TheShiningLight

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Titus and Philemon

Titus

In his introduction Paul calls himself an apostle [messenger] of the Word of God, to whom was committed the preaching of the whole Word of God.  He calls Titus his own son in the faith.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Paul had left Titus in Crete for the purpose of establishing congregations in every city.

1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Paul then begins to lay out to Titus, as he had to Timothy, the qualifications required in those acceptable for ordination as elders in the faith. 

First they must be blameless according to the whole Word of God, pure from all sin that they might be a Shining Example to the brethren.  Second they must have proved their capability to lead by having one wife, [or having had a wife in the case of widowers], and by having older children who although they may not be called by God have still been raised to be exemplary people. 

Let me say here that occasionally, especially in today’s society immersed in so much wickedness, not all of our children will grow into moral adults. However if they have been encouraged and taught godliness [which is a real struggle since our modern education system teaches them to be wicked]; once they have experienced the sufferings of the dark side of life and are called by God in their due time they will be saved.  I know that many agonize over wayward children and other family members:  We have the hope that in due time they shall be saved by our Mighty God.   

1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

An elder must be blameless in the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God, as a Shining Light of example for the brethren and for the worldly as well.

1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled [stubborn], not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Then the positive character qualities needed are listed.

1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good [wise and zealous for godliness] men, sober [conservative and moderate in all things], just [fair, balanced and not a respecter of persons in any matter], holy [zealous to live by every Word of God and to internalize the nature of God], temperate [moderate]; 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word [the whole Word of God] as he hath been taught [this does NOT refer to any corporate traditions; it refers to being taught the Holy Scriptures and being fully grounded in sound doctrine], that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Even in Paul’s day there were many false teachers creeping in and deceiving many brethren in the Ekklesia. this is a specific warning to Titus about Crete, however we are warned in many scriptures that this deceiving and falling away will increase until it climaxes in the latter day brethren.

1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.  1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet [proper translation: a “poet”] of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

True men of God are commanded to sharply rebuke all sin and willful sinners, especially those in the ministry who have a greater responsibility, being teachers of others.

1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

God’s called out are not to follow the false traditions of men like the apostate from scripture Rabbinic Calendar and the idolatry of allowing men to come between us and God.

God’s called out are NOT to follow any deceivers who teach contrary to the whole Word of God; like today’s leaders in the spiritual Ekklesia who teach the brethren to follow themselves and to reject any zeal to live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4). 

1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth [like the modern Rabbinic Calendar replacing God’s Biblical Calendar].

1:15 Unto the pure [godly] all [godly] things are pure: but unto them that are defiled [by wickedness and rejection of zeal to keep God’s Word] and unbelieving is nothing pure [the whole mind of the wicked person is unclean and impure]; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Here Paul absolutely accurately describes today’s called out brethren, who call the Sabbath holy as they trample all over it, and as they reject any zeal to live by every Word of God in order to follow idols of men.

1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

 

Titus 2

This is what the elders are commanded to teach the brethren.  First the sound doctrine of the Holy Scriptures is to be taught to and followed by everyone.

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2:2 That the aged men be sober [self controlled], grave [serious], temperate [moderate], sound in [full of] faith [which includes the works of faith], in charity [Godly love which is the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God], in patience.

Older women are to teach the younger women to be self controlled, and teach them how to love others more than themselves.

2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness [godliness], not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers [yes the women are to teach, yet not to usurp the authority of their men] of good things [teachers of all things consistent with godliness and God’s Word]; 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober [self controlled], to love their husbands, to love their children [to be unselfish and caring], 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home  [this refers to wontonness and noi to gainful work with the husband’s consent], good [godly], obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. [Setting a godly example that others may see their Light Shine; instead of setting a bad example while claiming to be godly and thus causing others to say evil things about God and this way]

2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded [self controlled and full of the mind of God].

The elders are to be a pattern [example of godliness] demonstrating the works of faith, standing on the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God without any corruption of error. 

2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, [without any hint of corruption of false teachings] gravity, sincerity, 2:8 Sound speech [sound words consistent with the whole Word of God], that cannot be condemned [by God]; that he that is of the contrary part may be [ultimately] ashamed [when his eyes are opened , having no evil thing to say of you.

2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again [not arguing with God’s Word]; 2:10 Not purloining [stealing], but shewing all good fidelity [loyalty]; that they may adorn [be a Shining Example of godliness] the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

2:11 For the grace [forgiveness of repented PAST sins, through the sacrifice of Christ] of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

We are to reject all worldliness and sins, and are to wait in godly living for our salvation at the coming of Christ.

2:12 Teaching us that, denying [reject] ungodliness [reject all things contrary to the whole Word of God] and worldly lusts [temptations], we should live soberly [with self control], righteously [zealously living by every Word of God], and godly, in this present world;

2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people [made pure from all sin], zealous of good works [the good works of faith are to learn and to live by every Word of God].

True men of God will teach these things fearlessly; rebuking all sin without any hint of compromise; by the authority of Almighty God: knowing that godliness is our salvation.

2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

Titus 3

Obey all godly lawful, laws of man; and do not be given to fighting, nevertheless do take a stand on God’s Word and do rebuke all sin.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to [do] every good [consistent with godliness] work, 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

We are called out of sin by the mercy of God, and if we sincerely repent of our past sins and commit to “sin no more,” our PAST sins are paid for and our indictment swept clean, by the application of the sacrifice of Christ!  From that moment forward as we rise from baptism a new person, we are to diligently root out all sin, learning and living by every Word of God.

We are justified by the mercy of God, and we are to go forward into godliness by learning and keeping the whole Word of God as Jesus Christ did.  Never turning back into the bondage of sin that God has mercifully delivered us out of.

3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works [the works of faith and godliness]. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Avoid arguing about insignificant things

3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law [A reference to the conflicts between the Jews and the Gentiles over various Jewish regular non scriptural weekly fasting’s,  refusing to enter a Gentile convert’s home, the circumcision controversy and the other issues that Paul had been forced to deal with.  Paul is informing Timothy that these things had been dealt with and were not to be debated any further.]; for they are unprofitable and vain [a waste of time].

The sinful [especially sinful elders] are to be warned and counseled, instructed and gently admonished the first time.  The second time they are to be rebuked and warned that after another such sin they will be expelled.  Then if the sin continues they are to be expelled from the assemblies until they sincerely repent and stop the sin; they should then be forgiven and welcomed back into the assembly.  

Elders because of their influence and responsibilities are to be on probation for some time and required to demonstrate the sincerity of their repentance.

3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Paul is now in Nicopolis

3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

All of the brethren are encouraged to be full of the good works of godliness and faith.

3:14 And let our’s [all the brethren] also learn to maintain good works [the works of faith and godliness] for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

 

Philemon

Paul is writing to Philemon to reconcile Onesimus with Philemon

Philemon had heard Paul and had apparently told his servant Onesimus about Paul.  Onesimus was so impressed with Paul’s teachings through Philemon’s reports that he had thoughtlessly ran off to find Paul without informing his master.  

This epistle is an example of seeking to reconcile brethren who have been offended by one another.

Paul sent Onesimus back to Colossae with Tychicus who was delivering an Epistle from Paul to the Colossians. 

Colossians 4:7  All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Paul writing from Rome was imprisoned for preaching Christ;  this does not mean that Paul was calling himself a prisoner held by Christ; he was the prisoner of the Romans having appealed to Caesar because of the false accusations made about him.

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul begins by referring to the deep conversion of Philemon, so as to remind Philemon of his need to forgive others.

1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Paul says that he could command Philemon, but he thinks it much more appropriate that he beseech him in regards to this matter.

1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Paul explains that Philemon’s servant had left him to seek out Paul and was now converted in the faith.  So that Onesimus who was unprofitable to Philemon by leaving his master without seeking his consent; was now very profitable in the faith. 

Paul asks Philemon to accept Onesimus as he would accept Paul himself.

1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

Paul praises Onesimus for his service to Paul, but sends him back so as to allow Philemon to decide himself what is to be done.

1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Paul tells Philemon that if he considers himself in the faith, he will forgive Onesimus and accept him as a brother in the faith.

1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner [if you are my brother in the same faith], receive him as myself.

1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

Paul declares his confidence in the conversion and love of Philemon.

1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Paul indicates that he is coming to Colosse

1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

1:23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

1:25 The grace [Mercy] of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

 

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