Romans
3:20; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:4, 8-9; II Timothy 1:1,9).
§ If we were saved in this way, Christ should have died in
Vain (Galatians 2:21). His death would have been quite
§ Experience proves the impossibility of our being able to do
the works of perfect righteousness (Romans 3:23).
o The condition of salvation is Divine mercy. “According to
His mercy.” (v. 5)
§ God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4).
§ It streams forth from the blood and righteousness of
Christ (Romans 3:24-26; 6:23).
§ It was through the tender mercy of God that Christ, as
the Dayspring from on high, visited the earth (Luke 1:78).
§ The pardon of sin is according to the multitude of His
tender mercies (Psalm 51:1-2).
§ ETERNAL LIFE is the effect of God’s mercy.
Ø The means of salvation. “By the washing of regeneration and the
renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he poured on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Savior.” The Greek word is “laver,” as if to
show that the reference is to baptism. (Also, note the connection to God’s
plan from the beginning – i.e. the symbolism of the furniture inside and
outside the tabernacle, when God said to Moses, “See, saith the He,
that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to
thee in the mount.” - Hebrews 8:5 – CY – 2013)
o The washing of regeneration refers to the beginning of the spiritual
process in the soul, as it is the Spirit who regenerates the soul.
There is nothing in the passage to support the doctrine of
§ The connection of baptism with regeneration no more
proves that all the baptized are regenerated than the
expression, “we are sanctified by the truth,” implies
that the truth in all cases has this effect, or that “the
gospel of your salvation” implies that salvation always
follows the hearing of the gospel.
§ As a matter of fact, believers in apostolic times were
regenerated before they were baptized; therefore
they were not regenerated by baptism. This was the
case with the three thousand at Pentecost (Acts 2.),
§ There is no necessary connection between baptism
and regeneration, for Simon Magus was baptized
without being regenerated (Acts 8:9-24).
§ It is strange that, much as John speaks of regeneration
in his First Epistle, he never connects baptism with it.
He says that those who are “born of God” do
righteousness, and overcome the world. Why should he
mention these tests at all, when he might have known that,
had they been baptized, they must have been regenerated?
§ The Apostle Peter shows us the meaning of baptism when
he says that “baptism doth now save us” (I Peter 3:21).
How? “Not by putting away the filth of the flesh “ —
which is easily done by the external application of water —
“ but the answer of a good conscience toward God;”
as if to show that such an answer, representing the reality
and sincerity of our profession, was separable from the
putting away of the filth of the flesh.
§ The expression, “baptism for the remission of sins,”
does not imply that baptism is the cause of their remission,
for in all the cases referred to the remission had already
taken place before baptism (Acts 2:38; 22:16). The
baptism was a sign or seal of a remission already
accomplished. Saul was a true believer before Ananias
said to him, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away
thy sins, calling on the Name of the Lord.” (Ibid).
Besides, it was by calling on the Name of the Lord
that his sins were washed away. This is the force of the
o The renewing of the Holy Ghost refers to the continuance of the
spiritual process in the soul. Thus “the inward man is renewed
day by day” (II Corinthians 4:16). This points to progressive
§ The renewed are the children of God, the heirs of the
§ The effects are the fruits of righteousness in our life and
conversation. Thus there is a firm connection between the
regeneration and the renewal, which cannot be said of
baptism and renewal. Christendom is baptized, yet
how little grace is manifest among its millions!
§ The source of this renewal is the Holy Ghost, who has
been poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ
our Savior. It was in virtue of the mediatorship that the
Spirit was given, and still
works in the
v all salvation is BY HIM!
v the grace of regeneration is out of
v the gift of God, which is ETERNAL LIFE,
is THROUGH HIM!
AND LOVE. “That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.” God saves us according to His mercy
by regeneration; but the first effect of regeneration is faith, and faith is the
instrument of our justification. There is no difference in the order of time
between regeneration and justification, but regeneration must precede
justification in the order of nature. Therefore the apostle here goes upon
the order of nature.
Ø The nature of justification. It includes:
o pardon of sin and
o acceptance, into God’s favor.
Ø The ground of justification. “Being justified by His grace. (v.7)
o Not by works;
o but by the grace of the Father, who is the Justifier.
It is by grace, because:
§ it is of faith (Romans 5:1; 3:28);
§ it is by the death of THE SON OF GOD!
Ø The privileges of justification. “That we should be made
heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
o Eternal life is an inheritance; it is not earned by our
obedience and our righteousness; IT IS A FREE GIFT!
o We are predestinated to this inheritance in Jesus Christ
o The grace of adoption, which is linked with our justification,
opens the way to our enjoyment of the inheritance.
o It is an inheritance which is not yet fully enjoyed; for we are heirs
“according to the hope of eternal life.”
§ There are “things hoped for” held out to us through
faith (Hebrews 11:1).
§ “It doth not yet appear what we shall be” (I John 3:2);
but when “we shall be forever with the Lord”
(I Thessalonians 4:17), we shall actually possess and
enjoy our inheritance. “And the time came when
the saints possessed the kingdom” (Daniel 7:22).
Salvation, Not of Works, But of Grace (vs, 4-7)
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man
appeared,” etc. The great subject here is salvation. This includes the
restoration of the soul to the knowledge, the image, the fellowship, and the
service of the great God. The passage leads us to offer two remarks on the
· THAT WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WE CANNOT PERFORM,
AND THEREFORE THEY CANNOT SAVE US. “Not by works of [done
in] righteousness which we have done [which we did ourselves].” What are
righteous works? Condensely defined, works inspired ever by supreme
sympathy with THE SUPREMELY GOOD! No other works, whatever
their sacred semblance, whatever their popular appreciation, are righteous.
Now, such righteous works we cannot render IN OUR UNRENEWED
STATE because we have lost this affection, and the loss of this is THE
DEATH AND DAMNATION OF THE SOUL!
Ø Could we render such works they would save us. They secure the
blessedness of the unfallen angels.
Ø Without rendering such works we cannot be saved. Moral salvation
consists in holiness of character. Character is made up of habits,
habits made up of acts, and the acts, to be of any worth, must be righteous.
· THAT REDEMPTIVE MERCY HAS BEEN VOUCHSAFED TO
US, AND THEREFORE WE MAY BE SAVED. “According to His mercy
He saved us.” Observe:
Ø The special work of this redemptive mercy. What is the work?
o Cleansing. “The washing of regeneration,” or the “laver of
regeneration,” as some render it. Sin is represented as a moral defiler, and deliverance from sin, therefore, is a cleansing.
o Renewal. “Renewing.” Sin is represented as death, and deliverance from it is, therefore, a quickening, a renewal.
Ø The Divine Administrator of this redemptive mercy. “The Holy Ghost.”
No agency BUT THAT OF GOD can either morally cleanse or renew. That Divine Agent which of old brooded over the face of the deep CAN ALONE morally recreate.
Ø The glorious Medium of this redemptive mercy. “Through Jesus Christ
our Savior.” Christ our Savior is the Medium.
o Through Him the Spirit came,
o by Him the Spirit works,
o in Him the Spirit is abundant.
Ø The sublime result of this redemptive mercy. “That being justified by his
grace, we should [might] be made heirs according to the hope of eternal
life.” The word “justified” means to be made right:
o right in heart,
o right in life,
o right in relation to:
§ the universe, and
What is it to be made right? To be put in possession of that spirit of love to God which is the spring of all “works of righteousness.” This rectitude:
o Inspires with the highest hope. “Hope of eternal life.” What a blessing
is hope! But the “hope of eternal life,” WHAT HOPE LIKE
o Inaugurates the highest relationship. “Heirs.” We are “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.” (Romans 8:17)
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.” This is a faithful saying. Faithful is the saying; as I Timothy 1:15
(where see note). Here the faithful saying can only be the following maxim: “
That they which have believed in God may be careful to maintain good
works;” the words, “These things I will that thou affirm confidently,”
being interpolated to give yet more weight to it. Concerning these things; i.e.
with respect to the things or truths which are the subject of the faithful saying.
I will that thou affirm confidently (διαβεβαιοῦσθαι - diabebaiousthai –
to be being insistent; affirm confidently); see I Timothy 1:7. “Never be
weary of dwelling on these important truths, and asserting them with
authority. For such doctrine is really good and profitable for those
whom you are commissioned to teach. But leave alone the foolish and
unprofitable controversies.” That. (ἵνα – hina). It is not necessary to
give to i[na the meaning “to the end that,” in such a sentence as this (see note on
ch.2:12). After words of command especially, ἵνα, frequently, has
simply the force of “that.” So here, “lay it down as a rule that they which
have believed God must be careful to maintain good works.” Believed
in God. (οἱ πεπιστευκότες Θεῷ or τῷ Θεῷ – hoi pepisteukotes Theo – ones
having believed God). The meaning is not the same as to believe in, or
on, but “to believe” (as Romans 4:3,17 and I John 5:10, where the context
shows that it is the act of believing God’s promise that is meant). And so here,
the believing refers to the promises implied in the preceding reference to the
hope and the inheritance. Might be careful. (φροντίζωσι - phrontizosi); only
here in the New Testament, but common in the Septuagint and in classical Greek.
The word means “to give thought” about a thing, “to be careful” or “anxious”
about it. To maintain. (προι'´στασθαι – proistasthai); usually in the sense of
“presiding over” or “ruling” (as Romans 12:8; I Thessalonians 5:12; I Timothy
3:4-5,12; 5:17). Here, alter the analogy of the classical use, προι'´στασθαι τέχνης –
proi stasthai technaes - to “undertake,” to “carry on,” or the like, fairly
expressed by to “maintain.” The idea does not seem to be “to stand at the
head of,” or “to be foremost in.” Good works; i.e. practical godliness of all
kinds (see v. 14). These things are good, etc. If the reading of the Textus
Receptus - τὰ καλὰ – ta kala – the good; the ideal, is retained, the rendering
ought to be, “These are the things that are really good and profitable unto men,
not foolish questions, etc., they are unprofitable.” But the Received Text
omits the τὰ. With regard to the interpretation above given of this verse, it must be
admitted that it is very doubtful. But the great difficulty of the other way of
rendering it, as most commentators do, is that it is impossible to say which
part of what precedes is “the faithful saying” alluded to; and that the
“care to maintain good works” is not that which naturally springs from it;
whereas the reiteration here implies that “good works” is the special
subject of “the faithful saying.”
Justification; Faith; Works (vs. 7-8)
“That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs,” etc. There are
three subjects in these verses of vital interest to man which require to be
brought out into prominence and impressed with indelible force.
Hs grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
This means, I presume, not that being pronounced right, but that being
made right. Forensic justification is an old theological fiction. Those who
have held it and who still hold it have ideas of God incongruous and
debased. They regard Him as such a one as themselves (Psalm 50:21).
“To be justified” here means to be made right. There are three ideas
here suggested in relation to this moral rectification of the soul.
Ø All souls in their unrenewed state are unrighteous. We do not
Require any special revelation from God to give us this information.
Man’s moral wrongness of soul is revealed in every page of
human history, is developed in every scene of human life, and is
a matter of painful consciousness to every man. We have all “erred
and strayed from the right like lost sheep.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Ø Restoration to righteousness is the merciful work of God. “Being
justified by His grace” — “His grace,” His boundless, sovereign,
unmerited love. Who but God can put a morally disordered soul
right? To do this is to resuscitate the dead, to roll back the deep flowing
tide of human sympathies into a new channel and a new direction, to
arrest a wandering planet and plant it in a new orbit. He does it and
He alone. He does it by the revelation of His Son, by the dispensations
of life, the operations of conscience. “Lo, all these things worketh
God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit,
to be enlightened with the light of the living.” (Job 33:29-30)
Ø There is the heirship of eternal good. “Being justified by His
grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of
eternal life.” Eternal life must mean something more than endless
existence; for mere endless existence, under certain conditions, might
be an object of dread rather than hope. It might mean perfect goodness.
Goodness is eternal, for God is Eternal. Goodness is blessedness,
for God is blessed. A virtuous hope is not hope for happiness, but a
hope for perfect goodness. He whose soul is made morally right becomes
an heir to all goodness. This heirship is not something added to this
inner righteousness. It is in it as the plant is in the seed. Man’s heaven
is in righteousness of soul and nowhere else. No man can be happy who
is merely treated as righteous if he is not righteous. Such treatment, even
by God Himself, would only enhance his misery. To be treated as
righteous if you are not righteous, is an outrage on justice and a
revulsion to moral nature.
they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.
These things are good and profitable unto men.” The basis of all true faith
is faith in God. In Him, not in it. In Him, not in men’s representations of
Him. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” (Hebrews 11:6).
To believe in Him implies:
Ø To believe in what He is in Himself. The only absolute existence,
without beginning, without succession, without end, WHO IS
IN ALL AND THROUGH ALL, THE ALMIGHTY, THE ALL-
WISE, THE ALL-GOOD CREATOR AND SUSTAINER OF
THE UNIVERSE! This faith in Him is the most philosophic, the
most universal, and the most blessed and ennobling faith.
Ø To believe in what He is to us — the Father, the Proprietor, and
the Life. “Not willing that any should perish.” This is the faith
that is enjoined upon us everywhere in the Old Testament and the New;
not faith in infallible propositions, in infinite personality; not faith in
man’s ideas of God, but in God Himself (as He has revealed Himself),
as the Source of all life, the Fountain of all virtue, the standard
of all excellence. “Trust in Him that liveth forever.”
“Not in priesthoods, not on creed,
Is the faith we need, O Lord;
These, more fragile than the reed,
Can no rest for souls afford.
Human systems, what are they?
Dreams of erring men at best,
Visions only of a day,
Without substance, without rest.
Firmly fix it, Lord, on thee,
Strike its roots deep in thy love;
Growing ever may it be,
Like the faith of these above.
Then though earthly things depart,
And the heavens pass away,
Strong in thee shall rest the heart,
Without fainting or decay.”
works.” What are good works?
Ø Works that have right motives. Works that society may consider good,
that Churches may chant as good, are utterly worthless unless they spring
from supreme love to the Creator. “Though I give my body to be
burned, ifI have not love, I am nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3).
“Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)
Ø Works that have a right standard. It is conceivable that man
may have a right motive and yet his work be bad. Was it not
something like this with Saul of Tarsus when he was persecuting
the saints? We make two remarks in relation to these good works.
o The maintenance of these works requires strenuous and constant
effort. “I will that thou affirm confidently, to the end that they
which have believed in God may be careful to maintain good
works.” There are so many forces within and without us to check
and frustrate the maintenance of good works, that we require to be
constantly on our guard to see that our motives are right. It may be
that good works flow from angelic natures as waters from a
fountain, as sunbeams from the sun; but it is not so with us.
Their light in us is the light of the lamp, and to be clear and useful
there must be constant trimming and feeding with fresh oil; for
the streams to be pure, the fountain must be kept clean.
We must “watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.”
o The great work of the Christian ministry is to stimulate this effort. “I
will that thou affirm confidently, to the end that they which have
believed God may be careful to maintain good works.” “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.” In four other texts of Scripture
we have “a faithful saying.” The first is I Timothy 1:15, “That
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” The second
is Ibid. ch.4:8-9, “This is a faithful saying, Godliness is
profitable unto all things.” The third is II Timothy 2:11-13,
“It is a faithful saying, If we be dead with Him, we shall also
live with Him.” The fourth is our text, “This is a faithful
saying.” What? That God makes men morally right by His
grace. This is an undoubted fact. That God is the essential
Foundation of all TRUE FAITH! Who can question this?
Or that the supreme purpose of moral existence is to maintain
“good works.” Who will gainsay this? Or that all ministers of the
gospel should faithfully and constantly exhort their hearers to
maintain good works. These, indeed, are all faithful sayings,
and should be practically realized by EVERY MAN!
The Necessary Connection Between Gospel Doctrine and Good Works (v. 8)
saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly.” He refers here
to the sum of the doctrine of Christian salvation contained in the three
Ø The doctrine of salvation is worthy of all acceptance. “This is
a faithful saying.” This formula, contained only in the pastoral
Epistles, points to some weighty truth which had become a watchword
among the Christian brotherhood of early times.
o There is a tendency in our days to decry dogma. The apostle always
insists on its importance as the root-principle and moving spring of
o The saying implies that the heavenly inheritance just spoken of is no
figment of the imagination, but ought to be accepted as one of the
commonplaces of Christian belief.
Ø It ought to be confidently put forth at all times by Christian ministers.
“And these things I will that thou affirm constantly.” This was the strain
of all apostolic preaching, and it ought to be ours also. There is no true
practical preaching which does not involve:
o the exhibition of God’s character and our relations to Him in
o the glorious Person of the Mediator in His various offices, and
o the work of the Holy Ghost in applying Divine salvation.
“These things are good and profitable to men; ‘ that is, these
doctrines, for they lead to good works, and benefit men spiritually
have believed God might be careful to maintain good works.” The
faithful saying of the apostle was not the necessity of good works, but the
necessity of the doctrines of grace being preached as the only method of
producing good works.
Ø The apostle seems to anticipate a tendency of later times to exalt
morality at the expense of faith. The doctrines, he says, are the true
fountains from which all good works flow. These are, therefore,
probably called doctrines according to godliness (ch.1:1); the wholesome
doctrine (Ibid. v.9).
Ø He sets forth the duty of all believers to be careful about good works.
It ought to be a matter of earnest striving, because:
o God is glorified thereby (John 15:8);
o because they are means of blessing to man (James 1:25);
o because God remembers them (Hebrews 6:9-10);
o because they will be an evidence of faith in the judgment
Ø He insists on their maintaining good works. The word signifies that they
must be excelling in them.
o They must, therefore, be zealous of them (ch.2:14);
o furnished unto them (II Timothy 3:17);
o rich in them, and stablished in them (I Timothy 6:18;
II Thessalonians 2:17);
o ready for all good works (v.1);
o provoking each other unto them (Hebrews 10:24).
9 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and
strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Avoid
(περάτασο – perataso – be you standing aloof from; shun); see II Timothy 2:16.
Foolish questions; as II Timothy 2:23. Genealogies; as I Timothy 1:4.
Strivings (ἔρεις – ereis - strifes); as I Timothy 6:4. (μάχας νομικάς –
machas nomikas - fightings about the Law); such as Paul alludes to in
I Timothy 1, and are probably included in the λογομαχίαι– logomachiai –
strifes of words; controversies – of Ibid. ch. 6:4. Unprofitable (ἀνωφελεῖς –
anopheleis – without benefit); only here and Hebrews 7:18; but it is found in the
Septuagint and other Greek Versions, and in classical Greek (compare, for the
sense, II Timothy 2:14). Vain (μάταιοι – mataioi); compare the use of
mataiolo>goi – mataiologoi - vain talkers (ch.1:10), and ματαιολόγοι –
mataiologia - vain talking (I Timothy 1:6). The whole picture is unmistakably
one of the perverse Jewish mind.
A Warning Against Frivolous and Disputative Teaching (v. 9)
This is in contrast to the sound teaching just referred to. “But avoid foolish questions,
and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the Law; for they are
unprofitable and vain.”
SPHERE OF MINISTERIAL THOUGHT AND CONCERN.
Ø Foolish questions. Questions not easily answered, yet if answered
without practical bearing upon Christian life. Such were many of the
Jewish discussions about the oral Law, the nature of God and the angels,
the power of the Name Jehovah. In Christian times papists have
discussed for a whole century “which side of Jesus was pierced by
the spear?” Such are “foolish questions.”
Ø Genealogies. Jerome tells us the Jews were as well acquainted with the
genealogies from Adam to Zerubbabel as with their own names. It is
possible that the Jewish Christians attached great importance to their
family registers. The genealogies, however, are significantly linked by
the apostle with fables.
Ø Contentions and strivings about the Law. There were many
disputed and disputable points in the Law, especially respecting
the authority and confirmation of the commandments (ch.1:14).
Ø This implies that he is not even to discuss them, on account of their
Ø The reason is that they are “unprofitable and vain,” and therefore
exactly opposed to the things “good and profitable to men.” The
apostle would deliver all ministers from such folly and trifling, by
placing before them Jesus Christ, the one glorious Object of the
Church’s love and adoration, leaving questions of another sort
to the dead. Such questions had eaten the heart out of Judaism.
They must not be allowed in Christianity.
10 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition
reject;” A man that is an heretic. (αἱρετικόν - hairetikon – sectarian;
heretical; akin to heresy; primarily denoting capability of choosing; hence
causing division by a party spirit, fatious; ); only here in the New Testament, not
found in the Septuagint, but used in classical Greek for “intelligent,” i.e. able to
choose. The use of it here by Paul is drawn from the use of αἵρεσις – hairesis –
for “a sect” (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5; 28:22; I Corinthians 11:19;
Galatians 5:20; II Peter 2:1), or the doctrines taught by a sect. The heretic
is one who forsakes the truth held by the Church, and chooses some
doctrine of his own devising (Such a one who would reject such a revealing
of the will of God as stated in Jeremiah 7:31 and 19:5 and promote abortion
in its place – CY – 2013) (αἵρεσις – hairesis - heresy).
The is the Greek word for heresy - αἵρεσις - hah’ee-res-is; - a choosing,
choice – then that which is chosen, and hence an opinion, especially
a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power
of truth and leads to division, the formation of sects and finally,
APOSTASY FROM GOD! (Think of the origins, influences and
roles of PRO-CHOICE and the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES
UNION in the
ALL BEGAN WITH A CHOICE – a la – HERESY – Such a man is a
living lie against the truth. CY -2009)
The tendency of such departures from the doctrine of the Church to assume
more and more of a deadly character, and to depart wider and wider from
the truth, (
DEMAND as a heresy; as a choice, is a part of our undoing BEFORE THE
ALMIGHTY GOD WHO WILL SURELY JUDGE FOR THIS! – CY – 2013) –
Gave to the name of heretic a darker shade of condemnation in the mouth of
Church writers as time advanced. (Not so with the modern media, who in
their bias towards abortion, evidence all the traits OF HERETICS! - CY – 2013)
But even in apostolic times some denied the resurrection (II Timothy 2:11-12);
others denied the Lord that bought them (II Peter 2:1); and there were some
who were of the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9); so that already an
heretical man, drawing away disciples after him, was a great blot in the Church.
Admonition (νουθεσία – nouthesian); as I Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 6:4.
After a first and second admonition reject. (παραιτοῦ - paraitou – be
You refusing); see I Timothy 4:7; 5:11. It does not clearly appear what is intended
by this term In Ibid. ch.5:11 it meant refusing admission into the college of
Church widows. If these had been persons seeking admission into the
Church, or ordination, it would mean “refuse them.” Vitringa (Huther)
thinks it means “excommunication.” Beza, Ellicott, Huther, Alford, etc.,
render it “shun,” “let alone,” “cease to admonish,” and the like.
11 “Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being
condemned of himself.” Is subverted. (ἐξέστραπται – exestraptai –
perverted; turned inside out); only here in the New Testament, but common in the
Septuagint, and found in classical Greek in a material sense, “to turn inside out,”
“to root up,” and the like. Here it means the complete perversion of the
man’s character, so as to leave no hope of his amendment. But
this is not to be presumed till a first and second admonition have been
given in vain. Condemned of himself. (αὐτοκατάκριτος – autokatakritos -
self-condemned); only here in the New Testament, not found in the Septuagiint
nor in classical Greek. It means what
suo judicio condemnatus, condemned by his own judgment, which, he says,
is a heavier condemnation than even that of the law and of the judges (‘Pro
Cluentio,’ 21, at the end). Fabricius was self-condemned because he had
left the court in confusion at a critical part of his trial. So the heretics were
self-condemned by the very fact that they continued to head the schism
after repeated admonitions.
The Right Attitude of Christian Ministers toward Divisive Errorists
“A man that is an heretic after a first and second admonition avoid.” (v. 10)
Ø It is not a case of fundamental or doctrinal error, such as the words
“heretic” and “heresy” came to imply in after-ages. Yet it is a mistake to
suppose that separatist ways are not caused by divergences of judgment
on some points from the settled belief of the Christian community.
Ø It was a case of a turbulent sectary, dissatisfied with the Church, who
withdrew from her communion to the disturbance of her peace. He would
try to justify his course by a difference of opinion upon matters of
doctrine, worship, or organization.
Ø He was to receive two admonitions in succession. He was to be twice
warned not to pursue his divisive courses; he was not to be contended
with, but rebuke was to be employed to recover him from his error.
Ø His pride or his ambition would not allow him to yield to admonition,
he was to be, not excommunicated — the course adopted by the apostle
himself in another case (I Timothy 1:20); but simply avoided. There
must be no relations with him. This was a virtual excommunication, for
he no longer held the place of a Christian brother.
is such is perverted, and sinneth, being self-condemned” (v.11). The case
is an utterly hopeless one. You must have done with the divisive sectary; let him
Ø For he is perverted; implying an inward corruption of character, which
steels him against all official admonition of the Church.
Ø He sinneth. He errs knowingly, for his course has been authoritatively
condemned by the messenger of God.
Ø He is self-condemned. This does not mean that he consciously acts a
part he knows to be wrong, but that he has condemned himself by his own
practice, practically consenting by his separation that he is unworthy the
fellowship of the Church, and thus justifying the Church in its rejection of
him, or that he stands condemned by the Scriptures which he himself
accepts as his rule of faith and life.
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.”
When I shall send Artemas, etc. The action of Paul in sending Artemas or
Tychicus to take the place of Titus in
with regard to
(II Timothy 4:11-12). He would not leave the presbyters in either place without
the direction and superintendence of one having his delegated apostolic authority.
This led to the final placing of a resident bishop in the Churches, such as we find
in the second century. We may conclude that Artemas (otherwise unknown) was
the person eventually sent to
know went to
note of time in this expression, showing clearly that this Epistle was written
before the Second Epistle to Timothy (as it probably also was before
I Timothy) — an inference abundantly corroborated by II Timothy 4:10,
by which it appears that Titus had then actually joined Paul, either at
Nicopolis or elsewhere, and had started off again to
(σπούδασον – spoudason); II Timothy 2:15, note; 4:9, 21. Nicopolis, in
that it was near Apollonia, the harbor opposite Brindisium, which would be on
his way to
(the city of victory) was built by Augustus Caesar to commemorate the
great naval victory at Actium
uninhabited except by a few shepherds, but with vast remains of broken
columns, baths, theatres, etc. To winter. (παραχειμάσαι – paracheimasai);
Acts 27:12; 28:11; I Corinthians 16:6.
13 “Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that
nothing be wanting unto them.” (πρόπεμψον – propempson – bring
forward as on a journey; set forward); the technical expression both in the New
Testament and the Septuagint, and also in classical Greek, for helping a person
forward on their journey by supplying them with money food, letters of
recommendation, escort, or whatever else they might require (see Acts 15:3; 20:38;
21:5; Romans 15:24; I Corinthians 16:6; II Corinthians 1:16; III John 1:6). Zenas
the lawyer. He is utterly unknown. His name is short for Zenodorus, but
whether he was “a Jewish scribe or Roman legist” can hardly be decided.
But his companionship with Apollos, and the frequent application of the
term νομικός – nomikos – lawyer - in the New Testament to the Jewish
scribes and lawyers (Matthew 22:35; Luke 7:30; 10:25; 11:45,52; 14:3),
makes it most probable that he was a Jewish lawyer. Apollos; the well-known
and eminent Alexandrian
Jew, who was instructed in the gospel by
19:1; I Corinthians 1:12, and the following chapters, and 16:12). It is a probable
conjecture that Apollos was the
bearer of this letter, written at
his way to
Personal Directions (vs.12-13)
The connection of Titus with the
therefore the apostle gives him two commands.
· A COMMAND FOR TITUS TO JOIN THE APOSTLE AT NICOPOLIS.
The apostle needed
his services, either at this city in
determined to spend the winter — no doubt in apostolic labors — or to
ascertain from him the exact condition of the Church at
him forth on an errand to some of the other Churches.
Ø But the place of Titus was not to be left unsupplied. Two brethren,
Artemas and Tychicus, were to go to
unknown by us, but, as he is first mentioned, probably a minister
of high distinction and zeal; the other, Tychicus, one of the most
esteemed of the apostle’s friends (Acts 20:4; Colossians 4:7;
II Timothy 4:12).
· A COMMAND FOR TITUS TO HASTEN THE DEPARTURE OF
ZENAS AND APOLLOS FROM
laboring in the Church there, probably, before Titus was left behind by the
apostle. Zenas, the lawyer, was probably a Jewish scribe converted to
who had been acting as an evangelist in
the eloquent preacher of
sympathy with the apostle, though there seemed a rivalry between them at
necessary help for such a journey.
14 “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses,
that they be not unfruitful.” Ours also. (Our people also). The natural
inference is that Titus had some fund at his disposal with which he was to
help the travelers, but that Paul wished the Cretan Christians to contribute also.
But it may also mean “Let our Christians learn to do what Jews do, and even
heathens too, viz. provide for the real wants of their own.” To maintain good works
(See v. 8, note) for necessary uses (εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας - eis tas
anagkaias chreias – for the necessary needs); such as the wants of the missionaries
(compare III John 1:5-6); see also Romans 12:13; Philippians 2:25; 4:16). The
phrase means “urgent necessities,” the “indispensable wants.” In classical Greek
τὰ ἀνάγκαια – ta anagkaia - are “the necessaries of life.” That they be
not unfruitful (ἄκαρποι – akarpoi - unfruitful); compare II Peter 1:8 and
Colossians 1:6, 10.
Christian Character (vs. 8, 14)
“To maintain good works.” This is a repeated counsel, and shows how
much need there was of showing that the “belief” spoken of in v. 8 should not
be a mere speculative creed. This Titus is to “affirm constantly,” showing that
there were those then who had a tendency to antinomianism, or neglect of the
Law of moral order and beauty.
attainment of a Divine ideal. Holiness is not a gift, it is a growth; and a
growth, not like that of a plant, which is unconscious, but a growth that
involves obedience. Maintain “works” — give them continuance, by
aliment and nurture.
We are apt to forget that Christianity covers all spheres — the civil, social,
moral, spiritual. For ages the Church was merely ecclesiastical. “The
religious” were such as shut themselves out from the world, deeming its
pursuits and duties below the dignity of a spiritual religion, which made the
soul and its feelings and devotions everything. Now we have moved into a
wider inheritance; we believe in the Christianization of common life
(Charles Spurgeon once remarked that “the sole purpose of Christianity is
to sanctify the secular. – CY – 2013); the consecration of art and science
and common duty to Christian ends. We are simply to ask if the work given
us to do is a good work, and we are to be “earnest in every good work.”
And we have seen that the tree must first be made good; for it is “the good
man that, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good
things.” (Luke 6:45)
A Last Reminder Concerning Good Works (v. 14)
The suggestion just made leads to this adjunction: “And let ours also learn
to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”
also.” It is the duty of all believers, sharers in the common faith, and heirs
of the grace of life, to learn to do good works.
ours also learn.” They will learn it from the Scriptures, which tell us what
is the good and perfect and acceptable will of God; and from the doctrines
of grace, which teach us to follow as an example the Lord Jesus, who went
about every day doing good.
UPON THE WANTS OF OTHERS. They are “for necessary wants.”
Ø Not to atone for sin, or recommend us as sinners to God’s favor.
Ø But to glorify God by doing for others what He so abundantly does
for us. By adorning the doctrine of Christ by our beneficence; by
putting to silence the gainsaying of foolish men, because they see we are
“not unfruitful.” We are thus seen to be trees of righteousness,
bearing all manner of fruits. It is an interesting fact that, in the last
inspired teachings of the apostle, he should have eight times enforced
the duty of maintaining good works.
15 “All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.” Grace be with you all. So, with slight varieties,
end Paul’s other Epistles.
Pearls Before Swine (8-15)
There is in some a habit of mind utterly out of harmony with the Word of
God. It is not that dogmas, or creeds, or ceremonies are despised and
forgotten by them, as they usually are by the pleasure-seeking or
moneymaking world. On the contrary, these things are often in their minds
and upon their lips. But they handle everything, not with a view to growth
in goodness, not with a view to the formation within of a humble, pure, and
holy character, but merely as matters of disputation. They raise questions,
the solution of which has no bearing upon our duty to God or man, but
which only give occasion for strife of words, and utterly unprofitable
contentions. The most solemn truths, the most sacred mysteries of the
Christian faith, are only food for a wrangling, disputatious spirit. They are
always ready to start difficulties, to suggest doubts, or to propose new
forms of doctrine in lieu of those once delivered to the saints. Strong in
their own conceits and wise in their own esteem, they will not learn, no,
not from CHRIST HIMSELF, but are always forward to teach some new thing.
They value nothing which they have not invented themselves. They accept
no truth which they have not adulterated with their own imaginations.
Disciples they will not be. Masters they must be. When this habit of mind
has clearly developed itself, the servant of God has only to withdraw from
such. He must not be drawn into the whirlpool of vain jangling and
unprofitable disputes. He must not go on casting his pearls before the
swine. Silence is, in such cases, the best rebuke. When honest and gentle
efforts to bring home to such persons the truths of God’s Word in a
reverential and practical way have utterly failed, and it is become evident
that there is no desire in their hearts for Christ and His Word, it is time to
cease from such efforts. “From such turn away” is the authoritative advice
of Paul. Nothing can be in sharper contrast with the “unprofitable
strivings” here condemned than the unobtrusive works of kindness, and
active help to the furtherance of the gospel, inculcated upon Titus. Zenas
and Apollos are to be brought on their way. Care is to be taken that they
want for nothing. The Church in
the wants of their brethren; and even the closing salutation is redolent of
love and kindness. When Christians feel that the very essence of
Christianity is unobtrusive love and kindness, shown in unselfish acts, and a
readiness to help wherever help is needed, then will the Church be Christ’s
true witness upon earth; witnessing to Christ as the embodiment of the law
of love, and witnessing to the Spirit of Christ as dwelling in her of a truth.
The Worthless, the Pernicious, and the Desirable in Social Life (vs. 9-15)
“But avoid foolish questions,” etc. The text brings under our attention
· THE AVOIDANCE OF THE WORTHLESS IN SOCIAL LIFE.
“Avoid foolish questions and genealogies.” The “questions” and
“genealogies” are referred to in I Timothy 1:4. The apostle
characterizes them as foolish because they were of an utterly impractical
nature, and consumed time and powers which were needed for other and
better things. “Genealogies as found in the Books of the Pentateuch, and to
which wild allegorical interpretations had been assigned. Such purely
fanciful meanings had been already developed by Philo, whose religious
writings were becoming at this time known and popular in many of the
schools. Such teaching, if allowed in
saw, would effectually put a stop to the growth of Gentile Christendom. It
would inculcate an undue and exaggerated and, for the ordinary Gentile
convert, an impossible reverence for Jewish forms and ceremonies.” Old
was the habit and strong was the tendency of the Hebrews to concern
themselves about their ancestry or genealogy. A truly contemptible state of
mind, this! What matters it whether we were born of kings or of paupers?
“And contentions, and strivings about the Law.” The ceremonial law is
here meant, evidently — the law concerning meats and drinks and holy
days. “For they are unprofitable and vain.” How rife in Christendom have
been in past ages, and still are, these miserable discussions, which are
generated for the most part by the most ignorant and narrow-minded of the
human race — mere “unfeathered bipeds” that Christianity has not
converted into true manhood. The grand end of every member of the social
realm should be “charity, that of a pure heart and of a good conscience.”
(ibid. v. 5)The only true Christianity in social life is altruism.
· THE EXCOMMUNICATION OF THE PERNICIOUS (the subtly harmful) FROM SOCIAL LIFE. The former class — the irritating disputants about genealogies and ceremonies — are described as “unprofitable and vain.”
They are a worthless class, doing no good whatever, but otherwise. The
class we have here, however, is represented as pernicious, and to be
rejected. “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition
reject.” The word “heretic” (αἱρετικόν - hairetikon – sectarian) occurs
nowhere else in the New Testament. All heretics may be divided into three classes.
Ø The theoretical unbeliever. They do not believe what others believe to
be true and orthodox. Though bigots denounce this as the worst of sins,
true wisdom justifies it. It says that uniformity of opinion is an
impossibility — an impossibility arising from a variety in the faculties,
education, and external circumstances of men. And not only an
impossibility, but an inexpediency. Did all men think alike, all minds would sink into a dead monotony. “Every man should be fully
persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5) That, therefore, which the Church most fiercely denounces it should encourage and develop. There
is more good in honest doubt than in half the creeds.
Ø The professional believer. A heretic more execrable know I not than he
who every Sunday in the great congregation declares his faith in creeds,
and every day, not only ignores them, but denies them in his life. These
heretics make our laws, rule our commerce, fill our temples, create wars,
and swindle the millions.
Ø The practical disbeliever. These are insincere. They do not act
according to their innate convictions, their intuitive beliefs. They believe — and they cannot help it — that the greatest Being should have the most
reverence, the best Being the most love, the kindest Being the most
gratitude; and yet, forsooth, they live lives of irreverence, unlovingness,
and ingratitude. These are the worst kind of heretics. And how are they to
be treated? They are to be excommunicated. “After the first and second
admonition reject.” They should be morally ostracized. “Knowing that
he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” They are insincere men, and not to be accepted or continued in the circle of brotherhood. Whilst you have no authority to persecute them or crush
them by force, you are bound to treat them as insincere men. Their own
conscience condemns; they are self-condemned.
· THE SUPREMACY OF PURPOSE IN SOCIAL LIFE. In all the
changes in social companionship and scene of residence to which the
apostle here points, he urges the aiming at one thing, viz. to “maintain
good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” What the
“good works” are I have intimated in my remarks on the preceding verses.
They are works that have:
o a right motive,
o a right standard, and
o a right influence.
The grand end in the life of all rational and moral beings should
be THE MAINTENANCE OF GOOD WORKS! The apostle intimates
that this should be the aim:
Ø IN ALL THE EVENTS OF LIFE. He was now dispatching to Titus
from his society two dear friends and fellow-workers, Artemas and Tychicus, inviting him to come at once to Nicopolis, where he had, in the use of his discretionary power, determined to remain through the winter. Moreover, he had requested Titus to bring with him Zenas the lawyer and Apollos. Apollos was a man, not only of distinguished learning and influence, but Paul’s intimate friend and fellow-laborer. In all this Paul keeps the one end in view, viz. that they should maintain good works. “Good works,” the culmination of all good ideas, good impressions,
good emotions, and good resolves. “Show me your faith by your
works.” (James 2:18) In a good character man can alone find his
heaven and from good works alone can man produce a good character.
Ø In the presiding spirit of life. “All that are with me salute thee,” etc.
Brotherly love was to animate, direct, and rule all their social
movements and activities.
Salutation and Conclusion (v. 15)
“All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.”
· MARK HOW THE EPISTLE, WHICH BEGAN WITH THE FAITH
OF GOD’S ELECT, ENDS WITH GRACE AND LOVE.
· MARK THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS ESTABLISHED BY
GRACE BETWEEN THE WIDELY SCATTERED MEMBERS OF THE
CHURCH. They are one holy, happy family, united by love. The threefold
repetition of the word “all” suggests the deep unity of the body of Christ,
in spite of its inward distractions and errors and sins.
· THE SALUTATION IMPLIES THAT, THOUGH ADDRESSED
TO TITUS, THE EPISTLE WAS TO BE COMMUNICATED TO THE
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