Titus Chapter 02

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The Letter to Titus CHAPTER 2
Positive Exhortations and their Doctrinal Basis
2:1-10 € Mutual Relationships in the Ecclesias Verse 1:  "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine": It is a great mistake to think that organisation of itself produces a spiritually sound ecclesia. It is true for the ecclesia as for us individually that we should:

"Let our ordered lives confess The beauty of Thy peace."

Order, however, is not a question of rules and regulations, though no human society can do without them. But as the Apostle says in effect in 1 Timothy 1:7-10, law is good if it is recognised for what it is, a means of regulating things when they go wrong: "The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." The disciplined man or woman cultivates a respect for the right and the good as part of a whole way of life. Titus was to set the example himself € this is enlarged upon in verse 7 € and, in sharp contrast to the unruly and vain talkers ("But thou ...") was to proclaim only that which would be for the spiritual health of the ecclesias. Like Timothy, by taking heed unto himself as well as to his teaching, he would both save himself and them that heard him (1 Timothy 4:16).

In the earlier days the Apostle had, as a "wise masterbuilder", been concerned with the building up, or edifying, of the body of Christ as the house of God (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 4:12-16). Now his great emphasis is upon keeping the ecclesia healthy as a spiritual body, and he uses the verb hugiainein (compare "hygiene"), 'to be sound or healthy', and the adjective hugies frequently in these Pastoral Epistles, always in the context of doctrine or faith. It is used nowhere else in the Bible with this connotation. The complete list of references is as follows: 1 Timothy 1:10; 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9,13; 2:1,2,8. In view of the frequent reference to be made in the following verses to "sound doctrine", and to the words sophron and sophro nizein, 'to be temperate', please see the commentary on the earlier passages. For a discussion of the word prepein, 'to become', see Essay 46.

Verse 2: "That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate . . . ": The very words used, presbutas, and its feminine counterpart presbutidas in verse 3, show us clearly that Paul is not speaking here about ecclesial elders but about the older members of the ecclesia. There is, of course, a connection between the two since the elders would normally have been recruited from amongst the older, though not necessarily the aged, men. Certainly in Israel there was a respect due to people of advancing years as well as that which it was proper to pay to anyone in a position of authority. There were sound spiritual reasons for this, to which we have already alluded. In this passage, however, the Apostle is com manding Titus to see that by their influence and example the older members of the ecclesia set the very highest standards.

We shall gain a clearer concept of the force of the Apostle's exhortation here if we follow the play upon the word sophron in verses 2-6. With the primary meaning in Classical Greek of "a command over bodily passions, a state of perfect self-mastery in respect of appetite", sophron is usually translated as "sober". In Titus 2:2 it is "grave"; in a verb-form in verse 4 it is "teach to be sober", followed by the ordinary adjective ("discreet") in verse 5. Finally in this sequence, another verb-form is "to be sober-minded" in verse 6. Paul uses it to indicate a true sense of responsibility in the disciple in both his personal and ecclesial life. So then we may paraphrase the main thrust of the command to Titus as follows:

"Teach the older men to behave responsibly, the aged women likewise, so that they may inculcate a sense of responsibility in the younger women, who will then also be responsible in their behaviour, and the young men must have the same responsible attitude."

The Practical Effects on Behaviour
We may now consider the practical effects on personal behaviour which such a sense of responsibility in the disciple's calling should produce.

"The aged men" were to be "sober" or "temperate" (nephalios). The adjective was briefly discussed in connection with the list of qualifications for eldership (1 Timothy 3:2,11, the only other known uses of the word). Primarily the word refers to temperance with respect to wine, but here and in 1 Timothy it is extended to every aspect of self-control, both for a "bishop" and for a deacon's wife. It is especially appropriate in Titus, for it contrasts the saint's behaviour with the celebrated gluttony of the Cretan (1:12) and with general Greek moral standards. Semnos, 'grave' or 'honest', has also been discussed in connection with its noun, semnotes, in 1 Timothy 2:2; 3:4,8,11.
"Sound in faith, in charity, in patience": The above qualities were to be enriched by a healthy commitment to the faith (see above on hugies etc.), a stability not easily shaken by the sensations of novelty such as troubled the ecclesias, notably in Crete and in Ephesus, in the second half of the century. The helpful note on the word hugiainontas in this verse, which Spicq offers in Les Epitres Pastorales, is worth reproducing here: "(The older men) were in short to display a healthy morality befitting men who have reach ed maturity (hugiainontas, cf. 1:13; contrast with noson ('sick'), 1 Timothy 6,4; and asthenounta ('weak in the faith'), Romans 14:1). The nuance of the word is that of vigour and strength € appropriate for men whose physical strength is declining." Verse 3: "The aged women likewise . . .": This verse contains several "oncers" € the words for "aged women", "behaviour" and the single word (hieroprepeis) for "as becometh holiness". The Apostle's emphatic use of "likewise" here, as in 1 Timothy 2:9; 3:8,11, indicates that the older women were to practise the same virtues as the men, but adapted more specifically to their nature and calling.
We have already dealt at some length with the complementary roles of brethren and sisters in the ecclesia, when discussing 1 Timothy chapters 2, 3 and 5. All of this material throws valuable light upon the current passage. The word hieroprepeis is worth special mention, however, since it is plainly related to the verbprepein, 'to become', discussed in Essay 46. In a sense it sums up all the demeanour and spiritual deportment of the saints, whether men or women: they behave as people manifesting that ' 'holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). It is perhaps appropriate that the single use in Scripture of the word should be applied to aged women in particular, since Paul manifests a great respect for them as well as showing a deep sensitivity towards the emotional side of the feminine nature. He, like Peter (1 Peter 3:1-7; the whole passage together with Ephesians 5 forms a useful commentary on these verses in Titus), understands the woman's natural preoccupation with the question of adornment, a concern which "The Virtuous Woman" of Proverbs 31 extended to all her family. Both apostles exhorted sisters to concentrate upon that adornment which would have permanent results, so that even though time might take its toll of physical appearance the older folk could, in their work and worship, manifest "the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2; 96:9).

They were also to be "teachers of good things". The word kalodidaskalos (another "oncer") is, like heterodidaskalein ("other-teach" in 1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3), apparently unique in all Greek literature to the Apostle Paul. The coining of both words especially for these Letters shows the great importance laid upon sound teaching in both the moral and the doctrinal spheres if the health of the ecclesia is to be maintained. "Other-teaching" and the significance of the word "good" {kalos), "the quality of beauty and nobility that springs from excellence", is discussed at some length.

Verse 4: "That they may teach the young women . . .": The wisdom and propriety of this command to Titus are as apparent as in the similar instruction to Timothy, especially against the background of social conditions in Crete. The purpose of this spiritual education was to guide the younger women in their true role in a community in which there were no distinctions in status but only of function:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in
Christ Jesus."    (Galatians 3:28)

The above passage has its counterpart in Colossians 3:11, where it is immediately followed by those injunctions for husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, which declare that the spiritual life is to be expressed in all the varied circum stances of daily living. That this is so becomes evident in what follows in our Titus passage.

Preserving the Honour of Their Calling
"That the word of God be not blasphemed": Once more this important principle is set before the members of the ecclesias, this time for the benefit of the younger sisters. A similar caution with respect to "the name of God and his doctrine" was given to servants in their behaviour towards their masters (1 Timothy 6:1).
Throughout these Letters great emphasis is laid upon the disci ple's reputation amongst those outside the ecclesia, for the sake of the honour and glory of the Lord God Himself. Isaiah had said of Israel's behaviour in the sight of the surrounding nations:

"For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought... Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed:'    (Isaiah 52:3-5)

In Ezekiel the message is equally clear:
"And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land ..." (Ezekiel 36:20,23)

Such passages were no doubt in the mind of the Apostle Paul when, apparently in an ecclesial context of tension between Jew and Gentile disciples, he pointed out the terrible consequences of making a profession of righteousness which was not matched by appropriate conduct:

"For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written."    (Romans 2:24)

We may well ask, therefore, Why in the immediate context should this principle be emphasised for the young women? Essay 47, will offer an answer to this and some related questions.

Verse 6: "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded": As in verse 3 the "likewise" is emphatic, showing that the exhortation to one section of the ecclesia was in effect an exhortation to all: their "sense of responsibility" would ensure that the high standard set by the Head unto which they were all to grow up would be exemplified in conduct appropriate to the age and condition of each individual member.

At a time when the debate rages in the outside world as to the extent to which "the church" should pronounce upon, or involve itself in, political or social affairs, and all kinds of ecclesiastical decisions are being made in the name of "equality" and "human rights", it is refreshing to be reminded so forcefully that for the first century disciple Christianity was to be a spiritual force rather than a social or political one, concerned with eternal and not temporal affairs.

2:7-8 € A Personal Charge to Titus

Verse 7: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works": The sound judgement shown by the Apostle in selecting his men is frequently underlined in these Letters. The choice was critical, for both Timothy and Titus would have to display in themselves all the qualities which they would exhort others to cultivate. The "pattern" (tupos, 'type') is almost equivalent to what we would call a template, an exact outline from which identical shapes can be fashioned. The "good works" are not simply acts of charity in the modern sense, although these may well be included, as has already been amply discussed (1:16). That there was a doctrinal basis for them is evident from what follows.

"In doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity": The Revised Version has "in thy doctrine", showing that Titus's didaskalia, or manner of teaching, was to reinforce its content, the "sound speech" or logos hugies of the next verse. By taking heed to himself in this way he would, like Timothy, both save himself and them that heard him (1 Timothy 4:16). In all true teaching, especially that of the Gospel, the enthusiasm, straightforward demeanour and integrity of the teacher should shine through.

Verse 8: "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned": There could be only one foundation upon which Titus was to build his teaching: the apostolic deposit of the faith which, in controversy, would not represent his own opinion but the authoritative message of the Gospel as a basis for belief and conduct. Such a teacher, like his very words, must then be akatagnostos, 'not open to just rebuke' (a New Testament "oncer", found elsewhere only once in the apocryphal Old Testament).

"That he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed": There were many "of the contrary part" in both Ephesus and Crete. Amongst them were "the vain talkers", "the other-teachers", the preachers of "the cankerous word" and those who delighted in "word battles". In reply to the healthful teaching and irreproachable conduct which Paul enjoined upon Titus and all who heard him, such adversaries could find "no evil thing to say of you". If we follow the Revised Version here ("no evil thing to say of us") we see that Paul is in effect commending a course which he had proved for himself by experience. The word for "evil", phaulos, always implies evil deeds rather than words, so Titus's good works (kala erga) were to be truly "the beauty of holiness", the right conduct which was the index of true belief.

2:9-10 € A Special Exhortation to Slaves
Verse 9: "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters": The foregoing exhortations affected primarily relationships within the ecclesia, although those for married women were to be followed even when they had an unbelieving partner, in the spirit of what Paul had written to the ecclesia at Corinth (1 Corinthians 7:13-16). The lowest and most despised class in society, however, had to live out their lives as the property of someone else. The reader is referred to Essay 18, for a brief discussion of the responsibilities of Christian slaves who had believing masters. The addition of the word "own" in this passage seems to suggest that here we have more specific instructions for those with unbelieving masters.

"To please them well in all things: not answering again": Arduous though his lot might be, the Christian slave was not to vent his feelings by grudging service or truculence, as was only too com mon amongst slaves with easy-going masters or even those with harsh lords if driven to desperation. The disciple's attitude to those in any kind of authority € whether parents, magistrates, lords or kings € was not dependent upon the worthiness of the superior but upon the principle that honour and respect to them rested upon a divine obligation. The simple sanction for most of the precepts regulating such things in Israel € obedience to parents, rising up before "the hoary head", purity and chastity in all forms € was "I am the LORD". The slaves' service to difficult masters went beyond the merely satisfactory: they were to "please them well".

The Temptation to Steal
Verse 10: "Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity": There was good reason why purloining should be singled out for special mention: it was almost the hallmark of the average slave! In Latin the word FUR, or 'thief, was often used as a synonym for slave, and one caught in the act might well be branded with the word, thus becoming known as  "a three-letter man"  (see also on 1 Timothy 4:2). Not all slaves were of low intelligence and many were given responsibility in various household depart ments, or as teachers of children at a preparatory level (the paida-gogos, or "schoolmaster" of Galatians 3:24) and even as managers of their master's business. The opportunities for purloining were therefore many, and hard masters were considered fair game. There was, however, another cogent reason why a slave should seek to line his pockets. He was permitted to amass a certain amount of personal wealth, known as peculium (cf. God's peculiar people, the nation which He bought for His very own), which he could use to buy his freedom under certain conditions. Thus theft could prove a short cut to freedom € unless he was detected first! No such short cut, however, was permitted to the slave who had been "bought with (another) price". He was already the Lord's freeman,  and although if he could legitimately be free from slavery he should "use it rather", where that was not possible he should abide in his original calling "with God" (1 Corinthians 7:20-24).

From such conduct a wonderful and wholly unexpected result would follow, in sharp contrast to that which caused the Word of God to be blasphemed. Accustomed to regard himself as base in the sight of men, not even master of himself but entirely at the disposition of a sometimes unpredictable owner, the slave too could contemplate the beauty of holiness: he could be an orna ment to a spiritual society, and actually "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things". There were not infrequent cases where a bond of affection grew up between master and slave, or a slave might even become an adopted son; it is to be hoped that in a believing master's household that was not uncommon. But to adorn the doctrine of God! To be amongst that number to whom God had respect, saying, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isaiah 66:2)! For such men and women God Himself "was not ashamed to be called their God"; and the Lord Jesus, who had "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a bondservant", was "not ashamed to call them brethren" (Philip-pians 2:7, margin; Hebrews 2:11; 11:16). Such grace was granted to all those who were numbered amongst the faithful followers of the exhortations in this chapter, as the introductory "For" of verse 11 clearly indicates. Moreover, it was the "grace of God that bringeth salvation". This theme is expanded in Essay 48.

2:11-14 € The Doctrinal Pivot of the Epistle
These verses may be compared with those in 1 Timothy 3:14-16 which, in Essay 12, we described as the caesura of the Letter; that is, the dividing point which gives it significance. The Titus passage likewise forms the bridge between (a) the practical exhortations and instructions of the first part, which deal with the function and life of the ecclesia, and (b) the second part, which is concerned more with the disciple in society, furnishing us also with the doctrinal basis upon which both parts are founded. It is therefore the key passage to the whole of the epistle, and the fifth "faithful saying" of 3:4-7 takes up the same thought to emphasise it once more. Indeed, that saying could almost be described as a "Statement of Faith" version of the present passage.

Verse 11: "Hath appeared unto all men": Whether one follows the Authorised Version in attaching "unto all men" to "appeared", or the Revised which attaches it to "salvation" (anthropos in effect means 'mankind'), is a matter for grammatical discussion. We would say that the weight of probability favours the Revised Version but either rendering is justifiable from a Scriptural point of view. Certainly in view of what has gone before, it is clear that all men without distinction of rank, or nation, social status or sex come within the scope of God's purpose. Any distinction is based upon the response of the individual concerned, as the following verse shows. The point is dealt with at greater length when discussing Paul's reference to "God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4).

Verse 12: "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly": Nothing could be plainer. The responsible behaviour (sophronos) enjoined upon the ecclesia, although sup ported by Paul's full apostolic authority, is not a code of conduct devised by any rule of man, such as might be appropriate to a guild or a club. It was the proper response to the grace of salva tion which the dayspring from on high had revealed. The better rendering of this verse is, "Instructing us to the intent that, hav ing once and for all put away ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live ..."

Israel were taught by the redemption from Egypt that they should be like the God who had made a covenant with them. As we have already seen, "I am the LORD" was a sufficient reason for all the commandments governing their worship and their social behaviour. It is possible to see in "soberly, righteously (justly) and godly" the respective social and spiritual aspects of one's own behaviour € that towards neighbours and that towards God, although this point cannot be pressed. The contrast between "ungodliness", which we have put away, and the "godly" life cannot be more marked, especially since "the mystery of godliness" was "manifest in the flesh", the very nature from which we too must banish "worldly lusts". The word for"deny", or "put away" means 'renounced', 'categorically refused', and is found nowhere else in Paul's Letters. It is used to great effect, however, here, and in 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Timothy 2:12,13; Titus 1:16, and especially in 2 Timothy 3:5, where the man of God is to "turn away" from those professing a form of godliness. It is fitting that the doctrinal pivot of this Letter is the same as that of 1 Timothy. See further the note on "Godliness" and Essay 13, "Great is the Mystery of Godliness". "Grace is the very foundation of education in the house of the living God" (Spicq).

Verse 13: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ": Many of the terms employed in the Pastoral Epistles have a contemporary back ground, and were therefore comprehensible to any speaker of the Greek koine. The Apostle, however, gives them a fulness of spiritual meaning which makes them distinctive of the early ecclesias' faith and hope. We have already seen, for example, how  the qualifications for elders and the catalogues of vices, the "good deposit" and even words like eusebia for 'worship', or 'godliness', had their counterparts in the Hellenistic World. So likewise the word which we considered above, epiphania, was a technical term in Greek culture (see Essay 22). It referred to the 'manifestation', or 'acclamation' of the ruler, and was therefore most appropriate to the historical event when the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", adding later, "Hear ye him". But the epiphania was also the accession to power of the Emperor, and therefore was vividly expressive when Paul used it to describe the Lord's second appearing, "the brightness of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

This is "the glorious appearing", or more accurately, "the appearing of the glory", which has been "the blessed hope" of the saints from the beginning. "We are saved by hope", said the Apostle (Romans 8:24) and it is a hope which is produced by "the patience and comfort of the Scriptures". The downtrodden and the oppressed, such as the poor and the slave, and indeed all who vex themselves with the wickedness of the times, which is thrown into relief by what "the grace of salvation" teaches, all who long to see the glory of the Risen Lord "face to face", echo the age-old cry, "How long, O Lord?" For the "blessed hope" is in fact "the hope of blessedness", first for those who are Christ's at his com ing and ultimately for all nations.

We consider the concluding phrase of this verse in Essay 49, "The great God and Saviour Jesus Christ". Verse 14: "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity": These words take us to the heart of the whole matter of our redemption and, taught by Paul in Philippians 2, we can catch even more of the spirit of the exhortations of this chapter. For it was indeed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18-19) that we were redeemed. It must not be forgotten, however, that "Christ ... through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14). We are redeemed from "all lawlessness", for as John reminds us: "Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness: for sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4, RV).


The Lord's Own People


Paul and Peter agree that the effect of redemption was to deliver us from "vain conversation (way of life)", to "purge our con science from dead works", or to "purify unto himself a peculiar people". The words of the LORD to Israel and later applied to the saints in 1 Peter 2:9 (note the "marvellous light") are echoed here in Titus. The purpose of redemption was to make men and women the Saviour's private possession. So in one of his last letters Paul continues the clear line of his teaching about the people of God € another proof, incidentally, of the authenticity of these Letters. All Christians, of whatever race they sprang, were all sons of God and all one in Christ Jesus, in whom they constitute one holy nation (Galatians 3:26; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:11).

For this purpose Christ's people had to be purified unto himself; or, as it is written in Hebrews 2:11, "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
It is not sufficient, however, to be purified from sin. He purges our conscience from dead works to serve the living and true God.

Thenceforth one must therefore be "zealous of good works". The word zelotes (cf. "zealot") implies both a zeal and a desire towards something, as when it was said of the Lord Jesus, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up" (Psalm 69:9; John 2:17). And so: "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all,  that  they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves,  but unto him which died for them,  and rose again."    (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Verse 15: "These things "Titus was to "speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority'', no doubt suiting the form of his exhortation to the needs of the flock at the time. There seems little doubt that Titus was an older man than Timothy; nevertheless the addition of "Let no man despise thee" (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12) suggests that he was still relatively young for a task which involved the responsible leadership of older people. In any case, like Timothy, he was given an apostolic commendation for a difficult and arduous work.

ESSAY 46 "Thus it becometh us"
THE use of the word prepein, 'to become' (Titus 2:1), is almost an exhortation in itself. It is not to be confused with the other English word 'become', in the sense of 'to come into being', 'to be made into', which is represented by an entirely different Greek word. Our word here means 'befitting', 'seemly', 'the only proper thing to do'. The Lord Jesus used it when John demurred at his request for baptism: "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). There was a Divine standard to be met by the only begotten Son of God, in the honouring of which he set the example for all who would be his disciples and "follow his steps". For his baptism was a commitment to the path of obedience unto death, according to his Father's purpose. This the Father acknowledged when, for the first time since Sinai, the voice of the living God was heard from heaven. It said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The Psalmist and the prophet had both looked forward to this when they wrote:
"Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalm 2:7) "Behold my servant ... in whom my soul delighteth."
(Isaiah 42:1)

The action befitting the revealed purpose € to try to keep the sense of beauty and holiness which lies behind the thought, we could almost say the comely action € is referred to in a similar context in Hebrews, this time applied to the Father Himself. How was it possible to bring men and women compassed about with the infirmities of the flesh into fellowship with Him who is holy? There was only one fitting way:

"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)

There was yet more. For, having given His only begotten Son for the redemption of the world, God established him as a great High Priest, who ever liveth to make intercession for those whom he is not ashamed to call brethren, weak and liable to err though they be. So it was made possible for those who are sanctified € who need sanctification € and him who sanctifies, being himself "the holy one of God", to be made one with the Father:

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make inter cession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens . . . the Son, who is consecrated for evermore."    (Hebrews 7:25-28)

What force, then, lies behind the words with which Paul exhorted Titus to speak, "alway with grace, seasoned with salt" (Colossians 4:6), those "things which become sound doctrine"

ESSAY 47 Relationships between Men and Women in the Ancient World
RELATIONSHIPS between old and young, between husbands and wives, and between brethren and sisters € topics introduced again in Titus 2:1-5 € have been considered before. It was precisely in the matter of the relationship between the sexes and the conduct of both in their respective spheres that disciples could lay themselves open to the greatest criticism. This is true even today, where there is less general respect paid to questions of morality and conduct than perhaps at any time since the first century (cf. Romans 1). For the public figure, the religious leader and those who profess high standards come under severer censorship and always to the detriment of their political party, their church or their particular cause. The members of the ecclesia of the first century, surrounded as it was by detractors both pagan and Jewish, were exposed to an even harsher light.

Christian women, therefore, like Christian men had to strike the right spiritual balance between their liberty in Christ and their proper social obligations. They were "all one in Christ Jesus", and women achieved a status in the ecclesia and from the point of view of salvation which transcended anything to be found in the social strata of the Ancient World, certainly in Greece.

Even although Roman society offered women a greater freedom of assembly together with men, there was still a certain austerity and reserve about it and especially in the drinking of wine. In practice even married women did not join in the commissatio, or wine-drinking which followed the dessert at a formal meal. Moreover, they did not drink the same kind of wine as the men, but rather the mulsum, a mixture of wine and honey more suited to their taste and far less potent in its effects.

In dealing with 1 Timothy 2 we have endeavoured to show at some length that the mutual respon sibilities of men and women in the ecclesia were firmly based upon spiritual and emotional concerns and not on questions of superiority or inferiority. It was sufficiently necessary, however, for all to guard against the danger of using their liberty "for a cloke of wickedness" for Peter to refer specifically to it (1 Peter 2:16, RV).

So in a world where the Greek woman was in effect imprisoned at home, more of a servant than a partner to her husband, and the Roman matron gained her greater liberty after marriage only within the context of her family life, for the young sisters not to be "keepers at home" outraged both sections of "them that are without" and what were perceived as decadent standards would be attributed to the influence of their religion. The greatest circumspection had to be exercised, therefore, within the context of their liberty in Christ, especially when they sat to partake of bread and wine together in "the communion of the body and blood of Christ". They had to display a higher standard in their communal worship and give evidence of a deeper, more spiritual quality of family life so that, like the slaves mentioned below, they would "adorn the doctrine of God".

The reference to younger women has particular relevance in this passage in Titus, but it should not be forgotten that the same sobriety, or sense of responsibility, is called for throughout these Letters on the part of all, men and women, young and old alike. To be "given to wine" was a disqualification for eldership, as was improper behaviour on the part of their wives; if widows exercised their freedom from marital responsibility by "wander ing about from house to house", as "tattlers and busybodies" it disqualified them from enrolment in the list of the ecclesial benevolent fund; while "with all purity" was to be the watchword of a Timothy or a Titus in all his dealings with older and younger women alike. Only thus could they all "give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully" (see 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:3-12; 5:6,11-14, together with the relevant notes).

ESSAY 48 The grace of God that bringeth salvation
THE expression "The grace of God that bringeth salvation" (Titus 2:11) is in effect an exposition of the Name of the "God that cannot lie" who promised eternal life "before the world began" (Titus 1:2). In the Old Testament the word chen (with its related adjectival and adverbial forms) is usually, though not invariably, translated as "grace" when used in connection with God, and "favour" at other times. The basic meaning is the same although, as we shall see, the quality of the attribute, if we may so speak, is different. The adjective "gracious" and the adverb "graciously" are also almost always used of God; indeed, there are only about three exceptions to this principle out of more than 30 occurrences of the words in all Scripture, and one of them refers to the gracious words spoken by the Lord Jesus.
It is a remarkable fact that the word "gracious" is almost always coupled with the attributes of mercy, compassion or long-suffering when used of God's relationship with men. How can sinful man find favour with the Holy One unless He looks upon him with mercy and compassion? As has been demonstrated elsewhere*, the Name of the LORD, being the covenant-name of God, is always used in connection with the relationship between God and men and this can only be on the basis of God's provision for the forgiveness of man's sins. The wonder of God's grace is that He reveals it in the context of judgement upon sin and mercy for the sinner who repents.

From the time when the Spirit of God "hovered (rachaph) upon the face of the waters" in Creation, as it was later in the desert *See Chapter 7 of The Name that is Above Every Name, published by The Christadelphian Office, 1983. to "flutter (rachaph)" over the people to whom He declared, "I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself, the LORD clearly loved what He had made, whether it was the world with man upon it or the nation which was His "peculiar treasure" (Genesis 1:2; Deuteronomy 32:11; Exodus 19:4-6). God yearns deeply over man in whom He put His spirit, or breath of life, especially when He sees him become a friend of the world, and therefore an enemy of God (James 4:4-5; see also Genesis 6:3 with RV marginal notes).

All the fulness and majesty of the Divine attributes and purpose € "the glory of the LORD" € were revealed to Moses when the LORD proclaimed His Name, declaring what their God was and would be for His people:

"The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."
(Exodus 34:6-7)

There is a comparable passage in Numbers, where after the hardened rebellion of Korah and company and the leader's inter cession for the people caught up in their transgression, Moses describes the power of the Lord (Adonai, Creator and Possessor of heaven and earth), who will fill the earth with His glory as the waters cover the sea:

"And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord (Adonai) be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and trans gression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy . . . And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word."
(Numbers 14:17-20)

So the glory of the LORD was revealed in His power, His grace, His mercy and His compassion, which implied far more than the forgiveness of individual acts of sin and transgression. The LORD who had revealed Himself to be Israel's strength and song was actually to become their salvation, as the exodus from Egypt had foreshadowed (Exodus 15:2) and as had been con firmed in the Psalms and prophets:

"The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation ... I shall not die, but live, and declare the works
of the LORD ... I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation."    (Psalm 118:14,17,21)
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also
is become my salvation ... for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."    (Isaiah 12:2-6)

God our Saviour

It is noteworthy that the title "God our Saviour" is characteristic of the Pastoral Epistles and of no other letters of Paul (see on 1 Timothy 1:1; also Essay 29), and where it is coupled with the name of Christ it signifies that the LORD would become our salvation in him: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'' So in the fulness of time Jesus € "The LORD is Salvation" € was born and:

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth . . . And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:14-17)

The Brightness of His Coining
The passage we are considering in Titus yields even more beauty in its meaning. "That bringeth salvation" is a single word in the Greek. The phrase is therefore literally "saving grace", linking "grace" and "salvation" together even more closely € which is indeed what we should expect from what has been said above. But this grace did not simply appear: it shone forth. Epiphane is the word used for the appearance of the sun and the stars (see the negative of this in Acts 27:20, where neither appeared for many days of the storm) and it is Paul's favourite word in these Letters for the manifestation or coming of Christ (Essay 22). Immediately all the Scriptures concerning the light that shinethin the darkness, the light which the darkness was unable to put out, the daystar that arises in our hearts as well as over all the land, that lightens all the Gentiles, the Sun of righteousness with healing in his beams € all are focused on this verse in Titus in which the light of life and hope shines into the life of ordinary people who believe, whether Jew or Gentile, old or young, male or female, bond or free. And the message of the Gospel was like that of the great forerunner of the Lord:

"To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the re mission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."        (Luke 1:77-79)

There is one more point to consider: the English translation, "the grace of God that bringeth (not sendeth) salvation" emphasises an important aspect of our theme. In our quotation from Psalm 118 above € "The LORD ... is become my salvation" € the words are those of the Lord Jesus himself. He cried unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. So, as the title of "God our Saviour" in the Pastoral Letters indicates, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto him self. So the LORD became his salvation but also "bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world" to be the Saviour of all them that believe. Truly, "God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light" (2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 1:6; Psalm 118:27).

ESSAY 49 "The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
THE expression in Titus 2:13 which forms the subject of this essay has given rise to much discussion. The title of "the great God" here is unique in the New Testament, although it is found in the Old, especially Isaiah and the Psalms (cf. Exodus 18:11; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 1:5; Daniel 9:4 and the frequent expression "Great is the LORD"). In many of these passages the true greatness of Israel's God is being contrasted with the weakness of the gods of other nations for whom the title was claimed, as it was for Diana of the Ephesians (Acts 19).

Faced with the apparent attribution to Christ of the title of "the great God" we tend to side with those textual expositors who separate the two titles, applying "great God" to the Father and "our Saviour" to the Son. Whether this is the correct inter pretation of the text as it stands turns upon fine points of Greek grammar and the use of the definite article. Expositors usually follow the one which suits what they have already decided on other grounds is the meaning. When it is pointed out that further explanation is required if it is the appearing of two persons at the Second Coming that is intended, we usually reply that it is the glory of both God and the Lord Jesus which appears.

It will be of great value for us to pursue this matter briefly, not solely for the purpose of deciding a matter of translation but of considering the wonders of the theme of "God was in Christ" which runs through these Letters in the frequent ascrip tion to God of the title "Our Saviour". Possessed as we are of an almost unique understanding of the Scripture teaching of God's manifestation of Himself in Christ and fortified by our study of the way in which throughout these Letters the title of Saviour truly belongs to the Father but is the very name of the Son, Christadelphians have no need to be embarrassed by any ques tions of grammatical difficulty. In our proper emphasis upon the unity of the Godhead and the human nature of the Lord Jesus it is important that we do not fail to recognise the exalted status of the Son of God, or forget that "he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him".

The Name above every Name
The truth is that the Father has not only given His Name € "the name that is above every name" € unto His Son but some of the titles which go with it. "King" is a good straightforward illustration: "The LORD is King" throughout the Psalms, yet we find no difficulty at all with the Scriptural ascription of that rank to the Lord Jesus. "Lord" is another example, and here we do not mean as a translation of "the LORD" (Yahweh) but as a title of supremacy. It was the Father Himself who made "that same Jesus .. . both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). In stating these facts we do not diminish the glory of the Father: we recognise it as even greater, as Paul plainly emphasises in Philippians 2. There he applies to the name of Jesus what God had declared of His own name in Isaiah 45:23:

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, (adding significantly) to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11)

The glory of Him who is always "My Father" and "My God" to the one to whom He has given great glory must always be the greater. The important thing to realise is that for Christ such a name and titles were not underived as they were for his Father: he received them by inheritance. Is it right then that he should be ever be referred to as "God" as well as "King" and "Lord"? The question has been answered many times in the Truth's literature, from the days when Robert Roberts actually had to defend Dr. Thomas in The Christadelphian from the charge laid by certain brethren that he was a Trinitarian(I) up to our own times. We shall content ourselves here with an extended quotation from

The Letter to the Hebrews by John Carter, page 20, which is both informative about the subject in hand and helpful in its approach to similar topics. The actual passage under review is the quotation of Psalm 45:6-7 in Hebrews 1:8-9 € "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever ..."

"The Psalm speaks of the king as enthroned for ever. He is a ruler who exercises authority in righteousness, having in a time of probation loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Because of this God has exalted him to the position wherein he is worshipped, and his name remembered in all generations (verses 11,17).

"Various expedients have been resorted to to explain away the use of 'God' as applied to Christ. Needlessly so. It is better to ascertain the Biblical meaning and usage of its own terms. The judges of Israel were called 'gods' (Exodus 21:6; 22:8,28 € see RV). The judges are referred to in Psalm 82: 'God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.' And in judging them he rebuked them in the words: 'I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.' The 'God' who judges is the chief ruler. Christ was such when he stood in the midst of Israel's leaders, and quoted this very Psalm in defending his claim that he was Son of God. Isaiah speaks of a 'God' who discerned Jehovah's purpose amidst prevailing failure to do so. 'From of old', he says, 'men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he (Jehovah) hath prepared for him that waiteth for him' (64:4). Paul comments upon this lack of understanding on the part of the rulers of his day in crucifying the Lord of Glory, and quotes this passage in support. He then adds, 'But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit . . . that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God' (1 Corinthians 2:10,12). The 'O God' of Isaiah is Christ who saw clearly what God's arrangements were. Paul omits 'O God, beside thee' in his quotation, but immediately adds that there were some who saw and heard by means of the Spirit's revelation. The 'us' of Paul is the Christ-body, which shares to some extent the discernment of the Head.

"What is wanted then, is not to alter the translation (as the RV suggests in the margin of Psalm 45), but an understanding of the scriptural usage of the terms."

Unlike the doctrine of the Trinity, which confuses persons with their titles and diminishes the glory of both Father and Son, the above enhances the glory of the Father in its exalted view of the Son (John 5:23; 13:31-32). If we follow the excellent reasoning and exegesis here it is consistent with the doctrinal thrust of these three Epistles and also with the background of imperial times. The Emperor and some contemporary lesser monarchs (Ptolemy of Egypt, for example) gave themselves various titles such as Euergetes (Benefactor; see Luke 22:25), Soter (Saviour) and Divus (The Divine, or God). Their epiphany was simply worldly pomp for none of them could bring salvation, their benefits accrued largely unto themselves and they "all died like men". What blessings had already been bestowed by "the grace of God that bringeth salvation"! What great hopes were centred on the "appearing of the glory" of the Lord Jesus € to the glory of God the Father

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