Titus 3:9–15 (NKJV)

Paul has just finished explaining to Titus and the church in Crete the Christian’s responsibility to live peacefully and humbly among others, in the church and outside of the church. He emphasized the greatness of the grace Christians have received. Now Paul moves into a discussion of the uselessness of debates and arguments about theology and doctrine.

9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Titus 3:9-11

Avoid arguments! This begins a section on the things that Christians should not allow to become points of contention within the body. Foolish disputes include disagreements about genealogies, debates about the law, and generally contentious behaviors. The energy, time, and goodwill spent on arguments are unprofitable and useless. Paul even goes so far as to instruct Titus to give divisive individuals a warning, but them to reject them after the second admonition, for that person is warped. What an extreme word, warped! Exestraptai (ἐξέστραπται in the Greek language) can be translated perverse or depraved, and is here rendered as “warped.” This is a strong indictment against the man who ceaselessly seeks to argue and debate the finer points of doctrine and truth. They are operating in sin and condemn themselves with their divisive, argumentative discussions. The bottom line, here, is that the church needs to gather around the common doctrine of the church and not always look for some new thing about which to debate. Faith involves believing the record of truth left to us by the Lord God. Anything that would oppose the powerful message of the gospel is in error and must be condemned.

12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. 14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.

Titus 3:12-14

Paul gives Titus instructions as to his visit to Paul at Nicopolis during during his winter stay there. He also asks him to send those visiting Crete on their journey with ample assistance. It is presumed that Zenas and Tychicus are to deliver this letter to Titus, and he is to assist them on their further travels for the sake of the gospel. Paul sums up the instructions to Titus by reiterating that the Christians in Crete learn to maintain their good works, to meet urgent needs, and to be fruitful. These are great instructions for the church in any age and in any place. Do good works, meet urgent needs, and be fruitful. If we accomplish those tasks, we will glorify God in all that we do!

15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.

Titus 3:15

As Paul finishes his letter to Titus, he offers final greetings from all who are with Paul, and also sends greetings to all the saints in Crete who love Paul and his companions in the faith. He blesses Titus and offers him and all who will read the letter grace at the closing of the letter. Another pastoral epistle, Titus is another example of Paul’s love for ministers and their churches. Titus is another of Paul’s beloved sons, and he pours into him in order to disciple, oversee, and train Titus in the ministry. Paul’s fingerprints are all over the church in Asia Minor and Europe, and his influence will be epic for years to come, even today. Thank God for Paul, and for overseers and pastors like him, who bring up a generation that will replace them and carry on the gospel work for decades and centuries to come. Maintain good works, for they matter.

Artwork from https://sowerchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/EveryGoodWork-720×480.png

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