Titus 3:15

Thursday, 5 July 2018

All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
be with you all. Amen. Titus 3:15

Paul gives his final words of the epistle for Titus to read, and also to act on. He first says, “All who are with me greet you.” It is a standard word signifying to greet, wish well, or salute. It is unknown who was with him, and it is also unknown where he was at the time of his writing. Quite often, he would include a named list of those with him. However, that is omitted here. Thus, Titus was obviously aware both of who was with him and where he was.

Next, he says, “Greet those who love us in the faith.” There is actually no article in front of “faith,” and so it reads, “Greet those who love us in faith.” Paul is speaking of the state of faith in which those he is addressing exist. Their love is in that state. It is to those in that state that he sends greeting to.

Finally, he ends as he does in some other epistles with, “Grace be with you. Amen.” In Greek, it literally states, “The grace,” and thus he is speaking of “the grace of Jesus Christ” specifically. Paul desires them (and thus us!) to have and live in the grace of Jesus Christ. He then closes with “Amen,” or “So be it.”

Life application: Having read and studied the book of Titus, you are now admonished to continue reading it, along with the rest of Scripture, every day of your lives. Pursue the Lord, cherish His word, and be ready to share both with others at all times. Always be prepared!

Lord God, how can we be prepared to share Your word with others if we don’t know it? Give us the wisdom to pick it up, read it, and contemplate it daily. Open our eyes to its truths, give us understanding of it, and the desire to then share it with others. Help us to be bold in our proclamation of it, and to always stand fast on its truth. No matter where others go, may we hold fast to the truth of Jesus Christ – the Author and Subject of the word of God. Amen.

Titus 3:14

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14

In verse 8, Paul was speaking about believers, and the good works they were to maintain. He then discussed those who are divisive and how to handle them. After that, he brought up sending Artemas or Tychichus to Crete. And then he spoke about sending Zenas and Apollos on their journey. In this verse, he now returns to the believers on Crete with the same thought he had left off with – good work. One final time before closing, he brings this subject up with, “And let our people learn to maintain good works.” Notice the similarity to verse 8 – “…those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.”

The sense is that good works are to show forth from them in all they do, not merely for others to see the works themselves, but that they would see the state of those who do them, and the results of them. Needs should be met, contentment should be the result, and the works should show forth as being the reason for those things.

It is obvious that “our people in this verse” are those who “have believed in God” of verse 8. They are the saved of Crete, but Paul’s words are prescriptive for the church age. All who have called on God through Jesus Christ are included in this exhortation. Further, he says that they are “to meet urgent needs.”

This then expands on the words, “to maintain good works.” It follows on with the thought of the previous verse where Paul asked Titus to assist Zenas and Apollos. Their work needed assistance, and this is probably what spurred Paul’s mind onto repeating the need for good works and meeting urgent needs. Paul’s mind is directed to the state of the church, including those in it, and those who go forth from it. In meeting such needs, he says of the believers, “that they may not be unfruitful.”

Instead of just living out their salvation in a barren, useless way, he would have believers do that which is profitable towards meeting the needs which arise in the affairs of the church. This would, in turn, bless both the individuals and those who received their assistance. A church which is unfruitful will lead to a church which is stagnant, lifeless, and filled with moaners. Paul’s words are intended to avoid that.

Life application: The church often gets involved in things which are completely useless. Giving for a private jet for the pastor is such a thing. Instead, the church needs to focus on real needs of real people. The building where the church meets needs to be attended to from time to time. The pastor will normally receive his livelihood from the church. Missionaries cannot go out without funding and support. Such things are needed, and those in the church should be fruitful in attending to those things. To not do so, is to fail in the very word which has been given through Paul.

Lord God, grant us the desire to be more than just seat warmers in our church. Each believer must evaluate, and honestly answer, “What have I done to improve the church and those in it?” If nothing has been given of time, ability, or earnings, but only in the warming of a seat, nothing of value has been added to the church. Help us to give of ourselves as we have been prospered. To Your glory we pray. Amen.

Titus 3:13

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. Titus 3:13

Zenas is believed to be a contracted form of the name Zenodorus. This is similar to several other people in the New Testament who are called by their contracted names. For example, Priscilla is called Prisca, and Silvanus is called Silas, etc. Zenas is only mentioned here in Scripture, and Paul calls him “the lawyer.”

Two accepted possibilities are given for what this means. The first is that he was a jurist who worked in legal circles under matters of Roman law. The second is that he is a lawyer in the sense of being a scribe, such as is noted in Matthew 12:38. If so, then he is a lawyer under the Law of Moses. The third-century theologian Hippolytus says that he was one of the seventy disciples, who later became Bishop of Diospolis.

Along with him, Paul mentions “Apollos.” It is reasonably certain that this is the same Apollos who is mentioned twice in Acts as well as seven times in 1 Corinthians. Whether Zenas was a lawyer of the Law of Moses or not, it is with all certainty that Apollos was well-versed in that same law. That is seen in Acts 18:24 where he is called “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures.” As “Scriptures” meant the Old Testament, he was well informed in the contents of the Law of Moses.

Paul asks Titus to send these two “on their journey with haste.” The words, “with haste,” though carrying a part of the idea, are not fully sufficient. The Greek can and does imply speedily, but it also includes the sense of diligently, or earnestly. It’s not that Paul is asking that they just be rushed out the door, but to ensure that they are sent properly. This is seen in the final clause. Paul includes the words, “that they may lack nothing.”

Paul wants Titus to ensure that nothing necessary for their journey would be lacking. They were to be supplied with money, letters of introduction, food, and etc. This would ensure that they would not be lacking in any way, and they would be more effective in their ministry. Instead of getting to a town and needing to work as day laborers in order to buy their food, they could spend that time teaching and ministering to others.

Life application: Does the church you attend support missionaries? If not, why not? Are you sure you’re in the right church? If they do, are you helping to support them? If not, why not? What things do you treat yourself to each day, or each week, that they will not be enjoying? Consider your situation in relation to theirs, and then act in a way which will demonstrate how much we appreciate them.

Lord God, there are missionaries sent out around the world to spread a message to others. Some are teaching the true gospel, others are spreading a false gospel. Those who spread the false one are normally well-funded, aggressive, and quick to pounce. Those who spread the truth are often not well-funded, but are truly caring about what they are doing. The only thing limiting them from being able to reach more people is what we are willing to give to support them. Help us to be willing to share what we have with those who are doing this great service in often difficult situations. Give us hearts willing to support them, O God. Amen.

Titus 3:12

Monday, 2 July 2018

When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Titus 3:12

Paul seems to have the intent of having either Artemas or Tychicus replace Titus as the main leader of the churches on Crete during the time Titus is gone from that area. This is exactly what he did when he asked Timothy to come to him in Rome from his position in Ephesus in 2 Timothy 4:11-13 –

“Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.”

Of Artemas, nothing else is known. There are various traditions about him. One is that he was one of the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus. Another is that he eventually became bishop of Lystra. However, these are not certain.

Tychicus seems to be a favorite of Paul’s. As noted, he was sent to take over for Timothy at one point, and such is true here. In Scripture, he is mentioned in Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, and in 2 Timothy 4:12 – always in a favorable light.

Paul then says, “be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis.” There are actually several cities which bore this name. One was in Cilicia, one in Thrace, and one in Epirus. Despite scholars choosing a favorite possibility as to which Paul is referring to, it is completely unknown which is actually the right one. Titus knew, and that is sufficient. The reason for such a popular name is that Nikopolis means “City of Victory.” Thus, each city was probably known for being connected to some battle of times past.

The verse finishes with, “for I have decided to spend the winter there.” Again, no reason for this is known. It could have been a great spot for evangelism, it could be that there was a church needing direction there, or it could be that they had the world’s best shawarma and Paul needed a winter of relaxing (probably not). As he is asking for Titus to meet him there, it is probable that there is some connection to church matters that Paul felt Titus was capable of handling.

Life application: Tychicus has been mentioned several times in Scripture, always in a positive way. Titus is also shown in this light. They were ready to go where Paul directed, and to accomplish those things which they were well-suited for. Regardless as to whether you are in the ministry or in plumbing, you have a duty which needs to be done. Do others look at you in such a favorable light that you would be first on their mind to be called for special tasks of great importance? If not, get that changed. Become a reliable, faithful, willing employee. Be dedicated to your life’s profession, and do it with zeal.

Lord God, each of us has a task to accomplish in this life. Some of us are plumbers, some cut hair, some work at the wastewater plant. Whatever we do, are we known as the most willing to work faithfully and to be noted as the most trustworthy? If not, what kind of an example are we setting for others in our faithfulness to Christ? If we cannot be completely faithful to our earthly job, how is it that we can be considered faithful to our heavenly responsibilities? Help us, Lord, to be the most faithful, trustworthy, and zealous people that we can be in all matters, and at all times. Amen.

Titus 3:11

Sunday, 1 July 2018

…knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:11

Paul now speaks of the person of verse 9 who lives for foolish disputes and the like. In verse 10 he gave his advice, saying to reject such a person after a first and second admonition. The reason for this is that a person like this is “warped.” The word is unique in Scripture, ekstrephó. One can almost hear the meaning from its pronunciation. It signifies “turning inside out,” thus to pervert. He takes what is good and completely pulls the goodness out of it and makes it into something bad.

Think of it! The Bible is a beautiful treasure of God’s word for us to live by, to explore, and to revel in, but some pull it inside out in order to make it say whatever they wish. They then argue their misdirected use of Scripture till they are blue in the face. This is exactly what Paul has warned against, and it is what he now describes concerning this sort. Not only is he warped, but he is “sinning.”

To sin is to miss the mark. Paul indicates that this person has taken Scripture intended for exalting God, and he has missed the mark. Instead, he uses it to exalt self, misdirect, bring others into bondage, make profit, or whatever other misuse of Scripture is his intent. As incredible as it seems, some have used Scripture to justify sex cults, something that could never be inferred by a normal-brained person. All such misuse of Scripture shows that such a person is “self-condemned.”

The person who teaches such twisted concepts knows very well that what they teach is wrong, but he approves of it anyway in order to meet his own misguided appetite. His words divide the church, cause strife among believers, and damage the view of Christ in the eyes of others. Thus, such a person should be removed from the church to bring it back into proper functioning.

Life application: Now that you are aware of those warned against in verse 9, what to do about them in verse 10, and why you are to do it from verse 11, then watch out for them on social media, in Bible studies, in conversations about theology, and the like. Understanding what Paul says here in Titus will alert you to this sort. Be ready to defend against their unwholesome ways, and warn others of the truth concerning their sinful tactics.

Lord God, there are a lot of people who are more than willing to mishandle Your word for personal gain. With the advent of social media, there is a specialist behind every keyboard, waiting to highlight their smarts, even if their doctrine is horrifying. Help us to be sound in our theology, and to be aware of such twisters of Your word. From there, help us to do as Your word says, and to cut them off after a first and second warning. Give us wisdom in this, O God. Amen.