Thread: Titus 1
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Old 9th November 2010, 12:50 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Titus 1

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[Titus 1]
{1:1} Paul, a servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, in accord with the faith of God’s elect and in acknowledgment of the truth which is accompanied by piety,

Our knowledge of the truth must be accompanied by pious living in order to bear fruit in salvation.

{1:2} in the hope of the eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before the ages of time,

Lying is intrinsically evil because it is inherently contrary to the love of God who is Truth.

{1:3} which, at the proper time, he has manifested by his Word, in the preaching that has been entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior;

His Word is Truth, and so there can be no errors or falsehoods in Scripture or Tradition.

{1:4} to Titus, beloved son according to the common faith. Grace and peace, from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus is a fellow Bishop, but also subordinate to Paul, whose role was like a Cardinal or a Patriarch.

{1:5} For this reason, I left you behind in Crete: so that those things which are lacking, you would correct, and so that you would ordain, throughout the communities, priests, (just as I also ordained you)

Paul ordained Titus as a Bishop. Very early in the Church we see a clear distinction between the roles of Bishop, priest, and deacon.

{1:6} if such a man is without offense, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of self-indulgence, nor of insubordination.

Priests must be obedient to the Word of God, which is truth, and must live lives of self-denial.

{1:7} And a bishop, as a steward of God, must be without offense: not arrogant, not short-tempered, not a drunkard, not violent, not desiring tainted profit,
{1:8} but instead: hospitable, kind, sober, just, holy, chaste,
{1:9} embracing faithful speech which is in agreement with doctrine, so that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to argue against those who contradict.

A bishop must live a holy life, and also be able to teach doctrine effectively; it is not enough for him to be holy.

{1:10} For there are, indeed, many who are disobedient, who speak empty words, and who deceive, especially those who are of the circumcision.

The phrase 'those who are of the circumcision' refers to Christians who preached the heresy that the faithful must follow all the disciplines of the OT, including circumcision.

{1:11} These must be reproved, for they subvert entire houses, teaching things which should not be taught, for the favor of shameful gain.

The shameful gain that they sought, and that such as these still seek, is not only money, but also fame, influence, power, and an audience who adheres to their word, rather than to the Word of God.

{1:12} A certain one of these, a prophet of their own kind, said: “The Cretans are ever liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”

This is a description of the culture on Crete, and it is a fitting description of secular culture today: lying is not considered wrong, people behave in many ways more like evil beasts than noble men and women, they are lazy in pursuing what is good, and self-indulgent in all things, including food. Thus 'Cretans' can be understood as a figure for worldly persons today.

{1:13} This testimony is true. Because of this, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith,

The Bishops and priests should sharply rebuke secular society, and those Christians who follow secular ways rather than the way of Christ.

{1:14} not paying attention to Jewish fables, nor to the rules of men who have turned themselves away from the truth.

There are some theologians who preach the false claim that most of the stories of the OT are merely Jewish fables; this verse of Scripture rebukes them, but they refuse to listen. They interpret away any verses that would correct them.

{1:15} All things are clean to those who are clean. But to those who are defiled, and to unbelievers, nothing is clean; for both their mind and their conscience have been polluted.

Your conscience must be formed by prayer, self-denial, works of mercy, by the teachings of TSM; otherwise, your conscience will be polluted to your own condemnation.

{1:16} They claim that they know God. But, by their own works, they deny him, since they are abominable, and unbelieving, and reprobate, toward every good work.
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Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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