Titus Chapter Two
I. Content of the Chapter
How Do God’s Workers Preach Sound Doctrine
I. The items that God’s workers themselves should take notice of
A. the things that they speak should be proper for sound doctrine (v.1)
B. they should show themselves to be a pattern of good works in all things (v.7a)
C. in doctrine showing integrity; sound speech that cannot be condemned (v.7b-8)
D. speaking the things that the salvation of God shall accomplish upon believers (v.11-15a)
E. exhorting and rebuking with all authority (v.15b)
II. God’s workers should give appropriate exhortation and teachings according to different targets
A. how to exhort the older men (v.2)
B. how to exhort the older women (v.3-4)
C. how to exhort the young women (v.4-5)
D. how to exhort the young men (v.6)
E. how to exhort bondservants (v.9-10)
II. Verse by Verse commentary
Tit. 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:”
YLT: “And thou -- be speaking what doth become the sound teaching;”
Meaning of Words: “proper for”: be good for, appropriate, right; “sound”: wholesome, healthy, safe and sound; “doctrine”: teaching.
Literal Meaning: “But as for you” the word “but” shows that it is opposite to the previous discussion about heretical teachers (See 1:10-14).
“Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:” “sound doctrine” indicates that sound teachings, i.e. the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and apostles, are the content of Christians’ faith.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Preachers should shepherd the flock of God by “the sincere milk of the word”, that they may “grow” thereby and become mature (See 1Pet. 2:2).
2) In order to guard against heresies, we’d better teach sound doctrine to all believers first.
3) God’s servants have the responsibility of rebuking those who speak the truth wrongly and pervert the truth for their errors (See 1:13) and moreover, it is their duty to think over carefully, observe the word of the Lord and standardize the things that they have preached correctly, that they will be proper for sound doctrine.
4) Preachers should have systematic and thorough study on the truth revealed by the Bible and regard sound doctrine as the standard to rule the church and teach believers.
5) The sound word of God is the center of believers’ faith and life and it is also the basis for dealing with all problems.
6) Sound teachings which are teachings that promote the spiritual health must bear the fruit of good behavior.
Tit. 2:2 “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;”
YLT: “aged men to be temperate, grave, sober, sound in the faith, in the love, in the endurance;”
Meaning of Words: “sober”: clear-headed, not drunk; “reverent”: honorable, grave; “temperate”: prudent, sound in mind; “sound”: wholesome, strong.
Literal Meaning: “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate” “the older men” is the masculine gender in the original and therefore it refers to male old ones; “sober” refers to keeping the judgment for propriety and not indulging oneself; “reverent” refers to being steady, earnest and honorable; “temperate” refers to being clam and composed and unwilling to be provoked. The previous virtues are all related to the wisdom accumulated through life experience.
Please note that there is not imperative verb in the second and third verses in the original and it is the gentle syntax. In Chinese Union Version the word “exhort” is added in translation because the whole sentence implies exhortation. However, when exhorting the older men and women, we should hold the humble attitude, lest their sense of self-respect be hurt.
“Sound in faith, in love, in patience;” “faith” stresses on the individual reliance upon God; “love” stresses on the affections towards men; “patience” refers to the ability to resist compression towards things; “sound” refers to the soundness in character and it is not only used to describe one’s state in faith but also in love and in patience.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) When preachers exhort the older believers, their attitude should be gentle and they should be careful in words and tones, that good effect will be achieved.
2) A more excellent way to deal with the teachings of error is the positive admonishment in the moral aspect (See v.2-6, 9-10) and teachings which encourage the spiritual growth (See v.12).
3) The older Christians should be experienced and calm in character and reach the peak of perfection and be flawless in the spiritual attainments.
4) When one grows upon into a senior, he should learn to know what kind of behavior would benefit him. The most terrible thing in one’s life is that he has learned nothing from his life.
5) The good behavior of life is not only the responsibility of the leaders of the church but also the virtue that every believer should have.
6) Christians do not live as recluses but live in the world and live a different life from the world (See 1Tim. 3:7).
7) The older believers should control themselves well because of their more abundant experience in life and faith and they should also look after the feelings of those around them.
8) If one truly draws near to God in his life, his faith will increase progressively with time and life experiences and won’t lose. Time makes our faith in God increase instead of decreasing.
9) The greatest danger that time brings to men is that they think themselves better than others because of experience so that they carp at others, lose compassion and even their love grow cold.
10) The trouble in one’s life is able to increase his ability to endure like steel-refining. The more experiences of troubles one has, the more power of longsuffering he will have.
Tit. 2:3 “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--”
YLT: “aged women, in like manner, in deportment as doth become sacred persons, not false accusers, to much wine not enslaved, of good things teachers,”
Meaning of Words: “likewise”: in the same way, in like manner; “reverent”: sacred, appropriate, devout; “teachers of good things”: teaching men to do good.
Literal Meaning: “the older women likewise” “likewise” is “in like manner” in the original. Here it means that the exhortations to the older men are also applicable to the older women.
“That they be reverent in behavior” “behavior” refers to walking, including the attitude and life style; “reverent” refers to being worthy of holiness and piety.
“Not slanderers, not given to much wine” “slander” refers to the groundless smear; “not given to much wine” refers to being enslaved by wine and it is worse than “not given to much wine” (See 1Tim. 3:8).
“Teachers of good things--” it refers to teaching men good things, especially teaching younger generation by personal example in the family (See 1Tim. 2:12). Please note that here it does not refer to teaching in the meeting.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Behavior originates from the inner character and therefore Christians must cultivate good spiritual character.
2) Behavior of mature women should be the natural expression of their inner life. It is not that they do one thing before men and another behind men.
3) The older women bear important responsibility both in the church and in the society and they are able to have great influence upon younger generation both in the positive and negative aspects.
4) It should always be the responsibility of Christians to use their experience to instruct and encourage others instead of hindering, threatening or dejecting them.
5) A common failing that the older women easily make is that they are stuffy, do whatever they want, clack, chatter away and are keen on rumors and slanders with interest.
Tit. 2:4 “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,”
YLT: “that they may make the young women sober-minded, to be lovers of husbands, lovers of children,”
Meaning of Words: “admonish”: train.
The Background: “that they admonish the young women” at that time women seldom had opportunity for receiving the formal education and the young women mainly received instructions from older women and followed their examples.
Literal Meaning: “that they admonish the young women” “admonish” is a kind of training in mind which makes them have sober mind and consider comprehensively and soundly in order to make the right decision. “The young women” refers to young married women.
“To love their husbands, to love their children” in the original is “lovers of husbands, lovers of children” and these are what God ordered women in the beginning (See Gen. 3:16). However, now women need to be revealed and trained to so that the normal functions will be fully brought into play.
Tit. 2:5 “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
YLT: “sober, pure, keepers of houses, good, subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be evil spoken of.”
Meaning of Words: “good”: dealing with men friendly and kindly; “blasphemed”: speak evil, profane.
Literal Meaning: “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good” “discreet” refers to controlling oneself and keeping a self-disciplined life; “chaste” refers to having good testimony in the moral life; “homemakers” refers to dealing with the work of the family diligently; “good” refers to dealing with household well with kind mood.
“Obedient to their own husbands” the word “obedient” is usually used to describe the attitude towards those who are above and the authorities; “their own husbands” are the heads of wives on behalf of Christ in the family (Eph. 5:22-24).
“That the word of God may not be blasphemed.” “The word of God” is the message of the gospel (See 2Tim. 2:9), i.e. the content of Christians’ faith; “blasphemed” refers to profaning. The whole sentence refers to making others not reproach the faith of Christians because of them.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) From Paul’s exhortation to young women (See v.4-5), we could know their responsibility to the family and family is their main sphere of activities.
2) The greatest work, responsibility and right in the world are to establish a family. None of the greatest careers in the world could compare the career of ruling the family.
3) “Homemakers” in the original means “making the family a family”. Unfortunately, too many so-called families are like hotels in which love and warm are lacked. It’s no wonder that they lose the witness that they should bear.
4) Believers should be kind to their family members, that the family would be full of harmonious atmosphere.
5) Begetting sons and daughters cannot hinder one from walking with God (See Gen. 5:22). In fact, the true pious life in the family cannot be found in other places.
6) Whether the word of God is taught rightly in the church could be checked out by whether the married sisters obey their own husbands.
7) If believers cannot show the quality of life that they should have in their daily life, the word of God will be humiliated. And therefore Christians should correct our behavior of life for the sake of the gospel.
8) Any behavior which causes men in or out of the church to censure, regardless of men or women, would make others question the faith of Christianity or debase its persuasion.
Tit. 2:6 “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,”
YLT: “The younger men, in like manner, be exhorting to be sober-minded;”
Meaning of Words: “sober-minded”: sound in mind, wholesome in thoughts.
Literal Meaning: the word “likewise” is “in like manner” in the original (it has not been translated in the Chinese Union Version). Here it means that the exhortations to young women in v.4 and v.5 are also applicable to the young men. However, “love their husbands” (See v.4) and “be obedient to their own husbands” (See v.5) should be “love their wives” and “loving their own wives” (See Eph. 5:24-25).
“Exhort the young men to be sober-minded” the word “exhort” is the word with order in the original and it means advising and admonishing; “sober-minded” indicates that one is able to control himself in the daily life and his walkings do not go beyond rules.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) He that rules his spirit is better than he that takes a city (Prov. 16:32).
2) The sober mind is one of the important virtues that Christians should have. A spiritual one is not an unwise one.
3) What young men should pursue first is being sober-minded------self-control. One has to learn to control himself, otherwise he cannot serve others.
4) “Being sober-minded” is the spiritual quality of keeping life safe. Men have defense because they are able to control everything.
Tit. 2:7 “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,”
YLT: “concerning all things thyself showing a pattern of good works; in the teaching uncorruptedness, gravity, incorruptibility,”
Meaning of Words: “show”: bring, lead to; “doctrine”: teaching; “integrity”: without impurities, purity, incorruptibleness, uncorrutedness; “reverence”: grave, sound.
Literal Meaning: “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works;” the word “in all things” in the beginning of this verse could also be used to describe “be sober-minded” in all things in v.6 and “showing yourself to be a pattern of good works” in all things in this verse; “good works” refers to good behavior.
“In doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility” “integrity” specially indicates that the motive is pure and sincere, without any sense of greed; “reverence” specially indicates that the attitude is sincere and grave, without frivolousness.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The trouble of religious believers is that “they say and do not” (Matt. 23:3)------they only teach others and are unable to teach themselves.
2) Teaching by personal examples is more important than verbal instruction. Those who serve God should not only teach sound doctrine but also set a good example with their own conduct to manifest the truth.
3) Men can be led by men and cannot be driven by men. And therefore leaders in the church should set good examples instead of issuing orders.
4) The pure and sound doctrine of preachers should include three elements: a) integrity------their motive and contents are pure, that they won’t corrupt others; b) reverence------their declaration and attitude are with dignity, that they are honorable; c) sound speech that cannot be condemned (See v.8)------their words and quotations are sound, so that they are impeccable.
5) Preachers must have upright motive: they preach not to show their own talents and wisdom to attract men to themselves but to attract them to turn to the faith.
6) Preachers must maintain the dignity of the Lord messengers. They should not let it be bought by fame or benefits but be faithful to the mission that the Lord has entrusted them.
Tit. 2:8 “sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
YLT: “discourse sound, irreprehensible, that he who is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say concerning you.”
Meaning of Words: “sound”: healthy, wholesome; “condemn”: blame, convict, accuse, sentence; “opponent”: contrary, hostile.
Literal Meaning: “sound speech that cannot be condemned” “sound speech” indicates that the speech they preach and the word they say daily all conform to the truth of the Bible; “that cannot be condemned” refers to not giving men any mistake to be attacked.
“That one who is an opponent” “who is an opponent” refers to those who preach heresies and Judaic legalists.
“May be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” “having nothing evil to say of you” on one hand refers to not leaving a flaw in “words” and on the other hand indicates that the expression of himself (See v.7) is impeccable.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Heretical teachers like carping in words and therefore preachers should pay attention to words and do not leave themselves open to attack to opponents.
2) Sound doctrine is the best vaccine to resist heresies because such doctrine has immunity which makes believers resistant to poison.
Tit. 2:9 “Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back,”
YLT: “Servants -- to their own masters to be subject, in all things to be well-pleasing, not gainsaying,”
Meaning of Words: “answering back”: gainsaying, retorting.
The Background: in the ancient times, slavery prevailed in the Roman Empire. Slaves could be bought freely in the market and masters had sovereignty over slaves and therefore the slaves at that time did not have the so-called “human rights”. In addition, many slaves turned to believe in the Lord Jesus at that time and “there is neither bond nor free” in the church (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). And therefore some believing slaves misunderstood that they were no longer under the bondage of their masters and had behavior unsuitable for their status and the social problems were brought about.
Paul, in his epistles, admonished the believing slaves to be still under the hand of their masters (See Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25). Apparently, he seemed to agree with the unreasonable slavery. But actually he did not agree with it. He did not take reforming the society as his duty but humbled himself under the domination of God, lest the mission that he had received from God be blurred------preaching the word of life and letting life play a role in men so as to change the unreasonable present situation naturally.
Literal Meaning: “Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters” “bondservants” refers to slaves at that time; “be obedient” in the original is reflexive and it refers to the voluntary obedience instead of the forced obedience.
“To be well pleasing in all things” indicates that all the behavior makes the master quite satisfied.
“Not answering back” “answering back” refers to not only the defiant reply of words but also the rude attitude.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The freedom of Christians is not the freedom of not being restricted by life and principle in the world. Contrarily, it is being under the system and order of men and manifesting the glory of Christ life.
2) Christians are not those who are not ruled by orders but “I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me” (Matt. 8:9).
Tit. 2:10 “not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”
YLT: “not purloining, but showing all good stedfastness, that the teaching of God our Saviour they may adorn in all things.”
Meaning of Words: “good fidelity”: good and faithful, fine and reliable; “adorn”: decorate, beautify; “doctrine”: teaching, instruction.
Literal Meaning: “not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity” “pilfering” refers to stealing. “Showing” according to the original, two words are put together and it refers to fully showing and showing in everything. “Good fidelity” refers to good performance expressed from inner hearts and all aspects of life are involved.
“That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” “God our Savior” indicates that God is the source of salvation (See 1:3) and He is the Savior of believers (1Tim. 4:10). The whole sentence shows that the good behavior of bondservants could be the beautiful adornment of the doctrine of God our Savior. It means that the good behavior of bondservants comes into being because they receive the doctrine of God and therefor it makes men give glory to the doctrine of God.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The motive that Christians do not do mean things is not that they are afraid of being punished but for bearing witness of Christians.
2) It is the extremely noble life that believers regard the word of God as the adornment of their life.
3) Good behavior is the fruit of the faith of Christianity (See Eph. 2:10) and it is classless.
Tit. 2:11 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,”
YLT: “For the saving grace of God was manifested to all men,”
Literal Meaning: “For the grace of God that brings salvation to all men” “all men” refers to all human beings; here “grace” refers to the perfect salvation, including redemption, remission of sins, justification, reconciliation, being born from above, sanctification, constantly being renewed and being transformed into the image of the Son of God finally.
“Has appeared” means that grace has been manifested among men through the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ (See John. 1:14, 17).
Tit. 2:12 “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,”
YLT: “teaching us, that denying the impiety and the worldly desires, soberly and righteously and piously we may live in the present age,”
Meaning of Words: “teach”: instruct; “deny”: abandon, reject, refuse, disavow; “soberly”: sober in mind, cautious, self-control; “righteously”: just, upright.
Literal Meaning: “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” the verb “deny” in the original is the past participle form and it refers to the “one-off” action. “Ungodliness” refers to not regarding God as God or letting Him have the way out upon us. “Worldly lusts” refers to regarding the worldly things as satisfaction and joyous lusts.
“We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” “soberly” stresses on towards ourselves; “righteously” stresses on towards others; “godly” stresses on towards God.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) God’s grace not only saves us forever but also teaches us how to live in the world nowadays.
2) Since Christians are children of God, we should reject the life style of not taking God to heart (ungodliness) and not make a concession to lusts of “worldly lusts”.
3) Believers should not only live a godly life but also reject worldly lusts in their inner motives.
4) When believers let the grace of God (See v.11) reign in their life, the former bad behavior will be replaced by godly life.
5) Believers should be determined to living godly and we cannot go so far to being caught unawares and falling into traps easily when allure comes.
Tit. 2:13 “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”
YLT: “waiting for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,”
Meaning of Words: “look for”: expect earnestly, raise one's head and look forward to.
Literal Meaning: “looking for the blessed hope” refers to earnestly waiting for what has been received by faith.
“And glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” only a definite article was used in this sentence, i.e. here “God” and “Christ” refer to one. And therefore “great God” could be regarded as the manifestation of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the appearing of God the Father has not been mentioned in any place in the New Testament. For this reason, some Bible exegetes held that it should refer to the appearing of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord Jesus is both a man and God. His first appearing brings salvation into the world and His second appearing brings the blessed hope to believers who love Him.
2) Christ humbled Himself in His first coming: He, standing in the position of sinners, was punished for our sins. And His second appearing is full of glory and He will bring us the blessed hope.
3) To Christians, the present world is temporary and in which the evil power prevails. And therefore in the world, Christians should have the behavior of new men in Christ on one hand and on the other we should yearn for the second coming of Christ who will bring in the blessed and glorious situation.
Tit. 2:14 “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
YLT: “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;”
Meaning of Words: “redeem”: ransom, deliver; “lawless”: iniquity.
Literal Meaning: “who gave Himself for us” It indicates that the Lord gave Himself for us, i.e. He gave Himself as a sacrifice to replace us to be crucified.
“That He might redeem us from every lawless deed” It indicates that its aim is to releasing us from sins (See Matt. 1:21), i.e. making us be justified.
“And purify” “And” refers to another aim; “purify” refers to making us be sanctified.
“For Himself His own special people” refers to “to Himself a special people” in the original. It refers to being the special people of God Himself (See Exod. 19:5; Deut. 7:6, 14:2, 26:18; 1Pet. 2:9).
“Zealous for good works” in the original refers to “those who are zealous for good works”.
This verse shows the procedure, achievement and aim of salvation:
1) the procedure: who gave Himself for us;
2) the achievement: He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify;
3) the aim: for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Tit. 2:15 “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
YLT: “these things be speaking, and exhorting, and convicting, with all charge; let no one despise thee!”
Meaning of Words: “all”: the whole.
Literal Meaning: “Speak these things, exhort” “these things” refers to the nature and aim of the salvation of God (See v.11-14); “speak”; “exhort”.
“And rebuke with all authority.” “With all authority” refers to using the spiritual authority from all aspects. “Rebuke” refers to correcting men by exposing their mistakes.
“Let no one despise you.” It means that do not let the other side despise his spiritual authority.
This verse shares four imperative verbs to point out how do God’s servants shepherd all the Saints:
1) “speaking”: the public declaration.
2) “exhorting”: the individual concern.
3) “rebuking”: the condemnation of the special case.
4) “letting no one despise”: the performance in common condition.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Life and Performance of Work that Various Kinds of Men should Have
I. The older men (male):
A. being sober (v.2a)
B. being reverent (v.2b)
C. being temperate (v.2b)
D. being sound in faith, in love, in patience (v.2c)
II. The older women:
A. being reverent in behavior (v.3a)
B. being not slanderers (v.3b)
C. not being given to much wine (v.3b)
D. being teachers of good things (v.3c)
III. The young women:
A. loving their husbands (v.4a)
B. loving their children (v.4b)
C. being discreet (v.5a)
D. being chaste (v.5b)
E. being homemakers (v.5b)
F. being good (v.5b)
G. being obedient to their own husbands (v.5c)
IV. The young men (male)------being sober-minded (v.6)
V. The Lord’s Workers:
A. in all things showing themselves to be a pattern of good works (v.7a)
B. in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility (v.7b)
C. sound speech that cannot be condemned (v.8)
D. speaking the salvation (v.15a)
E. exhorting (v.15b)
F. rebuking with all authority (v.15b)
G. letting no one despise you (v.15c)
A. being obedient to their own masters (v.9a)
B. being well pleasing in all things (v.9b)
C. not answering back masters (v.9c)
D. not pilfering (v.10a)
E. adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things (v.10b)
The Features of the Salvation of God
I. The salvation of God is universal------“the grace of God that brings salvation to all men” (v.11)
II. The salvation of God is in the present age------“teaching us…in the present age” (v.12)
III. The salvation of God is thorough------“gave…redeem…purify” (v.14 in the original the verbs are in the past tense)
The Great Message of the Grace of God
I. The grace of God brings salvation to men (v.11)
II. The grace of God teaches men how to live (v.12)
A. teaching men the things that they should abandon
B. teaching men the things that they should do
III. The grace of God teaches men to wait for the second coming of the Lord (v.13)
IV. The grace of God teaches men to know the death of Christ
A. redeeming us
B. purifying us
C. separating us to be His own special people
D. making us zealous for good works
V. The grace of God is the message which should be spoken (v.15)
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren