"...PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO
THAT WHICH IS GOOD..." 1TH 5:21
1:2 Why do we yet hope for eternal life if it is a present possession?
(CP Jn 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:27-29). Eternal life is a present possession but it is not unforfeitable - it only becomes an unforfeitable possession for those sowing to the spirit at the end of their earthly life (CP 1Cor 1:18). Until then it is our hope (CP 1Ti 1:1; Tit 3:7). The promise of eternal life is conditional upon remaining in Christ (CP Jn 6:27; 15:1-6; 1 Jn 5:11-13). This clearly refutes the teaching by some in the church that once saved, means always saved (see also comments on Jn 10:27-29, 1Cor 1:18, 10:1-5, Php 2:12-13, He 6:4-6, 10:26-31, 2Pe 2:20-22).
1:4 Who was Titus?
Titus was a Gentile convert of Paul who we first hear of when he accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem from the church at Antioch to get a ruling by the apostles and the elders in the Jerusalem church on Gentile circumcision (CP Ac 15:1-6 with Ga 2:1-5). Titus was involved with Paul in the church in Corinth - Paul mentioned him nine times in 2 Corinthians (CP 2:13; 7:6, 13, 14; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18). At the time of writing this epistle Titus was in Crete where Paul had left him to consolidate the work they had begun there earlier (CP V5).
1:5-9 What was it that Titus had to set in order in Crete?
In his office of apostle and co-founder with Paul of the Cretan church, Titus had to correct the doctrinal error being taught there and appoint elders who would faithfully teach God's word and not their own, as was happening (CP 1:10 - 2:1, 15; 3:1-3). The elders Titus had to appoint were the ruling body of elders - bishops - to whom God has committed the oversight of the New Testament church (CP Ac 14:23 with 20:17-21, 28 and Eph 4:11-16; 1Ti 3:1-7). For more detailed studies on elders see comments on Ac 11:27, 13:1-4, 20:17, Eph 4:11-12, 1Ti 3:1-7 and 1Pe 5:1-3.
1:8 What does the word "sober" mean here?
Sober here means be discreet, temperate, to curb one's desires and passions (CP 2:5; 1Ti 3:2, 11). In Tit 2:2 sober means to be self-controlled, especially in respect to wine (CP Tit 2:2; 1Th 5:6; 1Ti 3:2, 11). In Tit 2:4 sober means to encourage self-control, self-discipline (CP Tit 2:4). In Tit 2:6 sober means to be in one's right mind, of sound mind, sane (CP Tit 2:6; Mk 5:15; 2Cor 5:13; 2Ti 1:7). Sober is also used in scripture metaphorically, meaning vigilant, watchful, circumspect (CP 1Th 5:8; 2Ti 4:5; 1Pe 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). See also comments on Ro 12:3, 1Pe 4:7-11, 5:8.
1:15 What does Paul mean here that unto the pure all things are pure?
Most bible commentators believe that Paul is referring to the ritual purity of Jewish food laws here. But food is not in view as the context clearly shows (CP V10-16). Paul is referring in V15 to moral character, inward purity and outward righteousness, as V 16 teaches (CP Mt 12:34-35; 15:10-20; Mk 7:14-23). What Paul means in Tit 1:15 is that if one's moral condition is pure, then that one thinks no evil (CP 1Cor 13:5; 6:9-14; Php 2:3-4).
2:3-5 What is the underlying teaching here?
Paul is bidding the older women in the church to teach the young wives the rudiments of marriage and homemaking. The older women must be reverent in their demeanor, not slanderers, nor addicted to wine, but teachers of that which is good, in order that they may train the young wives to love their husbands and children; to curb their desires and passions and not go to extremes; to be faithful to their husbands and avoid impure thoughts, words or actions. The older women are to teach them to be good homemakers, kindhearted and submitted to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. The underlying teaching here is that keeping a Godly home with excellence for one's husband and children is the God-ordained Christian wife's non-negotiable responsibility (CP Gen 1:27-28; 2:18; 3:16; Pr 31:10-12, 27-28, 30-31; 1Cor 11:7-9; Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18; 1Ti 5:14). In God's eternal purpose, from the order of creation, God ordained women to marry, raise a family, be good homemakers, and faithful and submissive wives and mothers (see also comments on 1Cor 11:3-16, 14:34-35, Eph 5:22-24, 1Ti 2:8-15).
2:7-8 What do we learn from what Paul says here?
We learn from this that those in public ministry in the church should never engage in flippancy or jocularity when preaching God's word (CP 2Ti 4:1-2). Preaching should be free from side-issues, doctrinal novelties, fads, crudities, levity and jokes. Preaching should be free from anything to which exception might be taken. The occasion to preach must be treated with the utmost respect and reverence. See also comments on 2Ti 4:1-2.
2:11 Does this mean that everyone who ever lived has known of God's grace that brings salvation?
No, all men here refers to humanity in general, not every individual (CP 3:4; Ro 5:15; 2Cor 5:19). God's saving grace, through the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ His Son, has made salvation available to the whole of humanity. But it only becomes effective to those who avail themselves of it (CP Jn 1:12; 3:16-18, 36; 5:24; 6:40; 10:9; Ro 10:8-10).
2:13 What is that blessed hope Paul is admonishing Christians here to look for?
That blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ are two expressions referring to the same event. Paul is admonishing Christians here to look for the coming again of Jesus when He will take all the saints of God, both living and dead, Old Testament and New Testament alike, back to heaven with Him at the first resurrection (CP 1Cor 1:6-8; Php 3:20-21; Col 3:4; 1Th 1:10; 2:19-20; 3:13 with Jn 5:28-29; 14:1-3; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 2:7). The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is also not referring to both God and Jesus, but to Jesus alone. According to Kenneth Wuest's word studies in the Greek New Testament Tit 2:13 should read, "looking for the blessed hope, even the appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ". (See also comments on Jn 5:28-29, 14:1-3, 1Cor 15:51-58, 1Th 4:13-18, 2Th 2:7; Rev 1:19, 3:7-13).
3:5 What does the washing of regeneration refer to here?
Paul is referring here to the new birth - being born again. Being born again means literally being born from above. It expresses the changes wrought in the life of a repentant sinner by the Holy Spirit after being converted to Christ (CP Jn 3:3-8; Ro 1:16; 1Cor 15:1-2; Eph 5:25-26). Jesus uses the word water in Jn 3:5 figuratively in the context of salvation by the word of God (CP Jn 15:3; Ro 10:17; 1Cor 4:15; Jas 1:18, 21; 1Pe 1:22-25). Being born of water and of the spirit means being born again by the word of God and being spiritually renewed by the Holy Spirit. The washing of water by the word in Eph 5:26 is a symbol of the cleansing of the soul by the word, as water cleanses our bodies (CP Psa 119:9). God's word is the water of life (CP Jn 4:13-14; Rev 21:5-6; 22:17). Jesus promises in Rev 21:5-6 and 22:17 that whoever thirsts for knowledge of Him, He will give them to drink of the water of life, and in Jn 4:13-14 He
promises that whoever drinks of that water will never
thirst again (CP Isa 12:3; 55:1-7). All who hunger and thirst for Christ will be saved. The need for having to be born again is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith: the doctrine of regeneration or the new birth. Being born again involves a complete transformation of our moral nature - a complete change of heart that expresses the change from the person we were, to the person we become in Christ (CP Ro 6:17-18, 22; 2Cor 5:17; Eph 2:1-13; Col 3:1-7). See also comments on Jn 3:3, 3:5; He 10:22.
3:10 How are we to understand what Paul says here?
A heretic (KJV) is one who has departed from sound doctrine and argues from his own self-willed opinions. He is schismatic, factious, causing division in the church, and is to be avoided, shunned, rejected. This is not to say that he has to be disfellowshipped - one can hold different views and remain in the same body
of believers (CP 1Cor 11:17-19; 1 Ti 4:7; 2 Ti 2:23-26). But if he continually argues his own point of view contrary to the true teaching of scripture, then he is in sin, and cuts himself off from the spiritual protection of the church and its privileges and blessings of Christian fellowship (CP Tit 3:11). The word subverted here means in effect that the heretic has turned out of the way in which he could have been saved (CP Ga 5:19-21). We see in V20 here that because of their ungodly behaviour heretics bring judgement upon themselves.