THEM: Hupomimneske (2SPAM) autous: (Isa
43:26; 1Ti 4:6; 2Ti 1:6; 2Pe 1:12; 3:1,2; Jude 1:5)
John MacArthur has some thought
provoking comments as background to this section --
This is a crucial section of instruction for today. The United States
essentially is now a pagan nation. After being blessed with some 150
years of strong Christian, biblical influence, our country has been
rapidly declining, especially during the last half of the twentieth
century. Millions of Americans still attend church regularly, and many
more consider themselves to be Christians. According to polls, most
Americans claim to believe in God. But practical atheism and moral
relativism have dominated our society for many decades. For the most
part, the few vestiges of Christianity still reflected in our culture
are weak and compromising. A growing number of those vestiges have
become apostate or cultic....The many biblical tenets and standards that
once were part of the fabric of our country, and that provided the
undeniable cultural benefits of morality, are now gone. Whatever its
form or practical benefits may have been, cultural Christianity is dead.
Self-expression, moral freedom, materialism, and hedonism are the
prevailing gods." (MacArthur.
Titus: Moody Press) (Ed: Sounds very
much like ancient Crete!)
Remind (5279) (hupomimnesko from hupó = under + mimnesko
= to remind)
means to put another in mind of something, to cause one to remember,
bring to one's mind, remind (remind suggests a jogging of
one’s memory by an association or similarity).
Hupomimnesko is used 7x in NT, once in
each of the following: Lk. 22:61; Jn. 14:26; 2Ti 2:14; Tit. 3:1; 2Pe
1:12; 3 Jn. 1:10; Jude 1:5
Paul like a
commanding officer to the junior officer, commands (imperative mood)
Titus to continually (present tense) (present
imperative) put in the Cretan
Christian's mind and bring to their remembrance the importance of
subjecting themselves to authority (note the reminder applies all of the
admonitions in this passage). The present tense gives this verb the
additional connotations of continuity and persistence.
it this way...
Be constantly reminding them to put
themselves in subjection with implicit obedience to rulers...
As God's man in Crete who was responsible to protect and lead the
flock of God, Titus (as well as all church leaders and teachers of the
Word) frequently need to unapologetically remind believers of God’s
truth. The Bible Knowledge Commentary
aptly notes that
A large part of
any pastor’s public ministry is reminding people of what they already
The Cretans were notoriously and naturally intractable, so Paul warns
Titus to be careful to insist that those who have been saved obey the properly constituted
civil authorities (1Pe 2:13, 14, 15, 16-see notes
The verb remind implies that the Cretan saints already knew these
duties but as with all "non-glorified" saints, were in continual need of
a fresh reminder. Like the hymn writer (play
hymn) plainly confessed
to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I love
Cretan Christians of these truths should keep them from feeling hostile
toward or superior to those who were not yet converted. The opposition
of Christianity to heathenism, and the natural disposition to rebellion
of the Jews under the Roman empire (of whom many lived in Crete), might
lead many to forget practically what was a recognized Christian
principle in theory, submission to the powers that be. Christians were
often looked on with suspicion in the Roman Empire because their conduct
was so different and they met in private meetings for worship (see 1Pe
Luke records that
turned and looked at Peter (Jesus made eye contact with Peter - the
verb suggests an intent, fixed look which must have magnified his shame
and stirred his memory). And Peter remembered (hupomimnesko)
the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a cock crows today,
you will deny Me three times. (Luke 22:61)
Peter used hupomimnesko writing
(read the immediate preceding context
2Pe 1 to see what it's "there for"), I shall always be ready
to remind (hupomimnesko) you of these things, even though you already know them,
and have been established in the truth which is present with you. And I
consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you
up by way of reminder (hupomnesis - related noun form)."
(2Pe 2:12, 13-note)
Later in the same letter Peter states one of his main purposes --
is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am
stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder (hupomnesis)"
John uses this verb recording
Jesus' promise to His disciples that
the Helper, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and
bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (Jn 14:26).
Paul commanded Timothy that he was
= continually remind) them of
these things (see
2Ti 2:1-13, especially the life and
death issues in 2Ti2:11, 12, 13-note) and solemnly charge them in
the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and
leads to the ruin of the hearers." (2Ti 2:14-note).
Wuest makes an excellent point that Timothy was to continually remind
"there is no such prophylactic (preventative) against striving
(wrangling) about words as a serious endeavor to realize the relative
importance of time and eternity."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
After exposing the fact that false
teachers had already crept into the church, Jude then reminded his
readers of God's attitude toward the first of three well known acts of
apostasy from the OT:
"Now I desire to remind you, though you
know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out
of the land of Egypt (read Nu 13:1-33, Nu 14:1-45, 1Cor 10:5, 6, 7, 8,
9, 10), subsequently destroyed
those who did not believe." (Jude 1:5)
Similarly Paul reminded the Corinthians that
things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil
things, as they also craved" and "these things happened to them
as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the
ends of the ages have come." (1Cor 10:6,11)
Them refers to all
the Christians on Crete. Paul is introducing another section giving
specific instructions on how God's saints (set apart ones) empowered by
"the grace of God" (Titus 2:11-note)
are to "live sensibly, righteously and godly" (Titus 2:12-note)
as citizens "in the midst of crooked and perverse generation among
whom you appear as lights in the world" (Php 2:15-note).
You see, they were a rough, wild,
rebellious people in Crete, and Christianity comes to civilize, to
sober, to sanctify, to save.
In the preceding instructions Paul had dealt primarily with how the
believer was to interact in relation to fellow Christians. He now
informs them that the obligations to the Gospel are also operative in a
believer's relation to government and pagan society (cf "Cretans are
always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." - Titus 1:12-note) The truth of the Gospel is
that it does not relieve saints of their civic duties but in fact
enforces them. In sum, Christianity makes people better citizens in a
Jesus' "Beatitude Instruction" is applicable to saved saints
living in the midst of Sodom-like societies --
"You are the salt of
the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made
salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and
trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set
on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under
the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who
are in the house. "Let your light shine before men in such a way that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
(Mt 5:13, 14, 15, 16-see notes
Mt 5:13; 14; 15; 16).
Too much salt ruins the taste. Too much light blinds the eyes. How are
Illustration - Finally, it's
easy to tell who the Christians are. They're the ones sporting a witness
on their T-shirts or caps, wearing W.W.J.D bracelets, with crosses around
their necks. Making a visible statement of belief has come a long way
since the days of the ""Honk if you love Jesus"" bumper stickers. Is
there anything wrong with wearing a witness for Christ? Of course
not--as long as our behavior lives up to its ""advertising."" No
wardrobe accessory can take the place of a Spirit-empowered daily life
of humility and obedience that wears well in any situation. Practical is
an overworked term to describe certain sections of the Bible--and
probably misleading, since it implies that some parts of the Word are
impractical. But having said that, Titus 3 is about as down-to-earth as
it gets in helping us understand how to ""work out [our] salvation""
(Php 2:12-note). Verses 2-3 remind us that we're to be like Jesus for the
best reason of all: because He reached down in mercy to save us from a
life of sin. And He did it not by reforming us, but by regenerating us,
making us alive again. We were dead in sin, not just slightly ill.
If God had done nothing for us except give us eternal life through
Christ, we would be eternally grateful. But our loving Father did so
much more. After He had rescued us from sin and washed us clean in
Christ's blood, God brought us into His house and made us His heirs.
This means all that God has, we now have. Therefore, living to please
Him through our obedience to Him and to the human authorities He has
established, and through lives of good works and humility, is nothing
more than our reasonable service. Anything less would be an insult to
the God who appeared in flesh to save us when we were His enemies. And
what about those who are looking to cause trouble and sow discord in the
body of Christ? We need to reach out to them in peace. But if they
refuse to repent of their sin, we can't afford to let them drain the
life from the church.
TODAY ALONG THE WAY -Actually, the idea of putting on our witness is not
new at all. The Bible tells us to put on a number of things that will
protect us against sin and help us live the godly lives God expects of
His heirs. For example, we are told to put on the armor God has given us
and to put on ""the new self,"" which is more like God (Eph 4:24-note).
How complete is your ""witness wardrobe"" today? (Copyright
Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)
TO BE SUBJECT
TO RULERS, TO AUTHORITIES: archais exousiais hupotassesthai (PMN):
(Dt 17:12; Eccl 8:2, 3, 4, 5; 10:4; Jer 27:17; Mt 22:21; 23:2,3; Ro
13:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; 1Ti 2:2; 1 Pe 2:13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
themselves in subjection with implicit obedience" (Wuest)
To be subject
= under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner) means
literally to place under in an orderly fashion. In the active voice
subject, bring under firm control, subordinate as used in (Ro 8:20-note)
Hupotasso-38x in 31v - Lk.
2:51; 10:17, 20; Ro 8:7-note,
1Co 14:32, 34; 15:27, 28; 16:16; Ep 1:22-note;
Jas 4:7; 1Pe 2:13-note,
NAS- put in subjection, 5; subject, 16; subjected, 7; subjecting,
1; subjection, 4; submissive, 3; submit, 2.
Hupotasso - 18v in the
non-apocryphal Septuagint - 1 Kgs 10:15; 1 Chr 22:18; 29:24; 2 Chr 9:14;
Esth 3:13; 8:12; Ps 8:7; 17:48; 36:7; 46:4; 59:10; 61:2, 6; 107:10;
143:2; Hag 2:18; Dan 7:27; 11:37. For example...
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put (Heb
shith = put, set; Lxx = hupotasso) all things under his feet,
The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues (Heb = davar/dabar -
subdue, a homonym of davar/dabar = to speak; Lxx = hupotasso) peoples
(command in Hebrew - damam - be still, silent, quiet; Lxx = hupotasso)
in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who
prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
(Ed: Interesting to see how the Lxx translates the command to
rest or be still in His presence by the verb to be subject to -
For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul
waits in silence (Heb = dumiyyah - a silence; a quiet waiting, a
repose; Lxx = hupotasso - "Shall not my soul be subjected to God?") for
God only; From Him is my salvation.
means to submit (to
yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. It is
important to note that many of the NT uses are in the passive
voice with a middle sense which signifies the voluntary
subjection of oneself to the will of another. Husbands and wives
both need to understand the voluntary nature of the submission
called for in the marital relationship lest it be misapplied (discussed
in more detail below).
was a military term
meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal,
both troops or ships.
meant that troop
divisions were to be arranged in a military fashion under the command of
the leader. In this state of subordination they were now subject to the
orders of their commander. Thus, it speaks of the subjection of one
individual under or to another.
was also used to
describe the arrangement of
military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out
In non-military use,
described a voluntary
attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, or carrying
some excellent, insightful comments noting that hupotasso is
a major virtue in the Christian
pastoral writings, expressing the relations of subordination in the
cosmic and religious order. God has placed everything in submission to
Christ, to whom the angels are subordinate (Heb 2:5; 1Pet 3:22); the
church is in submission to the Lord (Eph 5:24); Christians submit to
God, to his law and his training, but also to one another to cooperate
(1Cor 16:16) in the fear of God (Eph 5:21; cf. Ro 13:8). Woman is
subordinate to man, the wife to the husband, the children to the
parents (1Ti 3:4; cf. Marcus Aurelius 1.17.3), the young to the old,
slaves and servants to their master (Ep 6:5, Titus 2:9; 1Pet 2:18),
subjects (cf. Ep. Arist. 205, 207, 265; Josephus, War 2.140; Polybius
21.43, hoi hypotattomenoi) to their sovereign; and finally the
Christian must submit to every human creature. We may conclude that
the baptized (Ed: I would qualify that only one who is born by
the Spirit, Jn 3:3, 5, independent of water baptism if that is what
Spicq is alluding to here. cp baptizo conveying the sense of
identification with Christ's death - Ro 6:3. ) person is a “son of
obedience” (1Pet 1:2, 22) in all the larger or smaller human
communities in which he is placed (1Pe 2:13-3:12), contributing to the
maintenance of the order fixed by the plan of providence whereby all
creatures are ordered in a hierarchy (Wis 11:21).
It is clear that hupotasso
does not have the same range in these differing communal
relationships; but it is always reverent submission, seen as a
self-offering (cf. Titus 3:1, 2). It means first of all accepting
the exact place God has assigned, keeping to one’s rank in this or
that society, accepting a dependent status, especially toward God (Jas
4:7), like children who are submissive to a father’s discipline (Heb
12:9), after the fashion of the child Jesus. This religious
subjection is made up of an obedient spirit, humaneness of heart (Ep.
Arist. 257), respect, and willingness to serve. To submit is to
accept directives that are given, to honor conditions that are
imposed, to please one’s superior (Titus 2:9) or honor him by the
homage that is obedience (cf. Ep 6:1), to repudiate egotism and
aloofness. It is to spontaneously position oneself as a servant toward
one’s neighbor in the hierarchy of love. (Spicq, C., & Ernest, J. D.
(1994). Theological lexicon of the New Testament. 3:424-26. Peabody,
Submission focuses not on
personality but position. We need to see authority over us not acting on
their own, but as instruments in the hand of a
sovereign God. If we look at people
as acting on their own we will eventually become bitter, but if we can
see them as acting as God allows, we will become holy. A beautiful
example of this is found in the life of Joseph. His brothers
consistently mistreated him and it would have been very easy for him to
become bitter at them. Yet he had a divine perspective on the whole
situation and it helped him become a holy man of God.
And as for
you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to
bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (Ge
To be subject as used here in Titus 3:1 is
present tense (continual action called for) and the
middle voice (reflexive) which calls for the subject to initiate and
then participate in the action of putting one’s self in subjection to or under the
authority of another. In this context the middle voice stresses the
voluntary or willing nature of their submission.
In other words, the
Cretan Christians were to continually voluntarily place themselves in
under the authority of the government.
They were to submit not necessarily because these individuals are
personally worthy of our submission necessarily, but because by
submitting to them they were honoring God by obeying His Word.
Early Christian preaching was not limited to the way of salvation but
included instructions concerning the practical implications of that
salvation for daily living. Paul ever desired that the lives of
believers should produce a favorable impression on the non- Christian
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
Paul is saying that the Cretan
believers can obey this instruction because God is
sovereign and all
government is of God. Note that Paul does not make any exceptions to the
form of government, which implies that this command applies to
monarchies, republics, oligarchies, etc, for all have in them the
ordination and power of God for the welfare of society. Society needs to
be governed for lawlessness always ends in anarchy, misery, and
Regarding subjection to the rulers
and authorities it is notable that
restraint is better than the liberty of licentiousness. Compare a river
that keeps its bounds to one that overflows its banks. Men... must not
forget that all well-ordered societies exist only by subjection...Every
community, to be kept in order, must have a recognized head — one who
shall be allowed to rule, either by his own will or the organized will
of the whole. Hence man, in his most savage state, has some recognized
chief. (Pulpit Commentary)
This duty pertains to our attitude
and conduct in regard to secular government. It is important to note
that Paul specifies no particular kind or level of government or any
particular kind or level of government official and thus by his
"silence' he allows for no exceptions or qualifications. The Roman
government under which the early church lived not only was thoroughly
pagan and morally debauched but also was despotic, oppressive, unjust,
and brutal. Paul makes clear that the Christian’s obligation to
respect and obey human government does not rest on its being democratic
or just but solely on its being the God-ordained means by which human
society is regulated.
On the other hand if
subjecting ourselves results in performing some action which contradicts the clear
teaching of Scripture (tantamount to the will of God), we are to obey God.
To Titus 3:1
Be Subject to the Authorities
In Acts we see an illustration
of the "exception to the rule" -- Peter and the
apostles are confronted by the Jewish leaders who declared
you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you
have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's
blood upon us".
To this Peter and the apostles replied
must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:28, 29)
Daniel 3 records a well-known
example of an exception of the command to obey governing
authorities. King Nebuchadnezzar's decree was
moment you hear the sound ...you are to fall down and worship the golden image
that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up" (Da 3:5)
and "whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately
be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire." (Da 3:6)
Shadrach, Meshach and
Abed-nego, choose to obey their God rather than the king,
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to
give you an answer concerning this matter. "If it be so, our God
whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing
fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. "But even
if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not
going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have
set up." (Da 3:16, 17, 18)
Note that although they did not
die, they clearly were willing to die before they disobeyed their
In a parallel passage in Romans
every person (literally = every soul = a
Hebraism for “every man”) be in subjection
(present tense, middle voice = voluntarily and habitually) to the governing
authorities (literally “authorities which have themselves over”
= authorities who are over the citizen) (Ro 13:1-note)
This verse more literally reads
Let every soul voluntarily place himself habitually in subjection to the
Paul emphasizes that
"those who refuse to obey the laws of the land
are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow" for "the
authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something
wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The
authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish
those who do wrong. So you must obey the government for two reasons: to
keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience." (Ro 13:1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) (See notes
person who resists and opposes human government, resists and opposes
In another parallel passage, Peter
writes to the his believing audience to
yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a
king as the one in authority or to governors as sent by him for the
punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
Peter goes on to explain the worthy goal attained by
godly submission writing that
such is the will of God that by doing
right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1Pe 2:!5-note)
The first NT
use of hupotasso
provides an example for all believers, recording that as a 12 year old
went down with (His parents) and came to Nazareth,
and He continued in subjection (present tense = denoting
habitual, continuous subjection) to them and His mother treasured all
these things in her heart. (Lk 2:51)
with His Heavenly Father did not override or nullify His duty to His
earthly parents. Though Jesus was the Creator of the universe, He took
His place as an obedient Child in this humble Jewish family.
Luke records that
the seventy (additional disciples Jesus had appointed) returned with joy,
saying, “Lord, even the demons are (present tense = continually)
subject to us in Your name. (Lk 10:17, cf Lk 9:1)
In the third NT use of
Paul describing those
who are according to the flesh writes that
"the mind set on
the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not (present tense = habitually does not = continued insubordination)
- middle voice = the voluntary subjection of oneself to
the will of another) itself to the law of God, for it is not even
able to do so" (Ro 8:6, 7-
Wuest comments that
Such a mind is not marshaled (like troops not placed in proper rank or
position) under the command of God, but of Satan. Consequently, those
who are within the sphere of the evil nature, are not able to please
God. These are, of course, the unsaved.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
John MacArthur adds that
the good deeds unbelievers perform are not truly a fulfillment of
God’s law, because they are produced by the flesh, for selfish reasons,
and from a heart that is in rebellion. (MacArthur,
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word Pub)
In Romans Paul records that the
seeking (continually) to establish (to set
up or erect a righteousness of their own as a monument to their own
glory and not to God’s) their own (righteousness - their
own means of salvation)...did not subject (hupotasso)
themselves to the righteousness of God. (Ro 10:3-note)
Wuest says that
to arrange under, to subordinate,” as soldiers in a battalion under a
commanding officer" or "to put one’s self under orders, to obey.” He
goes on to help us understand the meaning of
commenting that what Paul is saying
here is that the "Appropriation by faith of God’s righteousness
involves not only the discarding of all dependence upon self and
self-effort for salvation, but also the heart’s submission or
capitulation to Jesus as Saviour and Lord. This the Jews did not
want to do. (Bolding added)
Paul writes that God the Father
all things in subjection (hupotasso) under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. (Ep
Ep 1:22 is a quote from
Ps 8:6 indicating that God has exalted
Christ and granted Him universal dominion, over His body the church,
over men and angels and over all the rest of His creation, animate and
inanimate. Christ is clearly the authoritative Head because all things
have been placed under His feet.
How is it possible to submit or
surrender one's rights to another whether they are rulers as specified
here in Titus 3:1 or others?
Paul gives us the answer In Ephesians writing that believers should
not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be (continually)
filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Ep 5:18-note).
Spirit controlled husbands and wives are then called first to
subject to (hupotasso -
present tense = our habit, as our lifestyle, continually to)
one another (What
should motivate this mutual submission?)
in the fear
(reverential awe) of Christ
Henry Alford says:
As we are
otherwise to be filled, otherwise to sing and rejoice, so also we are
otherwise to behave—not blustering nor letting our voices rise in
selfish vaunting, as such men do,—but subject to one another. (Alford's Greek Testament)
Subjecting one’s self to another is
the opposite of self assertion, the opposite of an independent,
autocratic spirit. It is the desire to get along with one another,
being satisfied with less than one’s due, a sweet reasonableness of
Paul then goes on to give
Wives, [be subject] (not in the
Greek but implied by the context) to your own (one’s own
private, peculiar, unique possession) husbands, as (hōs
= adverb of comparison = even as, in the same manner as, like as) to the Lord (to Christ; not to the husband as lord and master =
the obedience she has to render to her husband is as an obedience
rendered to Christ). (Ep 5:22-note).
The Greek is literally
The wives to their own husbands as to
Then Paul adds "as the church is
to Christ, so also the wives [ought to] (not in the Greek but added
by translators) be to their husbands in everything. (Ep
(For more in depth discussion of this topic click Wayne Barber's
Wayne Barber notes that in the context
of marriage hupotássō
not mean that
(the wife) is
commanded to obey her husband as a child would obey his parents or a
slave would obey his master. A lot of men treat their wife as if they
were a door mat. They "walk all over them" acting as if the wife had no ability
or were their inferior. That is not what
Dr. Barber goes on to explain that
word used for
wives to husbands, is the word that talks about two people who are equal
in God’s eyes, totally equal. There is no inferiority of one to
Instead the wife makes a choice to place herself as an equal in God's
estimate under another equal, her husband, so that there might be order
and function in the family. The whole purpose (of a wife submitting to
her husband) is to accommodate the design which God has
Husbands, does this mean that your wife is your
slave who is called to obey your every command? Does it mean that you
treat her like a child? No! If there is
a man who thinks that he is superior to his wife in God’s eyes, he is
gravely mistaken as God’s Word teaches (Ga 3:28). However, for His
design as the husband to be functional...God says, "Wives, you make it
and you choose to put yourself underneath the headship of your husband"
in order that the design can be what God says it ought to be. The
meaning of it has nothing to do with an inferior submitting to superior.
It takes nothing from the dignity of a woman for her to submit, but
rather it enhances it. It takes great integrity for a person to do what
God says should be done. (excerpt from
In Ephesians 5 (Ep
5:21, 22, 24), submission represents an act of faith. The
submitting party in effect is placing their trust in God, for there is an
inherent danger in submitting to others. What is it? That the other
party might take
advantage of our submission to them. But if we genuinely trust God and
specifically that He is sovereign in this relationship with our mate, we
will be willing to submit. A person who is truly yielded to (subjected
to) God, and who wants to serve
his fellow Christian, would not even think of taking advantage of
someone else, saved or unsaved. The husband who demands his
wife’s submission but does not recognize his own obligation to
submit to her (Ep 5:21-see
note) and thus distorts God’s standard for the marital
relationship and cannot function optimally as a Christ-like, godly husband
(see Christ's ultimate example of submitting to His Father [although the
verb hupotasso is absent, the principle is present] - Php 2:5, 6, 7-note,
Php 2:8 -
Similarly, parents who
demand obedience from their children not recognizing their own
obligation to submit in loving sacrifice to meet their children’s needs
are themselves disobedient to their heavenly Father and cannot function
optimally as godly parents. To reiterate, biblical submission is only
possible in those who are filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit
Ray Stedman comments that "submit"
has become the focus of the feminist movement and is probably one of the
most hated words among women today. The meaning has been grossly
distorted. Many wrongs things have been done in the name of submission.
Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about submission is that
it does not cancel out equality. Although it is addressed here to wives,
it is not a female word in the Bible but is addressed to men as well.
Thus it is not a sexist word. Everyone must submit to other people. In
Ephesians 5:21 (note), Paul says Christians are to submit "one to another." The
outstanding manifestation of true submission, of course, is seen in our
Lord's submitting of Himself to the Father (and as
noted above as a
young boy to His parents!). No one would ever conceive of the idea
that Jesus found it a reproach to submit to the Father. He delighted in
it. It was voluntary on his part. In no way did he regard it as a threat
to the equality which he knew existed between himself and the Father.
Therefore, to submit to someone does not mean you are not equal. This is
the confusing meaning which the world has poured into this word.
Submission does not mean inequality. Literally, it means "put
yourself under, arrange yourself under someone, for a good and proper
purpose." It is a totally voluntary action." (See
complete sermon "Living Christianly")
In the context of the truth that
God is opposed to the proud, James gives us a great conditional promise
which demonstrates the value of submission...
Submit (hupotasso -
aorist imperative =
In context this comes like a military command = Line up under God! Do it now!
The aorist imperative can even convey a
sense of urgency) therefore to God.
stand against! Do it now! It's urgent!) the devil and he will flee
from you. (Jas 4:7)
Comment: From the context we
note that the person who obeys these commands is one who has an attitude
of humility (Jas 4:6, cp the same dynamic in 1Pe 5:5-note).
In other words, James states that since God sets himself in array
against the proud, chose to array yourselves under God, that you might
withstand your intractable adversary, the devil. It is worth
noting as an aside that one does not need a huge book on "How to Conduct
Spiritual Warfare" or a week long course on "How to Confront Demons".
Simple, humble (Jas 4:6) obedience to God's commands in James 4:7
"activates" God's promise and the enemy must pull back, at least for
that moment. However we are not ignorant of his schemes (2Co 2:11) but
are aware that he [actually his demonic henchmen as few saints will ever
have a direct encounter with Satan for he is not omnipresent] will
continually to prowl to and fro looking for an opportune time to attack
us again (That was his tact with our Lord - Lk 4:13, cp Mk 14:15).
Maintain a humble mindset. Submit to God. Resist the devil. This is the
path to victory in "spiritual warfare 101". It has to do with your
willingness to obey and submit.
Hupotasso is used 15x in the
Septuagint (LXX) (Greek of OT Hebrew)
- 1Ki 10:15; 1Chr. 22:18; 29:24; 2Chr 9:14; Esther 3:13; 8:12; Ps 8:6;
18:47; 37:7; 47:3; 60:8; 62:1, 5; 108:9; 144:2; Da 6:13; 7:27; 11:37,
39; Hag. 2:18), for example David records that
dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put (LXX -
hupotasso = subjected) all things under his
feet. (Ps 8:6)
- The eleventh–century German monarch Henry III became tired of his
responsibilities and the worldliness of court life and decided to become
a monk. When he went to the monastery and explained his intent, the
prior warned him that the course he had chosen would be a difficult one.
"Your Majesty,” Prior Richard explained, “do you understand that the
pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been
a king.” King Henry was undaunted and replied, “I understand. The rest
of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will
tell you what to do,” Prior Richard said. “Go back to your throne and
serve faithfully in the place where God has placed you.” Henry did as he
was told. After he died, he was given this epitaph: “The King learned to
rule by being obedient.” The same might also be said of us. Submission
is an important component of the life of obedience to Christ. Not only
are we told to submit to Christ, but we also have an obligation to
submit to the human authorities that God has placed over us.
Some years ago, pop singer Bob Dylan penned a song that declared, “You
gotta serve somebody.” Have you ever calculated how many people are in
authority over you? Try naming as many as you can. Whether it is to a
parent, an employer, or the officer who directs traffic on the corner,
everyone has somebody to whom they are expected to submit. To whom do
you find it most difficult to submit and why? Remember that, like King
Henry, Christians also “learn to rule by being obedient.” (Today in the
TO AUTHORITIES: archais exousiais hupotassesthai peitharchein:
In modern vernacular, these two
terms would refer to everything from the president down to the city
government and local police.
(746) (arche) refers to the commencement of something as an action, process,
or state of being. Here
refers to first in relation to time (priority in time, the
beginning of anything, the origin and by far the most common use in the
used 55 times in the NT (note which NT writer has most uses -
Matt. 19:4, 8; 24:8, 21; Mk. 1:1; 10:6; 13:8, 19; Lk. 1:2; 12:11; 20:20;
Jn. 1:1, 2; 2:11; 6:64; 8:25, 44; 15:27; 16:4; Acts 10:11; 11:5, 15;
26:4; Ro 8:38; 1 Co. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Phil. 4:15; Col.
1:16, 18; 2:10, 15; Titus 3:1; Heb. 1:10; 2:3; 3:14; 5:12; 6:1; 7:3; 2
Pet. 3:4; 1 Jn. 1:1; 2:7, 13, 14, 24; 3:8, 11; 2 Jn. 1:5, 6; Jude 1:6;
Rev. 3:14; 21:6; 22:13)
and is translated: beginning, 38; corners, 2; domain, 1; elementary, 1; first, 1; first
preaching, 1; principalities, 1; rule, 4; rulers, 6.
uses arche 162
times - Gen. 1:1, 16; 2:10; 10:10; 13:4; 40:13, 20f; 41:13, 21; 43:18,
20; 49:3; Exod. 6:25; 12:2; 34:22; 39:16; Num. 1:2; 4:22; 24:20; 26:2;
Deut. 11:12; 17:18, 20; 21:17; 33:15, 27; Jos. 24:2; Jdg. 7:11, 16f,
19f; 9:34, 37, 43f; 20:18; Ruth 1:22; 1 Sam. 11:11; 13:17f; 2 Sam. 7:10;
14:26; 17:9; 21:9f; 1 Ki. 7:35; 21:9, 12; 2 Ki. 17:25; 1 Chr. 12:32;
16:7; 17:9; 26:10; 29:12; 2 Chr. 13:12; 23:8; Ezr. 4:6; 8:18; 9:2; Neh.
9:17; 12:46; Est. 4:17; 8:12; Job 37:3; 40:19; Ps. 74:2; 77:11; 78:2;
102:25; 110:3; 111:10; 119:152, 160; 137:6; 139:17; Prov. 1:7; 8:22f;
9:10; 15:33; 16:7, 12; 17:14; Eccl. 3:11; 7:8; 10:13; Song 4:8; Isa.
1:26; 2:6; 9:6f, 15; 10:10; 19:11, 15; 22:11; 23:7; 40:21; 41:4, 26f;
42:9f; 43:9, 13; 44:8; 45:21; 48:8, 16; 51:9; 63:16, 19; Jer. 2:3;
13:21; 22:6; 25:20; 26:1; 34:1; 49:2, 35; 51:58; Lam. 2:19; 4:1; Ezek.
10:11; 16:25, 31, 55; 21:19, 21; 29:14f; 31:3, 10, 14; 36:11; 42:10, 12;
43:14; 48:1; Dan. 2:37; 6:26; 7:12, 14, 26f; 8:1; 9:21, 23; 11:41; Hos.
1:2, 11; Amos 6:1, 7; Obad. 1:20; Mic. 3:1; 4:8; 5:2; Nah. 1:6; 3:8, 10;
Hab. 1:12; Zech. 12:7.
refers to what is first or has primacy (the state of being first). Arché refers to one with whom a process begins, beginning
(Col 1:18-note). Arché refers the first cause, the beginning
(Rev 3:14-note) Arché can refer to the first in a series of things or persons. When
applied to an individual, arché refers to one who is
first in order of importance or power.
Arche speaks of those first
in order of rulership in a community, “the first ones” in the town.
He is an an authority figure who initiates activity or process. Here in
Titus 3:1 arché speaks of the persons first in order of
rulership in a community, “the first ones” in the town.
Vincent says arché
refers to beginning and so is that which begins, in this case the
leader or the principality. (KJV translates arché as principalities
in Titus 3:1, principality being a powerful ruler, or the rule of
someone in authority)
Arché speaks of the sphere of one’s official activity, authority
In Jude 1:6 we read of
angels who did
not keep their own domain (arché), but abandoned
their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the
judgment of the great day."
In this use arché speaks
of the exalted position of angels in heaven, in contradistinction to the
lower place occupied by the earth dwellers. This high position and
condition, these angels left, which means that they descended to a lower
position and condition. In doing that they sinned.
Wuest comments that
first of all" and that "The angels left their first or original status
as angels, their original position, to violate the laws of God which
kept them separate from the human race, members of which latter race
occupy a different category among the created intelligences than that of
Arché speaks of the elementary and preliminary aspects defining
the nature of something. For example in Hebrews we read
by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone
to teach you the elementary (arché) principles of
the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food."
Arché is used of a corner of a sheet (from the idea that the
corners are the beginnings of the sheet) so in Acts 11:5 Luke records "a certain
object coming down like great sheet lowered by four corners from the
Jesus declared that
things are merely the beginning (arché) of birth
pangs." (Mt 24:8)
John writes that
In the beginning
(arché) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"
John records Jesus' words declaring that He is
The Amen, the
faithful and true Witness, the Beginning (arché) of
the creation of God" (Re 3:14-note)
In addressing a group of "pseudo-believing" Jews, Jesus
declared to them that
You are of your father the devil, and you want
to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the
beginning (arché), and does not stand in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks
from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (Jn
In his first epistle John writes that
the one who (habitually)
practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the
beginning (arché) . The Son of God appeared for this
purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1Jn 3:8)
In the last use in the NT Jesus declares
I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the first and the last, the beginning (arché)
and the end." (Re 22:13-note)
Jesus promised His disciples that
when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers
(arché) and the authorities (exousía), do not
become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or
what you should say for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour
what you ought to say." (Lk 12:11, 12)
In a reference to the hierarchy of
evil supernatural beings Paul writes
For I am convinced that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (arché),
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ro 8:38,
In a similar use Paul reminds the saints at Ephesus that Christ is
far above all rule (arché) and
authority (exousia) and power and dominion, and every name
that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come." (Ep
Paul reminds all believers that we need the full armor of God
our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (arché) against the powers (exousia),
against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces
of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ep 6:12-note)
Paul reminds the Colossian saints that in Christ
"you have been made
complete (perfect tense = permanence) and He is the head over all
rule (arché) and authority." (Col 2:10-note)
Arché is used 158 times in the
Septuagint (LXX = Greek of Hebrew OT),
the first use referring to time, Moses recording
"In the beginning (LXX
= arché) God made the heaven and the earth." (Ge 1:1)
In another reference to time we read that
"Naomi returned and with
her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land
of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning (LXX
of barley harvest." (Ru 1:22-note)
In a reference acknowledging the preeminence and rule of Jehovah we read
"Now behold, God is with us at our Head (LXX = arché)
and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you.
O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers, for
you will not succeed." (2Chr 13:12)
John MacArthur comments that
"It is important to note that Paul specifies no particular kind or level
of government or any particular kind or level of government official. He
allows for no exceptions or qualifications." (Ibid)
Authorities (1849) (exousia)
is derived from éxesti = it is permitted, it is lawful
meaning liberty of action.
means the power to do something and was a technical term used in the law courts, of a legal right.
"Authority or right is the dominant meaning (of exousia) in the New
in short refers to delegated
authority and combines the idea of the "right and the might",
these attributes having been granted to someone.
Vine explains that exousía
from the meaning of "leave or permission" or "liberty of doing as one
pleases" and passed to that of "the ability or strength with which one
is endued," then to that of the "power of authority," the right to
exercise power or "the power of rule or government," the power of one
whose will and commands must be obeyed by others. (Vine,
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
Wuest writes that exousía means literally
“to be out,”
and was used of that authority which a person has which is delegated to
him from someone else. The person delegating the authority is in a sense
out of himself and acting in the person to whom he has delegated the
authority. Thus, the word means “delegated authority.” The word means
also “the power of authority and of right.” It was used in legal
practice of delegated authority. Here it is used of our Lord as having
that authority in Himself, not derived from others. The rabbis quoted
from other rabbis and felt themselves to be expounders of tradition. The
Messiah struck a new note here, and the people were quick to recognize
it. They saw that here was a Teacher who spoke on His own authority."
Here in Titus exousía
speaks of delegated authority and qualifies the civil rulers as
those having duly constituted authority.
-102x - Mt. 7:29; 8:9; 9:6, 8; 10:1; 21:23f, 27; 28:18; Mk. 1:22, 27;
2:10; 3:15; 6:7; 11:28, 29, 33; 13:34; Lk. 4:6, 32, 36; 5:24; 7:8; 9:1;
10:19; 12:5, 11; 19:17; 20:2, 8, 20; 22:53; 23:7; Jn. 1:12; 5:27; 10:18;
17:2; 19:10, 11; Acts 1:7; 5:4; 8:19; 9:14; 26:10, 12, 18; Ro 9:21;
13:1, 2, 3; 1Co. 7:37; 8:9; 9:4, 5, 6, 12, 18; 11:10; 15:24; 2 Co. 10:8;
13:10; Eph. 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:13, 16; 2:10, 15; 2Th 3:9;
Titus 3:1; Heb. 13:10; 1 Pet. 3:22; Jude 1:25; Rev. 2:26; 6:8; 9:3, 10,
19; 11:6; 12:10; 13:2, 4, 5, 7, 12; 14:18; 16:9; 17:12, 13; 18:1; 20:6;
22:14) NAS -authorities, 7; authority, 65; charge, 1;
control, 1; domain, 2; dominion, 1; jurisdiction, 1; liberty, 1; power,
11; powers, 1; right, 11.
When a person delegates someone to
do something for him and in his name, he is in a sense in that person,
doing that very thing which he asked the other one to do. For example,
the Son of Man on earth had the delegated authority, as the Son of God,
from God the Father, to forgive sins, Mark recording that
order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority (exousía)
on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise,
take up your pallet and go home. (Mk 2:10, 11).
To further illustrate the meaning we read that
summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was
giving them authority over the unclean spirits." (Mk 6:7)
Comment: This power over
the demons would authenticate their preaching
The first use of exousía
in the NT is by Matthew (and Mark) who records
that when Jesus
had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching for
He was teaching them as one having authority (exousía),
and not as their scribes. (Mt 7:28, 29-notes)
A T Robertson
commenting on the meaning of exousía in Mt 7:29 adds that Jesus
"struck a note not found by the rabbi. They quoted other rabbis
and felt their function to be expounders of the traditions which they
made a millstone around the necks of the people. By so doing they set
aside the word and will of God by their traditions and petty legalism
(Mk 7:9,13). They were casuists and made false interpretations to
prove their punctilious points of external etiquette to the utter
neglect of the spiritual reality. The people noticed at once that here
was a personality who got his power (authority) direct
from God, not from the current scribes." (Titus
3 Word Studies)
Paul explained to the Ephesians
that prior to their new birth, they had
"walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince of the power (exousía) (here synonymous with evil spirits or demons
whose realm was the atmosphere) of the air, of the spirit that is now
working in the sons of disobedience." (Ep 2:2-note)
Exousía is used as a reference to demon
powers also in Ep 1:21 (note)
and Ep 6:12 (note).
Paul uses exousía in
his let to the Colossians reminding them that God has "delivered us
from the domain (exousia) of darkness and
transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Col 1:13, 14-notes)
comments that the in Titus 3:1
signifies liberty of action, and thus, like the corresponding English
word license, involves secondary ideas, of which either may be so
prominent as to eclipse the other; (1) authority, delegated
power or (2) tyranny, lawlessness, unrestrained or
arbitrary power... this latter idea of a capricious unruly rule
is prominent here (Col 1:13, 14-notes). The expression ‘the
power of darkness’ occurs also in Lk 22:53 (Jesus declared “While I
was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this
hour and the power (exousía) of darkness are yours.”),
where again the idea of disorder is involved. The transference from
darkness to light is here represented as a transference from an
arbitrary tyranny, an exousia, to a well-ordered sovereignty, a
kingdom.” The phrase refers to the tyrannical rule of Satan and his
demons over the unsaved.
"removes kings and establishes kings" (Da 2:21)
Jesus speaking to Pilate reminded even this corrupt ruler that
would have no authority (exousia) over Me, unless
it had been given you from above." (Jn 19:11).
God is the
sovereign authority and He is in control.
Exousía is used 24 times in the
- 2Ki 20:13; Esther 3:13; 4:17; 8:12; Ps 114:2; 136:8 9; Pr 17:14; Eccl
8:8; Da 3:2, 3, 30; 4:1, 3, 17, 26, 27, 31, 34; 5:4, 7, 16, 29; 6:3;
7:6, 12, 14, 26, 27; 11:5;
writes that we should give thanks to God who made
sun to rule (LXX = exousia) by day, for His
lovingkindness is everlasting, the moon and stars to rule (LXX
= exousia) by night, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
(Ps 136:8, 9)
The heavenly bodies received their "authority to rule" from Jehovah God.
In an passage prophesying the reign of Messiah Daniel records that
to Him was given the dominion (LXX = exousia), and
the honour, and the kingdom; and all nations, tribes, and languages,
shall serve him: his dominion (LXX = exousia) is an
everlasting dominion (LXX = exousia), which shall
not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed." (Da 7:14-note)
In this same section, Daniel predicts the judgment on the "rather small
horn" (the Antichrist of Re 13:2-note where
dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority."
Antichrist's power delegated by Satan) when "the court will sit for
judgment and his dominion (LXX = exousia) will be
taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever." (Da 7:26-note)
Daniel then records that "we the people" receive this exousia, writing
Then the sovereignty, the dominion (LXX = exousia), and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be
given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will
be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions (LXX = exousia)
will serve and obey Him." (Da 7:27-note)
OBEDIENT: peitharchein (PAN):
To be obedient
(3980) (peitharcheo from
persuade, obey +
arche = ruler) which literally means to be
persuaded by a ruler and then to obey and submit to the authority of
rulers or magistrates.
This rare verb form is almost a
reiteration of the preceding section.
Cretans were naturally intractable, and
so Paul tells Titus to continually remind the Christians to obey
(present tense = continual action called for) the civil authorities, some of whom were
undoubtedly "liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." (Titus 1:12-note) In such a difficult environment, the old flesh nature
can be easily provoked to less than godly words and actions. Therefore the only way believers can
successfully heed these instructions is by continual dependence on the "grace of God"
instructing us to deny ungodliness.
The mention of obedience
states the result and visible demonstration of their attitude of
Polybius wrote that the Cretans were notorious
for a rebellious spirit and were constantly involved in
insurrections, murders and internecine wars.
TO BE READY
FOR EVERY GOOD DEED: pros pan ergon agathon hetoimous einai, (PAN):
(Titus 3:8,14; 2:14; 1Cor
15:58; Gal 6:9,10; Ep 2:10; Php 1:11; Col 1:10; 1Ti 5:10; 2Ti 2:21; Heb
Ready (2092) (hetoimos
from an old noun heteos = fitness) means ready,
prepared, in a state of readiness.
TDNT says that
The clear meaning
of this word group is preparation both in the active sense of “making
ready” and in the passive of “readiness,” “ability” or “resolution.”
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
is used 17x in the NASB (Matt. 22:4, 8; 24:44; 25:10; Mk. 14:15; Lk.
12:40; 14:17; 22:33; Jn. 7:6; Acts 23:15, 21; 2 Co. 9:5; 10:6, 16; Titus
3:1; 1 Pet. 1:5; 3:15)
and is translated: accomplished, 1; opportune, 1; ready, 15.
We get a good sense of the meaning of hétoimos in Jesus
instruction to His disciples that
For this reason (in light of
alertness necessary to catch a thief at night) you be
(continually, habitually, as your lifestyle) ready (hétoimos) too
the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He
Jesus is saying that His people should be on the
tiptoes of expectancy. (Mt 25:20 = similar warning)
In another NT use Peter exhorts suffering saints that instead of fearing
intimidation and being agitated, saints are to "sanctify Christ as
Lord in your hearts, always (all times, all places, no exceptions)
[being] ready (hétoimos) to make a defense
(an apologetic) to everyone who asks you to give an account for the
hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1Pe 3:15-note)
Peter is insisting that the believer must understand what he believes
and why one is a Christian, and then BE READY and BE ABLE to articulate
one’s beliefs humbly, thoughtfully, reasonably, and biblically. Are you
- 35x in the non-apocryphal
15:17; 19:11, 15; 34:2; Lev. 16:21; Nu 16:16; Deut. 32:35; Jos. 4:3;
8:4; 1 Sam. 13:21; 26:4; 2Sa 23:5; 1Ki. 2:45; 8:39, 43, 49; 2Chr.
6:2, 30, 33, 39; Esther 1:1; 3:14; 8:13; Ps. 17:12; 33:14; 38:17; 57:7;
93:2; 108:1; 112:7; Ezek. 21:10, 11; Hos. 6:3; Mic 4:1; 6:8).
In a verse
that Jonathan Edwards took as his text for famous sermon, "Sinners
in the Hands of an Angry God", Moses records God's
Vengeance is Mine, and retribution. In due time
their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near and the
impending things are hastening upon (LXX = hetoimos = in
a state of readiness) them." (Dt 32:35)
In the Psalms (Ps
57:7), hetoimos is used to describe the psalmist's heart as in a state
of preparedness or readiness. In a well known verse Micah declares
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does
the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk
humbly (LXX = hetoimos = to be ready to walk) with your
God? (Micah 6:8)
Titus 3, Paul says that Titus is to continually remind the Cretan Christians to continually be
("be" is in the present tense = this is to be their habitual practice,
their very lifestyle) in a state of readiness, fitness and preparedness
(hetoimos) as good Christian citizens to carry out good
As good citizens, believers
must also "be ready to do whatever is good"--prepared and
willing to participate in activities that promote the welfare of the
community. They must not stand coldly aloof from praiseworthy
enterprises of government but show good public spirit, thus proving
that Christianity is a constructive force in society. (Ibid)
Why are believers to be "ready",
"ripe", "primed " or "prepared", able to respond
without delay or hesitation? In short this attitude equips us for every good deed.
Good deed or "good
= work +
is a frequent Pauline phrase used 6x in the short letter to Titus (Titus
1:16, 2:7, 14, 3:1, 8, 14-see
- Good Works
Spurgeon's sermon - Good Works
Another discussion on good works
Incredible example of good deeds
See "created for good works" - Ephesians 2:10
Here are all the
NT uses of the phrase good work(s) or good deed(s) (Note
some of these uses use
for good rather
Matthew 5:16-note Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Comment: The difficult portion
of this verse is "in such a way" (e.g., see 1Co 4:5 - even our "motives"
will be assayed by our Righteous Refiner! Woe!)
Mt 26:10 But Jesus, aware of
this, said to them, "Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a
good deed to Me.
Mark 14:6 But Jesus said, "Let
her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed
John 10:32-33 Jesus answered
them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of
them are you stoning Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, "For a good work
we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man,
make Yourself out to be God."
2Cor 5:10-note For we must all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be
recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has
done, whether good or bad
Comment: bad is not kakos or
evil as the Textus Receptus has it but phaulos = worthlessness. Phaulos
signifies the impossibility of any true gain ever coming forth from the
action being judged.
2Cor 9:8 And God is able to
make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in
everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Comment: This verse emphasizes
that good deeds are grace deeds and as such are in no may natural deeds
but supernatural deeds.
For we are His
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good
work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
- so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in
all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in
the knowledge of God;
Comment: Here we see good works can be
discerned by bearing spiritual fruit and we observe from this prayer
beginning in Col 1:9-note
that the person who does good
deeds is filled with a knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom
and understanding. In other words they are not filled up with themselves
and their desire for men's adulation.
2Th 2:17 - comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good
work and word.
Comment: Paul explains the
role of prayer in good deeds.
1Ti 2:10 but rather by means
of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.
1Ti 5:10 - having a reputation for good works; and if she
has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if
she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress,
and if she has devoted herself to every good work.
1Ti 5:25 Likewise also,
deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are
otherwise cannot be concealed.
1Ti 6:18 Instruct them to do
good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to
share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation
for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Comment: Note the eternal
aspect of good deeds done in this present age!
- Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a
vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every
Comment: Note our part in
making ourselves holy vessels which God would use to carry out His holy
- so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good
Comment: Observe the vital
role of the "all Scripture" in equipping the man or woman of God for
good deeds! What is the implication if a person is continually
practicing "good deeds" but is virtually never taking in the pure milk
of the Word?
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being
detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.
Comment: Possessors of Christ's Spirit, not professors of such,
are the only ones who can perform good God glorifying deeds.
in all things
show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity
in doctrine, dignified,
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed
and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for
Comment: Realization of the truth that we are His precious
possession, motivates to be "boiling" or "on fire" for good deeds.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to
be ready for every good deed,
Comment: Being ready or
prepared for "God deeds" necessitates that we walk in communion with
Christ so that we might see with eyes of faith those deeds which were
This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you
to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful
to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for
And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to
meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good
Comment: We need to provoke
one another to carry out good deeds.
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in
which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good
deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of
Comment: The purpose of good deeds is similar to
that explained by Jesus in Mt 5:16-note
are God deeds, deeds prepared by, initiated by and
empowered by God's Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, Who lives in us and as
such are deeds which are designed to glorify our Father (Mt 5:16-note).
Good deeds are not natural deeds but supernatural deeds, as is
clearly shown by the foundation of such deeds which Paul explained to
the saints in Ephesus writing that...
we (saints by grace through faith)
are His workmanship (poiema
= His work of
art, His masterpieces!), created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10-note)
beforehand? I believe these works were prepared even before we were
born again and in fact even before the foundation of the world. I would
submit when He ordained that we would be His children, choosing us to be
in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Eph 1:14-note)
helps us understand the "good" in "good deeds" writing that...
It is not enough to do good. One must
do it in the right way.
Chester A. Pennington also adds the qualifier that...
No amount of good deeds can make us good persons. We must be good before
we can do good.
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but
See related resource by A W Pink -
The Scriptures and Good Works
Paul emphasized the principle that good
deeds flow from "ready" vessels, writing that
a man cleanses himself from these things (Amplified - "from what is
ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with
contaminating and corrupting influences"), he will be a vessel
(instrument) for honor, sanctified, useful (beneficial for
honorable and noble purposes) to the Master, prepared
(ready, ripe, primed) for every good work (ergon
agathon)." (2Ti 2:21-note)
In other words,
you get up, go to work, and immediately God gives you an opportunity to
perform a good work. Are
Every morning is a new day of opportunity and we need to
arise and "present (our) bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God" (Ro 12:1-note),
redeem (buy up) "the time (opportunities), because the days
are evil" (Eph 5:16-note),
disciplining ourselves for godliness which is "profitable for all
things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the
life to come." (1Ti 4:7, 8-see notes
R. L. Dabney
The gospel teaches us that while believers are not rewarded on account
of their works, they are rewarded according to their works...While our
works are naught as a ground of merit for justification, they are
all-important as evidences that we are justified.
put it this way...
I would not give much for your
religion unless it can be seen. Lamps do not talk, but they do shine.
Don't let the opportunities slip
by. Be "confessed up",
"repented up" and "filled up" with the Holy Spirit and you
will be ready to recognize the opportunities God graciously gives. And
remember that although we are to be seen doing good works, we must not
do good works in order to be seen!
Peter explained the vital importance of good deeds in a godless society exhorting
Keep (our) behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so
that in the thing in which they slander (us) as evildoers, they
may because of (our) good deeds, as they observe
(behold with their own eyes like a spectator or overseer) them,
glorify God in the day of visitation." (1Pe 2:12-note)
In light of the importance of good deeds,
the writer of Hebrews encourages saints to
consider how to stimulate
one another to love and good deeds. (He 10:24-note)
Your good works
will validate your good words (works are fruit but words
are leaves) which is in stark contrast to the
false teachers who
profess to know God, but by
their deeds they (continually) deny Him, being detestable
(root word = "to stink"!) and disobedient and
worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16-note).
Good deeds are not
the root of salvation, but they are the fruit
of genuine salvation (cf Mt 3:8; Ep 2:10
The lives of believers should
continually demonstrate the reality of the spiritual regeneration and
supernatural transformation they have received by grace through faith in
Believers who have
every lawless deed and now are the rightful possessions of Christ,
are to be zealous (afire,
ardent, fervent, eager, enthusiastic) for good deeds. (Titus
phrased it this way...
Good deeds are such things that no
man is saved for them nor without them.
rightly reminds us (for a man is tested by the praise accorded him - Pr
In our good works nothing is our own.
alluded to the supernatural aspect of good deeds when he exhorted us
Do good until it is an unconscious
habit of life and you do not know you are doing it.
in his preface to his comments on Romans wrote...
Oh, it is a living, busy, active,
mighty thing, this faith; and so it is impossible for it not to do good
works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do,
but before the question rises; it has already done them, and is always
at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. He
gropes and looks about after faith and good works, and knows neither
what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with
many words, about faith and good works.
HIS WORKS/MY WORKS - If God
did not bless, not one hair, not a solitary wisp of straw, would grow;
but there would be an end of everything. At the same time God wants
me to take this stance: I would have nothing whatever if I did not
plow and sow. God does not want to have success come without work, and
yet I am not to achieve it by my work. He does not want me to sit at
home, to loaf, to commit matters to God, and to wait till a fried
chicken flies into my mouth. That would be tempting God. (Related
Divine Sovereignty vs. Human Responsibility);
wrote the following regarding works and our Salvation.
William Wickham being appointed by King Edward to build a stately
church, wrote in the windows, "This work made William Wickham." When
charged by the king for assuming the honour of that work to himself as
the author, whereas he was only the overseer, he answered that he meant
not that he made the work, but that the work made him, having before
been very poor, and then in great credit. Lord, when we read in thy Word
that we must work out our own salvation, thy meaning is not that our
salvation (Php 2:12-note)
should be the effect of our work, but our faith — Feathers for Arrows (See
for a faith that works)
As alluded to in
some of the preceding quotes, we must be careful to notice that the
phrase is good deeds which differs from your deeds. Let me
explain. Paul is calling for good (agathos
= good in its character or constitution, beneficial in
its effect) deeds, and the only "good"
deeds are those borne by believers (like "branches")
who are abiding in Christ ("the Vine"). Good
deeds reflect Christ's life flowing through us, initiated and
energized by His Spirit and bringing glory to His Father (Mt 5:16-note). Paul reminds us in (Php
it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work
for His good pleasure.
the basic principle of good deeds when He declared
am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he
bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (absolutely, totally nothing!)...By this is My Father glorified, that
you bear much fruit (good deeds = good fruit) and so prove to be My
disciples...You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you,
that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain...." (John
Paul reminded the Corinthian
church of this same foundational principle regarding good deeds, explaining
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always
having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for
every good deed (2Cor 9:8).
Paul acknowledged that the key to his good works
was the grace of God writing that His
grace toward me did not prove
vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but
the grace of God with me. (1Cor 15:10-note).
In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul emphasized that
can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus
Christ ("the Vine"). Now if any man builds upon the foundation
with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work
will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be
revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each
man's work. If any man's work which he has
built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved,
yet so as through fire. (1Cor 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
One day in the future the Lord Jesus will even
disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will
come to him from God. (1Cor 4:5)
Each man will receive praise! Amazing grace! Praise the Lord!
In sum, Paul is referring to a
genuine, sincere, loving, Spirit empowered, God glorifying eagerness to serve others. No
matter how hostile the society around us may be, we are to be good to
the people in it whose lives intersect with ours. Paul reminded the
Galatian believers that “While we have
opportunity, [we are to] do good (agathos) to all
men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith”
Believers are to be known for
what might be described as consistent aggressive goodness,
done however not simply out of a sense of obligation or duty but out of
an unselfish love for our Lord and for other people,
for (we) have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered
for (us), leaving (us) an example...to follow in His steps...entrusting
Himself to Him Who judges righteously. (1Pe 2:21, 22, 23-notes)
We do not witness only with our lips; we must back up our "talk" with
our "walk." There should be nothing in our conduct that will give the
unsaved world ammunition to attack Christ and the Gospel. Our good works
must back up our good words. Jesus said this in Matthew 5:16-note
("Let your light shine before
men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Father who is in heaven."), and the entire Bible echoes this truth.
The powerful impact Christians can make on the lost when they combine a
godly life with a loving witness is well known to most believers. We all
know of instances of some wonderful conversions simply because dedicated
Christians let their lights shine. On the other hand, we can recall with
grief some lost persons who rejected the Word because of the
inconsistent lives of "professed" believers.
In the summer of 1805, a number of
Indian chiefs and warriors met in council at Buffalo Creek, New York to
hear a presentation of the Christian message by a Mr. Cram from the
Boston Missionary Society. After the sermon, a response was given by Red
Jacket, one of the leading chiefs. Among other things, the chief said:
"Brother, you say that there is but one way to worship and serve the
Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people
differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the
"Brother, we are told that you have been preaching to the white
people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted
with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your
preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest
and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what
you have said."
the Bibles the world is reading.
We are the truths the world is needing.
We may be the sermons the world is heeding.
Barnes adds that
A Christian should be always ready to do good as far as he is able. He
should not need to be urged, or coaxed, or persuaded, but should be so
ready always to do good that he will count it a privilege to have the
opportunity to do it.
reminds us that
Spiritual privileges do not make void or weaken, but confirm civil
duties. Mere good words and good meanings are not enough without good
Good deeds are such things that no man is saved for them nor without
Paul now begins to elaborate on
what is meant by “every good deed” in the verses that
I have gotten more hurt by my GOOD
works than my bad ones. My bad works always drove me to the Savior for
mercy; my good works often kept me from him, and I began to trust in
myself. - Ralph Erskine
Win Or Lose, Do Good - When
the results of today's presidential election are known, US citizens will
either be glad or sad, depending on their political persuasion. Those
who voted for the winner are likely to accept the authority of the
government he establishes. Most others will submit, though grudgingly.
Christians are to go beyond mere submission to governing authorities and
follow the guidelines given in the Bible. In writing to Titus, Paul said
we should also be peaceable and considerate, and we should do good
without slandering anyone (Titus 3:1, 2).
Titus was working among believers in Crete, a place notorious for its
unruly inhabitants. There were good reasons to say bad things about the
people living and ruling there, but Paul warned Christians not to do it.
In fact, seven times in his short letter to Titus, Paul mentioned the
importance of doing good: loving what is good (Titus 1:8), teaching what
is good (Titus 2:3), doing what is good (Titus 2:7,14; 3:1, 2,8,14).
Paul's letter is a timely reminder that as Christians we are to do what
is good for people, regardless of whether we approve of their values and
agree with their policies. It may not be easy, but it's the right thing
to do.— Julie Ackerman Link
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
From the example of Jesus,
Who went about doing good,
We are to honor our Savior
By helping wherever He would. —Hess
Christians can be constructive if they refuse to be destructive.
Spurgeon in his writing
entitled Unprofitable Servants notes that...
Our good works are evidences
of grace within us. Our faithfulness will be the evidence of our having
a loving spirit towards our Master- evidence that our heart is changed,
and that we have been made to love him for whom once we had no
Our works are the proof of our love, and hence they stand as
evidence of the grace of God.
God first gives us grace, and then rewards us for it. He works in us,
and then counts the fruit as our work. We work out our own salvation
because "he works in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure (Php
If he shall ever say, "Well done" (cp
Mt 25:21, 23 - Ed note: These two servants received the
same reward, indicating that faithfulness in the use of the different
abilities given to each of us is what is required.
When the Mater returns will He
find you faithful laboring in His power for His glory?)
to you and to me it will be because of His own rich grace, and not
because of our merits (cp 1Co 15:10, Zech 4:6, Col 1:29-note).
Therefore, my beloved
on keeping on"!)
steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing
that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
William S. Plumer (1853)
writes in his chapter entitled
Why Good Works Are Necessary...
So that unless men intend to abandon
themselves to wickedness, despise God's authority, and fly in the face
of the testimony of all true Christians, they must lead lives of
holiness and obedience. Indeed the uniform teaching of Scripture is that
while no man shall be saved for the merit of his works, yet men shall be
judged and treated according to their works. The wicked deserve all that
shall come upon them by lack of good works and their performance of evil
works. The righteous do not indeed deserve any good thing, yet of his
mercy and grace, God will at last reward them, as though they deserved
much. Thus we read:
"The work of a man will God render
unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways." Job 34:11.
"You render to every man according to
his work." Ps 62:12-note.
"Tell the righteous it will be well
with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the
wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their
hands have done." Isa 3:10, 11.
"I the Lord search the heart and
examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to
what his deeds deserve." Jer. 17:10.
"The Son of man shall come in the
glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man
according to his works." Matt. 16:27.
God "will render to every man
according to his deeds." Ro 2:6-note.
See also 2Co 5:10; Ga 6:7; Ep 6:8-note;
and Re 20:12-note,
and Re 22:12-note.
So the doctrine is clear. He who sows
sparingly shall reap also sparingly, while he who sows bountifully shall
reap also bountifully (2Co 9:6). He, who cared comparatively little for
the cause of Christ, and did but little for it, shall have a
comparatively small reward, while he who gave up all and lived and died
for Christ shall be very glorious.
"One star differs from another star
in glory. So also is the resurrection from the dead." (Ed: I'm
not sure this can be substantiated from Scripture, but it is possible.
See 1Co 3:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
To render mistake on this doctrine
impossible, let it never be forgotten that the works of believers will
not be the cause, but only the occasion of their many rich blessings;
the measure, but not the merit of their reward. Nor is there anything in
this contrary to the doctrine of gratuitous salvation; for these very
works themselves are the fruit of God's mercy and love (cp Jn 15:5). He
works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure, and then kindly
takes occasion from our obedience to measure out to us, of his own love
and bounty, richer and vaster blessings still.
That our works themselves are from God the Bible everywhere teaches.
"From me is your fruit found." Hos.
"Lord, you will ordain peace for us:
for you also have wrought all our works in us." Isaiah 26:12.
"God is able to make all grace abound
toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may
abound to every good work." 2Cor. 9:8.
In fact Jesus Christ "gave himself
for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto
himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:14-note.
"Faith if it has not works is dead,
being alone." Jas 2:17-note.
And here precisely is what the
apostle James meant whet he said we are justified by works. His meaning
is that we are justified in making our profession of faith, we establish
our sincerity and consistency, we prove to all the world and to God
himself that we are what we profess to be and ought to be, when our
lives show forth the glory of God. (Ed: If you are confused by
Paul and James on their use of the word "justified" [which each uses
with a different sense!] see
Christian brethren, let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due time
we shall reap if we faint not. Let us abound unto every good word and
work. How dishonorable to religion it would be—if it were otherwise. Is
not all religion an entire failure, if it does not bring us into
conformity to God? "Grace is an immortal seed, cast into an immortal
soil, which brings forth immortal fruit." (Why
Good Works Are Necessary)
J C Philpot...
Among the innumerable displays of the
infinite wisdom of God which the gospel of his grace has revealed and
brought to light, must be named the special provision which he has
made—that good works should hold therein a fitting and appropriate
place. One of the strongest objections which cavilers and opponents have
in all ages brought against the doctrine of salvation wholly and solely
by grace is, that it supersedes the necessity of good works, and thus by
virtually, if not nullifying, yet reducing them to insignificance, opens
a door directly or indirectly for licentiousness. Could this charge be
substantiated, it would be almost fatal to the claims of free grace as a
divine revelation, for a holy God could not sanction, much less devise
and reveal, a scheme of salvation which, by encouraging sin, should
break down the very barriers of moral rectitude. Even our natural
conscience—even our dim and misty notions of right and wrong, virtue and
vice, good and evil—would be shocked at, and revolt from any conclusion
which would impair the holiness of God, or represent him as sanctioning
or licensing sin.
In order, therefore, to secure the gospel from so fatal a charge, God
has made a special provision that good works shall occupy in it a high
and honorable place. That good works should save is one thing, that they
should be wholly set aside is another. Not only, then, shall they,
according to God's appointment, not be set aside, but they shall be
raised in worth and value. They shall be made a means of glorifying
God—which sets on them a higher and nobler stamp than if they merely
effected or concurred in the salvation of man. They shall be done from
higher, better, and purer motives—they shall be wrought by the blessed
Spirit—they shall be accepted by and approved of God as fruits of
righteousness, which grow upon and manifest the living branches of the
only true Vine (Jn 15:5).
But let us, taking up the thread of our exposition, observe more
particularly the place in which they are set by the Apostle in the
chapter before us—"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in
them." (Ep 2:10-note)
Several points, thus placed before us, demand our attentive observation.
Part V for the remainder of Philpot's
discussion of Ep 2:10 from his book
MEDITATIONS ON EPHESIANS)