|Greek: doulous idiois despotais hupotassesthai (PPN) en pasin, euarestous einai, (PAN) me antilegontas, (PAPMPA)
Amplified: [Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
NLT: Slaves must obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Slaves should be told that it is their duty as Christians to obey their masters and to give them satisfactory service in every way. They are not to "answer back" (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Exhort slaves to be putting themselves in subjection to their own masters with implicit obedience in all things; to give them satisfaction, not crossing them (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Servants -- to their own masters are to be subject, in all things to be well-pleasing, not gainsaying,
|URGE BONDSLAVES TO BE SUBJECT TO THEIR OWN MASTERS: doulous idiois despotais hupotassesthai (PM/PN): (Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-25; 1Ti 6:1 6:2; 1Pet 2:18-25)
Exhort slaves to be putting themselves in subjection to their own masters with implicit obedience (Wuest)
Urge is not present in the Greek but is added by the NASB translators. The text reads literally "Servants -- to their own masters are to be subject".
Kitto on slavery in Paul's day - Roman Slavery.—Our limits will not allow us to enter into detail on the only kind of slavery referred to in the New Testament, for there is no indication that the Jews possessed any slaves in the time of Christ. Suffice it therefore to say, that, in addition to the fact that Roman slavery was perpetual and hereditary, the slave had no protection whatever against the avarice, rage, or lust of his master. The bondsman was viewed less as a human being, subject to arbitrary dominion, than as an inferior animal, dependent wholly on the will of his owner. The master possessed the uncontrolled power of life and death over his slave—a power which continued at least to the time of the emperor Hadrian. He might, and frequently did, kill, mutilate, and torture his slaves, for any or for no offence; so that slaves were sometimes crucified from mere caprice. He might force them to become prostitutes or gladiators; and, instead of the perpetual obligation of the marriage tie, their temporary unions were formed and dissolved at his command, families and friends were separated, and no obligation existed to provide for their wants in sickness or in health. (Slave - Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia)
Doulos conveys the idea of the slave's close, binding ties with his master, belonging to him, obligated to do his will and in a permanent relation of servitude to him. (Click or here for more discussion of doulos).
To be subject (5293) (hupotasso from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner, assign or dispose to a certain position or to a particular task) means to cause to be in a submissive relationship, to subordinate or bring one under the firm control of another. Hupotasso was a military term describing soldiers lining up under or rank under their authority. Hupotasso also referred to the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in such a way as to facilitate effective warfare.
In non-military use, hupotasso refers to a voluntary attitude of placing one's self under the authority of another. In the present context, the bondslave is exhorted to continually (present tense) place himself or herself (middle voice = reflexive or if passive to be subjected to) in subjection to the master who for the most part were pagans. Submission in such potentially adverse circumstances represents an act of faith. The born again bondslave would be trusting God to direct his or her life and to work out His purposes in His time. Clearly, there is a danger in submitting to others, especially if they have a different world view (pagan or Cretan in this case) for they might take advantage of us. Ultimately however their submission to their master, pagan or not, would reflect submission to God's authority and He is responsible for the care.
How is it possible to surrender one's rights to a master in authority? In Ephesians Paul writes that believers should "not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be (continually) filled with (controlled by) the Spirit" (Eph 5:18) and then should "be subject to one another in the fear of Christ" (Eph 5:21) Slaves filled with the Spirit would be enabled to obey the spirit of the law to the glory of God.
Masters (1203) (despotes) means lord or one with absolute, undisputed ownership of and unchallenged power over another. Five of the nine uses in the NT refer to the master of the house who had unrestricted authority. (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 1Ti 6:1, 2; 2Ti 2:21; Titus 2:9; 1Pe 2:18; 2Pe 2:1; Jude 1:4; Rev 6:10)
IN EVERYTHING TO BE WELL-PLEASING: en pasin euarestous einai (PAN):
"in all things; to give them satisfaction" (Wuest)
Everything (3956) (pas) means no exceptions. Notice it precedes the verb emphasizing the importance of "no exceptions" It means whether they treat you well or not. God's children are never to return evil for evil or insult for insult to anyone, so that they may show a proper opinion of their Father and the supernatural life He gives us to the lost world.
Why is this so critical that bondslaves (and all spiritual bondslaves of Christ) adorn (make attractive) the doctrine of God our Savior? In an article in Breakpoint entitled "Drawn to the Light - Why Muslims Convert to Christianity" read and be convicted/motivated…
Well pleasing (2101) (euarestos from eu = good, well + arestos = pleasing, desirable, proper, fit, agreeable from aresko = to please or be pleasing/acceptable to) means that which causes someone to be pleased. It is something which is well approved, eminently satisfactory, or extra-ordinarily pleasing.
Euarestos is used 9 times in the NT in the NASB (Rom 12:1f; 14:18; 2 Cor 5:9; Eph 5:10; Phil 4:18; Col 3:20; Titus 2:9; Heb 13:21) and is translated in the NAS as: acceptable, 3; pleasing, 3; well-pleasing, 3. Note that the predominant usage refers to well-pleasing to God and most often describes the goal of a believer's life.
These bondslaves are to be continually well approved, eminently satisfactory, or extra-ordinarily pleasing to their masters.
It is possible to obey externally, but not “from the heart” (Eph 6:6). It is possible to do a job grudgingly. This exhortation however would not be easy to comply with as some unsaved masters would not be thoughtful and would overwork their slaves.
In Romans we can see a sense of what euarestos means where Paul writes that the will of God is
God's will is well-pleasing because you cannot add anything to the will of God and in any way improve it. You could not take anything away from it and make it better. God's will is totally acceptable. And this is the attitude and actions Paul is calling for in servants here in Titus and in every saint in Romans 12 where he exhorts us
In using euarestos Paul borrows from Old Testament sacrificial language to describe the kind of holy living that God approves, a “living sacrifice” that is morally and spiritually spotless and without blemish, and which He finds well-pleasing.
In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul writes that
Paul's service on earth was designed to bring pleasure to the heart of his Lord, whether Paul was still here on earth or whether he was standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. To be well pleasing was Paul’s highest goal, and should also be for every believer.
Writing to the saints at Ephesus Paul encouraged them to be "trying to learn (idea of testing or proving to learn by clear, convincing evidence what is truly honoring to God) what is pleasing to the Lord." (Eph 5:10) In other words, these saints were to be putting every thought, word, and action to the test to discern "What does the Lord think about this?" "How does this appear in His presence?" Every area of our life should come under this searchlight, our… conversation, standard of living, clothes, books, business, pleasures, web surfing habits, friendships, sports, etc. The ultimate question should be… Will it be well pleasing (euarestos) to the Lord?
NOT ARGUMENTATIVE: me antilegontas (PAPMPA):
not answering again (KJV)
not talk back (NLT)
They are not to "answer back" (Phillips)
not crossing them (Wuest)
Not argumentative (483) (antilego from anti = against + lego = speak) literally speaking against. Modified by the negative particle it means simply not talking back (like my children used to do when they were young). The prohibition includes these ideas - not contradicting, disputing, refusing or disobeying. The present tense calls for this a habitual practice, which once again calls for dependence not one's self power but reliance on the Spirit's power!
A slave's service was to be rendered without sullenness and grumbling, without opposition or contradictions. Why? Verse 10 explains so that they might ''adorn" the doctrine of God our Saviour in every respect!
Steven Cole - Slaves should be subject to their masters, setting a godly example in their service, so that others will be attracted to the Savior (Titus 2:9-10).
For sake of time, I can only skim over the biblical view of slavery. While it was a legally recognized institution in the Old Testament, there were safeguards to protect slaves and means to emancipate them. In New Testament times, slavery was a longstanding and widespread institution in the Roman Empire. Often entire populations that had been defeated in battle became the slaves of the victors. By the first century, it has been estimated that up to one-third of the population of Rome were slaves.
The New Testament does not attack slavery as an institution, but it does reorder the relationship between slaves and masters, making all equal as brothers in Christ (Gal. 3:28). Paul commands masters to treat their slaves humanely, with justice and fairness, remembering that they, too, have a Master in heaven (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1; Philemon 16-17). He commands slaves to be obedient and render good service as slaves of Christ (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25). In our text, Paul gives five ways that slaves were to relate to their masters (whether Christian or pagan masters), and then the result of such behavior. While the parallel between slavery and being a modern employee is not exact (in spite of what you may think!), every Christian employee should exhibit these character qualities.
A. SLAVES ARE TO BE SUBJECT TO THEIR MASTERS IN EVERYTHING. (Titus 2:9)
“In everything” should be qualified by “everything that does not require disobedience to God.” For example, a Christian employee should not lie or engage in dishonest accounting practices to please an employer. But as long as it does not involve disobedience to God, a Christian should be subject to his employer.
As Paul states (Col. 3:22-24), “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do you work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” The words, “from the heart” and “heartily” show that attitude, not just grudging compliance, is required. If those words applied to slaves who were often under cruel, abusive masters, surely they apply to employees today who may have unreasonable, hard-to-please bosses.
We live in a society that feeds our sense of being victims. If we’re being treated unfairly, we will hear, “You don’t have to take that! Stand up for your rights! Threaten to sue that turkey of a boss! Organize a labor union and fight back!” But, to those who were true victims, to slaves who were often mistreated and abused, Paul says, “be subject to your masters in everything.”
As an employee, Scripture would permit you to go through proper channels to seek to get a difficult situation corrected. You may decide to take another job. But, before you tell off the boss and stomp out the door, remember that the testimony of Christ is at stake. Have you demonstrated submission to your boss? If not, to leave that job would be to dodge the lesson that God wants to teach you.
B. SLAVES ARE TO BE WELL-PLEASING. (Titus 2:9)
This refers to an attitude of cheerful service. The first one that we should seek to please on the job is the Lord. But, also, we should seek to please our employer. While there is nothing wrong with trying to do a good job in order to get a promotion or raise, our ultimate objective always should be to please Jesus Christ.
Some slaves may have been tempted to slack off or not to be so diligent to please a Christian master, thinking, “we’re all brothers in Christ.” But in 1 Timothy 6:2, Paul says that if slaves had believing masters, they should “serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved.” Sometimes Christians who work for Christians rationalize that they can witness or fellowship with other believers on company time, and that the boss won’t mind. That is only true if the boss has told you that it’s okay. If not, you need to work hard while you’re on the job and do your witnessing or fellowshipping after hours.
C. SLAVES ARE NOT TO BE ARGUMENTATIVE. (Titus 2:9)
They are not to talk back or “mouth off” to an employer or run him down behind his back, which would not demonstrate submission. If there is a proper forum at work to air grievances or offer constructive suggestions for improving working conditions, a Christian employee may do so (although he should always use wisdom and tact). But it is always wrong to oppose the boss or hassle him. Cheerful compliance without arguing should be a Christian employee’s normal response. (Lesson 7- Developing a Beautiful Body – Part 2 Titus 2:6-10 - Bible.org)
Amplified: Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: Not taking what is not theirs, but giving clear signs of their good faith, in all things doing credit to the teaching of God our Saviour.
ICB: They should not steal from them. And they should show their masters that they can be fully trusted. Then, in everything they do they will make the teaching of God our Savior attractive. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
NJB: and there must be no pilfering -- they must show complete honesty at all times, so that they are in every way a credit to the teaching of God our Saviour. (NJB)
Phillips: or to be light-fingered, but they are to show themselves utterly trustworthy, a living testimonial to the teaching of God our saviour. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Young's Literal: not purloining, but showing all good stedfastness, that the teaching of God our Saviour they may adorn in all things.
|NOT PILFERING: me nosphizomenous (PMPMPA): (2Ki 5:20-24; Lk 16:6-8; Jn 12:6; Acts 5:2,3 5:3)
not purloining (KJV)
they are not… to be light fingered (Phillips)
Not taking what is not theirs (BBE)
Not defrauding (DRA)
and there must be no pilfering (NJB)
Nor to steal by taking things of small value (Amp)
Not pilfering (3557) (nosphizo from nósphi = apart, separated) conveys the idea is stealing in small quantities or practicing petty theft. KJV translates it as purloin (from Middle English, to put away, misappropriate) which means to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust. Whereas pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts, whereas purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one’s own use or purposes.
The verb nosphizo is in the present tense (continuous action) and the middle voice which conveys a reflexive sense ("yourself"). With the negative particle (me) Paul is saying don't (continually) keep setting apart for yourself (reflexive) a part of that which has been entrusted to your care by your master. Don't embezzle or appropriate wrongfully some of the Master's goods for your own use as did "a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira" who after they had "sold a piece of property… kept back some of (nosphizo - Amplified adds "and wrongfully appropriated") the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back (nosphizo) some of the price of the land?" (Acts 5:2-3 for the consequences of their actions read Acts 5:1-11).
Nosphizo is used 3 times in the NT in the NASB (Acts 2x; Titus) and is translated as keep back, 1; kept back, 1; pilfering (KJV = purloin), 1.
Nosphizo means to keep back or misappropriate something for one's self that which should or does belong to someone else. This term was found in secular Greek writings in reference to embezzlement of public treasures. It speaks of secretly appropriating and setting apart for one’s self the property of another.
A notorious OT use of nosphizo is found in the Greek translation of the Hebrew (Lxx = Septuagint) passages in Joshua 7 where we read that ""the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban (a vow or pledge under which property or persons devoted to pagan worship were destroyed), for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some (Greek = nosphizo, Heb = laqah = grasped or seized) of the things (the spoils of battle including here a mantle, silver and gold) under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.” (Joshua 7:1)
From observing what happened to Ananias and his wife in Acts and to Achan and his family in Joshua, pilfering from the Lord is neither prudent or profitable!
Vincent says nosphizo means "Purloining (nosphizomenous). Only here and Acts 5:2-3. LXX (Septuagint), Josh. 7:1; 2Macc 4:32. Often in Classic Greek. From nosphi = apart. The fundamental idea of the word is to put far away from another; to set apart for one’s self; hence to purloin and appropriate to one’s own use. Purloin is akin to prolong: prolongyn or purlongyn “to put fer awey.” Old French, porloignier or purloignier. The fundamental idea of the word is to put far away from another; to set apart for one's self; hence to purloin (to take or carry away for one's self) and appropriate to one's own use.
Another source says nosphizo means to "separate surreptitiously or clandestinely for one's own use".
BUT SHOWING ALL GOOD FAITH: alla pistin pasan endeiknumenous (PMPMPA) agathen: (Ge 31:37;31:38 39:8 39:9; 1Sa 22:14; 26:23; Ps 101:6; Mt 24:45; L, 16:10; 1Cor 4:2)
but to show that they can be fully trusted (NIV)
but they must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good (NLT)
And they should show their masters that they can be fully trusted (ICB)
Instead, tell slaves to show their masters how good and completely loyal they can be" (GWT)
but giving clear signs of their good faith (BBE)
but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy (TLB)
but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout (Amp)
they must show complete honesty at all times (NJB)
Showing (1731) (endeíknumi from en = in, to + deíknumi = explain meaning or significance of something by demonstration) means to indicate by word or act. The present tense indicates this should be their habitual practice.
Regenerate, redeemed slaves are to be continually demonstrating, showing forth or manifesting words and works that show they are loyal and can be fully trusted. They were continually proving themselves to be faithful servants in everything they are entrusted with. In a parallel teaching to the Corinthians, Paul wrote that "it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy." (1Cor 4:2)
How might this spiritual dynamic work in everyday practice? Masters know that the slaves could and would steal and God says our sin will find us out so the masters surely knew who to trust with cleaning the expensive silverware and dusting the bottles of fine wine. The point is that when the master saw such integrity and fidelity in a slave, he would have been intrigued. What made this lowly man or woman tick different than the average slave who thought little of cutting off for himself a small portion of the fine rib eye steak the master & mistress were to dine on that night! Ultimately these pagan masters would see through the "beautiful lives" of these slaves, the beauty of the teaching about the the One to Whom the slave belonged. Let us conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel so that our lives would be like attractive ornaments that draw attention to the "Tree" of Calvary's love!
Matthew Henry writes that "Faithfulness in a servant lies in the ready, punctual, and thorough execution of his master's orders; keeping his secrets and counsels, dispatching his affairs, and managing with frugality, and to as much just advantage for his master as he is able; looking well to his trusts, and preventing, as far as he can, all spoil, or loss, or damage."
THAT THEY MAY ADORN THE DOCTRINE OF GOD OUR SAVIOR IN EVERY RESPECT: hina ten didaskalian tou soteros humon theou kosmosin (3PPAS) en pasin : (Mt 5:16; Eph 4:1; Php 1:27; Phil 2:15, 16; 4:8; 1Pe 2:12; 3:16) (1Ti 5:17; 6:1 6:3; 2Jn 1:9)
so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive (NIV)
Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way (NLT)
so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior (NRSV)
Then, in everything they do they will make the teaching of God our Savior attractive (ICB)
Then they will show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything they do (GWT)
in all things doing credit to the teaching of God our Saviour (BBE)
In this way they will make people want to believe in our Savior and God (TLB)
That (2443) (hina) is a purpose clause (see terms of purpose or result) explaining the purpose they are to behave as he has prescribed. That they might, in their lives, “beautify the Bible” (and thereby most importantly, the God of the Bible) making it (Him) attractive to unbelievers.
The Amplified Bible is especially expressive "So that in everything they may be an ornament (Ed: Think of ornaments on Christmas trees!) and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior (Amp)
Paul had similar instructions for Timothy writing
Adorn ("to ornament") (2885) (kosmeo from kosmos = adorning or order, ornament, decoration, adornment -- this root word gives us our English cosmetic something women use to "adorn" their face and make themselves more physically attractive) speaks of that which is to put in order. To make congruous, fitting or orderly. To decorate. To embellish (to make beautiful with ornamentation; to heighten the attractiveness of by adding decorative details)
Kosmeo conveys the idea of arranging something in proper order so as to give it symmetry, comeliness, and beauty.
In the present context kosmeo describes behavior that is in keeping with the simplicity, purity and beauty of our Lord Jesus, radiating from a new heart in Christ (Ezekiel 36:26, 27 = the New Covenant, cp Jer 31:31, 32, 33) and a new way of thinking enabled by the mind of Christ (1Cor 2:16). Kosmeo in the context of Titus 2:9, 10 specifically referred to the Spirit enabled behavior of bond slaves which was to be such that it caused the truth about God to be beautifully "decorated". The present tense indicates this was to be the slave's habitual practice, continually radiating the beauty of Christ in them the hope of glory (Col 1:27), for Paul well knew that the lost world was always looking for a flaw in professed Christ followers, whether they were slaves (cp employees today) or masters (cp employers).
In ancient times kosmeo was used of arranging jewels in a brooch, necklace, ring, or crown in a way that best displayed the beauty of the gems. So the idea is that the excellent behavior of the bond slaves (God's "jewels") would be seen and would make the "doctrine of God" "attractive" or beautiful to unbelievers (Mt 5:16-note and see illustrations in the notes below).
The noun kosmos reflects an ordered system where harmony prevails which helps expand the picture of what effect the behavior of a bond slave was to have on the doctrine of God. Pagans would see the "harmony" produced by this doctrine which would be in stark contrast to the disharmony and discord produced by the "doctrine of Crete" which led to lying, laziness, etc! Paul's exhortation has practical application to the lives of all believers (see more discussion of this point below, including illustrations).
BDAG summary of Kosmeo…
The English dictionary definition of the word adorn (Latin adornare from ad- ‘to’ + ornare = add luster) is interesting to ponder in light of the context of Titus 2:9, 10) = 1: to enhance the appearance of especially with beautiful objects (Adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself ~ a diamond necklace adorned her neck) 2 : to enliven or decorate as if with ornaments (people of fashion who adorned the Court) (Webster)
Adorn = to decorate or beautify. In the New Testament, the Temple (Luke 21:5), the monuments of the righteous (Matt. 23:29), and an empty house (Matt. 12:44; Luke 11:25) are all adorned. (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Kosmeo - 10x in 10v in the NAS = Mt 12:44; 23:29; 25:7; Lk 11:25; 21:5; 1Ti 2:9; Titus 2:10; 1Pet 3:5; Rev 21:2-note, Rev 21:19-note) and is translated: adorn, 4; adorned, 3; put in order, 2; trimmed, 1.
For example, Peter uses kosmeo to describe inner beauty of women in the Old Testament writing
Kosmeo - 9x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - 2Chr 3:6; Esther 1:6; Eccl 7:13; Jer 4:30; Ezek 16:11, 13; 23:40f; Mic 6:9
Wuest adds that
Doctrine (1319) (Didaskalia from didasko from dáo = to know or teach) is either the act of teaching or the thing taught. Titus is to encourage the believing slaves who have been taught sound doctrine to live it out before a watching world who is skeptical about the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The term doctrine in Scripture "is broader than a simple reference to information passed on from one person to another or from one generation to the next. Christianity is a religion founded on a message of good news rooted in the significance of the life of Jesus Christ. In Scripture, then, doctrine refers to the entire body of essential theological truths that define and describe that message (1Ti 1:10; 4:16; 6:3; Titus 1:9). The message includes historical facts, such as those regarding the events of the life of Jesus Christ (1Cor 11:23). But it is deeper than biographical facts alone. As J. Gresham Machen pointed out years ago, Jesus’ death is an integral historical fact but it is not doctrine. Jesus’ death for sins (1Cor 15:3) is doctrine. (Sound) Doctrine, then, is scriptural teaching on theological truths." (parenthesis added) (Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - online)
Believing slaves were to "embellish with honor" the doctrines of Christianity. The genius of the word picture of kosmeo is the fact that adornment should be that which is fitting, congruous, not diverse from one’s character. That is, the adornment (figuratively speaking - the character and behavior) of the Christian slave (or the Christian woman 1Ti 2:9) should be in keeping with the new creature they are in Christ (2Cor 5:17-note). They were not to be a saved person at heart and manifest the adornment of a lost person. They were to show by their good behavior that Christian doctrine was a "system" where order prevails. How are Christians doing in this regard in America as we enter the 21st century?
Titus 2:11 (note) begins with "for" (always stop when reading a text and you encounter a "for" and ask "What's it there for?" You are training yourself to study inductively and to meditate on the Scriptures!) which explains how such radical behavior is now possible for believing slaves and for all those who are now in Christ by grace through faith.
The Doctrine of God our Savior - Is this not another way to say "the Gospel" by which we are justified and then progressively sanctified daily? In the next verse this doctrine is linked with salvation (justification) (Titus 2:11) and then in the following verse with daily sanctification (Titus 2:12).
SOME SIMPLE PRINCIPLES
(In Behavior and in Dress)
God our Savior - 6 uses of this same phrase in the NAS = 1Ti 1:1 1Ti 2:3 Titus 1:3 Titus 2:10 Titus 3:4 Jude 1:25. (Compare Isaiah 12:2 "God is my Salvation")
Savior (4990) (soter from sozo = rescue from peril > from saos = safe; delivered) in the context of the Bible is our "soter" or our "Rescuer from peril and danger". Soter also describes One Who not only rescues and saves but Who heals, protects and preserves. This truth is not restricted to the NT, for Isaiah taught that "God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." (Isa 12:2-note)
The practical application of this truth is that God in Christ Jesus came to save us out of or from our sins, not "in" our sins. It follows that if there has been no life change (from Cretan to Christian so to speak), then there is no evidence of the life of the Spirit of God and of Christ within, for as Paul teaches "you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him… So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (see notes Romans 8:9; 8:12; 8:13). Are you by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body?
In every respect (3956) (pas) means no exceptions.
The truth of Titus 2:9-10 is applicable to all believers, for whether we are "bondslaves" (employees) or not, our lives are continually either adorning or besmirching the doctrine of God our Savior! I as have often quoted the words that I thought were those of St Francis of Assisi to "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." While it sounds good, it is wrong on two counts. First, there is no evidence that Francis ever made this statement and to the contrary Francis was known to be "quite a preacher, actually more along the lines of Jonathan Edwards or Billy Sunday than most of those who misquote him would like to think. Galli quotes Thomas' biography, "His words were neither hollow nor ridiculous, but filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, penetrating the marrow of the heart, so that listeners were turned to great amazement." Our man clearly spent a great deal of time using his words when he preached, “sometimes preaching in up to five villages a day, often outdoors. In the country, Francis often spoke from a bale of straw or a granary doorway. In town, he would climb on a box or up steps in a public building. He preached to … any who gathered to hear the strange but fiery little preacher from Assisi.” He was sometimes so animated and passionate in his delivery that “his feet moved as if he were dancing.” (FactChecker- Misquoting Francis of Assisi) Secondly, Paul was quite clear when he said that "faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Ro 10:17) and "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" (Ro 10:14) To be sure our visible witness is to be godly and engaging but it is not to be mute!
Two other "enlightening" NT passages that teach a similar truth about adorning the doctrine of God our Savior are…
Here are some other NT passages that allude to our Christian conduct as a vehicle for making the Gospel attractive to the spiritually dead and perishing world…
Steven Cole - SLAVES ARE NOT TO PILFER. (Titus 2:10) Pilfer means to misappropriate or embezzle money or goods for one’s own use. Slaves were often entrusted with managing a family’s funds or with purchasing supplies for the household. It would be easy to rationalize, “I’m living in poverty and they are living in luxury. They won’t miss a little bit if I use it for myself.” As an employee, it is easy to use the same kind of rationale for taking things from the company, especially if it is a large company or the government. But it is wrong.
SLAVES ARE TO BE LOYAL AND TRUSTWORTHY. (Titus 2:10) “Showing all good faith” means, demonstrating that you are a dependable, faithful worker. Your boss should know that if he gives you something to do, it will get done on time. He should know that you keep your word. You don’t pad expense accounts. You don’t goof off when you’re supposed to be working. You seek to help your boss and company succeed. If a slave behaved as Paul sets forth here, he would have stood out from the crowd. Most slaves resented their lot in life and fought back with a sulky attitude, an insolent tongue, petty thievery, or trying to get by with as little work as possible. The same is true of many workers today. But Christian workers should be obviously different. If they are, an obvious result will follow:
THE RESULT OF A SLAVE’S GODLY EXAMPLE WILL BE THAT THEY WILL ADORN THE DOCTRINE OF GOD OUR SAVIOR IN EVERY RESPECT. (Titus 2:10) - “Adorn” comes from a Greek word from which we get our word cosmetics. It means to arrange in an orderly manner so as to enhance beauty or attractiveness. Paul means that Christians should order their lives with godly behavior so that the world will be attracted to our Savior. Our main motive should be to honor and glorify Him. This means that you need to think about your behavior and attitude, especially on the job. How will it make others think about the Savior that you profess to follow? Your life must be the foundation for any verbal witness. If your life is not an example of godliness, as Paul spells out here, don’t let anyone know that you are a Christian! If you do, you will dishonor the name of Christ and give excuses to unbelievers to continue in their sins. While you do need a consistently godly life to beautify the gospel, you don’t have to be perfect. If that were the requirement, none of us could ever be a witness! But when you fail, you need to confess your sin and ask forgiveness of those you have wronged. That also shows the reality of the gospel in your life, and it can be a powerful witness.
Conclusion - An evangelist preached a strong message on the text, “You shall not steal.” The next morning, he got on a bus and gave the driver a dollar bill for his fare. Counting his change, he discovered that he had received a dime too much. He could have thought, “No big deal,” and pocketed the dime. But instead, he went to the driver and said, “You gave me a dime too much.”
The driver said, “Yes, I know. I did it on purpose to see what you would do. Last night I was in your audience and heard your sermon. I’ve always been suspicious of Christians. So when I recognized you this morning, I thought, ‘If he practices what he preaches, I’ll go hear him again tonight. But if he keeps the dime, I’ll know he’s a fake.’” The man did go back to the meetings and was wonderfully saved. A ten-cent testimony won him to the Lord (from “Our Daily Bread,” Fall, 1978).
God wants you to beautify your life by godly behavior so as to attract others to the Savior. God’s beauty program starts when you repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. If you haven’t started yet, why not now? (Lesson 7- Developing a Beautiful Body – Part 2 Titus 2:6-10 - Bible.org)
ILLUSTRATION - During the Spanish conquest of Mexico under Hernando Cortez in the early 1500s, a resistance leader named Hatney was captured after a fierce battle and sentenced to be burned alive. After tying him to the stake, his captors urged him to become a Christian so that at his death his soul might be given an entrance into heaven. He asked his tormentors if they expected to go to this place. On being told that they did, he cried out, “Then I will not be a Christian, for I would not again go to a place where I would find men so cruel!” - H. V. Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Let the acts of the offspring
A Living Letter Adorns the Doctrine of God our Savior - Believers exert a positive influence on others by setting a good example with the consistency of their lives. Will Houghton, president of Moody Bible Institute during the 1940's, was such a person.
We can preach a better sermon with our lives
The Gospel According To You…
SPEAK AND DO - In ancient Greek dramas, a person behind a curtain spoke the lines while the performer on stage acted out the role. We might refer to the speaker behind the scenes as the one who didn't "practice what he preached."
When actions and words agree,
The positive motive, to make God’s message attractive, and the negative motive, to keep God’s teaching from being slandered, ought to control our lives.
Robert Layton (1853) wrote that
Alexander Maclaren the great Scottish preacher offered this sobering reminder…
The bottom line then in evangelism is not what we say, it is what we do. Someone has said that
J. H. Jowett rightly said that
Fine living is not only a fine argument, it is also an effective silencer of bad men.
W E Vine commenting on Titus 2:9,10 wrote that a relationship with Christ
D Martyn Lloyd-Jones commenting on Titus 2:9,10 wrote that…
G Campbell Morgan wrote that in this section there
A W Pink wrote that…
Cornelius Tyre comments that Titus 2:10 is like a "Second Edition of the Written Scriptures"
Bishop J C Ryle…
Theodore Cuyler on "Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way." Titus 2:10…
John Flavel (1628-1691) wrote…
James Smith (The Book That You Want) wrote that
Coldness and lukewarmness in the ways of God, are peculiarly offensive to our Lord and Savior; for if anyone deserves our whole hearts, if anyone ought to have the whole of our energies — it is Jesus!
We should be zealous for the truth of the gospel.
It is …
"That they may adorn the teaching
We should zealously adorn the Gospel.
We ought to be living expositions of the truth!
In our conduct — the nature and tendency of the Gospel ought to be seen!
God calls for it.
FROSTED BELLS! - Pastor Raymond Biddle shared the following experience with me in a letter. He wrote, "Our church has a good, clear-ringing bell. But yesterday we were ashamed of it. The first dull sound sent me looking for the bell ringer, who soon found out what was wrong. Nearly an inch of snow and sleet had blown on it during a night storm, and it was thoroughly encased in ice. What a poor call to worship it gave! Then the Lord impressed on me the thought that Christians often become sheathed in the sound-deadening things of the world. As a result, their witness becomes `ice-encased'.
The devil rejoices when Christians are drawn away from the Lord and their testimony is dulled by an accumulation of worldly attitudes and actions. Some of the "ices" that encase believers are pride, jealously, materialism, hatred, lying, gossip, envy, and all the other sins that characterize our old nature. The best way to keep from becoming "iced up" is to keep "fired up." This is accomplished through prayer, the study of God's Word, and regular fellowship with other believers.
Do you need a good spiritual "thaw"? Let your testimony sound forth loud and clear! Richard W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Oh, may our lives ring loud and clear
KEEP ON WRITING - The following poem written by Paul Gilbert is intended to encourage us as Christians to be persuasive, flesh-and-blood testimonies for our Savior.
You’re writing a “gospel,” A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, By the words that you say;
Men read what you write, Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the “gospel” According to you?
Sometimes, however, our writing is done with scratchy pens. Maybe it’s badly blurred and so illegible that God’s message can’t be deciphered.
Hannah More, an outstanding witness for the Gospel in 19th-century England, sometimes felt discouraged about the quality of her spiritual penmanship. Although she organized schools for the unevangelized poor and wrote many tracts and hymns, she had a low opinion of her effectiveness. This was her self-appraisal:
God is sometimes pleased to work with the most unworthy instruments—I suppose to take away every shadow of doubt that it is His own doing. It always gives me the idea of a great author writing with a very bad pen.
Yet we need not be discouraged. God, the great Author, is able to use even scratchy pens like you and me to communicate His message to people around us. Regardless of how we appraise our penmanship, let’s prayerfully keep on writing (Ed: Keep on adorning the Gospel of God our Savior!). -- Vernon C. Grounds
We're not called to work for God,
but to let God work through us.
WALKING OUR FAITH (aka "Adorning the Doctrine of God") - Often we Christians are urged not just to "talk the talk" but to "walk the talk." The same advice may be expressed in these words:
Don't let your behavior
At other times we are admonished to be sure that life and lip agree. If our conduct doesn't harmonize with our confession of faith, however, that discrepancy nullifies the testimony of the gospel which we proclaim.
As far as we can know, Mahatma Gandhi never became a Christian, but he made a statement that we who follow Jesus would do well to ponder. When asked to put his message into one short sentence, he replied, "My life is my message."
Certainly we should explain the gospel message as clearly as possible. Yet the clearest explanation isn't going to win hearts for our Lord unless His love is embodied in our lives. To quote the apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 11:1, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." And holding himself up as a pattern, he wrote in Philippians 4:9, "The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."
Pray, then, that like Paul we may live out our saving faith before the watching world.—Vernon C Grounds (Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me—
LIVING STONES - I’ve seen a number of recent reports about efforts to remove monuments with the Ten Commandments from public places in the US. It’s regrettable, for the monuments celebrate righteousness, and “righteousness exalts a nation” (Pr 14:34). I believe that removing these reminders is a reflection of our crumbling moral foundations.
God's laws engraved on our hearts
W Grant (in notes on 2Corinthians but applicable to Titus 2:10) describes…
HOW WE MAY SO USE THIS EPISTLE (referring to the believer a letter written by Christ) THAT IT MAY SERVE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT WAS WRITTEN.
We may commend Christ —
1. With our lips. Our conversation may be an epistle to make known His praises. The circulation of the epistle written with ink — the printed Bible — is our duty. Even so it is our duty to publish the living epistle. It was intended to be an open letter, known and read of all men. How many are there with whom we daily associate who never read the written Bible, the only hope of whose salvation is that they may read or hear the living epistle! By our silence we conceal that epistle from them, and leave them to perish.
2. By our lives. It is in vain that we speak of Christ with our lips if our lives belie our words. Our actions, like a pen full of ink, trace certain characters, leave certain impressions on the mind and memory of those who see them. In beholding our actions, have men been led to say of us, “These men have been with Jesus”?
3. By our character. A man’s outward manner may be in direct opposition to his inward character. To be true epistles of Christ we must reflect His image, not in word only, or in action, but in our dispositions and desires. (W. Grant.) (The Biblical illustrator; or, Anecdotes - Page 72)
Letting the light of God shine through - One Sunday on their way home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the preacher's sermon this morning confused me." The mother said, "Oh? Why is that?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that's true honey." "And he also said that God lives in us? Is that true, Mommy?" Again the mother replied, "Yes." "Well," said the little girl, "if God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn't He show through?" (Amen! or Oh my!)
Dr. Timothy Beougher writes that…
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When Benjamin Franklin decided to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, he hung a beautiful lantern on the end of a long bracket attached to the front of his house," wrote Cole D. Robinson in World Horizons.
Lets not only follow good examples, let's be good examples.
Some of us are the only Christian in the place where we work. Others stand alone as believers in our homes or classrooms. If we live according to the clear light of God's Word, God will dispel the darkness, the Savior will be pleased, and others will be attracted to the light.—H G Bosch
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THE POWER OF LIGHT - Some of us may not especially enjoy poetry. But often a few lines of verse will grip our imagination, as do the following by Francis Thompson: “The innocent moon, which nothing does but shine, moves all the laboring surges of the world.”
SHINE! - Author Anne Lamott once wrote that the people she admires have “purpose, heart, balance, gratitude, joy… They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of their own candle; they are part of something beautiful.”
In my experience, such people are not simply religious. They are committed disciples of Christ. Jesus explained why His followers have a sort of luminous quality. “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Believing in Jesus as our Savior, we now can light up the world. We are told, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
This doesn’t mean we must always display an artificial cheerfulness. Many of us don’t possess a sunny disposition. We may struggle with moods of depression. We may have to battle melancholy. But in the Holy Spirit’s power, we can be like the Christians to whom Paul wrote, “You shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). As Francis of Assisi put it: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace! Where there is hatred, let me sow love; … where there is darkness, light.”
Just as the moon reflects the radiance of the sun, so we who believe and follow the Savior can reflect Him who is the light of the world. -- Vernon Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
SHINE WHERE YOU ARE - The name of Peter Carter is probably unknown to most people today. He was a 19th-century American Presbyterian pastor. He wasn’t as famous a pulpiteer as Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He didn’t write great works of theology like his contemporary Charles Hodge. He never achieved the international recognition of Henry Ward Beecher of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. But he lived his faith in such a way that he encouraged hundreds of people to trust and serve Jesus Christ. Carter radiated the Savior’s love to children as well as to adults.
For example, a visitor asked some of the children in Carter’s Sunday school if they knew the Good Shepherd.
Missionary-statesman Robert E. Speer said,
Even if we think of ourselves as rather ordinary believers, all of us can by God’s grace be shining lights that “glorify [our] Father in heaven” and point people to the Savior (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14, 15, 16). We too can be flesh-and-blood evidence that the gospel is true. - Vernon Grounds (Ibid)
LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS - I once read about a woman who felt very much alone at her workplace because she was the only Christian. She was often ridiculed for her faith and accused of being narrow-minded. Finally she became so discouraged that she considered quitting her job. Before doing that, however, she talked with her pastor. After listening to her complaints, the minister asked, “Where do people usually put lights?” “In dark places,” she replied.
She quickly recognized that her place of work was indeed a “dark place” where “light” was vitally needed. So she decided to stay where she was and become a stronger influence for Christ. It wasn’t long before a number of her fellow employees—13 of them, in fact—came to know Christ as their Savior.
As “lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15), we who are believers in Christ have the privilege of illuminating its dark places. Although we are not of the world, we are in the world. We must not allow ourselves to be shaped by its pressures; instead, we are to exert our influence on it.
If you are in an unusually difficult and ungodly atmosphere, call to mind Christ’s words, “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). Remember, it’s the dark places that need the light. —R W De Haan (Ibid)
LIGHTS IN THE WORLD - It’s easy to see that we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15). We are continually reminded that we live in a fallen world by our own sinful tendencies, by newspaper headlines that report horrifying crimes, and by a society that is growing accustomed to gross immorality.
Against this backdrop of darkness, followers of Jesus are told to be “lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). Yet our conduct often reflects a dim and distorted image of Him. That’s why Paul warned us against “complaining and disputing” (Php 2:14) and urged us to put our salvation to work with reverence for God (Php 2:12, 13).
We may wonder why the apostle didn’t mention something more scandalous than complaining. But relatively few of us are guilty of “headline” sins, while all of us have been guilty of the smugness, pride, and self-centeredness that erupts in murmuring and quarreling. And these “lesser” sins can be just as destructive.
Paul knew that we need to be spiritually alert to evil and nip it in the bud. By heeding these exhortations we will “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault” (v.15). Then we will be sure to shine as lights in this dark world. --Herbert Vander Lugt (Ibid)
John Angell James has the following thoughts on Titus 2:20…