Chapter 3:1–15

3:1 is similar to Rom 13:1–7. Additional aspect is again the call to do good work.

3:2 - examples of good work are presented here. We should (1) slander no one - blasfemein - do not blaspheme God and people (Matt 27:39; Rom 3:8); and (2) be peaceable (Gr. amachous, lit. non-fighting, not-quarreling 1 Tim 3;3; 2 Tim 2:24), (3) gentle (1 Cor 4:21; 2 Cor 10:1; Gal 5:23; Eph 4:2; Col 3:12; 2 Tim 2:25; Titus 3:2 - Paul likes this virtue very much, cause uses it often, and (4) considerate toward everyone (cf. 1 Pet. 2:23).

3:3 - Reminding the past sinful lifestyle

They—Paul included himself—(1) had been foolish, not sensible (1 Tim 6:9); (2) disobedient, not submissive; (3) deceived, not enlightened; (4) and enslaved, not free and self-disciplined. Moreover they had been (5) malicious, not peaceable; (6) envious, not considerate; (7) and hateful, not loving.

3:4–7 - another hymn - this time in praise of the effects of baptism

In 2:11, The work of Jesus Christ was described as God’s grace. Here, it is described as kindness and love of people - from here with the word philanthropy.

Salvation does not comes to us as the wages for our good works, but as God’s mercy - the best example are the baptism of infants.

The sacrament of baptism is described as the washing of regeneration. The Greek word “paliggenesias” refers to a new birth, a total transformation. It is used in Job 14:14 LXX and in Matt 19:28, 1 Peter 1:3. Moreover, it describe a state that cannot be changed.

One more thing takes place during the sacrament of baptism, the washing of renewal of/in the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2).

God has pour out on us the Holy Spirit abundantly through Jesus Christ. It is the fulfillment of Joel 3:1 and Jesus’ promise from John’s Gospel (John 14:16.26; 16:7).

Notice also that in 3:4, God the Father is referred to as the Savior, but in 3:6, it is Jesus Christ.

Finally, the effect of baptism brings righteousness (Rom 3:24; 8:17–24) and the hope of everlasting life. (See Eph 2:8)

Eternal life is presented as our inheritance and that is what we hope for. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the pledge of that inheritance (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:14).

3:8–11 - advice to Titus

The formula “faithful is the word” always introduces some important point (1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim 2:11). Here, the point is: faith demands deeds (James 2:14.17.26). The reason for this is spelled out: it is good for people. Perhaps in the sense of Titus 2:7–8, that it will lead others to embrace faith. Thus, we have here the insistence of the power of personal testimony.

3:9 is repeated very often in Pastoral Letters (Titus 1:10, 14; 1 Tim. 1:3–7; 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:23). Examples of these kinds of controversies that the Jewish commentaries have preserved are the following. Should a Jew eat an egg laid on a festival day? What sort of wick and oil should a Jew use for candles he burns on the Sabbath?

Disputes about the law leads nowhere. Paul had earlier clarify the aim of the law (Gal 3:24).

“I have learned that professed Christians who like to argue about the Bible are usually covering up some sin in their lives, are very insecure, and are usually unhappy at work or at home.”[93]).

3:10–11 - another practical advice (see also Matt 18:15–17). The word used for those who create troubles in a community are called “hairetikon” - from which we have the word “heretic”. Reprimand them once, at most twice, and then move away from them.

A man who does not accept correction is describes as: perverted and sinning, thus condemning himself.

Paul closed this epistle by sending Titus instructions concerning fellow workers, a final charge, and greetings. He did so to enable him to complete his task of setting the church in order.

3:12–15 - instructions and conclusion

3:12Paul evidently intended to send either Artemas or Tychicus (2 Tim. 4:12) to take Titus’ place in Crete. Paul wanted Titus to join him for the coming winter in Nicapolis (“city of victory”), probably the one in Illyricum that lay on the Adriatic coast of western Greece opposite northern Italy.

3:13Zenas and Apollos (cf. Acts 18:24—19:1) were apparently in Crete with Titus and planned to leave Crete for other places of ministry. They may have previously carried this letter from Paul to Titus. Zenas (“gift of Zeus”) was evidently a converted Jewish lawyer who was an expert in the Mosaic Law, as the word “lawyer” (Gr. nomikon) means in the Gospels.[96] Or he could have been an expert in Greek or Roman law, in view of his Greek name.[97] Paul urged Titus and the Cretan Christians to help these two brethren by ministering to their needs. The apostle gave them a concrete opportunity to put good deeds into practice.

3:14Paul gave a final encouragement to the Cretans through Titus to be faithful in providing for their own regular financial responsibilities (cf. 2 Thess. 3:7–12). “Engage in good deeds [occupations]” probably refers to normal wage-earning activities rather than special fund-raising projects (cf. v. 8). The NIV rendering “provide for daily necessities” translates this thought more clearly than the NASB. The stereotype of Cretans generally (1:12) evidently applied to some in the church. Industriousness would provide the Christians with what they needed; they would not be unfruitful (cf. v. 9; Luke 8:14; John 15:2).

3:15We do not know who was with Paul when he wrote this epistle or where he was when he wrote it, but obviously he was in the company of other Christians. Paul sent greetings to the faithful in Crete and closed with a benediction for them. The second “you” is plural in the Greek text.
“As in I Tim. vi. 21 and 2 Tim. iv. 22, the plural betrays that the letter was expected to be read out publicly.”[98]

Paul opened and closed this epistle with references to faith and grace (1:4). “Grace” appears in the first and last chapters of every inspired letter from Paul plus 1 and 2 Peter and Revelation.

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