Titus 3:1 ¶ Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
This chapter begins with Paul instructing Timothy to remind the body of believers that they are to submit to the governing authorities. Again, the only valid reason for disobedience is when it causes one to go against the word of God. They should be ready to do any work that is beneficial to the community. They should not vilify any person by what they say. They should be peacemakers—not troublemakers. They should be mild mannered and considerate of others. They should exhibit humility in their dealings with others; this is the opposite of being prideful and arrogant.
Paul points out that we all have been guilty at times of making unwise choices and being disobedient to governing authorities. We have all been deceived and misled into poor choices. We have all yielded to the lusts of the flesh in light of pursuing pleasure. We have all caused trouble of some kind or acted wickedly and been envious or jealous. We have all acted in ways that would cause others to dislike us and have shown our dislike for others through rudeness and/or unkindness.
Obviously, the goal is to have a testimony that honors God and promotes the effectiveness of the gospel.
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
“But” is used to indicate a contrast from what the believer was to what he has become in Christ. Note that all the way through, Paul places himself on the same level as every other believer. Salvation is the same for every person. As I have heard all my life, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
The kindness and love of “God our Savior” was shown to man and appeared to man in the person of Jesus Christ. It was because of His love and through His mercy that He saved us. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn our salvation.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 3:22–24 “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Through that salvation we have been made clean by a spiritual rebirth (from the Greek) through the work of the Holy Spirit. Again, this love and mercy resulting in new spiritual life was abundantly bestowed on us through Jesus Christ our Savior. His grace, His influence through the Holy Spirit that effected our rebirth through our choice to accept Him in faith, justified us—made us just as though we had never sinned in the eyes of God. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Since God now sees us as righteous through the blood of His Son, we have become heirs that can claim a confident expectation of eternal life in His presence.
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Paul is basically saying that everything he has said is trustworthy and should be regularly taught to encourage maintaining a good testimony before the lost world. Note that Paul tells Titus that he will need to constantly remind the body of believers of these teachings. It’s also important to note that it takes deliberate care and effort to keep doing good works that profit not only yourself but also the community in general.
Titus 3:9 ¶ But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
In this verse Paul advises Titus not to waste his time answering foolish questions; the Greek indicates to me that these would be questions disputing the truth of these teachings. It would seem that these questions often fell into the categories regarding genealogies and the resultant arguments as well as arguments concerning the keeping of the law. Paul categorizes such questions and arguments as unprofitable and of no benefit.
Though the subject matter would be quite different today, I think the principle is to avoid wasting time on matters that cannot result in producing spiritual fruit. The key is to focus on teaching the truth of the word of God.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Titus 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
I like the NLT for these two verses: “If anyone is causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with that person. For people like that have turned away from the truth. They are sinning, and they condemn themselves.”
These are very interesting verses in light of so many in the professing church today emerging as heretics. Paul basically says not to waste your time dealing with them if they refuse to heed your first couple of warnings. Those who turn away from the truth of God’s word pronounce their own condemnation. Our focus is to be on continually sharing the truth of God’s word with the body of believers and warning them against such heretics.
Titus 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
Titus 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
Paul now begins to close his letter and tells Titus that he expects him to rejoin him in Nicopolis for the winter when he sends Artemas or Tychicus to replace him. He is also to do his best to facilitate the ministry of Zenas (an expert in the Torah) and Apollos and ensure that they have everything they need.
I liked David Guzik’s comment on these verses: “They communicate that Paul was a real man in a real world with real friends that he had regular contact with and care for.”
One commentator noted that Zenas and Apollos were probably the ones that delivered this letter to Titus.
Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Verse 14 is another exhortation to teach the body of believers in Crete to do good works. I would think this exhortation must be in context of supplying the needs of Zenas and Apollos.
Paul then closes his letter by sending Titus greetings from those that are serving with him—from wherever he is writing this letter. I noted that some commentators believe it to be from Corinth. He also asks Titus to give his love to those that are concerned about him and his ministry team. Finally, he wishes God’s grace to the whole body of believers on Crete. By sharing the letter with the churches, they would hear from Paul personally and know that Titus is leading as instructed.
It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia.