1* Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities,* to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.a 2They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. 3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.b
4But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,c
5not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit,d
6whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,e
7so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.f
Advice to Titus.* I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others.g 9* Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law,h for they are useless and futile. 10After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic,i 11realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.
Directives, Greetings, and Blessing.* 12When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, try to join me at Nicopolis, where I have decided to spend the winter.j 13Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey soon, and see to it that they have everything they need.k 14But let our people, too, learn to devote themselves to good works to supply urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.l
15All who are with me send you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with all of you.m
* [3:1–8] The list of Christian duties continues from Ti 2:9–10, undergirded again as in Ti 2:11–13 by appeal to what God in Christ has done (Ti 2:4–7; cf. Ti 2:11–14). The spiritual renewal of the Cretans, signified in God’s merciful gift of baptism (Ti 3:4–7), should be reflected in their improved attitude toward civil authority and in their Christian relationship with all (Ti 3:1–3).
* [3:1] Magistrates and authorities: some interpreters understand these terms as referring to the principalities and powers of the heavenly hierarchy. To be open to every good enterprise: this implies being good citizens. It could also be translated “ready to do every sort of good work” (as Christians); cf. Ti 3:14.
* [3:8–11] In matters of good conduct and religious doctrine, Titus is to stand firm.
* [3:9] See note on 1 Tm 6:20–21.
* [3:12–15] Artemas or Tychicus (2 Tm 4:12) is to replace Titus, who will join Paul in his winter sojourn at Nicopolis in Epirus, on the western coast of Greece.
a. [3:1] Rom 13:1–7; 1 Tm 2:1–2; 1 Pt 2:13–14.
b. [3:3] 1 Cor 6:9–11; Eph 2:1–3; 5:8; Col 3:5–7; 1 Pt 4:3.
c. [3:4] 1:3; 2:10; Ps 24:5; 1 Tm 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Jude 25.
d. [3:5] Dt 9:5; Eph 2:4–5, 8–9; 2 Tm 1:9.
e. [3:6] 1:4; 2:13; Phil 3:20; 2 Tm 1:10; 2 Pt 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18.
f. [3:7] 1:2; 2 Tm 1:1; 1 Jn 2:25.
g. [3:8] 1 Tm 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tm 2:11.
h. [3:9] 1 Tm 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tm 2:23.
i. [3:10] Mt 18:15–18; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 5:11; 2 Thes 3:6, 14–15.
j. [3:12] Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; Col 4:7; 2 Tm 4:12.
k. [3:13] Acts 18:24–26; 1 Cor 1:12; 3:4–6, 22; 4:6; 16:12.
l. [3:14] 2:14; 3:8; Heb 10:24; 1 Pt 3:13.