Believers’ Conduct in Society
1Remind people to respect # 3:1 Or “be subject to.” their governmental leaders on every level as law-abiding citizens and to be ready to fulfill their civic duty. 2And remind them to never tear down anyone with their words or quarrel, # 3:2 Or “strive with others.” The implication is that we accept the differences of others and allow people to be who they are and not try to make them over into our image of who we think they should be. but instead be considerate, humble, and courteous to everyone. 3For it wasn’t that long ago that we behaved foolishly in our stubborn disobedience. We were easily led astray as slaves to worldly passions and pleasures. We wasted our lives in doing evil, and with hateful jealousy we hated others.
The Hymn of Salvation by Grace
4When the extraordinary compassion of God our Savior # 3:4 Many scholars believe that vv. 4–7 are ancient Christian poetry or perhaps the words to a hymn.
and his overpowering love suddenly appeared in person,
as the brightness of a dawning day, # 3:4 Implied in the Greek word epiphainō (epiphany), which means “to shine forth [brightly] in an appearing.”
5he came to save us.
Not because of any virtuous deed that we have done
but only because of his extravagant mercy.
6He saved us,
resurrecting us # 3:6 As translated from the Aramaic. through the washing of rebirth.
We are made completely new by the Holy Spirit, # 3:6 All three members of the Trinity are mentioned in vv. 4–6 and are seen as active participants in our salvation.
whom he splashed over us richly
by Jesus, the Messiah, our Life Giver.
7So as a gift of his love,
and since we are faultless—
innocent before his face—
we can now become heirs of all things,
all because of an overflowing hope of eternal life.
8How true and faithful is this message!
Faith Produces Good Works
I want you to especially emphasize # 3:8 Or “affirm strongly,” a hapax legomenon. these truths, so that those who believe in God will be careful to devote themselves to doing good works. It is always beautiful and profitable for believers to do good works.
9But avoid useless controversies, # 3:9 The Aramaic can be translated “offensive debates.” genealogies, # 3:9 The Aramaic can be translated “tribal traditions.” pointless quarrels, and arguments over the law, which will get you nowhere. # 3:9 See also Heb. 13:9. 10After a first and second warning, have nothing more to do with a divisive person who refuses to be corrected. 11For you know that such a one is entwined with his sin and stands self-condemned.
12When I send Artemas # 3:12 Artemas, or “Artemas of Lystra,” was considered to be one of the seventy disciples whom Jesus sent out. or Tychicus # 3:12 Tychichus, an Ephesian, was a beloved coworker of Paul and is mentioned five times in the New Testament (here; Acts 20:4; Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:12). He was listed among the seventy disciples whom Jesus sent out according to Hippolytus of Rome. See Francis Mershman, “St. Tychicus” (1913) Catholic Encyclopedia, Charles Herbermann, editor. to you, be sure to meet me at the City of Victory, # 3:12 Or “Nicopolis,” a Greek city on the western shore. Nicopolis means “the City of Victory.” for I’ve decided to spend the winter there.
13Give a generous send-off to Zenas the scribe # 3:13 Or “lawyer.” The word translated “lawyer” can be used for either Greek or Roman law. Zenas is considered to be one of the seventy whom Jesus sent out. and Apollos, # 3:13 Apollos was a powerful preacher and coworker of Paul, who was very influential in the church of Corinth. He is listed ten times in the New Testament (Acts 18:24; 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4–6, 22; 4:6; 16:12). Jerome states that Apollos, after Paul’s letters brought healing to the divisions of the church in Corinth, returned and became an elder (overseer) in the church. See Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle of Titus. and send them on their journey with what they need.
14Encourage the believers to be passionately devoted to beautiful works of righteousness by meeting the urgent needs of others and not be unfruitful.
15Everyone here with me sends their loving greetings to you. Greet the believers who love us in the faith. May God’s wonderful grace be with you all!
Love in Christ,
Paul # 3:15 The Aramaic adds, “The end of the letter written by Paul to Titus from Nicopolis, sent by the hand of Zenas and Apollos.”