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Titus–Philemon

Titus

Introduction

This pastoral letter from Paul to Titus was intended to offer encouragement and wisdom as Titus endured ongoing opposition from the ungodly and from legalists within his congregations. Paul instructed Titus to complete his assigned job of establishing overseers (elders) for the churches under his care. He described what sort of people these leaders should be, and how all believers should live in relation to each other as well as in their interactions with nonbelievers. Proper Christian behavior is based on the fact that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,” and therefore those who believe in Christ are to “live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” as they await his return (2:11–13). Paul probably wrote this letter in the 60s a.d.

Greeting

Paul, a servant1 of God and aan apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and btheir knowledge of the truth, cwhich accords with godliness, din hope of eternal life, which God, ewho never lies, fpromised gbefore the ages began2 and hat the proper time manifested in his word3 ithrough the preaching jwith which I have been entrusted kby the command of God our Savior;

To Titus, lmy true child in ma common faith:

nGrace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Qualifications for Elders

oThis is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and pappoint elders in every town as I directed you— qif anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,4 and his children are believers5 and not open to the charge of rdebauchery or insubordination. For an overseer,6 sas God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent uor greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, vand disciplined. He must whold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in xsound7 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, yempty talkers and deceivers, especially those of zthe circumcision party.8 11 They must be silenced, since athey are upsetting whole families by teaching bfor shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 cOne of the Cretans,9 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”10 13 This testimony is true. Therefore drebuke them esharply, that they fmay be sound in the faith, 14 gnot devoting themselves to Jewish myths and hthe commands of people iwho turn away from the truth. 15 jTo the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and kunbelieving, nothing is pure; but both ltheir minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 mThey profess to know God, but they ndeny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, ounfit for any good work.

Teach Sound Doctrine

But as for you, teach what accords with psound1 doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, psound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. qOlder women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, rnot slanderers sor slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, tpure, uworking at home, kind, and vsubmissive to their own husbands, wthat the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge xthe younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be ya model of good works, and in your teaching zshow integrity, adignity, and bsound speech that cannot be condemned, cso that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. dBondservants2 are to be submissive to their own masters ein everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, fbut showing all good faith, gso that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

11 For hthe grace of God ihas appeared, bringing salvation jfor all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and kworldly passions, and lto live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in mthe present age, 13 nwaiting for our blessed ohope, the pappearing of the glory of our great qGod and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 rwho gave himself for us to sredeem us from all lawlessness and tto purify for himself ta people for his own possession who are uzealous for good works.

15 Declare these things; exhort and vrebuke with all authority. wLet no one disregard you.

Be Ready for Every Good Work

Remind them xto be submissive to rulers and authorities, yto be obedient, to be ready for every good work, zto speak evil of no one, ato avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and bto show perfect courtesy toward all people. For cwe ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when dthe goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, enot because of works done by us in righteousness, but faccording to his own mercy, by gthe washing of regeneration and hrenewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he ipoured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that jbeing justified by his grace we might become kheirs laccording to the hope of eternal life. The saying is mtrustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful nto devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But oavoid foolish pcontroversies, qgenealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for rthey are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, safter warning him once and then twice, thave nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12 When I send Artemas or uTychicus to you, do your best to come to me vat Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and wApollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn xto devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not ybe unfruitful.

15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.

zGrace be with you all.

Philemon

Introduction

Philemon is about reconciliation and relationships between Christians. Onesimus (which means “useful”) was a slave of a believer named Philemon in Colossae. Apparently Onesimus had stolen from Philemon and fled. At some time while Paul was under arrest, Onesimus met him and became a Christian. Paul apparently wrote this letter at the same time as Colossians and gave it to Onesimus to carry back to Philemon (see Col. 4:9). Paul appealed to Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his household, but as a brother in the Lord rather than a slave. In Paul’s estimation, Onesimus was far more “useful” (v. 11) now that he was a Christian. Paul even promised to pay whatever debt Onesimus might owe Philemon.

Greeting

Paul, aa prisoner for Christ Jesus, and bTimothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and cArchippus our dfellow soldier, and ethe church in your house:

fGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon’s Love and Faith

gI thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hhear of your love and iof the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full jknowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.1 For I have derived much joy and kcomfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints lhave been refreshed through you.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

Accordingly, mthough I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do nwhat is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now oa prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for pmy child, qOnesimus,2 rwhose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me son your behalf tduring my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be uby compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why vhe was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 wno longer as a bondservant3 but more than a bondservant, as xa beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, yboth in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me zyour partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 aI, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. bRefresh my heart in Christ.

21 cConfident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for dI am hoping that ethrough your prayers fI will be graciously given to you.

Final Greetings

23 gEpaphras, my hfellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do iMark, iAristarchus, jDemas, and jLuke, my fellow workers.

25 kThe grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

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Greek before times eternal

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Or manifested his word

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Or a man of one woman

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Or are faithful

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Or bishop; Greek episkopos

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Or healthy; also verse 13

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Or especially those of the circumcision

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Greek One of them

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Probably from Epimenides of Crete

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Or healthy; also verses 2, 8

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For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

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Or for Christ’s service

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Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)

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For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface twice in this verse

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