Titus 3

3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient [as long as civil law does not conflict with God’s commands (cf. Acts 4:19-20; 5:29], to be ready to do whatever is good [Christians should work willingly to benefit others/fellow citizens],

3:2 [this verse describes in practical terms what it means to love your neighbor as yourself (cf. Matt. 19:19)] to slander [may include insults, malicious talk, abusive speech, rumors, or any speech that tears down relationships] no one [includes believers and non-believers], to be peaceable [avoid fighting (verbal or physical conflict)] and considerate [kind; fair; gracious], and to show true humility [gentleness] toward all men.

3:3 At one time we too were [note eight characteristics of unregenerate human condition] [1] foolish [to lack good sense], [2] disobedient [to God], [3] deceived [by Satan, the father of lies (Jn. 8:44; 2 Cor. 4:4; 11:14] and [4] enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures [cf. Eph. 2:3]. We lived in [5] malice [ill will toward others] and [6] envy [dissatisfied with personal situation and desire to possess what others have], [7] being hated and [8] hating one another.

3:4 But [this conjunction introduces contrast] when the kindness and love [our word philanthropy comes from this Gr. word] of God our Savior appeared,

3:5 he saved us [from the kind of life described in 3:5; from penalty and power of sin (and one day from presence of sin)], not because of righteous things [good deeds are not the basis of salvation but the result of being saved] we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through [the following describe a single event (the inward cleansing that accompanies salvation), not two separate events] the washing [spiritual cleansing from sin] of rebirth [regeneration] and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

3:6 whom [the Holy Spirit] he [God] poured out [occurs at salvation (cf. Eph. 1:13-14)] on us [believers] generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

3:7 so that, having been justified [being declared righteous in God’s eyes despite our sins] by his grace [salvation], we might become heirs [those who are saved become members of (are adopted into) God’s family (cf. Rom. 8:15-17,29)] having the hope [the confident assurance] of eternal life [our promised inheritance].

3:8 This [the teachings in 3:4-7] is a trustworthy [because the message came from God] saying [cf. 1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11]. And I want you to stress [insist on] these things [the teachings in 3:4-7 (and entire contents of letter)], so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves [to practice what we preach] to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable [useful and helpful in benefiting others] for everyone [believers and people in society].

3:9 [the four activities mentioned in this verse were related to the false teachers] But [1] avoid foolish [moronic] controversies [debates] and [2] genealogies [cf. 1 Tim. 1:4; either Jewish traditions or legends without biblical foundation] and [3] arguments and [4] quarrels [cf. 1 Tim. 6:4] about the law [Mosaic law], because these are unprofitable and useless.

3:10 Warn [rebuke] a divisive person [the false teachers; English word “heretic” (one who believes in false doctrine) comes from Gr. word translated “divisive person”] once, and then warn him a second time [emphasizes redemptive purpose behind the discipline]. After that, have nothing to do with him [intent was to guard the church from destructive influences].

3:11 You may be sure that such a man is warped [perverted or off the track] and sinful; he is self-condemned.

3:12 As soon as I send [to relieve Titus] Artemas [mentioned only here] or Tychicus [mentioned five times in NT and always found doing good] to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis [located in northwest Greece on a gulf of the Adriatic Sea], because I have decided to winter there.

3:13 Do everything you can to help [Zenas and Apollos may have delivered Paul’s letter to Titus] Zenas [mentioned only in this book] the lawyer [either an expert in Jewish law or a Roman jurist] and Apollos [Acts 18:24-28; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-6,22; 16:12] on their way and see that they have everything they need.

3:14 Our people must learn [indicates that being unselfish and generous does not come naturally] to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive [unfruitful] lives.

3:15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

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