2:1. “But speak thou the things which become
Here Titus is being exhorted to teach the necessity of living a life that
confirms the profession of faith in Christ. The need of such teaching is
evidenced by the fact that all too often the opposite is true: the life, as
here that of the Cretans, contradicts the profession, with the result that the
individual is regarded as a hypocrite, the witness of the local church is
discredited, Christ is dishonored, and the name of God blasphemed.
2:2. “That the aged men be sober, grave,
temperate, sound in faith, in charity (love), in patience.”
“...sober” is also translated temperate, moderate, abstemious, not
characterized by excess in anything, including the use of wine. Grave means
to be dignified, serious, high-principled; while temperate means to be
sensible, sober-minded, discreet, self-controlled, wise, orderly. To be sound
in faith is to be strong, healthy, well established in all that pertains to
the Christian life.
Charity is an archaic form of “love,” the meaning of which is so obvious as to
make attempted explanation redundant, but the reader, before going any
further, is urged to pause here and read again 1 Corinthians 13, the great love
chapter of the Bible. Patience is also translated endurance, perseverance,
steadfastness, virtues indispensable to successful running of the heavenly
2:3. “The aged women likewise, that they be in
behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things;”
This sets forth the Divine standard for older Christian women who would live
lives honoring to God, His holiness being reflected in their daily conduct.
“not false accusers,” i.e., they are not to be slanderers, malicious gossips,
spreaders of scandal. In connection with slanderers it is instructive to note
that in the original the word is diabolos i.e., devil. Satan is thus
particularly identified as the originator of slander.
And in a society where wine was used in virtually the same way as we use
water, there was always the danger of drifting into using it in excess to the
point of drunkenness. Such was not to be true of older Christian women.
The positive is emphasized in God’s requiring them to be teachers of what is
good, i.e., by their example they are to set a good example, and to encourage
younger women to live virtuous lives.
2:4. “That they may teach the young women to be
sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”
We must note that women are not permitted to teach in the sense of expounding
the Scriptures, it being plainly stated, “I suffer not a woman to teach ...”
1 Timothy 2:12.
The JFB Commentary makes the following pertinent comment that, “It was
judicious that Titus, a young man, should admonish the young women, not
directly, but through the elder women.”
“Sober” as used here means to use discretion so that their lives will be above
reproach; and the exhortation to love their husbands is balanced by the
reciprocal command to husbands to love their wives, “So ought men to love
their wives as their own bodies,” Ephesians 5:28.
Since maternal love is virtually innate, the command “... to love their
children” might seem to be redundant, but the fact is that some mothers,
albeit a very rare few, do not love their children. It is much more likely,
however, that in the present context the love enjoined is love for their souls
which will impel mothers to instruct their children in the need to be born
again spiritually. Failure to give such instruction would, in fact, call in
question the reality of such a mother’s profession of faith.
2:5. “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,
good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
“Discreet” here means to be sober-minded, serious, sensible, to use good
judgment; and chaste means to be morally pure; while the equivalent of
“keepers at home” would be “workers at home, home-keepers, good house-keepers,
domesticated, home lovers.
“... obedient to their own husbands,” doesn’t imply that the woman has been
assigned a place of slavish subjection, but rather that she is to exemplify in
her life as a wife that she willingly accepts the headship of her husband as
being by God’s appointment
as declared in Ephesians 5:23-24, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as
Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore
as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own
husbands in every thing.”
The good conduct commanded here is not merely for the promotion of tranquility
in the home, but to preserve the word of God from being blasphemed, i.e.,
mocked or evilly spoken of.
2:6. “Young men likewise exhort to be sober
It is universally recognized that young men for the most part tend to be given
to giddy, frivolous, thoughtless behavior, but such conduct is not to have
any part in the life of the young man who professes faith in the Lord Jesus
“... sober minded” is also translated self-restrained, sensible, live orderly
lives, be masters of themselves at all points, behave prudently, be temperate,
use good judgment.
2:7. “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of
good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
In spite of his youth Titus was to live so that his godly life would be a
pattern, not just for other young people, but for all believers - a high
standard indeed, and a great responsibility for a young man. The fact that he
was to be such a pattern reminds us that the same responsibility devolves upon
us, young and old alike: our lives are to demonstrate that we have given
Christ complete control of them.
“... doctrine” is better translated teaching; while uncorruptness means
purity. Titus was to teach with dignity and sincerity, and so must all, young
and old alike, who preach the Gospel or teach believers. Levity has no place
in the ministry of the Word, either in the Gospel, or to the saints. The
preacher who seeks to evoke the laughter of his audience travels a very
slippery path, for the practice becomes addictive, and has spoiled the
ministry of more than one evangelist or teacher.
2:8. “Sound speech that cannot be condemned;
that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to
say of you.”
“Sound speech that cannot be condemned” is teaching that promotes spiritual
health. It is also translated as wholesome, logical, unaffected, and
characterized by dignified language: it should be of such a character as to
afford no grounds for criticism even on the part of those who are “of the
contrary part,” i.e., those who are the enemies of the Lord and His people.
Such people are to be given no cause to speak of us disparagingly, not as much
for our own sakes, as for the sake of the Gospel.
2:9. “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their
own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;”
While this instruction applies to all servants, it was particularly applicable
in the present context to slaves who may have become believers, and who might
think therefore that they stood on the same level as the master, and had no
need to continue showing him respect.
“...not answering again” means simply not to “talk back” to them.
Attention to this command is much needed today when the general tendency is
for “Jack to consider himself as good as his master.”
We are also to obey the civil law, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of
man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto
governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers,
and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God,” 1 Peter
We should note also that the command relates to our attitude towards the
elders of the assembly, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit
yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account,
that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable
for you,” Hebrews 13:17.
2:10. “Not purloining, but shewing all good
fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”
To purloin is to steal, usually things of relatively little value, e.g.,
stationery, pens, pencils, stamps, and such like, from one’s place of
employment; to use an employer’s time to do secretely what he would not permit
were he present. Believers are not to be guilty of such dishonesty, but are,
on the contrary, to be scrupulously honest. Many who would never dream of
stealing even a dime, are thoughtlessly guilty of such theft as has
been described here, and it behooves us as believers to avoid such sin, for
that is exactly what petty theft is.
To “adorn the doctrine of God,” is to live so as to lend luster, worth, beauty
to the teaching of Scripture.
2:11. “For the grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men,”
Punctilious obedience to God’s Word is the best way to say “thanks be unto God
for His unspeakable gift,” 2 Corinthians 9:15, as it is also written, “Behold to obey
is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams,” 1 Samuel 15:22.
Grace transcends mercy, for whereas mercy withholds deserved punishment, grace
bestows undeserved blessing, the grace of God making available to believing
men and women a pardon for all their sin, together with His priceless gift of
eternal life, secured for them by the Lord’s death and resurrection. Its
having appeared or having been made available to all men in the person of
Jesus Christ become Man, assures us that this so great salvation is available
to all men, but tragically only a relatively few accept it by trusting in the
Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. The others, the vast majority, perish
in their sins by refusing to trust in Him as their Savior.
2:12. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present
Teaching is also translated instructing, disciplining, schooling, training.
We are to give up godless ways, the coveting of the evil things we desired in
our unsaved days, such as sinful pleasures, worldly wealth and worldly
ambitions. But the Christian life is not just a matter of giving up. That is
the negative side; the positive being the pursuit of what is good. We are to
live soberly: achieved by acting responsibly, with good judgment, discreetly,
and righteously, i.e., being upright, honest, self-controlled, God-fearing.
And it is to be done “in this present world” which is evil, and doomed to
destruction, see 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in
the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that
are therein shall be burned up,” John adding his confirmation, “And I saw a
great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the
heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them,” Revelation 20:11.
“... in this present world” is also translated, present age, present life,
2:13. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”
We are to live in the daily expectation of the fulfilment of our blessed,
happy hope: the sudden return of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, to catch us up
to meet Him in the air, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the
dead in Christ shall rise first: then we who are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so
shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these
words,” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
Some see “that blessed hope” and “the glorious appearing” as two separate
events: the “blessed hope” being His coming as described above; “the glorious
appearing” being His descent with the armies of heaven to end the Great
Tribulation as described in Rev 19:11-21, but in the present context, His
coming to rapture us to heaven seems to be the more likely.
“... the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” is not speaking of the Father
and the Son, but rather is describing the Lord Jesus Christ as being also the
great God, coequal, coexistent, and coeternal with the Father and the Holy
2:14. “Who gave himself for us, that he might
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”
The Lord gave himself for us, i.e., he sacrificed himself by taking our guilty
place, and dying in our stead for our sins, thereby redeeming us from the
consequences of our wickedness. But He has done more. He has purified us,
for by the new birth we have inherited His life and nature, so that we are in
God’s sight as spotless as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. “Peculiar” in this
context means “a people selected by God from the other nations for his own
To have been redeemed is to have been made free by the payment of a ransom.
We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.
“... zealous of good works” is also translated: eager to do right; having a
zeal for good works; hearts set upon living a good life; eager to do
kindnesses to others.
2:15. “These things speak, and exhort, and
rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
All of these things Titus was to speak, i.e., teach; “and exhort” meaning to
urge these truths upon his hearers; and he was to rebuke where necessary,
i.e., reprove, admonish with authority as God’s spokesman. Nor was he to
allow them to belittle him or treat him with contempt, something they would
have been tempted to do especially on account of his youth. As God’s
spokesman he was to be treated with respect.
Those who have been gifted as teachers are also to speak with authority: they
are God’s agents, and as such are also to be treated with respect.