Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III

Titus was converted from heathenism by St. Paul, Gal 2:3 and, as it seems, very early; since the apostle accounted him as his brother at his first going into Macedonia: and he managed and settled the churches there, when St. Paul thought not good to go thither himself. He had now left him at Crete, to regulate the churches; to assist him wherein, he wrote this epistle, as is generally believed, after the First, and before the Second, to Timothy. The tenor and style are much alike in this and in those; and they cast much light on each other, and are worthy the serious attention of all Christian ministers and churches in all ages.

This epistle has four parts:

 I. The inscription,............................. C.i. 1-4
 II. The instruction of Titus to this effect
  1. Ordain good presbyters,.......................... 5-9
  2. Such are especially needful at Crete,.......... 10-12
  3. Reprove and admonish the Cretans,.............. 13-16
  4. Teach aged men and women,................. C. ii. 1-5
     And young men, being a pattern to them,.......... 6-8
     And servants, urging them by a glorious motive,. 9-15
  5. Press obedience to magistrates, and
     gentleness to all men,................... C. iii. 1-2
     Enforcing it by the same motive,................. 3-7
  6. Good works are to be done, foolish
     questions avoided. heretics shunned,............ 8-11
 III. An invitation of Titus to Nicopolis,
      with some admonitions,........................ 12-14
 IV. The conclusion,................................... 15

Chapter I

1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ - Titles suitable to the person of Paul, and the office he was assigning to Titus. According to the faith - The propagating of which is the proper business of an apostle. A servant of God - According to the faith of the elect. An apostle of Jesus Christ - According to the knowledge of the truth. We serve God according to the measure of our faith: we fulfil our public office according to the measure of our knowledge. The truth that is after godliness - Which in every point runs parallel with and supports the vital, spiritual worship of God; and, indeed, has no other end or scope. These two verses contain the sum of Christianity, which Titus was always to have in his eye. Of the elect of God - Of all real Christians
2 In hope of eternal life - The grand motive and encouragement of every apostle and every servant of God. Which God promised before the world began - To Christ, our Head.
3 And he hath in his own times - At sundry times; and his own times are fittest for his own work. What creature dares ask, "Why no sooner?" Manifested his word - Containing that promise, and the whole "truth which is after godliness." Through the preaching wherewith I am intrusted according to the commandment of God our Saviour - And who dares exercise this office on any less authority?
4 My own son - Begot in the same image of God, and repaying a paternal with a filial affection. The common faith - Common to me and all my spiritual children.
5 The things which are wanting - Which I had not time to settle myself. Ordain elders - Appoint the most faithful, zealous men to watch over the rest. Their character follows, Tit 1:6 - 9. These were the elders, or bishops, that Paul approved of; - men that had living faith, a pure conscience, a blameless life.
6 The husband of one wife - Surely the Holy Ghost, by repeating this so often, designed to leave the Romanists without excuse.
7 As the steward of God - To whom he intrusts immortal souls. Not selfwilled - Literally, pleasing himself; but all men "for their good to edification." Not passionate - But mild, yielding, tender.
9 As he hath been taught - Perhaps it might be more literally rendered, according to the teaching, or doctrine, of the apostles; alluding to Acts 2:42.
10 They of the circumcision - The Jewish converts.
11 Stopped - The word properly means, to put a bit into the mouth of an unruly horse.
12 A prophet - So all poets were anciently called; but, besides, Diogenes Laertius says that Epimenides, the Cretan poet, foretold many things. Evil wild beasts - Fierce and savage.
14 Commandments of men - The Jewish or other teachers, whoever they were that turned from the truth.
15 To the pure - Those whose hearts are purified by faith this we allow. All things are pure - All kinds of meat; the Mosaic distinction between clean and unclean meats being now taken away. But to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure - The apostle joins defiled and unbelieving, to intimate that nothing can be clean without a true faith: for both the understanding and conscience, those leading powers of the soul, are polluted; consequently, so is the man and all he does.

Chapter II

1 Wholesome - Restoring and preserving spiritual health.
2 Vigilant - As veteran soldiers, not easily to be surprised. Patience - A virtue particularly needful for and becoming them. Serious - Not drolling or diverting on the brink of eternity.
3 In behaviour - The particulars whereof follow. As becometh holiness - Literally, observing an holy decorum. Not slanderers - Or evil - speakers. Not given to much wine - If they use a little for their often infirmities. Teachers - Age and experience call them so to be. Let them teach good only.
4 That they instruct the young women - These Timothy was to instruct himself; Titus, by the elder women. To love their husbands, their children - With a tender, temperate, holy, wise affection. O how hard a lesson.
5 Discreet - Particularly in the love of their children. Chaste - Particularly in the love of their husbands. Keepers at home - Whenever they are not called out by works of necessity, piety, and mercy. Good - Well tempered, sweet, soft, obliging. Obedient to their husbands - Whose will, in all things lawful, is a rule to the wife. That the word of God be not blasphemed - Or evil spoken of; particularly by unbelieving husbands, who lay all the blame on the religion of their wives.
6 To be discreet - A virtue rarely found in youth.
7 Showing thyself a pattern - Titus himself was then young. In the doctrine which thou teachest in public: as to matter, uncorruptness; as to the manner of delivering it, seriousness - Weightiness, solemnity.
8 Wholesome speech - In private conversation.
9 Please them in all things - Wherein it can be done without sin. Not answering again - Though blamed unjustly. This honest servants are most apt to do. Not stealing - Not taking or giving any thing without their master's leave: this fair - spoken servants are apt to do.
10 Showing all good fidelity - Soft, obliging faithfulness That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour - More than St. Paul says of kings. How he raises the lowness of his subject! So may they, the lowness of their condition.
11 The saving grace of God - So it is in its nature, tendency, and design. Hath appeared to all men - High and low.
12 Instructing us - All who do not reject it. That, having renounced ungodliness - Whatever is contrary to the fear and love of God. And worldly desires - Which are opposite to sobriety and righteousness. We should live soberly - In all purity and holiness. Sobriety, in the scripture sense, is rather the whole temper of a man, than a single virtue in him. It comprehends all that is opposite to the drowsiness of sin, the folly of ignorance, the unholiness of disorderly passions. Sobriety is no less than all the powers of the soul being consistently and constantly awake, duly governed by heavenly prudence, and entirely conformable to holy affections. And righteously - Doing to all as we would they should do to us. And godly - As those who are consecrated to God both in heart and life.
13 Looking - With eager desire. For that glorious appearing - Which we hope for. Of the great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ - So that, if there be (according to the Arian scheme) a great God and a little God, Christ is not the little God, but the great one.
14 Who gave himself for us - To die in our stead. That he might redeem us - Miserable bondslaves, as well from the power and the very being, as from the guilt, of all our sins.
15 Let no man despise thee - That is, let none have any just cause to despise thee. Yet they surely will. Men who know not God will despise a true minister of his word.

Chapter III

1 Remind them - All the Cretan Christians. To be subject - Passively, not resisting. To principalities - Supreme. And powers - Subordinate governors. And to obey - Them actively, so far as conscience permits.
2 To speak evil - Neither of them nor any man. Not to be quarrelsome - To assault none. To be gentle - When assaulted. Toward all men - Even those who are such as we were.
3 For we - And as God hath dealt with us, so ought we to deal with our neighbour. Were without understanding - Wholly ignorant of God. And disobedient - When he was declared to us.
4 When the love of God appeared - By the light of his Spirit to our inmost soul.
5 Not by works - In this important passage the apostle presents us with a delightful view of our redemption. Herein we have,
  1. The cause of it; not our works or righteousness, but "the kindness and love of God our Saviour."
  2. The effects; which are,
    1. Justification; "being justified," pardoned and accepted through the alone merits of Christ, not from any desert in us, but according to his own mercy, "by his grace," his free, unmerited goodness.
    2. Sanctification, expressed by the laver of regeneration, (that is, baptism, the thing signified, as well as the outward sign,) and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; which purifies the soul, as water cleanses the body, and renews it in the whole image of God.
  3. The consummation of all; - that we might become heirs of eternal life, and live now in the joyful hope of it.
8 Be careful to excel in good works - Though the apostle does not lay these for the foundation, yet he brings them in at their proper place, and then mentions them, not slightly, but as affairs of great importance. He desires that all believers should be careful - Have their thoughts upon them: use their best contrivance, their utmost endeavours, not barely to practise, but to excel, to be eminent and distinguished in them: because, though they are not the ground of our reconciliation with God, yet they are amiable and honourable to the Christian profession. And profitable to men - Means of increasing the everlasting happiness both of ourselves and others.
10 An heretic (after a first and second admonition) reject - Avoid, leave to himself. This is the only place, in the whole scripture, where this word heretic occurs; and here it evidently means, a man that obstinately persists in contending about "foolish questions," and thereby occasions strife and animosities, schisms and parties in the church. This, and this alone, is an heretic in the scripture sense; and his punishment likewise is here fixed. Shun, avoid him, leave him to himself. As for the Popish sense, "A man that errs in fundamentals," although it crept, with many other things, early into the church, yet it has no shadow of foundation either in the Old or New Testament.
11 Such an one is perverted - In his heart, at least. And sinneth, being self - condemned - Being convinced in his own conscience that he acts wrong.
12 When I shall send Artemas or Tychicus - To succeed thee in thy office. Titus was properly an evangelist, who, according to the nature of that office, had no fixed residence; but presided over other elders, wherever he travelled from place to place, assisting each of the apostles according to the measure of his abilities. Come to me to Nicopolis - Very probably not the Nicopolis in Macedonia, as the vulgar subscription asserts: (indeed, none of those subscriptions at the end of St. Paul's epistles are of any authority:) rather it was a town of the same name which lay upon the sea - coast of Epirus. For I have determined to winter there - Hence it appears, he was not there yet; if so, he would have said, to winter here. Consequently, this letter was not written from thence.
13 Send forward Zenas the lawyer - Either a Roman lawyer or an expounder of the Jewish law.
14 And let ours - All our brethren at Crete. Learn - Both by thy admonition and example. Perhaps they had not before assisted Zenas and Apollos as they ought to have done.

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