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2. Introductory Greetings to Titus (Titus 1:1-4)

The Author

1:1 From Paul,5 a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness, 1:2 in hope of eternal life, that God who does not lie promised before the ages began. 1:3 But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior.6

His Name (vs. 1a), “Paul.”

In keeping with the practice of the day, Paul opens the letter with his own name. “Paul,” a Roman surname, means little and is the name he used in connection with his calling and ministry to the Gentiles. As such, it is used in all of Paul’s epistles. His Hebrew name was “Saul.” He undoubtedly used the name Paul because of his call to go to the Gentiles and because it expressed his attitude about who he was as a recipient of God’s grace (see 1 Cor. 15:10; 1 Tim. 1:12-16).

His Position or Status (vs. 1b), “a slave of God.”

“Slave” is the Greek doulos, often translated merely “servant,” but this is far too mild for this Greek word. It really means a bondservant or slave and refers to one who completely surrenders himself to the will and authority of another. It was used of one who sells himself into slavery to serve another. But we must not think of this as an involuntary slavery to God. As a Jew, but one who now saw himself as redeemed from the slave market of sin through trust in Christ, Paul was thoroughly acquainted with the Old Testament and may have had in mind the Old Testament regulation that governed slaves.

The early men of Israel had in their economic system set forth in the laws of Moses, regulations governing the man who got into debt. He became the property of his creditor, in very fact, his slave. But the slavery had a termination. When the seventh year rolled around, all of these slaves were liberated and could go forth once more as their own masters. Some of them, however, realized certain things about their own lack of ability to maintain themselves in the rugged economy of a cruel world. They remembered that when they had been their own freemen they had not eaten well, but that now, under kind masters, they were well-housed and well-fed. They looked toward their future freedom with some trepidation as they realized that they might soon be, once more, in a life of hunger and cold.

No doubt there were some who sought to escape the bondage of hard taskmasters, but there were others who knew the kindness and love of their master’s heart. The Law provided a way for them to remain as slaves to their kind masters. Such a one could go to his owner and tell him that he desired to remain a slave. He would then be taken to the tabernacle where the priest would lead him to the doorpost and bored a hole in the lobe of his ear with an awl. From that time on he was the slave of his master. Wherever he walked, his ear proclaimed the character of his master.7

However, we must not think of this as the loss of freedom, but as an expression that demonstrates true freedom and the capacity to be all that God has created us to be. This is evident here and in other places where the apostle used similar statements.8 There is a definite design to the order of these words, “a slave and an apostle.” As Barnhouse aptly put it:

The secret of Paul’s greatness is indicated in the order of these two words. He was first a bondslave, utterly surrendered to the Lord, and then he was a sent one…thus he was willing to follow the Word of God and be not only the bondslave of Jesus Christ but the apostle to the Gentiles.9

Obedience to Paul’s calling or commission was an outgrowth of his voluntary submission to the Lordship of the Savior. For instance, three passages in Acts give the account of Paul’s conversion on the Damascus road (Acts 9:1-22; 22:3-16; 26:9-11). In the events that quickly followed his conversion, he is told that he is to be a chosen vessel to take the gospel to the Gentiles, but it is quite evident from these accounts that he not only came to trust in Christ, having seen the risen Lord, but he immediately saw himself as a bondslave of Christ. In Acts 22:10 we are told that the first words out of his mouth were, “Lord, what shall I do.” Then, in recounting the events of his conversion and commission by the Lord Jesus to King Agrippa, Paul said,

26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance (Acts 26:19-20, emphasis mine).

This is a clear illustration that the issue of our ability to be and do what God has called us to by way of our gifts, abilities, and opportunities is related to voluntarily living as bondslaves of God. Our problem is we too often want to call the shots; we want God to approve our choices. Let it be said that true freedom is not the ability to do as we please, but the ability to do as we ought by the grace and enablement of God. “No one ever becomes a successful servant of God until he chooses to make God’s will his own will. Paul’s will was not crushed but he imbibed the will of his Master as his own. Do we profess to be servants of God yet continue to insist on carrying out our own will for our lives?”10 Do we present our list to God for what we would like to do for life and ministry or for what we think is best for us and then ask Him to seal that with His approval? Living and serving as slaves of God naturally applies to every possible area of life—personal life, family, church, vocation, recreation, leisure, civic responsibilities, ministry, etc. As bondslaves who have been bought by the redemptive work of Christ, we belong to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). This means we are to be totally dependent on the Lord Jesus for both His supply and our calling and responsibilities in the world. This naturally leads to Paul’s next statement.

His Office (vs. 1c), “and apostle of Jesus Christ.”

As believers in Christ, God has “delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13-14). We are not, therefore, of this world, but we have been left in this world as ambassadors and representatives of the Lord Jesus (John 17:15-19; 2 Cor. 5:20). For this the Lord Jesus has gifted each of us (1 Pet. 4:10) and as He has gifted us, so He has called. What He has gifted us to do He has called us to do and vice versa. Thus, the apostle immediately identified his calling and the primary place where he was to exercise his service as a bondslave. He is “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” By the designation, “a slave of God,” he pointed to his personal relationship to God, but here he pointed to his official responsibility within the body of Christ according to the will of God (see Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1 and 12:4-5).

The term “apostle,” the Greek apostolos, means “a sent one.” It came to be used of a delegate or messenger sent on a mission with authoritative credentials as the personal representative of another. As an illustration, it was used of an admiral of a fleet sent out by the king on special assignment. As used in the New Testament, it had both a broad or general use, much like our term “missionary” or “messenger” (cf. Acts 14:14; Phil. 2:25; 1 Thess. 2:7; and 2 Cor. 8:23), and a more technical or special use as used of the 12 apostles and Paul (Matt. 10:2; Acts 1:2, 26; 2:37; Rom. 1:1; 11:13; 1 Cor. 1:1; 15:7-9; Tit. 1:1; Acts 15:2, 4, 6).

“An apostle of Jesus Christ” marks Paul’s official rank among God’s servants. “And” (de) does not equate but adds an additional fact: “and further.” He is Jesus Christ’s “apostle,” having been called, equipped, and sent forth as his authoritative messenger. “Apostle” is here used in the narrow sense to denote the apostolic office.11

While we do not all have the same gifts (see 1 Cor. 12:29f), in placing every believer into the body of Christ, God has gifted each one with different gifts for the mutual edification of the body of Christ and for the glory of God (1 Cor. 12:4f; 14:12, 26; 10:31). Building on the truth that we are to live as voluntary slaves of God, our need is to discern the gifts and the place of ministry to which the Master has called us and to use our gifts accordingly (see Rom. 12:3ff; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).

His Mission (vs. 1d), “to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness.”

The words “to further” is the NET Bible’s rendering of the preposition kata. Used with the accusative case as here and in three other places in these first four verses, kata may be used of (1) the norm or standard by which something is done, “according to, in accordance with”; (2) of the goal or purpose, “for the purpose of, for, to”; or (3) of reference or respect, “with reference to, with respect to.” Scholars understand this differently with some arguing for number 1 and others for number 2 or 3.12 Several things suggest that kata is best understood here in the sense of purpose as suggested in the following translations: The NET Bible (“to further the faith”), the NASB (“for the faith of those”), the NRSV (“for the sake of the faith”) and the NIV (“for the faith”). Understanding kata in this sense is in keeping with the ministry and mission of an apostle to preach and teach the gospel (1 Tim. 2:7), to build up the body of Christ, and establish churches sound in the faith (1 Cor. 12:19; Eph. 4:11f; Rom. 14:19; 15:20f; 1 Tim. 1:6, 10; 2 Tim. 1:13; Tit. 1:9; 2:1, 2, 8). It is also in keeping with the need of God’s people to know the truth of the Word. In other words, as an apostle, Paul’s mission was to further or promote the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth.

Some understand “the faith” here to refer to the body of revealed truth believed by Christians. Kata is thus taken to refer to the norm that governed Paul’s ministry as an apostle. As Wiersbe explains, “Paul’s ministry was governed by the Word of God.”13 This is certainly true, but this is probably not the point of the passage. Though “the faith” may commonly refer to the body of revealed truth (1 Tim. 1:19; 3:7; 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2 Tim. 2:18; Jude 3), this is not the probable meaning here for the following reasons. Generally, when “the faith,” refers to the body of revealed truth, pistis, the Greek word for faith, has the article (he pistis), but it is absent here in the Greek text.14 Second, the fact that “faith” is connected with “God’s chosen ones”15 along with the immediate addition of “the knowledge of the truth” suggests that it is personal faith that is in view, a faith, however, that is nurtured and developed by a knowledge of the truth. Sound doctrine or the truth is an important focus in all the Pastoral Epistles and Titus is no exception.

In the New Testament, “God’s chosen ones” (or “God’s elect”) consistently refers to those who have responded to God’s call through the gospel message rather than to those whom God intends to select for salvation. In most, if not all cases in the New Testament, “chosen ones” or the “elect” is practically a synonym for believers. The eklektoi are persons who are not only the objects of God’s election, but are in fact those who have already entered into and realized the state of reconciliation.16 But why does the apostle use the term elect?

The expression embodies a true balance between the divine initiative and the human response. Although surrounded with mystery, the biblical teaching on election is for believers and is intended as a practical truth. It assures faithful, struggling believers that their salvation is all of God from beginning to end.

Christian faith is linked with “knowledge of the truth,” the full apprehension of “truth,” the inner realization of divine reality as revealed in the gospel. Faith is a heart response to the truth of the gospel, but it must also possess the mind. God never intended his people to remain intellectually ignorant of the truth of the gospel.17

Paul’s mission as an apostle is also the mission and purpose of the church today. Our need is to promote the growth and development of mature faith in God’s chosen ones (a reference to believers) through growth in the knowledge of the truth. Thus, after thanking God for the faith and love of the Colossian Christians, Paul prayed for their continued growth in the knowledge of God’s will which is naturally found in His infallible and inerrant Word, His Truth.

1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects (Col. 1:9-10).

If this was the concern for the apostle, should such a concern be any less true for us? Though we are gifted differently and have different functions in the body of Christ, we should all be committed to promoting and supporting the in-depth exposition and application of God’s truth for a growing and doctrinally-sound church. Unfortunately, the sound exposition of God’s Word is often as rare as oxygen at thirty thousand feet.

However, lest one think the apostle was promoting biblical knowledge for the sake of knowing Bible facts alone, the apostle added the very important phase, “that is in keeping with godliness.” For the second time we meet the preposition kata followed by a noun in the accusative case. As mentioned above, it may point to the standard that is to govern something or to the aim or purpose. Again, it is probably best to understand this as pointing us to the aim of God’s truth. We might translate it, “which makes godliness its aim.” The aim of the Word is to promote godliness in God’s people.

“Godliness” is an important concept in this letter, just as it was in 1 Timothy, even though the actual word is used only once. But the repetition of “good works” emphasizes the point (Titus 1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 5, 8, 14). The truth of the Gospel changes a life from ungodliness (Titus 2:12) to holy living.…18

His Motivation and Confidence (vs. 2), “in hope of eternal life, that God who does not lie promised before the ages began.”

“In” is the preposition epi used with “hope” (elpidi) in the dative case. As such, it points us to the cause or basis on which something rests. But to what does “in hope of eternal life” refer? To Paul’s apostleship and ministry, or to “that is in keeping with godliness,” or to all of the above? Some commentators and translations19 restrict it to the immediately preceding clause, i.e., to the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth…, others relate it only to Paul’s apostleship, and some to both Paul’s apostleship and to furthering faith and knowledge. Though, “in the hope of eternal life” immediately follows “faith and knowledge,” all that Paul has said, ultimately all that is said in verse 1, rests on the hope of eternal life. His ministry and apostleship in the interest of the faith of God’s chosen ones and their knowledge of the truth that also promotes godliness rests on the hope of eternal life.20

“Hope” here is not some nebulous wishing for something, just hoping that it will come true. “Hope” is the Greek elpis which refers to a confident expectation and anticipation. It is a confident expectation because it rests on the promise of a God who not only does not lie, but cannot because of His perfect and holy character. Further, “eternal life” is not simply something believers will someday possess, but that which they already possess through trusting in the Savior. John 3:36 promises us that “The one who believes in the Son has (i.e., possesses) eternal life.” Eternal life is a life with eternal ramifications that are not only future, but is to so encompass our daily existence that it becomes a controlling and directing force. It is in this sense that Paul could speak of doing good deeds and of being good stewards of material possessions as a means of laying up heavenly treasure, and by doing so lay hold of “eternal life” or “life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Our need is to take hold of our eternal life and live in the light of its significance and meaning both for time and eternity.

In discussing the issue of eternal rewards and Christ’s promise to the disciples in Matthew 19:28-29, Lutzer gives this helpful explanation that is pertinent here in relation to living in the light of the eternal life we possess as Christians.

Obviously eternal life is a gift given to those who believe on Christ, but the expression “inherit eternal life” apparently refers to an additional acquisition, something more than simply arriving in heaven. It refers to a richer experience of being appointed by Christ to be in charge of the affairs of the cosmos as a ruler or judge. Salvation is guaranteed to those who accept Christ by faith; rewards are not. Entering heaven is one thing; having a possession there is quite another. One is the result of faith; the other, the reward for faith plus obedience.21

The apostle doesn’t want us to miss the significance of eternal life in Christ, so he punctuated the issue with this striking sentence, “which God who does not lie promised before the ages began.” There are two points the apostle makes here: the veracity of God and the eternal nature of His promises. As to the veracity of God, the sentence is very emphatic. Literally, “the without deceit God.” The positive is stressed by using the negative. The adjective used is apseudes, “free from all deceit or falsehood” and so “truthful, trustworthy.” It is used only here and only of God in the New Testament. How awesome: our eternal life rests on the veracity of a God who simply cannot lie. His promises are sure and He is faithful to perform them.

But Paul goes on to show that this eternal life promised was not a last-minute decision that God scrambled to come up with after man’s fall into sin as recorded in Genesis 3. This promise stretches back into eternity past. This means it has the seal and certainty of the eternal wisdom of God.

His Function and Responsibility (vs. 3), “But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior.”

It was eternal life that God promised in eternity past, but with verse 3, Paul makes a subtle but important change in the subject of the verb. It was not eternal life that is declared to be made evident, but that God Himself has made His message evident—the message that promises eternal life in the person of His Son. This is now the emphasis.

While salvation was purposed and settled in eternity past with the Lamb being slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), the proclamation of this message was made known in God’s own time according to His own purposes (see Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:6; Tit. 2:11f; 3:4f). In the Old Testament there was the anticipation of this salvation message through the prophets and in the pictures of the tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifices all of which spoke of Christ (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47), but now, with the coming of Christ and the witness of His life, death, and resurrection (Luke 24:48), the message has not only been made evident by these historical events, but it must now be made known to the world.

With the words, “he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior,” the apostle shows us three important truths:

First, God’s method of making His message evident is preaching. “Preaching” is the Greek kerugma, “that which is cried by a herald, a proclamation… In the New Testament…a proclamation, message, preaching (i.e., the substance as distinct from the act which would be expressed by keruxis).”22 In Greek, nouns ending in ma are generally passive in contrast to nouns ending in sis so that the emphasis is on the result of action. Of course, use is the determining factor and the apostle seems to have the activity of announcement or proclamation in view here,23 but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is the message proclaimed that is all important (for the use of kerugma see 1 Cor. 1:21; 2:4; 2 Tim. 4:17). The message is to be made evident through its proclamation. It’s the issue Paul describes in Romans 10.

10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news” (Rom. 10:14-15).

Second, Paul viewed this message and its proclamation as a treasure with which he was entrusted. “Entrusted” is the verb pisteuo, “to believe, entrust.” Here, it is in the passive voice meaning “to be entrusted with something” (i.e., the privilege and responsibility to proclaim the message). The concept of proclaiming the message as a trust is a truth the apostle speaks of on several occasions with regard to himself and to Timothy.

  • To Timothy he wrote, “O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you” (1 Tim. 6:20). The term used here is the noun paratheke, “a deposit entrusted to another.” In the New Testament, it is always used with the verb phylasso, guard, protect,” and it is always used in connection with our spiritual heritage or the message of the Word of God (see also 2 Tim. 1:14).
  • In 2 Timothy 1:12, using the same Greek term, Paul refers to what has been entrusted to him, “…and I am convinced that he is able to protect until that day what has been entrusted to me.”24

Here in Titus, the apostle becomes an example to Titus, to the Cretans, and to us. The message of the Savior is a deposit given to us for safekeeping, but it is not to be hidden in a safe-deposit box, but proclaimed and shared with others.

Third, announcing the message stems from a command of our Savior God that Paul and all believers are to obey. Paul says it is “according to an authoritative command.” For the third time, Paul used kata, only here it refers to the standard or norm which may also become the reason or cause for what is done.25 Paul has in mind the charge given to him after his conversion on the road to Damascus. There he was appointed to take the message of Christ to the Gentile world.

This God given trust to proclaim the message is not a take-it-or-leave-it matter for the Christian; it was not an option for Paul nor is it to be an option for us. The Great Commission to make disciples is a trust given by the Savior to all believers through the disciples. May we not forget that it is according to God’s command, one that has application to all of us.

Significantly, Paul identifies God as “our Savior God.” This designation is one of the marks of the Pastoral Epistles, occurring twice in 1 Timothy and three times in Titus (1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Tit. 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; but see also 1 Tim. 4:10 and Jude 25). What an awesome title of God—a Savior God. Does this not stress the very nature and heart of God? He is One who is concerned with man’s salvation—salvation from sin’s penalty, power, and ultimately, from its presence.

The Recipient

“To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith.”

Though this epistle was ultimately designed for a larger audience, it was written to Titus who, like Timothy, was Paul’s apostolic representative. Both were to carry on the work that Paul would have done had he been there. Though the letter is rather short, Paul’s greeting in verses 1-4 is longer than in most of his letters with the exception of Romans, especially as he has described himself in verses 1-3. Titus, as an associate of Paul, knew all of the above information, but Paul included it for the sake of the Christians at Crete and any others who might read this epistle. As Lenski put it:

…Crete was a new field, and although Paul had just been there and had left Titus there (v. 3), although the people knew him, their knowledge was imperfect, and thus Paul tells them at length who he is. Everything depends on who that man really is for whom Titus is acting in Crete. Here is Paul’s own written statement regarding who he is. Whoever refuses to heed Titus thereby refuses to heed the apostle himself.26

Thus, the preceding information about Paul and instructions that follow are not new to Titus, but Paul so identified himself in verses 1-3 and addressed the letter to Titus as a way to help him in his ministry in Crete with the Cretans.

Though we do not know the time, place, or the circumstances of Titus’ conversion, Paul literally called him “my genuine son according to a common faith.” “According” is again the preposition kata. In this context, it points to the standard or cause. Paul and Titus had a father/son relationship because of their common faith, naturally, a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Common” is koinos and refers to what is held in common with others. By using this term, the apostle reminds us of that which we hold in common with all believers, a personal faith in the Savior which binds us together as a spiritual family regardless of nationality or status or even doctrine as important as that is to the Christian community. All who have trusted in the Lord Jesus stand to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and in some cases as spiritual fathers and children to one another. It is this common faith that provides the basis for harmony and communion and, in keeping with that, “Titus is to apply these instructions, all of which have only one purpose, namely to aid the concord of the common faith.”27

Evidently, Paul had led Titus to Christ. Titus was Paul’s spiritual child because Paul had been the instrument God had used to bring him to the Savior. “Child” (the Greek teknon), “that which is begotten, born” (cf. Gal. 4:19) and so child of either sex. Where the context suggests, child or son may also suggest a mentor/protg relationship. Teknon was used of a spiritual child in relation to his master, apostle, or teacher (see 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 1 Cor. 4:14).28

Not only had Paul led Titus to Christ, but he had undoubtedly developed a mentoring relationship with him to further his spiritual growth and service for the Savior. New believers in Christ desperately need good spiritual pediatrics and follow-up that will take them from mere babes in Christ to growing and fruitful believers. This naturally includes being a model to the student or disciple. There is far too much winning and leaving rather than winning, modeling, and training.

The Greeting

“Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior!”

With this characteristic greeting, the apostle not only wishes the blessings of God’s grace and peace on Titus, but he reminds us of their source—from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. As in all his epistolary greetings, this teaches us there can be neither grace nor peace without a personal relationship with God the Father, but that essential to a relationship with God as one’s heavenly Father is a relationship with Christ Jesus because He is the Savior. The pronoun “our” stresses the need of personal faith and points to the common relationship all believers have together. He is our Savior.

Further, Paul never changes the order of these blessings; it is first grace, the unmerited favor of God that is so completely personalized and epitomized in the Christ (see 2:11f), and then peace.29 Peace in all the various ways it is portrayed in the New Testament comes only after one has responded by faith to the grace of God as revealed in Christ.

5 Grk “Paul.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied by the translators of the NET Bible to indicate the sender of the letter.

6 Unless otherwise noted, New Testament Scripture quotations are from the The NET Bible (New English Translation). Copyright 1998 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C.

7 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Man’s Ruin, Romans 1:1-32, God’s Wrath, Romans 2-3:20 (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, 1952, 1953), Vol. 1, 8-9.

8 The term “slave of God” occurs only here in Paul. He does, however, use “servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Phil. 1:1).

9 Barnhouse, 13.

10 D. Edmond Hiebert, Titus and Philemon (Moody Press, Chicago, 1957), 17.

11 Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, New Testament (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1976-1992), 426.

12 D. Edmond Hiebert’s remarks in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is an illustration of this. “For the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth” further describes his apostolic office. “For” renders the preposition kata, the first of four occurrences in the salutation (vv. 1 [twice], 3, 4). Its local meaning is “down,” and with the accusative case (so in all four occurrences), it means “down along, according to, in harmony with,” and marks the standard of measurement. By usage it can mean goal or purpose, “for the purpose of, to further,” thus denoting that Paul’s mission was to promote Christian faith and knowledge. This is the view of the above rendering which, however, cannot be given to all four occurrences. The translation “according to” which fits all four of them in the salutation, means that his apostleship is in full accord with the faith and knowledge that God’s elect have received. His apostleship is not regulated by their faith (cf. Gal 1:11-17) but is wholly in accord with it. The Cretan Christians needed to evaluate their faith by that fact (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, New Testament, 426-427).

13 By referring to “the Word of God,” Wiersbe’s explanation suggests he is taking “the faith of God’s elect” to refer to the body of revealed truth. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1997), electronic media. This is also the view of The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, New Testament, edited by Everett F. Harrison (Moody Press, Chicago, 1962), electronic media.

14 Since there is no need for the article to be used to make the object of a preposition definite (Dan B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond The Basics [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1996] 247), it might be argued that the presence of kata with pistis could still refer to “the faith” as the body of revealed truth, but the other points mentioned above argue for a different meaning here.

15 In the clause, “the faith of God’s chosen ones” or “the elect of God” (pistin eklekton theou), “the elect of God “should probably be understood as a possessive genitive, i.e., the faith belonging to the elect.”

16 Hermann Cremer, Biblio-Thological Lexicon of the New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1895), 405.

17 The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 427.

18 Wiersbe, electronic media.

19 The NIV’s translation clearly relates it to faith and knowledge by the translation, “a faith and knowlege resting on the hope of eternal life.”

20 William Hendriksen, A Commentary on I & II Timothy and Titus (The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1957), 340.

21 Erwin W. Lutzer, Your Eternal Reward (Moody Press, Chicago, 1998), 54.

22 G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (T. & T. Clark, 1973), 246.

23 This is evident by the preceding term “his message” (Greek ton logon) followed by the preposition en with kerugma in the dative case pointing to means or agency, a message made evident by preaching or proclamation.

24 What has been entrusted to me (Grk “my entrustment,” meaning either (1) “what I have entrusted to him” [his life, destiny, etc.] or (2) “what he has entrusted to me” [the truth of the gospel]). The parallel with v. 14 and use of similar words in the pastorals (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14; 2:2) argue for the latter sense. The NET Bible (Dallas, TX: Biblical Studies Press) 1998, electronic media.

25 Walter Bauer, F. Wilbur Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), electronic media.

26 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon (Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, 1964), 888.

27 Lenski, 894.

28 Bauer, Gingrich, and Danker, electronic media.

29 For more on Paul’s characteristic greeting of “grace and peace,” see the author’s discussion in verse 1 of the study 1 Thessalonians: A Devotional and Exegetical Commentary and the Addendum in that same study on the nature of grace and peace. See also the study, Grace: Why It’s So Amazing and Awesome. These studies are available on our web site at

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines

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