Knowledge for acknowledging, A.V.; according to for after, A.V. A servant of God ( δοῦλος θεοῦ); so in the superscriptions: Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1, ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jud 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 1:1. St. Paul also calls himself "the servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10); and the phrase, δοῦλον κυρίου, occurs in 2 Timothy 2:24. But neither "servant of God" nor any equivalent is in the superscription of either 1 or 2 Timothy. "Servant" is a better rendering than "slave," as Farrar renders it. An apostle, etc.; as in both 1 and 2 Timothy, and also in Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:1, etc.; showing that this is not a private letter, but a public and official document, conveying official authority to Titus over the Church in Crete. According to the faith of God's elect. The phrase is peculiar to this passage, and the exact force of κατὰ is not easy to determine (see Bishop Ellicott's notes, who renders κατὰ "for," and explains that "the faith of God's elect is the destination of the apostleship," with the further explanation that this meaning of κατά is about equivalent to "with special reference to," or "destination for," as its object). It is nearly the same thing to say that the true faith, and the perfect knowledge of the truth, and the hope of eternal life promised by God, are the sphere in which the apostolic office moves and acts. "The faith of God's elect," etc., seems to imply that there was in some who were not elect (1 John 2:19, 1 John 2:20) a corruption of the faith, a departure from it—a faith that was no faith, and something calling itself truth which was not "according to godliness," and so to point to rising heresies.£ The authors of these heresies were chiefly Jews (verse 10), of whom there was a considerable colony in Crete. According to godliness (for the use of εὐσεβεία in the pastoral Epistles, see 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:7, 1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:3, 1 Timothy 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:6, 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:5, and notes).
Who for that, A.V.; times eternal for the world began, A.V. In hope of eternal life. This seems to be a further description of the scope or sphere of the apostolate, which, as some take ἐπί, is based upon the hope of eternal life. Who cannot lie ( ἀψευδής); here only in the New Testament, rarely in the LXX., but common in classical Greek. The epithet is here used to show the certainty of the fulfillment of the promise made before the ages (comp. Hebrews 6:18; Numbers 23:19). Before times eternal (see 2 Timothy 1:9, note). The translation, "before times eternal," conveys no sense; χρόνοι αἰώνοι are "the times of ages past" (Romans 16:25), placed in opposition to the καιροί ἰδιοί, or to the "now" of 2 Timothy 1:10, in which the manifestation of the promise took place.
In his own seasons for hath due times, A.V.; in the message for through preaching, A.V.; wherewith 1 was entrusted for which is committed unto me, A.V. In his own seasons. The margin, its own seasons, is preferable (see 1 Timothy 2:7, note). The phrase is equivalent to "the fullness of the time" (Galatians 4:4). Manifested his Word. There is a change of construction. "The relative sentence passes almost imperceptibly into a primary sentence" (Buttmann in Huther); "his Word" becomes the object of the verb "made manifest," instead of "eternal life," as one would have expected. His Word is the whole revelation of the gospel, including the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Compare St. Peter's address to Cornelius (Acts 10:36). This "Word," which lay in the mind of God through the ages, and was only dimly expressed in the promises given from time to time (1 Peter 1:10-12), was now "made manifest," and proclaimed openly in that preaching of the gospel of God's grace which was entrusted to St. Paul. This same idea is frequently expressed (see Romans 16:25; Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:3-11; 2 Timothy 1:9-11; 1 Peter 1:20), In the message. Surely a poor and a false rendering. ἐν κηρύγματι means "by the open proclamation" which St. Paul, as God's herald, κήρυξ, was commanded to make. But this is better expressed by the word which is appropriated to the proclamation of the gospel, viz. "preaching." So, as above quoted, Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:11, and elsewhere frequently. According to the commandment ( κατ ἐπιταγὴν κ. τ. λ..); Romans 16:26; 1 Timothy 1:1 (comp. Galatians 1:1). God our Savior (1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jud 1:25; and also Luke 1:47). Elsewhere in the New Testament the term "Savior" ( σωτήρ) is always applied to our Lord Jesus Christ.
My true child for mine own son, A.V.; a common for the common, A.V.; grace and peace for grace, mercy, and peace, A.V. and T.R.; Christ Jesus for the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R. My true child ( γνησίῳ τέκνῳ: 1 Timothy 1:2) after a common faith ( κατὰ κινὴν πίστιν). In 1 Timothy 1:2 it is ἐν πίστει (where see note). Beyond all doubt, Alford is right in both cases in rendering "the faith" (see his note on 1 Timothy 1:2). The "common faith" means the faith of all God's elect. Grace and peace. So the R.T., omitting ἔλεος, mercy, which is found in 1 Timothy 1:2 and 2 Timothy 1:2. But the manuscripts vary, and the critics are divided as to whether ἔλεος ought to be retained here or not.
Were for are, A.V.; appoint for ordain, A.V.; gave thee charge for had appointed thee, A.V. Left I thee in Crete. We have no account of St. Paul's visit to Crete, nor do we know how the gospel was first brought to Crete. It may have been by some of those "Cretes" who were at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, and heard the apostles speak in their tongue "the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:11), or by other Christian Jews visiting the Jewish community in Crete (note to Titus 1:1). If St. Paul was returning from Spain, and travelling by ship eastward, Crete would be on his way. The importance of the island, with which he made some acquaintance on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome (Acts 27:7, Acts 27:8), and the large Jewish colony there, may naturally have inclined him to visit it. How long he remained there we do not know, but he did not stay long enough to organize the Church there completely. There were still things "wanting" ( τὰ λείποντα), as it follows. This mention of Crete is an important chronological mark. The order of St. Paul's progress, as gathered from the three pastoral Epistles, is very distinct—Crete, Miletus, Troas, Macedonia, Corinth, Nicopolis, Rome. He dropped Titus at Crete, and left Timothy behind at Ephesus. The Epistle to Titus, therefore, is the first of the three pastoral Epistles, and this is borne out by another circumstance. When he wrote to Titus he had not made up his mind whether he should send Artemas or Tychicus to take his place in Crete when he rejoined the apostle (Titus 3:12). But when he wrote 2 Timothy he had sent Tychicus to Ephesus to replace Timothy (2 Timothy 4:12), and Titus had already joined him, and been sent on by him to Dalmatia, presumably from Nicopolis. Set in order ( ἐπιδιορθώσῃ); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX. nor in classical Greek, except as a technical word in the art of rhetoric. But διορθόω is very common in classical Greek (see ἐπανόρθωσις, 2 Timothy 3:16). The force of ἐπί in the compound here is "further," or "in addition." St. Paul had set the Church in order up to a certain point. But there were still certain things wanting, τὰ λείποντα (see Titus 3:13; Luke 18:22); and these Titus was to supply and give the finishing touch to. Appoint ( καταστήσῃς). This is a better rendering than the A.V. "ordain," because it is a general word for "to appoint, make." Probably the A.V. "ordain" was not intended to be taken in a strictly technical sense, but is used as in Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3. The technical word was usually "to order." "The Ordering of Deacons," or "of Priests," is the title of the service in the Book of Common Prayer. "Meet to be ordered," "shall surcease from ordering," occur repeatedly in the rubrics, Elders ( πρεσβυτέρους); i.e. presbyters, or priests (comp. Acts 14:23; and see Acts 11:30, note). In every city ( κατὰ πόλιν); city by city. The phrase has a peculiar significance in Crete, which used to be famous for its hundred cities. It shows, too, that Christianity was widely spread among the cities of the island. The germ of the episcopal office, one bishop and many presbyters, is here very conspicuous.
Any man is for any be, A.V.; children that believe for faithful children, A.V.; who are not for not, A.V. Blameless ( ἀνέγκλητος); see 1 Timothy 3:10, note. The husband of one wife (see 1 Timothy 3:2, note£). Having children that believe (see 1 Timothy 3:4). Mark the importance given to the "elder's" family as well as to his personal character. Not accused ( μὴ ἐν κατηγορίᾳ κ. τ. λ..); literally, not under an accusation (see 1 Timothy 5:19). Riot ( ἀσωτίας); see Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:4; Luke 15:13. Used in Plato and Aristotle for "debauchery" or "profligacy," with the kindred words ἄσωτος ἀσωτεύομαι, etc. Unruly ( ἀνυπότακτα); Luke 15:10 and 1 Timothy 1:9, note.
The for a, A.V.: God's steward for the steward of God, A.V.; no brawler for not given to wine, A.V.; greedy of for given to, A.V. Blameless (see Titus 1:6). God's steward ( οἰκονόμον); comp. 1 Corinthians 4:1, 1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10. (For the office of the steward, see Luke 12:42, Luke 12:43.) Self-willed ( αὐθάδη); elsewhere in the New Testament only in 2 Peter 2:10; in the LXX. Genesis 49:3, Genesis 49:9 and Proverbs 21:24; and common in classical Greek. It is always used in a bad sense—stubborn, harsh, remorseless, and the like. Soon angry ( ὀργίλον); only here in the New Testament, found occasionally in the LXX., and common in classical Greek—passionate, quick-tempered, irascible (comp. Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8). Brawler ( πάροινον); see 1 Timothy 3:3, note. Striker (1 Timothy 3:3, note). Greedy of filthy lucre ( αἰσχροχερδῆ) 1 Timothy 3:3, 1 Timothy 3:8, note.
Given to for a lover of, A.V.; good for good men, A.V.; sober-minded for sober, A.V. Given to hospitality ( φιλόξενον); 1 Timothy 3:2, note. A lover of good ( φιλάγαθον) see 2 Timothy 3:3, note on ἀφιλάγαθον. Only here in the New Testament, and only once in the LXX., Wis. 7:22, where it seems to mean "a lover of that which is good," and where the long string of adjectives is very similar to that here; found occasionally in classical Greek. Sober-minded ( σώφρονα); see Titus 2:2, Titus 2:5, and 1 Timothy 3:2, note. The rendering "discreet" in Titus 2:5 (A.V.) expresses the meaning very well. Just, holy. δίκαιος is usually considered as describing that side of a good man's character which is in relation to his fellow-men, and ὅσιος that side which has respect to God. Joseph was δίκαιος (Matthew 1:19) in his conduct towards Mary; the Lord Jesus was God's Holy One ( τὸν ὅσιόν σου). In classical Greek the words are more commonly applied to things. ὅσια καὶ δίκαια are things sanctioned by Divine and human laws respectively. Temperate ( ἐγκρατῆ); only here in the New Testament, and never in this sense in the LXX.; but it has exactly the same meaning in Aristotle, viz. "master of one's self," having the appetites under control.
Holding to for holding fast, A.V.; which is according to the teaching for as he hath been taught, A.V.; both to exhort in the sound doctrine for by sound doctrine, both to exhort, A.V.; convict for convince, A.V. Holding to ( ἀντεχόμενος). Holding fast is a better and more forcible rendering than holding to. It answers to the Latin adherere, to cling to. The faithful word which is according to the teaching is awkwardly expressed. ἠ διδασή is "the Christian truth" as taught by the apostles, and "the faithful" or "sure word" to which Titusus is to cleave is described as being" according to that truth" (comp. Titus 1:1, ἀληθείας τῆς κατ εὐσέβειαν). The A.V. gives substantially the apostle's meaning. The result of this adhesion to the faithful word is that he will be able to comfort and encourage believers by ( ἐν) his wholesome teaching, and also to convict the opposers of the truth. The gainsayers; or, contradictors ( τοὺς ἀντιλέγοντας); such as those Jews described in Acts 13:45 and Acts 28:19 as "contradicting and blaspheming."
Unruly men for unruly and, A.V. and T.R. Unruly ( ἀνυπότακτοι); see Titus 1:6. Vain talkers ( ματαιολόγοι); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., and rare in classical Greek (see ματαιολογία, 1 Timothy 1:6). κενολόγος and κενολογία are used in the same sense of "vain, empty, talking." Deceivers—( φρεναπάται); here only in the New Testament, not found in the LXX. or in classical Greek—literally, soul-deceivers, or, as some take St, self-deceivers. Here the word means "deceivers," whoso character is described in 2 Peter 2:14 as "beguiling unstable souls." They of the circumcision; Judaizing Christians, the most obstinate and difficult adversaries with whom St. Paul had to cope (see Galatians passim; Philippians 3:2, Philippians 3:3, etc.).
Men who overthrow for who subvert, A.V. Whose mouths must be stopped ( οὒς δεῖ ἐπιστομίζειν); here only in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., but common in classical Greek. "To curb" (comp. Psalms 32:9; James 3:2, James 3:3). The meaning is nearly the same as that of χαλιναγωγέω in James 1:26; some, however, assign to it the sense of "to muzzle" (Olshausen, etc.) or "stop the mouth," which Bishop Ellicott thinks is "perhaps the most common" and "the most suitable."£ So also Huther. It often means simply "to silence" (see Stephan, 'Thesaur.'), and is applied to wind instruments. Overthrow ( ἀνατρέπουσι); as 2 Timothy 2:18, which shows the kind of overthrow here meant, that viz. of the faith of whole families, well expressed in the A.V. by "subvert." The phrase, οἰκίας ἀνατρέπειν, of the literal overthrow of houses, occurs in Plato (Alford). For filthy lucre's sake; contrary to the apostolic precept to bishops and deacons (1 Timothy 3:3, 1 Timothy 3:8, and above, 1 Timothy 3:7). Polybius has a striking passage on the αἰσχροκερδεία of the Cretans, quoted by Bishop Ellicott ('Hist.,' 6:146.3).
A prophet for even a prophet, A.V.; Cretan, s for the Cretinous, A.V.; idle gluttons for slow bellies, A.V. A prophet of their own; viz. Epimenides, a native either of Phaestus or of Cnossus in Crete, the original author of this line, which is also quoted by Callimachus. Epimenides is here called a prophet, not simply as a poet, but from his peculiar character as priest, bard, and seer; called by Plato θεῖος ἀνήρ, and coupled by Cicero with Bacis the Bceotian prophet, and the sibyl (Bishop Ellicott); described by other ancient writers as a prophet (Alford); "everything we hear of him is of a priestly or religious nature" ('Dict. of Gr. and Romans Biogr. and Mythol.'). Cretans are always liars, etc. So truly was this their characteristic, that κρητίζειν was used to denote" telling lies"—"to lie like a Cretan" (Plutarch, etc.). From their general bad character arose the line, κρῆτες καππάδοκοι, κίλικες τρία κάππα κάκιστα; and Livy, Polybius, and Plutarch alike hear witness to their covetousness and dishonesty: τις κρητῶν οἴδε δικαιοσύνην; "When was there ever an upright Cretan?" asks Leonides in an ' Epigram'. Evil beasts. θήριον is "a wild beast;" applied to men as a term of reproach (1 Corinthians 15:32), it implies brutality, stupidity, unreasonableness, and, with the epithet κακά, mischief, like the French mechante bete. The 'Epigram' above quoted calls them ληισταὶ καὶ ἁλιφθόροι, "pirates and wreckers." Idle gluttons; literally, idle bellies. The substantive denotes their gluttony and sensuality (comp. Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:19, where κοιλία is equivalent to γαστήρ£), and the adjective their sloth ( ἀργαί, i.e. ἀεργαί); in old Greek it is usually of the common gender.
Testimony for witness, A.V.; for which cause for wherefore, A.V.; reprove for rebuke, A.V. Sharply ( ἀποτομῶς); elsewhere only in 2 Corinthians 13:10 (see also Romans 11:22). That they may be sound (see Titus 2:2). The faithful pastor must use severity when it is necessary to the spiritual health of the flock, just as the skilful surgeon uses the knife to save the patient's life.
Who for that, A.V.; turn away for turn, A.V. Jewish fables (see 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4, where the Jewish origin of the fables is implied, though not so distinctly stated as here). Commandments of men ( ἐντολαῖς ἀνθρώπων); so in Colossians 2:22 the apostle speaks of the precepts "touch not," "taste not" (originating with the Judaizing teachers), as τὰ ἐντάλματα καὶ διδασκαλίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων (see following note). Turning away from ( ἀποστρεφομένεν); see 2 Timothy 1:15, note.
To for unto, A.V. (twice); nothing is for is nothing, A.V.; both for even, A.V.; their conscience for conscience, A.V.; are for is, A.V. To the pure, etc. This allusion shows dearly that the "commandments of men," here condemned, are of the same kind as those referred to in the above-quoted passage in the Colossians. We learn also from Romans 14:1-23.; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.; and elsewhere, what were the kind of questions which agitated the Judaizing Christians. But St. Paul in a few wise words shows the utter worthlessness of such controversies. "To the pure all things are pure." "There is nothing from without a man," said our Lord, "that entering into him can defile him" (Mark 7:15); "Neither if we cat are we the better, neither if we eat not are we the worse" (1 Corinthians 8:8); "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). But unto those that are defiled by what comes from within them, and have no faith (Romans 14:23), nothing is pure. Their mind and conscience, being defiled, defile everything they do. The words καθαρόν and μιαίνω are the proper words for ceremonial "cleanness" and "defilement" respectively.
By their for in, A.V. They profess that they know God (comp. Romans 2:17-20). The arrogant claim to be God's people and to superior holiness, while all the while they were denying God by their evil deeds, and bringing dishonor upon his Name among the Gentiles, was a marked feature of the Jews in St. Paul's time. Abominable ( βδελυκτοὶ); objects or causes of disgust; only here in the New Testament, but found in the LXX. But βδέλυγμα and βδελύσσομαι are not uncommon. Reprobate ( ἀδόκιμοι); as 2 Timothy 3:8 (where see note). This picture of the circumcision is indeed sad.
The ministry of character.
The pastoral Epistles, and this chapter in particular, bring prominently before us the Christian ministry as of commanding importance in the scheme of Christianity. Christianity, the sum and substance of Christian doctrine, was to be diffused among all nations; and the great instrument for maintaining it in efficiency and power was to be the ministry. But in describing the ministerial qualifications the apostle lays so much stress upon the personal character of the ministers, as to make us feel that the Christian ministry of which he speaks is a ministry of character as much as of preaching, or teaching, or any other ministration. Looking at this side of the ministry, we learn that it is the purpose of the great Head of the Church, Jesus Christ our Lord, that his doctrine and the truth which he brought down from heaven should be presented to the world in the lives and characters of his accredited servants and ambassadors. Those servants of his were to be scattered among the people, "in every city," and every village, where the gospel message had been brought, and the people were not only to hear from their lips, but were to see in their lives, the nature and practical effect of the doctrine delivered to them. And, in truth, the eloquence of holy, loving, and self-denying lives is more persuasive than that of any words, however good and however beautiful. We feel, even after reading the words of the Master himself, and having felt their power, that there is a still greater power in that life and death, wherein were embodied, in all the beauty of love and goodness, the sublime precepts which he taught. While, therefore, we see the importance of a learned clergy, an eloquent clergy, an orthodox clergy, and withal a clergy of business habits, we shall do well to keep steadily in view the commanding and essential quality of high and consistent Christian character, showing itself in all the details of the daily intercourse of life. The clergy of the Church should be the epistle of Christ, known and read of all men in every place where they are located, as bishops, priests, or deacons. In their manner of life and whole conversation should be seen worked out in practice what the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is intended to effect in the renewal of human nature. Their conduct and character should be a living commentary on the Word of God which they preach to the people, and their silent argument for pressing it upon the people's acceptance. And hence we may deduce the importance of a resident ministry. The functions of preaching and ministering the sacraments may be performed by strangers. The effectual sermon of a holy Christian life requires "elders" resident amidst the community to whom they preach. The pure morals, the well-ordered families, the meek and patient behavior under provocation, the kindly genial sympathies, the fair and equitable dealing, the sober gravity, the self-control and self-mastery of the servant of God, must be seen near in the daily intercourse of life, to be judged of and appreciated. It is the glory of the English Church that, by means of her endowments, she is able to place a minister of Christ to reside in every parish. Let every such minister remember that the interests of the Christian faith are bound up with his own manner of life and that of his household, and do his utmost endeavor that that life may be a faithful reflection of the grace of God, which teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, while we wait for the appearing of the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ.
HOMILIES BY T. CROSKERY.
Apostolic address and salutation.
The full representation which the apostle gives of his apostolic office is designed at once to mark the authority by which he gives the instructions that follow, and to serve as an index to the contents of the whole Epistle.
I. THE CLAIMS OF THE APOSTLE. "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ."
1. He is a servant of God. Not, as he often describes himself, "a servant of Jesus Christ." The title seems to mark the relation
2. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ. This is a more exact definition of his office.
II. THE END OF THE APOSTOLIC OFFICE. "For the faith of God's elect, and the full knowledge of the truth which is after godliness." It was designed for the furtherance of the faith and knowledge of believers.
1. The apostle felt that he was appointed to preach the doctrine of faith, and to be the instrument of bringing men to the obedience of faith. (Romans 1:5; Romans 10:17.)
2. The apostolic office was designed likewise to impart the full knowledge of the truth which is after godliness.
III. THE BASIS OF THIS TRUTH. "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before eternal times." The ground and condition of this truth is the hope of eternal life, which is the animating principle at once of the apostle and of the Church of God.
1. The principle of hope. The word occurs fifty-two times in the New Testament, and is always connected with God, with the Mediator, and with believers.
2. The object and sum of Christian hope. "Eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before eternal times."
(a) the full fruition of God to all eternity;
(b) the fellowship of the Redeemer's throne;
(c) the fullness of joy;
(d) likeness to Christ.
(a) This is not merely before the times of the world, or
(b) before the world began,
(c) but really in the eternity past;
because the reference is not to the covenants of Adam or Abraham, but to the covenant of redemption in Christ before the foundation of the world (2 Timothy 1:9-11). The apostle does not merely say that the promise of eternal life was the result of a Divine purpose fixed from eternity, but that it was made from eternity to believers, because it was made to Christ, whose members they are. It is impossible to understand the meaning of these words without reference to the federal transaction between the Father and the Son (Zechariah 6:13). This was the very "promise of life in Christ Jesus" of which the apostle speaks to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:1).
IV. THE MANIFESTATION OF THIS ANCIENT PROMISE. "But in his own seasons manifested his Word in the message wherewith I was entrusted, according to the commandment of God our Savior."
1. The manifestation was made in God's own seasons.
2. The Word of God, and the whole order and fullness of the Church, are to be regarded as the unfolding of the ancient promise of eternal life.
3. The Word is made manifest by preaching. (Romans 10:17.) Preaching is an institute peculiar to Christianity, which it formed for itself as its chosen mode of utterance. Christianity is not a philosophy or a thaumaturgy. It is propagated, not by priests, but by preachers. There are no priests in Christianity but the one High Priest of our profession, who, if he were on earth, would not be a priest (Hebrews 8:4).
4. The preaching is done in virtue of a Divine call or commission. "Wherewith I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior." All the ministries of the New Testament, high and low, are committed as trusts to the Church. Therefore a minister ought to have a true call from on high before accepting the responsibilities of office. The apostle was very emphatic in announcing his call to the apostleship, not as in any way due to his own wilt or wish, but to Divine command, it was the command of "God his Savior;" not the Son, but the Father—the usual phrase of the apostle being "according to the will of God" (2 Timothy 1:1).
V. THE APOSTOLIC SALUTATION. "To Titus, my true son after the common faith."
1. The person thus addressed.
(a) there is but one faith (Ephesians 4:5);
(b) one Object of faith, Jesus Christ;
(c) one end of faith, eternal life.
2. The greeting. "Grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior."
(a) Grace is the full and eternal fountain of the goodness of God, opened to the wants of men in the blessed gospel;
(b) peace is the blessing of the saints, to which they are called in one body, and the safeguard of heart and mind through him who is their Peace (Philippians 4:7).
Titus's commission in Crete.
Its object was principally to supply the deficiencies in the Church organization of the island.
I. THE SCENE OF TITUS'S LABORS—CRETE.
1. Its situation and history. It lies almost equidistant from Europe, Asia, and Africa; a large and populous island of the Mediterranean; the Caphtor of the Old Testament, and now known as Candia. It was a place of ancient civilization, noted for its hundred cities, and became a Roman possession about seventy years before Christ.
2. The foundation of the Cretan Church. This probably occurred immediately after Pentecost, for it is said that men of Crete were present on that occasion (Acts 2:11), and we know that the island abounded with Jews of wealth and influence. The false teachers in Crete were Judaists. There are several reasons for believing that the Church must have been a considerable time in existence. Time must be allowed for the development of heresy. Time must likewise be allowed for the growth of character and reputation, so that Titus, guided by the Church, might have no difficulty in selecting the right class of office-bearers. The fact, likewise, that the bishops were to "have believing children" affords a strong presumption that the Church must have been in existence at least twenty or thirty years.
3. Its existence without organization. The Church in Crete seems to have had no regular parties, the ordinances were probably in confusion, and though the power of heathenism had been broken in one of its quasi-strongholds, the Christians had not utterly escaped contamination. The state of matters in this interesting island proves
II. THE SCORE OF TITUS'S LABORS. "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou mightest set in order the things that were wanting, and ordain elders in every city." The apostle had himself successfully labored in the island, and the gospel had in consequence spread among many of its cities. But he had been summoned away from the scene before he could do anything to organize the community or regulate its varied Church life. He therefore sent Titus as his delegate to discharge this duty.
1. Titus was to set in order the things that were wanting. As Crete was a most luxurious and corrupt place, as heathenism affected its whole family and public life, as the Church bad got into disorder through its contiguity to paganism, or was unable to organize itself strongly in the face of a hostile world, Titus was left behind to fix the order and circumstances of public worship, including the celebration of Christian ordinances, to establish a godly discipline which would purify family life, to instruct the Cretans more fully in the doctrines of the gospel which were attacked by designing Judaists, and generally to superintend the development of all matters affecting Christian faith and practice.
2. He was to ordain elders in every city.
(a) The word "ordain" throws no light on the question whether the appointment took place with or without the co-operation of the Church. But the same word is used in the account of the ordination of the deacons who were chosen by the Christian people (Acts 6:3). In another case (Acts 14:23) the ordination of elders did not take place without the co-operation of the Church, which selected by a show of hands, as the word signifies, the candidates for ordination. The directions given by the apostle to Titus with regard to the qualifications of elders imply that the choice lay, not with Titus, who was a complete stranger to Crete, but with the body of the Christian people who were familiarly acquainted with the private work and public gifts of believers.
(b) The ordination was the act of Titus, who was the delegate of the apostle. It is not improbable that Zenas and Apollos, who were then in Crete, were associated with him in the act of ordination. It is now generally admitted that he was net appointed permanent Bishop of Crete, for his stay was designed to be short (Titus 3:12). This whole passage proves the importance of Church organization, while it presupposes a certain amount of Christian knowledge and feeling, among the members of the Cretan Church.—T.C.
Titus 1:6, Titus 1:7
The character of bishops—their negative qualifications.
The apostle first mentions their qualifications in a moral point of view before he speaks of their duties as teachers.
I. BLAMELESSNESS. The minister must be one against whom no charge can be brought. His name must be spotless (1 Corinthians 1:8; Colossians 1:22). The Church must be able to respect him.
1. Because he must be an example to the believers.
2. Because he could not otherwise consistently check or reprove the blameworthy ways of others. (Titus 1:13.) Christian life in Crete was unsound both as to morals and doctrine.
3. Because as "a steward of God" he has grave responsibilities, both to God and to the flock. He must be both wise and faithful in relation to the "house of God … the Church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15), which is entrusted to his keeping.
II. THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE. His family relationships are of much moment, for polygamy was the established rule of heathenism.
1. This passage does not make the marriage of ministers compulsory, as it is in the case of priests in the Greek Church.
2. It is totally inconsistent with the principle of the celibacy of ministers in the Church of Rome.
3. It does not prevent the second marriage of a minister, which is sanctioned by Scripture. (Romans 7:1; l Corinthians Romans 7:8, Romans 7:9, 39.)
4. It simply condemns polygamy.
III. THE CONDUCT OF HIS CHILDREN. "Having believing children, who are not accused of riot or unruly."
1. The bishop will be judged by his family life. The family is the nursery of the Church, and these two societies act and react upon each other reciprocally, so that a bad or weak or injudicious father can never be an efficient or respected minister. If he cannot rule his children, how can he rule the Church of God (1 Timothy 3:5)?
2. His children ought to be:
IV. NOT SELF-WILLED. The elder ought not to cherish:
1. A self-loving spirit, which leads to the disregard of the rights, or claims, or feelings of others.
2. A haughty and imperious temper. One who is both obstinate and proud can have no influence over his flock, tie ought to be humble, easy to be entreated, able to rule his own spirit, and considerate to others.
V. NOT SOON ANGRY.
1. He ought to have a temper not quickly provoked by contradiction or evil-speaking. Many tongues will be busy with him, as many eyes will be watchfully turned upon his walk.
2. He ought to remember the temper of his Master, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again." He ought to be "slow to wrath," and imitate the Divine long-suffering and patience.
VI. NO BRAWLER. The word suggests the conduct of one insolent through wine, quarrelsome and furious. The minister must not only abstain from drunkenness, but avoid the passionate folly of men carried away by this sin.
VII. NO STRIKER. He must never lift his hand against his fellows.
1. He is the peacemaker of his parish.
2. How can he restrain the violence of others if he cannot hold his own hands?
VIII. NOT GIVEN TO FILTHY LUCRE.
1. Covetousness is idolatry in a minister as well as in the members of his flock. It implies the existence of a divided heart.
2. An avaricious temper is condemned by the example of Christ, who, "though he was rich, became poor" to make many rich.
3. It is a peculiarly heinous sin to make a gain of godliness.
4. A covetous minister will seek his own things, not the things of Jesus Christ.—T.C.
The bishop's positive qualifications.
I. BUT A LOVER OF HOSPITALITY.
1. This trait was specially suitable to a time when Christians, travelling from one place to another, were in the habit of receiving kindly entertainment from brethren.
2. This habit may bring blessing to our houses. Some have thereby "entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2).
3. It recommends the gospel to find its ministers ready at all times to feed the hungry, opening heart and house to the poor and needy (Luke 14:13).
4. Yet the hospitality is not to be that of luxury or sensuality.
II. A LOVER OF GOOD. It points to a heart in sympathy with everything good and noble and of good report, as opposed to the corrupt tendencies at work in Cretan society.
1. The word points to the stir-restraint which controls the passions, in accordance with the dictates of conscience, reason, and the gospel of Christ. It is opposed to the irascibility already condemned in ministers (Titus 1:7).
2. It points to sobriety of intellect; for the minister must not be led away by false enthusiasm, or entangled with spiritual fanaticism. He is to follow quietly the even tenor of his way, under the guidance of truth.
1. There must be the full recognition of the rights of others.
2. There must be such a management of pastoral duty that poor and rich, ignorant and learned, will be treated with the most impartial fairness. There must he "no respect of persons."
3. There must be no casting of stumbling-blocks in the way of others.
4. There must be sincerity, uprightness, and faithfulness in admonitions and counsels.
V. HOLY. The minister must he true in his relations to God.
1. He rejoices to be numbered with the company of the saints.
2. His conduct must flow from a holy heart, as the effect of a new heart.
3. His holiness must rebuke the ungodly, and make his words like ointment poured forth.
4. It implies a separateness of walk, like him "who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners."
VI. TEMPERATE. This word points to eating and drinking, to lusts of the flesh, to abstinence even from things lawful for the sake of peace and the glory of God.—T.C.
The bishop's qualification as to doctrine.
The apostle reserves to the last place the most important of all the qualifications needed by elders.
I. THE DUTY OF ADHERING TO THE TRUTH. "Holding fast the faithful Word which is according to the teaching."
1. The doctrine of the gospel is "the faithful word:"
2. It is no mere subjective opini