Amplified: Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from the power of all lawlessness, and to purify us as a special people for Himself, a people eager for all fine works. (Westminster Press)
KJV: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Phillips: For he gave himself for us all, that he might rescue us from all our evil ways and make for himself a people of his own, clean and pure, with our hearts set upon living a life that is good. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Who gave Himself on our behalf in order that He might set us free from every lawlessness and purify for Himself a people of His own private possession, zealous of good works. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: who did give himself for us, that he might ransom us from all lawlessness, and might purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works;
WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR US: hos edôken (3SAAI) heauton huper hêmôn: (Mt 20:28; Jn 6:51; 10:15; Gal 1:4; 2:20; 3:13; Eph 5:2,23, 24, 25, 26, 27;1Ti 1:15;2:6; Heb 9:14; 1Pe 3:18; Rev 1:5, 5:9)
Paul now reverts back from the prophetic future (looking for the blessed hope - the future Second Coming of Christ) to the historical work of Christ which laid the foundation for His present work of sanctification in believers.
Expositor's Greek Testament notes that "This is an appeal from the constraining love of Christ to the responding love of man."
Who gave Himself - Speaking of His vicarious suffering and death. The act of giving Himself indicates Christ’s willing, gracious gift of Himself. Christ by His own choice gave humanity the priceless gift of His perfect, sinless life. The idea of "gave" is that this was a gift and as such could not be earned or merited or deserved!
Hiebert writes that "Who gave himself for us" summarizes that work as voluntary, exhaustive, and substitutionary. His giving of himself was the grandest of all gifts. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament)
In First Timothy we read "(Christ Jesus) Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:6)
For us - Paul includes himself here and thus is speaking of believers, including Titus to whom he is writing.
For (5228) (huper) is a preposition which serves in some contexts (as in this verse) as a marker indicating that an activity or event is in some entity’s interest or in behalf of or for the sake of someone else. As BDAG puts it huper is a marker indicating that an activity or event is in some entity’s interest (for, in behalf of, for the sake of someone/something).
Thus in this verse huper depicts the substitutionary atonement…
Compare other uses of huper in the sense of "in our place" or "for our sake"…
See a foreshadowing of this reality of Christ's substitutionary atonement (Christ's death in our place on the Cross - see 1Jn 2:2 for the synonymous term "Propitiation") in the great epistle of Hebrews where we read as allusion to the Old Testament description the Day of Atonement (cp Lv 16:2, 12, 13) noting that…
Philip Bliss' great hymn teaches this priceless doctrine of substitutionary atonement/propitiation…
Paul’s doctrine of substitution is reiterated in the famous passage where Paul declares…
Huper is used in John 11:49-50, Caiaphas, the high priest, speaking prophetically declared…
In Galatians Paul used huper with a similar meaning writing "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for (huper = "instead of") us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE" (Galatians 3:13)
Steven Cole writes that grace trains us to "LOOK BACK TO THE SUPREME DEMONSTRATION OF HIS LOVE, WHICH REDEEMED US FROM SIN AND MADE US HIS OWN POSSESSION (Titus 2:14A). “Who” refers back to “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (Titus 2:13) None other than He “gave Himself for us”! If that thought doesn’t grip your heart, you’re in deep spiritual trouble. Paul shows that this past grace that was shown to us produces godliness in us. First, Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed” (2:14a). The word redeem would have gotten the attention of any slaves. It was the word used of buying a slave out of the market so as to give him his freedom. Before we met Christ, we all were slaves of sin. He paid the redemption price in His own blood to free us from bondage to sin. How, then, can a believer go back into slavery to sin? Second, Christ gave Himself for us that He might “purify for Himself a people for His own possession.” Verse 12 focused on our need to purify ourselves, but Titus 2:14 focuses on Christ’s purifying us through His blood. He bought us from the slave market of sin and washed off our filth. Now we belong to Him as His personal possession. He prizes us more than anyone prizes a valuable treasure, because He paid for us with His blood. Again, what a motivation to live to please Him! One reason that we partake often of the Lord’s Supper is that it reminds us of these precious truths. Before we partake, we are to examine ourselves and confess any known sins. As we think on the great sacrifice that our God and Savior made by giving Himself for us, it will draw our hearts toward Him in love and devotion. It will make us long for the day of His appearing in glory, when we will be caught up to be with Him forever. Thus God’s grace in Christ brings salvation to us. Then it trains us to live in godliness. (How Grace Works Titus 2:11-14)
THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM US FROM EVERY LAWLESS DEED: hina lutrosetai (3SAMS) hemas pases anomias: (Ge 48:16; Ps 130:8; Ezek 36:25; Mt 1:21; Ro 11:26, 27 Lk 24:21; 1Pet 1:18)
That (hina) expresses purpose and here clearly explains the purpose for which sinners have been redeemed as saints. See discussion of importance of pausing to ponder terms of purpose or result.
Redeem (3084) (lutroo from lutron/lytron = ransom in turn from luo = loose, release, unbind) in simplest terms means to release someone held captive (prisoner, slave) on receipt of a ransom payment (the "ransom" being the technical term for money paid to buy back a prisoner of war) with the implied analogy of freeing a slave set free (liberate, liberation, deliverance).
The Roman Empire had by some estimates as many 6 million slaves and the buying and selling of slaves was a major business. If a person wanted to free a loved one or friend who was a slave, they would buy (pay the redemption price = lutroo) the slave for themselves and then grant the slave his or her freedom, testifying to the slave's new state of liberation or deliverance with a written certificate.
Enslavement to sin is bondage, whereas enslavement to God is freedom (see discussion of eleutheroo = to set free from domination). True freedom means having the ability to yield your will to His good and perfect will and thereby become all He created you to be, set free from sin and free to live an abundant, "victorious" life pleasing to God empowered by His Spirit.
Lutroo is in middle voice which indicates that the person who carries out the action (of redemption) has a special interest in what the overall transaction. This is certainly the case in the redemption accomplished by Christ as Paul explains in the remainder of this verse.
The three uses of lutroo are all translated “redeem” and tell the story of the Cross.
In Lk 24:21 lutroo means to set Israel free from the yoke of Roman rule and oppression…
In Titus 2:14 we are set men free from the yoke of self-will (specifically "every lawless deed"),
In 1Pe 1:18 (note) we are set free from a vain manner of life, i.e., from bondage to tradition.
Spurgeon - That word “redemption” sounds in my ears like a silver bell. We are ransomed, purchased back from slavery, and this at an immeasurable price; not merely by the obedience of Christ, nor the suffering of Christ, nor even the death of Christ, but by Christ’s giving Himself for us. All that there is in the great God and Savior was paid down that he might “redeem us from all iniquity.” The splendor of the Gospel lies in the redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God, and we shall never fail to put this to the front in our preaching. It is the gem of all the Gospel gems. As the moon is among the stars, so is this great doctrine among all the lesser lights which God hath kindled to make glad the night of fallen man. Paul never hesitates; he has a divine Savior and a divine redemption, and he preaches these with unwavering confidence. Oh that all preachers were like him!
From (575) (apo) indicates effective removal from (or separation from). In context it depicts our deliverance from the domination of Sin and our fallen flesh. While we have been set free and are no longer captives of these harsh task masters, unfortunately they still exist in our mortal bodies and can tempt us and we can fall under their spell if we fail to rely on the supernatural power of the Spirit (cf Gal 5:16-note, Gal 5:17-note).
Lawless (458) (anomia from a = neg. + nomos = etymologically something parceled out, allotted, what one has in use and possession; hence, usage, custom, rule, law) describes violation/transgression of law, wickedness; iniquity.
Anomia - 15x in NT - Matt. 7:23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:12; Rom. 4:7; 6:19; 2 Co. 6:14; 2 Thess. 2:3, 7; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 1:9; 10:17; 1 Jn. 3:4
Lawlessness is the essence of sin and represents self-assertion as opposed to the self-sacrifice of unconditional love.
Hiebert writes that "lawlessness (is) that assertion of self-will in defiance of God's standard that is the essence of sin. The expression ("redeem us from every lawless deed") stresses not our guilt as rebels but rather our deliverance from bondage to lawlessness through Christ's ransom. (Ibid)
Newport J D White - To what degree soever we allow the love of Christ to operate as a controlling principle in our lives, to that degree we are delivered from anomia (lawlessness) as an opposing controlling principle. (Expositor's Greek)
Lawlessness is living as though your own ideas are superior to God's.
Lawlessness says, "God may demand it but I don't prefer it."
Lawlessness says, "God may promise it but I don't want it."
Lawlessness replaces God's law with my contrary desires. I become a law to myself.
Lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to make laws and govern His creatures.
John gives a direct definition of anomia writing…
So as John teaches, lawlessness equates with sin. Salvation delivers the redeemed permanently from enslavement to the power of Sin. The unregenerate person is in total bondage to the ruling power of Sin, the principle of which indwells them.
Notice also that believer were not set free from some of the lawless deeds but from all. Thus there is nothing incomplete about Christ's redemption. When He paid the redemption price, He paid it in full and declared "It is finished!" (John 19:30-note) See also - TETELESTAI-PAID IN FULL
Paul (though his emissary Titus) is exhorting the believers in Crete now to live like men who have been redeemed and set free to obey a new Master.
F B Meyer comments that in this passage "we are, therefore, taught that the death of Jesus was intended, not for our forgiveness and justification merely, but for our sanctification, and our deliverance from the power of all our besetting sins.
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REDEMPTION ILLUSTRATED - A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue.
The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each of the prisoners had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar. What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! Let Him take your head out of the enslaving collar of sin and set you free. Christ was lifted up on the cross that we might be lifted out of our sin.
Redeemed-how I love to proclaim it!
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AND PURIFY FOR HIMSELF: kai katharise (3SAAS) heauto: (Mal 3:3; Mt 3:12; Ac 15:9; He 9:14;Jas 4:8; 1Pe 1:22; 1Jn 3:2, 3:3) (Ezek 37:23)
Purify for Himself - In his elaboration on the New Covenant, the prophet Ezekiel records God's promise to the believing remnant of Israel that…
Hiebert - This negative work (redeem us from every lawless deed) is the necessary prelude to the positive work of sanctification, "to purify for himself a people that are his very own." Purify points to the moral defilement that man's rebellion produced. Sin makes us not only guilty but also unclean before a holy God. The blood-wrought cleansing (1Jn 1:7) enables men to be restored to fellowship with God as "a people that are his very own." (Ibid)
Purify (2511) (katharizo from katharos = pure, cleansed, without stain or spot; English words - catharsis = emotional or physical purging, cathartic = substance used to induce a purging, Cathar = member of a medieval sect which sought the purging of evil from its members) means to cause something to become clean from contamination or impurity or to make clean by taking away an undesirable part. To cleanse from filth or impurity. Katharizo means to cause to become clean as from physical stains and dirt (Mt 23:25).
Paul's use of the aorist tense for katharizo conveys the truth that Jesus' purification of sinners was a once for all, effective, completed action, which equates with "past tense" salvation or the justification which occurs once for all time when a sinner receives the free gift of salvation by grace through faith. This truth can still be applied to present tense salvation, for the fact that we are forever positionally pure and clean in God's sight should motivate us to seek to live pure and clean lives (enabled by the "pure" Spirit) in our daily practice. As Hiebert says since we "have been redeemed by His blood (see 1Pe 1:18, 19, 20-notes), Christ yearns that (we) voluntarily yield (ourselves) wholly to Him. Such a surrender is man's only reasonable response to divine mercy (Ro 12:1-note; Ro 12:2-note)."
This word group (katharizo, katharos) conveys the idea of physical, religious, and moral cleanness or purity in such senses as clean, free from stains or shame, and free from adulteration. In secular Greek katharizo occurs in inscriptions for ceremonial cleansing. Click (or here) for more background on the Biblical concept of clean and cleansing. See also study of Hebrew word tahor = clean, pure.
Katharizo - 31x in the NT - Mt 8:2, 3; 10:8; 11:5; 23:25, 26; Mk. 1:40, 42, 42; 7:19; Lk. 4:27; 5:12, 13; 7:22; 11:39; 17:14, 17; Acts 10:15; 11:9; 15:9; 2Co 7:1; Eph. 5:26; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 9:14, 22, 23; 10:2; Jas. 4:8; 1Jn. 1:7, 9
Figuratively katharizo referred to cleansing from ritual contamination or impurity as in (Acts 10:15). In a similar sense katharizo is used of cleansing lepers from ceremonial uncleanness (Mt 8:2, 3, et al; in the Septuagint of Lev 13:6)
Another figurative use of katharizo is found in 1John 1:9-note (cf James 4:8-James 4:8, Heb 10:2) where John describes the purifying or cleansing from sin and a guilty conscience which makes one acceptable to God and reestablishes fellowship.
In the present context the cleansing is not just an external cleansing like that of the hypocritical Pharisees who cleansed (katharizo) only
The quality of purification that Jesus produces is prefigured by His miraculous healing of the leprous man, Matthew recording that Jesus
Only God can cleanse a leper and only the God Man, Jesus can purify sinners on the "inside" of "robbery and self-indulgence".
Paul speaking of Jesus and His church writes that He has "cleansed (katharizo) her (His bride the Church) by the washing of water with the word (Eph 5:26-note).
The Greek Septuagint uses katharizo when it translates David's prayer --
John uses katharizo twice in first chapter of his first epistle, teaching that
In both of these uses in First John, the purification that is wrought in believers by Jesus refers to "present tense" salvation or sanctification which is a process that began with our our initial purification (justification) and which will continue until our "future tense" salvation or glorification is realized.
Until that glorious occasion Paul writes 'having these promises (What promises? See context = 2Cor 6:14-18), beloved, let us cleanse (katharizo) ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Cor 7:1- note)
In so doing we will indeed be a "peculiar people", each "a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work (deed). (2Ti 2:21-note)
A PEOPLE FOR HIS OWN POSSESSION: laon periousion: (Ex 15:16; 19:5,6; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 35:4; 1Peter 2:9)
This verse is most literally rendered "a peculiar people". Below are other translations for comparison…
people to be peculiarly His own - Amplified
His own special possession - Analyzed Literal Translation
so that we can be His special people GWT
unto himself a peculiar people - KJV
a people who are truly His - NET
a people that are his very own - NIV
His own special people - NKJV
a people of his own - Phillips paraphrase
a people as his own treasure - Rotherham
people who belong to Him alone - TEV
a people who should be specially His own - Weymouth
a people of His own private possession, - Wuest
Spurgeon comments that "The translation “peculiar people” is unfortunate, because “peculiar” has come to mean odd, strange, singular. The passage really means that believers are Christ’s own people, His choice and select portion. Saints are Christ’s crown jewels, His box of diamonds; His very, very, very own. He carries His people as lambs in His bosom; He engraves their names on His heart. They are the inheritance to which He is the heir, and He values them more than all the universe beside. He would lose everything else sooner than lose one of them. He desires that you, who are being disciplined by his grace, should know that you are altogether His. You are Christ’s men. You are each one to feel, “I do not belong to the world; I do not belong to myself; I belong only to Christ. I am set aside by Him for Himself only, and His I will be.” The silver and the gold are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills are His; but He makes small account of them, “the Lord’s portion is His people.” (From Spurgeon's sermon Titus 2:11-14 The Two Appearings and the Discipline of Grace)
I like what Bryan Chapell writes about this passage…
Possession (4041) (periousios from perí = beyond + eimi = to be, exist) means of one's own possession, one's own and here qualifies people.
Periousios describes the property one owned as a rich and distinctive possession, a possession which is of very special status.
Titus 2:14 is the only NT use of periousios where Paul figuratively describes God's redeemed people as Christ's costly possession and His distinctive treasure. Believers are those that belong in a special sense to Christ. What an incredible word picture of blood bought, heaven bound sinners who are now the Savior's saints!
Periousios is used four times in the Septuagint for Israel, the chosen people, the peculiar people of Jehovah (see references in Vincent's note below).
Marvin Vincent has a lengthy note on periousion writing that it is used…
A few times in LXX (Septuagint), always with laos (Greek = people). For example:
Kenneth Wuest puts it plainly = Christians are the private possession of God. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans) Do my thoughts, words and deeds over the last 24 hours support Wuest's description of "Who I am" and "Whose I am"?
This has always been God's desire from the beginning that His chosen people be a Holy People, His very own peculiar and special possession. Paul is saying that we as believers are no longer our own but are now Christ's special, treasured possession. Paul could not be much clearer.
Jesus warned of the practical implications of not heeding this truth (Mt 6:24-note). If you are loving the world then you cannot be loving Jesus, the Master Who bought you. (Jas 4:4-note, 1Jn 2:15-note, 1Jn 2:16-note, 1Jn 2:17-note)
As noted above, the 1611 KJV quaintly describes saints as a peculiar people. Unfortunately, too often we are a "peculiar people", but not in the way God intended! He didn’t die to make us odd or strange people, but a people who belong to Him in a special way, not to the world nor to ourselves.
Just as we formerly were possessed and enslaved by sin, now we are to be possessed by and enslaved to Jesus Christ.
Barnes observes that periousios "means, properly, having abundance; and then one’s own, what is special, or peculiar (Robinson, Lexicon), and here means that they were to be regarded as belonging to the Lord Jesus. It does not mean, as the word would seem to imply - and as is undoubtedly true - that they are to be a unique people in the sense that they are to be unlike others, or to have views and principles unique to themselves; but that they belong to the Saviour in contradistinction from belonging to themselves - “peculiar” or his own in the sense that a man’s property is his own, and does not belong to others. This passage, therefore, should not be used to prove that Christians should be unlike others in their manner of living, but that they belong to Christ as his redeemed people. From that it may indeed be inferred that they should be unlike others, but that is not the direct teaching of the passage. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible) (Bolding added)
Adam Clarke writes that periousios "signifies such a peculiar property as a man has in what he has purchased with his own money. Jesus gave His life for the world, and thus has purchased men unto Himself; and, having purchased the slaves from their thraldom (enslavement), He is represented as stripping them of their sordid vestments, cleansing and purifying them unto Himself that they may become His own servants, and bringing them out of their dishonorable and oppressive servitude, in which they had no proper motive to diligence and could have no affection for the despot under whose authority they were employed. Thus redeemed, they now become His willing servants, and are zealous of good works - affectionately attached to that noble employment which is assigned to them by that Master Whom it is an inexpressible honor to serve. (Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible)
CREED BREEDS CONDUCT
God Himself is described as zealous ("jealous") (see more examples under discussion of zelotes)…
Phinehas was zealous for the Lord's honor and integrity (for context read Numbers 25)…
Amy Carmichael poetically pictured zealous for good deeds in her famous poem…
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire.
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me thy fuel, Flame of God.
The Christian martyr Jim Elliot expressed a similar zealousness for good deeds when he asked..
Hiebert writes that "For those who have been redeemed from the doom of sin and death and brought into a unique relationship with God, the true voluntary response is to be enthusiastic "to do what is good." It is the true badge of His divine ownership. He who eagerly awaits the return of the Savior will be eager also to further His cause by good works until He comes. It is another instance of the union between creed and conduct insisted upon in the pastoral Epistles. (Ibid)
Zealous - Totally committed. Sold out. Abandoned. Dedicated. "Possessed". "On fire". Burning. Ablaze, Afire. Impassioned. Fanatical. Ardent. Fervent. Fervently devoted. Passionate. Passionate ardor in pursuit of something. Single heart. Single minded allegiance. Enthusiastically devoted. Eager desire to accomplish some goal or end.
Dear reader, would our Father label you as one who is on fire for good (God) deeds?
Samuel Chadwick was right when he said that…
Zealous (2207) (zelotes from zeo = to boil, be hot or glow) describes one zealous (fervent and enthusiastically devoted) for or eagerly desirous of something. A zelotes is one who is earnestly committed to a side or cause and thus could be described as an enthusiast, an adherent, or a loyalist.
Zelotes - 8 times in the NT - Lk. 6:15; Acts 1:13; 21:20; 22:3; 1 Co. 14:12; Gal. 1:14; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 3:13
Some have accused their brethren of being too zealous, and there may be some truth in their accusations but as Brother Andrew said
Secular Greek writers used zelotes to describe an emulator, admirer, imitator or follower of anyone.
Zelotes in other New Testament (not counting the two uses as a proper noun "Zealot") is used to describe those who are "zealous for the Law" (Acts 21:20), "zealous for God" (a Jew with great concern for the Mosaic law) (Acts 22:3), "zealous of spiritual gifts" (1Co 14:12), "zealous for… ancestral traditions" (Ga 1:14) and "zealous for what is good" (1Pe 3:13-note) From these uses you can observe that one can be zealous in a negative or in a positive sense. As Thomas Brooks explains "Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants, but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters." John Calvin adds that "Zeal without doctrine is like a sword in the hand of a lunatic."
Zelotes was used twice as a proper noun. One of Jesus' apostles was "Simon who was called the Zealot (zelotes)" (Luke 6:13), which described a fanatically patriotic Jewish group in Palestine who wanted to be independent of Rome. The Zealots were the fanatical patriots, who were pledged to liberate their native land by every possible means, and after the example of Phinehas (who was called "jealous" = "zealous" in Nu 25:11, 12, 13) were even prepared to take their lives in their hands, to sacrifice ease and comfort, home and loved ones, in their passionate love for their country. From the time of the Maccabees (105-63 B. C.) the Zealots rigorously adhered to the Mosaic law and even resorted to violence after the example of Phinehas (Nu 25:11, 12, 13) in order to prevent their Jewish from being violated.
Neither God nor humans are cold, unfeeling beings. Persons have emotions as well as intellect and will, and often these emotions are strong. To be zealous describes one of the stronger emotions.
Zelotes describes one who is one stirred to action by a strong emotion. Zeal thus describes an intense emotion which compels one to action. One who is zealous manifests an energetic, unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause, in this case "good deeds". We are to be eagerly desirous to perform good deeds, veritable "zealots (albeit Spirit-controlled) for good works."
Am I Spirit controlled "zealot" for Jesus? Or are the embers of my heart just barely glowing? Am I abandoned to God, consecrated to God, passionate for God, wholeheartedly for God, etc?
Not all Christians have great mental powers, or are extrovert personalities, but all should be zealous. - Timothy G. Alford
It is better to wear out than to rust out. - Richard Cumberland
Paul had a good antidote for "low glow embers" speaking directly to Timothy but applicable to all believers:
When we think of the zeal of men for sports, politics, and business, we should be provoked to godly jealousy and inspired to good deeds. It's amazing how zealous some false religious zealots can be in regard to a lie, while true believers languish in a state of apathy even though they possess the absolute Truth.
As John Wesley once wrote…
Zelotes is used 6 times in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word qanna' (7067) and every use of zelotes is a description of Jehovah! In each of these OT uses, zelotes translates the Hebrew word for "jealousy" and thus portrays a very strong emotion, a passionate desire.
Below are some of these OT uses:
Spurgeon - See what Christ died for, see what Christ lives for, see what we are to live for,-that we should not only be a people purified, but purified unto Himself. We are not only to have good works, but we are to be zealous of them; we are to burn with zeal for them, for zeal is a kind of fire, it is to burn and blaze in us until we warm and enlighten others also… As well a chariot without its steeds, a sun without its beams, a heaven without its joy, as a man of God without zeal… If by excessive zeal we die before reaching the average age of man, worn out in the Master's service, then glory to God, we shall have so much less of earth and so much more of heaven.
William MacDonald who spoke passionately about what defines a true disciple of Christ put it well when he said…
The fiery bishop from yesteryear J C Ryle gives a similar challenge…
Lord give us men like Count Nicolas von Zinzendorf who lived what he said when he declared…
John Piper asks a question that we should all seriously ponder…
Is God stirring your heart to be zealous for Him, zealous for good deeds? Then beloved, you dare not miss His timing and His call, for as John Trapp so aptly put it…
Bryan Chapell writes that "The indulgence of ungodliness and worldly passions ultimately is a denial of the Word of God and message of the Savior. In contrast, our zeal is a consequence of wanting our Savior to be known as the One who has rescued us from evil, from compulsion, from infectious sin, from the evaluation of a person’s worth by the degree of pleasure that he or she can bring me. We should be living so that people will know their worth in Christ as the gospel proclaims—this must change us because the gospel changes everything!… Revival in all the areas the apostle identifies as requiring Christian transformation will be terribly costly. Who has any zeal for this and what will ignite it? The answer must be love for Him who gave Himself for us. Such love the apostle sparks by reminding us of our Savior’s actions and attitudes in our behalf. (Titus 2:11-15 ‘Intolerant’ Grace: Reformation & Revival) (Theological Journal Subscription info)
Good (2570) (kalos) means good with emphasis on that which is beautiful, handsome, excellent, surpassing, precious, commendable, admirable. It means inherently excellent or intrinsically good and thus providing some special or superior benefit. In classical usage, kalos was originally used to describe outward form -- of usefulness it referred to a fair haven, a fair wind. Auspicious, as sacrifices. Morally beautiful, noble; hence virtue is called to kalon . The New Testament usage is similar. Outwardly fair, as the stones of the temple (Lk 21:5); well adapted to its purpose, as salt (Mk 9:50); competent for an office, as deacons (1Ti 4:6); a steward (1Pe 4:10-note); a soldier (2Ti 2:3-note); expedient, wholesome (Mk 9:43, 45, 47); morally good, noble, as works (Mt 5:16-note); conscience (He 13:18-note). The phrase it is good, i.e., a good or proper thing (Ro 14:21-note). In the Septuagint kalos is the most commonly used word for good as opposed to evil (Ge 2:17; 24:50; Isa 5:20).
Kalos - 102 uses in the NT - Matt. 3:10; 5:16; 7:17, 18, 19; 12:33; 13:8, 23f, 27, 37f, 45, 48; 15:26; 17:4; 18:8f; 26:10, 24; Mk. 4:8, 20; 7:27; 9:5, 42f, 45, 47, 50; 14:6, 21; Lk. 3:9; 6:38, 43; 8:15; 9:33; 14:34; 21:5; Jn. 2:10; 10:11, 14, 32f; Acts 25:10; 27:8; Rom. 7:16, 18, 21; 12:17; 14:21; 1 Co. 5:6; 7:1, 8, 26; 9:15; 2 Co. 8:21; 13:7; Gal. 4:18; 6:9; 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Tim. 1:8, 18; 2:3; 3:1, 7, 13; 4:4, 6; 5:10, 25; 6:12f, 18f; 2 Tim. 1:14; 2:3; 4:7; Titus 2:7, 14; 3:8, 14; Heb. 5:14; 6:5; 10:24; 13:9, 18; Jas. 2:7; 3:13; 4:17; 1Pet. 2:12; 4:10
In sum kalos refer to deeds done in the power of His Spirit. No good deeds can be initiated and accomplished by the old nature (cf abiding in the Vine Jn 15:5, 1Cor 3:10, 11, 12,13, 14).
As John Morley put it "It is not enough to do good. One must do it in the right way."
Good deeds - Beautiful deeds. Handsome deeds. Inherently excellent and intrinsically good deeds.
R. L. Dabney rightly reminds us that "The gospel teaches us that while believers are not rewarded on account of their works, they are rewarded according to their works."
Someone has said that we should be like postage stamps. We should stick to one thing until the job is done! Steadfastness is the key to living a life that pleases our Lord.
As Oswald Chambers said "Do good until it is an unconscious habit of life and you do not know you are doing it."
And John Calvin does well reminding us that "In our good works nothing is our own."
Good deeds (Click for study of "good deeds") are not the root of salvation, but they are the fruit of genuine salvation (cf Mt 3:8, Ep 2:10-notes). (See Jas 2:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26- see notes on the relationship between faith and works - Jas 2:14 ; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26)
As Vance Havner once quipped "We need an outbreak of holy heartburn, when hearers shall be doers, when congregations shall go out from meetings to do things for God."
Redemption means freedom from a life of wickedness and to a life of obedience and purity. Christ died to provide us this redemption. God is concerned about the life-styles of His people. He looks for eager obedience and active doing of good. A full understanding of these things leads inexorably to godly living. Conversely, ungodly living in a Christian is a clear sign that either he does not fully understand these things or he does not actually believe them (i.e., he is not really a believer).
Steven Cole - God’s grace trains us who are saved to be zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14b). “Good deeds” refer to deeds that are done out of sincere love for God and others in obedience to His Word. “Zealous” is a word that Paul used to describe his fanatical zeal for Judaism prior to his conversion (Gal. 1:14). It was also used to describe the fanatical Jewish sect that was devoted to ridding Israel of Roman domination. The Zealots were totally devoted to their cause, even to the point of risking their own lives to achieve their goals. You would not call them lukewarm! Could you rightly describe yourself as a fanatic for good deeds? It seems to me that the vast majority of Christians dabble at good deeds when it is convenient, when they don’t have anything else that they’d rather do. But if we have been bought out of the slave market of sin by the blood of our great God and Savior, we should be fanatics for good deeds. We ought to be totally devoted to serving our new Master. A book that has often convicted me of my own lack of love for the Lord and zeal for His work is Elisabeth Elliot’s, Shadow of the Almighty, subtitled, “The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot.” My copy is falling apart because I have thumbed back through it so many times. Elisabeth’s husband, Jim, was only 28 when he and four other young men were speared to death in their attempt to take the gospel to the fierce Auca Indians of Ecuador (Jim Elliot and the Auca Indians). Here are some quotes from his diary that show how he exemplified our text. God’s grace motivated him. At age 22, he wrote (p. 110), “I see clearly now that anything, whatever it is, if it be not on the principle of grace, it is not of God.” Regarding living in light of the second coming, at age 20 he wrote to his 15-year-old sister (p. 53), “Fix your eyes on the rising Morning Star…. Live every day as if the Son of Man were at the door, and gear your thinking to the fleeting moment…. Walk as if the next step would carry you across the threshold of Heaven.” Or, again at 22 (p. 115), “How poorly will appear anything but a consuming operative faith in the person of Christ when He comes. How lost, alas, a life lived in any other light!” His entire life portrayed intense zeal for the Lord and His work. He wrote (Through Gates of Splendor [Spire Books], pp. 19-20), “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” That’s how God’s grace works. It saves us and then it trains and motivates us to be godly people in this present age, zealous for good deeds, as we look for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us. (How Grace Works Titus 2:11-14)
It has always been God’s purpose for His people to live godly and holy as a testimony to His own righteousness and holiness before the unbelieving world as in (Dt 26:18,19). Early in His ministry, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasized this same truth (Mt 5:16-note, Mt 5:48-note) as did Peter (1Pe 2:12-note). As Spurgeon once put it…
Spurgeon in his sermon entitled Good Works delivered on March 16, 1856 at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark declares…
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Good deeds are such things that no man is saved for them nor without them. - Thomas Adams
Good Watches -Some people are like good watches. They’re pure gold, open-faced, always on time, dependable, quietly busy, and full of good works. Source unknown
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Do All The Good You Can - At the church I attend, the Sunday morning service closes with a song based on John Wesley's words. We sing, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, to everyone you can, as long as you ever can--do all the good you can." I've come to appreciate these words as a fitting challenge to live like Jesus, who "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38).
In Paul's letter to Titus, there are several references to doing good. We are told that a church leader is to be "a lover of what is good" (Titus 1:8). Christians are to be "zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14) and "ready for every good work" (Titus 3:1). Believers must "maintain good works" (Titus 3:8).
People everywhere are hungry for the reality of a personal touch from God, and we as Christians can do something about that. The wonderful gift of the love of Christ, which was given to us when we trusted in Him as our Savior, was never intended to be kept to ourselves. It should break out in acts of love, kindness, help, and healing wherever we are and in everything we do.
It's a great theme song for every Christian every day--"Do all the good you can." —David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Follow with reverent steps the great example
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Heartprints - Dorcas… was full of good works and charitable deeds. —Acts 9:36
We leave fingerprints on doorknobs, on books, on walls, on keyboards. Each person’s fingerprints are unique, so we leave our identity on everything we touch. Some supermarkets are even testing a technology that allows customers to pay by fingerprint. Each customer’s unique print and bank account number are kept on file so that the only thing needed to pay a bill is a scan of their finger.
Just what do Christians look like?
KJV: These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Phillips: Tell men of these things, Titus. Urge them to action, using a reprimand where necessary with all the authority of God's minister - and as such let no one treat you with contempt. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: These things be constantly speaking and exhorting; and be rebuking with every authority. Let no one be despising you. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: these things be speaking, and exhorting, and convicting, with all charge; let no one despise thee!
THESE THINGS SPEAK AND EXHORT AND REPROVE WITH ALL AUTHORITY: tauta lalei (2SPAM) kai parakalei kai elegche (2SPAM) meta pases epitages: (speak Titus 1:13; 2:1 [ESV - says "teach" but it is literally "speak the things… "], 1Ti 5:13, 2Ti 4:2) (With all authority - Mt 7:29; Mk 1:22;27 Lk 4:36) (Reprove [expose to the light] - Mt 18:15, Ep 5:11, 13, 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13, Re 3:19)
These things - What things? Surely Titus 2:11-14, and probably even a reference to the entire chapter!
All four commands in this verse are present imperatives! Paul was filled with zeal when he wrote this charge to his young disciple, Titus.
Speak (2980) (laleo) originally referred to just sounds like chatter of birds, prattling of children and then evolved to describe the highest form of speech. Laleo is a present tense (continuous action called for) command (imperative mood) signifying Paul's charge to Titus to "Keep on speaking" On what basis? Because you have "all authority".
Compare to Jesus' charge to His disciples (including us today) - And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples (the only command in the "great commission") of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Mt 28:18-20)
Exhort (3870) (parakaleo [word study] from para = side of, alongside, beside + kaleo [ word study] = call) means literally to call one alongside, to call someone to oneself, to call for, to summon. Parakaleo can include the idea of giving help or aid but the primary sense in the NT is to urge someone to take some action, especially some ethical course of action. Sometimes the word means convey the idea of comfort, sometimes of exhortation but always at the root there is the idea of enabling a person to meet some difficult situation with confidence and with gallantry.
Kent Hughes illustrates the root idea of parakaleo "to come alongside and encourage" with the following example - I see this exemplified every time my church has a roller skating party, and the parents put their little ones on skates for the first time. Mom and Dad skate with their child, holding on to his or her hands, sometimes with the child’s feet on the ground and sometimes in the air. But all the time the parents are alongside encouraging… [exhortation] is a wonderful gift, and we are to place it at Christ’s feet and be willing to be worn out in its use.
Parakaleo is in also a present tense (continuous action called for = present imperative) command to "Keep on exhorting"… it may not always be well pleasing to those who are being exhorted, but it is always well pleasing to the Lord to obey this command
Spurgeon - As I have already reminded you, Titus was a young man; and people are apt to despise the pastoral office when it is held by a young man. Yet they ought always to respect it, whether it be held by a young man or an old man. God knows best who is most fitted for the work of the ministry: and those of us who are getting old must never look with any kind of scorn or contempt upon those who are commencing their service, for we, too, were young once. You cannot measure a man’s grace by the length of his beard, nor by the number of his years.
Reprove (1651) (elegcho is [also spelled elencho] related to elegchos = bringing to light) means to bring to the light (to reveal hidden things) with the implication that there is adequate proof of wrongdoing. To shame or disgrace and thus to rebuke another in such a way that they are compelled to see and to admit the error of their ways. To show someone that they have done something wrong and summon them to repent.
Elegcho was used in the Greek law courts not merely of a reply to an opposing attorney, but of a refutation of his argument. No one could prove any charges of sin against our Lord. No one could bring charges against Him in such a way as to convince Him that He was guilty. (because of course He wasn't)
Keep on reproving which describes an admonishing in such a way that the one reproved is convicted of his sin and is compelled to admit the error of his ways. Christian rebuke means far more than flinging angry and condemning words at a man. It means speaking in such a way that he sees the error of his ways and accepts the truth. Mt 18:15 ("reprove him in private") and Eph 5:11 ("expose" is elegcho) good pictures
There are 17 uses of elegcho in the NT - Mt 18:15; Lk. 3:19; Jn. 3:20; 8:46; 16:8; 1 Co. 14:24; Eph. 5:11, 13; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Jas. 2:9; Jude 1:15; Rev. 3:19
Authority (2003) (epitage from epitásso = appoint over, put in charge in turn from epí = upon or over + tasso = arrange, appoint, order, set in place) means literally one appointed over and came to refer to something that is in its proper order or place. Figuratively epitage was used of an authoritative directive, an order, an official command, a directive or an injunction.
Epitage is used 7 times in the NT and in the NAS is translated authority, 1; command, 3; commandment, 3.
The idea is to arrange upon and thus reflects a command imposed upon someone. Epitage stresses the authoritativeness of the command. Epitage denotes especially the direction of those in high office who have something to say.
In secular Greek epitage was used especially of oracles or divine commands (see note by Barclay below). For example in secular writings we read "according to commandment" (kat epitagen) on votive offerings which means "at the behest of the deity".
Epitage refers to a royal command that is not negotiable, but mandatory as illustrated in the 3 examples of the use of the related verb epitasso. One can better appreciate the force of the noun epitage by observing the use of epitasso (which in Greek was a military term the noun form used in the military sense of an “orderly array”) which describes for example Jesus' power over both supernatural forces and nature as shown below…
William Barclay writes that epitage "is the word Greek uses for the injunctions which some inviolable law lays on a man; for the royal command which comes to a man from the king; and above all for the instructions which come to a man either directly or by some oracle from God. For instance, a man in an inscription dedicates an altar to the goddess Cybele kat’epitagēn, in accordance with the command of the goddess, which, he tells us, had come to him in a dream. Paul thought of himself as a man holding the king’s commission." (Daily Study Bible Series)
Paul described his own authority (epitage) in the opening of his first epistle to Timothy writing…
Earlier in this letter Paul had issued a similar exhortation to Titus writing that…
In Paul's last words to Timothy he commanded his young disciple to…
LET NO ONE DISREGARD YOU: medeis sou periphroneito (3SPAM):
Disregard (4065) (periphroneo from peri = around, about or of, in sense of concerning or regarding + phroneo = to think, set one's mind or heart upon something -denotes the whole action of the affections and will as well as the reason) means literally to think around (on all sides) and then to depreciate, despise; to think above or beyond a thing, to ignore.
The idea is that thinking around something it usually for the purpose of evasion. Eventually, periphroneo came to be used almost exclusively in the negative sense of strongly disagreeing with an idea and of treating it with disrespect or disregard.
Note that periphroneo is a present imperative with a negative thus conveying the sense "stop letting others depreciate or despise what you are saying", implying that this was happening.
Paul's encouragement to Titus is that God’s truth is to be proclaimed with authority, and obedience to it demanded in the church. No disobedience can be tolerated or overlooked.
In a similar exhortation to Timothy Paul says "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (1Timothy 4:12) In 1Timothy 4:12 the verb for "look down upon" is different than that used in Titus. In the exhortation to Timothy it is kataphroneo (katá = down or against + phronéo = think) which means literally to think down upon or against and so to despise, think lightly of, neglect, not care for, hold in contempt or feel contempt for someone or something because it is thought to be bad or without value. The verb kataphroneo in Timothy is a stronger word of scorn, whereas the verb periphroneo used here in Titus implies the possibility of one making mental circles around one and so "out-thinking" him. Paul's point is - Let none of them look down on you. Don't let anyone think that what you say is not important.
Bryan Chapell writes that…
Illustration - When George Burns, known for his long career as a radio comedian and film actor, reached the age of eighty-five, he said, “I was always taught to respect my elders, and I’ve now reached the age when I don’t have anybody to respect.” Titus, however, faced the opposite problem. For him the challenge was one of earning the respect of those to whom he ministered. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote: “In religious matters it is holiness which gives authority.” We cannot control the way others feel about us, but we do have control over the way that we live. (Today in the Word)