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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Titus 3

Verses 1-15

  1. Intro:
    1. Before we sail away from Crete we have 1 more chapter to glean from Paul/Titus.
    2. Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses & all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
      1. This nursery rhyme began actually as a riddle, asking the question, What, once broken, can never be repaired, not even by strong or wise persons?
        1. ​​​​​​​Regardless of how hard we try, a broken egg can never be put back together again; a scrambled egg can never be unscrambled.
    3. It’s more than a nursery rhyme: The fall of humanity into sin in Gen3 is bad news, very bad news
      1. ​​​​​​​Some call it the uncreation because it reversed God’s original intentions for humanity and the earth.
      2. God formed all things by creation, but humanity deformed all things by sin.
      3. God’s blessing has been replaced by judgment. Life has been undermined by death.
      4. Fellowship with God was broken. Idolatry reigns. Relationships with others have been disrupted. Human society is divided. The world has undergone a great disturbance. It is no longer normal. Everything is upside down. The peace has been broken. Shalom has been vandalized. Things are not the way they are supposed to be. As Milton said, It’s paradise lost. (By Dr. David Naugle|Published Date: March 08, 2010 http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/indepth/14715-humpty-dumpty)
  2. OFF THE WALL (3)
    1. ​​​​​​​Every once in awhile the thin veneer is pulled back from humanity & we get a true glimpse of man’s depravity…which isn’t much different than 2 dogs fighting over an old bone.
      1. Oh, I’m not talking about watching nightly news about the latest crazed killer going on a rampage. I mean when God peals back the thin veneer of your heart & mine.
        1. Remember from where you’ve been salvaged.
      2. We as converts to Christianity were once no better than our heathen neighbors.
        1. Christian goodness should not make a man proud; it should make us supremely grateful.
      3. Remember, God has forgotten our sins, and we should too, but it does us good to remember from whence we came.
    2. Unlike Humpty, you may not have a wall issue, but we all had a falling issue.
      1. We were once deceived, disobedient, depraved sinners, who fell down went boom.
      2. For a while we tried to not take it serious. Maybe because of all the cartoons of the fall w/naked women, apples, & snakes, distracted us from the tragedy of the fall.
      3. Then we tried the best we could to put ourselves back together again. Through our own good works. Through man-made religion. Through our own obedience. Through following laws. Through trying our best to be good boys & girls.
      4. But wherever we stepped, we could still hear the crunch of fragile shells beneath our feet.
    3. Then we came to ourselves, like the prodigal, & realized our lives w/o Christ are empty & fragmented. We realized, this wasn’t a job for horses, nor for the kings soldiers, nor ourselves, but only for King Jesus.
      1. And our King Jesus is still in the business of fixing broken vessels, and even unscrambling lives. (read again from vs.4 but...)
  3. UNSCRAMBLING LIVES (4-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​God loves seemingly hopeless cases. Unsolvable problems. Impossible situations.
      1. Jer.30:12,13 Your affliction is incurable, Your wound is severe. There is no 1 to plead your cause, That you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines.
      2. But then he says in vs.17, For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.
    2. Christ came to earth (4). He washes away our sins (5a). He gives us the indwelling Spirit (5b-6). He fully justifies us (7a). He assures us of eternal life (7b).
      1. What a great summary of the Christian life: "Christ died to be our Savior, and lives to be our Lord."
    3. Perhaps no passage in the NT sets out the work of Christ for men, more clearly than this.
      1. Read this & try to find something you did. This is 100% what GOD has done.
      2. He is the source & method of salvation.
      3. He helps us to fall back up. To get back on the wall.
      4. He deals with our present state & our future hope.
    4. 5 Fun Facts:
      1. Jesus put us into a new relationship w/God [from Judge to Father]
      2. Love & grace, our gifts we could not earn.
      3. It’s because of the Word & the H.S.
      4. It brings forgiveness for past sins.
        1. In his mercy God does not hold our sins against us.
        2. Slide#10 Once a man was mourning gloomily to Augustine about his sins. Augustine said, “look away from your sins and look to God.”
      5. Hope of even greater things.
        1. The Christian is the man who knows, the wonder of past sin forgiven, the thrill of present life with Christ, and the hope of the greater life which is yet to be.”
    5. ​​​​​​​(5) Washing of regeneration - Amy Carmichael wrote, If the living God who made the tide and washes the shores daily, cannot wash away from my mind the caustic remarks, the ugliness, the wrongs in someone else then I haven't even entered into Calvary love.
      1. ​​​​​​​The point here is that when a man accepts Christ as Savior and Lord, life begins all over again. There is a newness about life which can be likened only to a new birth.
      2. Have you been born-again? I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (born from above). (Jn.3:3)
    6. (7) Justified by His grace – declared righteous.
      1. 2 men were caught stealing sheep. An “S” was placed on their foreheads. 1 man left town, the other stayed. Later the people forgot what the “S” was for…one remarked, “I think for Saint!”
        1. Spurgeon used to say, Let your repentance be as wide spread as your sin.
    7. (8) Works is a major theme in this short letter. He wants us to…
      1. ​​​​​​​Be a pattern/example of good works(2:7). Be zealous/passionate for good works (2:14). Be ready for every good work (3:1) Be careful to maintain good works (3:8). Learn to maintain good works (3:14).
    8. Notice both Faith & Works? It’s like inhaling & exhaling.
      1. Christians must have both. You can’t have one w/o the other.
      2. When H. M. Stanley went to Africa in 1871 to find and report on David Livingstone, he spent several months in the missionary's company, carefully observing the man and his work. Livingstone never spoke to Stanley about spiritual matters, but Livingstone's loving and patient compassion for the African people was beyond Stanley's comprehension. He could not understand how the missionary could have such love for and patience with the backward, pagan people among whom he had so long ministered. Livingstone literally spent himself in untiring service for those whom he had no reason to love except for Christ's sake. Stanley wrote in his journal, "When I saw that unwearied patience, that unflagging zeal, and those enlightened sons of Africa, I became a Christian at his side, though he never spoke to me one word."
  4. LIVING ON THE WALL (1,2; 9-11)
    1. ​​​​​​​Paul summarizes the divine will for believers. Vs.1 Remind them…
      1. Last chapter Paul helped Titus in dealing with different groups inside the church.
        1. Now he wraps up with those outside the church. Civil authorities & all men in general.
    2. Slide#17a How To Be A Good Citizen (1)
      1. Remind them as Christians we are citizens of earth as well as citizens of heaven.
      2. We are to obey rulers & authorities. These are our duties even in pagan cultures.
        1. What is it to honor only the authority you agree with?
      3. History: The Cretans were notoriously turbulent and quarrelsome and impatient of all authority. (Barclay)
        1. Polybius, the Greek historian, said of them that they were constantly involved in “insurrections, murders and internal wars.”
        2. No wonder why Paul places this here.
    3. How To Be A Good Christian (2)
      1. We should, “be an influence for good in our community in every way, demonstrating the loveliness of Christ to all through courteous & gracious behavior.” (BKC)
        1. The relation of believers to non-Christians is to be governed by the principles of love.
        2. Qualities like these are possible only for the man in whose heart Christ reins supreme.
    4. Our Relationship with Controversial Issues & with Controversial Individuals (9-11)
      1. Life is too short...don’t involve yourself in arguing over foolish & unanswerable questions.
      2. There is a danger that a man may think himself religious because he discusses religious questions.
        1. It is much easier to discuss theological questions than to be kind and considerate and helpful at home, or efficient and diligent and honest at work.
      3. Ask? Does this discussion promote knowledge more than love?
        1. These are referring to questions where Scripture is silent; on mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; wise men will avoid them.
        2. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether.
      4. Steps: Avoid(9); then warn(admonition) twice(10); then reject them.
      5. (11) warped - this person has been & remains off track [car wash].
      6. Sinning - present-tense verb, he willfully continues in sin.
      7. Self condemned - he refuses to heed counsel, which amounts to his own condemnation of himself.
    5. So, find yourself too occupied with profitable business (good works) to take any interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.
  5. WRAP UP (12-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12) Paul would send others, Artemas & Tychicus, to relieve Titus, so he could travel to Nicopolis to meet him for the winter. [on the Adriatic coast of Greece]
    2. (13) Supply the need of traveling missionaries.
    3. (14) Meet urgent needs. We call this Relief work now. It is to be a short term solution during crisis & disasters.
      1. Then we need to move into Rehabilitation, a mid-term solution, working in partnership w/locals.
      2. Then we move into Development as a Long term solution.
    4. (15) Grace be with you all – We are saved by grace, sustained by grace, & we enter into our inheritance by grace.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Titus 3". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/titus-3.html. 2017.