Titus 1** This epistle chiefly contains directions to Titus concerningthe elders of the Church, and the manner in which he should giveinstruction; and the latter part tells him to urge obedience tomagistrates, to enforce good works, avoid foolish questions, andshun heresies. The instructions the apostle gave are all plainand simple. The Christian religion was not formed to answerworldly or selfish views, but it is the wisdom of God and thepower of God. * The apostle salutes Titus. (1-4) The qualifications of afaithful pastor. (5-9) The evil temper and practices of falseteachers. (10-16)1-4 All are the servants of God who are not slaves of sin andSatan. All gospel truth is according to godliness, teaching thefear of God. The intent of the gospel is to raise up hope aswell as faith; to take off the mind and heart from the world,and to raise them to heaven and the things above. How excellentthen is the gospel, which was the matter of Divine promise soearly, and what thanks are due for our privileges! Faith comesby hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and whoso isappointed and called, must preach the word. Grace is the freefavour of God, and acceptance with him. Mercy, the fruits of thefavour, in the pardon of sin, and freedom from all miseries bothhere and hereafter. And peace is the effect and fruit of mercy.Peace with God through Christ who is our Peace, and with thecreatures and ourselves. Grace is the fountain of all blessings.Mercy, and peace, and all good, spring out of this. 5-9 The character and qualification of pastors, here calledelders and bishops, agree with what the apostle wrote toTimothy. Being such bishops and overseers of the flock, to beexamples to them, and God's stewards to take care of the affairsof his household, there is great reason that they should beblameless. What they are not to be, is plainly shown, as well aswhat they are to be, as servants of Christ, and able ministersof the letter and practice of the gospel. And here are describedthe spirit and practice becoming such as should be examples ofgood works. 10-16 False teachers are described. Faithful ministers mustoppose such in good time, that their folly being made manifest,they may go no further They had a base end in what they did;serving a worldly interest under pretence of religion: for thelove of money is the root of all evil. Such should be resisted,and put to shame, by sound doctrine from the Scriptures.Shameful actions, the reproach of heathens, should be far fromChristians; falsehood and lying, envious craft and cruelty,brutal and sensual practices, and idleness and sloth, are sinscondemned even by the light of nature. But Christian meekness isas far from cowardly passing over sin and error, as from angerand impatience. And though there may be national differences ofcharacter, yet the heart of man in every age and place isdeceitful and desperately wicked. But the sharpest reproofs mustaim at the good of the reproved; and soundness in the faith ismost desirable and necessary. To those who are defiled andunbelieving, nothing is pure; they abuse, and turn things lawfuland good into sin. Many profess to know God, yet in their livesdeny and reject him. See the miserable state of hypocrites, suchas have a form of godliness, but are without the power; yet letus not be so ready to fix this charge on others, as careful thatit does not apply to ourselves.
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