"THE EPISTLE TO TITUS" The Power Of God's Kindness And Love (3:3-7) INTRODUCTION 1. In our previous study we examined several "Graces Of The Heirs Of Grace"... a. Graceful conduct toward those in authority - Tit 3:1 b. Gracious treatment of all men - Tit 3:2 2. In our text for this lesson (Tit 3:3-7) we are told why we should act with such grace... a. Because of our own condition before we experienced God's grace b. Because of what has happened since we became recipients of God's grace [To appreciate why we should conduct ourselves in the manner prescribed in verses 1-2, let's look in verse 3 at Paul's description of...] I. OUR CONDITION BEFORE GOD'S KINDNESS AND LOVE A. FOOLISH, DISOBEDIENT, DECEIVED... 1. Foolish (anoetos) - not understanding, unwise, foolish - Thayer 2. Disobedient (apeithes) - Unwilling to be persuaded, unbelieving, disobedient - TCWD 3. Deceived (planao) - those seduced, gone astray - TCWD -- A spiritual condition described elsewhere - cf. Ep 4:17-18 B. SERVING VARIOUS LUSTS... 1. "slaves to various passions and pleasures" (ESV) 2. "enslaved to various lusts and pleasures" (NASB) 3. Not served or gratified by our lusts and pleasures, but living, as their slaves, a life of misery and wretchedness - Clarke -- Given over to lewdness - cf. Ep 4:19 C. LIVING IN MALICE AND ENVY... 1. Malice (kakia) - ill-will, desire to injure - Thayer 2. Envy (phthonos) - envy, jealousy, pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness (of others)- TCWD -- Jealous of the success of others, seeking to do them harm D. HATEFUL AND HATING ONE ANOTHER... 1. Hateful (stugetos) - hated, detestable - Thayer 2. Our conduct was such as to be worthy of the hatred of others - Barnes 3. Hating one another (miseo allenon) - implying active ill will in words and conduct, a persecuting spirit - TCWD -- The natural condition of those left to their own moral degradation - cf. Ro 1:28-32 [Living without God's kindness and love we were truly ungodly, sinners, and enemies. Yet His love was manifested even while we were in such a condition (cf. Ro 5:6-11). In our text we are told of...] II. OUR CONDITION AFTER GOD'S KINDNESS AND LOVE A. SAVED BY HIS MERCY... 1. "not by works of righteousness which we have done" - Tit 3:4-5 2. It wasn't through works of merit, by which we earned salvation -- As Paul writes elsewhere, we were saved by grace! - Ep 2:8-9 B. REGENERATED AND RENEWED BY THE SPIRIT... 1. Saved "through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" - Tit 3:5-6 2. "...distinctly refers to baptism, in connection with which and through which as a medium regeneration is conceived as taking place. Comp. Ro 6:3-5. It is true that nothing is said of faith; but baptism implies faith on the part of its recipient. It has no regenerating effect apart from faith; and the renewing of the Holy Spirit is not bestowed if faith be wanting." - Vincent's Word Studies 3. "All commentators of reputation refer this to baptism, such as Meyer, Olshausen, Lange, Plumptree, Schaff, Canon Cook, Wesley, etc. Regeneration is due to the Holy Spirit, but baptism is an outward act that God requires to complete the fact." - B. W. Johnson -- By God's grace, in baptism we are born again of water and the Spirit! - cf. Jn 3:3-5 C. JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE... 1. Justified (dikaioo) - to render just or innocent - Strong 2. Such justification comes through the blood of Christ - cf. Ro 5:9 3. For we have forgiveness of sins through His blood - cf. Ep 1:7 -- Such justification comes when we are baptized for the remission of sins, and have our sins washed away by blood of Jesus! - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16 D. HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE... 1. We have the hope of receiving eternal life at the end - cf. Ro 6:22-23 2. As promised by God before time began - cf. Tit 1:2 3. As such we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ - cf. Ro 8:17 -- This is contingent on our remaining faithful to the end - cf. Re 2:10; Mt 24:13 CONCLUSION 1. How powerful is the kindness and love of God...! a. Taking those who are ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God b. Turning them into people who are saved, regenerated, justified, and heirs according to the hope of eternal life! 2. This kindness and love of God is not available for only a select few... a. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men - cf. Tit 2:11 b. Indeed, God desires that all men be saved - cf. 1Ti 2:3-6 c. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance - cf. 2Pe 3:9 d. The invitation of salvation is given to "whoever desires" - cf. Re 22:17 Whether we experience the power of the kindness and love of God depends on us, whether we are willing to obey the gospel of Christ (cf. He 5:9). If not, then all we have to look forward to is the vengeance of fire and everlasting destruction when the Lord returns...! - cf. 2Th 1:7-9
The Patriarchal Law
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Have you ever found yourself listening to a teacher or preacher repeatedly using a word or phrase that you do not understand? Have you ever heard someone speak about “hermeneutics” or “premillenialism,” and then come to find out in your personal study of the Scriptures that these terms are nowhere to be found in the Bible? Teachers and preachers (like myself) often assume more than we should. We assume that people recognize the phrase “sacred hermeneutics” as “the science of interpreting the Scriptures.” We use fancy words like “eschatology” (the study of final things), but then never define it. Such often is the case when we speak of “the Patriarchal Law.” We mention it, but rarely do we help the audience understand what it is.
The English term “patriarch” derives from the Greek patriarches, which actually is made of two words—pater, meaning “father;” and arches, meaning “head” or “founder.” A patriarch is “the head of a father’s house—the founder or ruler of a tribe, family, or clan” (Nelson’s, 1986). Surprisingly, the term patriarch(s) is found in the Bible only four times. It is applied in the New Testament to David (Acts 2:29), to the sons of Jacob (twice in Acts 7:8-9), and to Abraham (Hebrews 7:4). The title of patriarch often is assigned to those whose lives are recorded in Scripture previous to the time of Moses. In Peter’s sermon in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, he expanded the term to include King David (Acts 2:29). Today, however, when teachers and preachers use the phrase “patriarchal age,” they most often are referring to the time before the Law of Moses was given at Sinai. [NOTE: For the Gentiles, this “age” lasted until the coming of the Christian dispensation.]
But what about the “Patriarchal Law?” What is this law that we hear mentioned so often, yet seldom see explained? The fact is, the phrase “Patriarchal Law” is never found in the Bible. It is simply a name given to the law that governed all men from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, and for Gentiles from Adam until the Christian dispensation began. Other than Christianity and Judaism, there has been but one other law, through the ages, under which God accepted worship: This was a system that had continued since commands were first given in Eden. Although the Bible does not give this law a “proper name,” it has become known as “the Patriarchal Law.”
The Law of Moses was given only to the Israelites—and to those Gentiles who suffered themselves to be proselyted (by circumcision) to it (Deuteronomy 4:1-8; 5:1-21; Acts 2:10; 13:43; 2 Corinthians 3:1-11). But the Gentiles also were under some kind of law, for the apostle Paul stated, “where there is no law, neither is there transgression” (Romans 4:15). For the Gentiles to have been guilty of sin (which we know they were—Romans 3:10,23), they must have transgressed some law. What law was it? It was not the Law of Moses, because they were not amenable to that law. It was not the Law of Christ, because it did not come into effect until the first century A.D. Then under what law (prior to the events recorded in Acts 10—the conversion of the first Gentiles to Christianity) did the Gentiles live? They lived under the only law to which they were amenable—commonly known as “the Patriarchal Law.”
We know from both sacred and profane history that non-proselytized Gentiles were unable to participate in the Jewish covenant. We also know that God would not (and did not!) abandon millions of people to a life without hope of salvation just because they were outside the Law of Moses, since that would make Him a respecter of persons—something Peter stated very plainly He is not (cf. Acts 10:34). When Paul spoke in Ephesians 2:12 of certain Gentiles who in the past had no hope and were “without God in the world,” he did not imply that they were in that position simply because they were Gentiles, but because they were Gentiles who had not been obedient to the particular law they had been given. We know that Gentiles were, in fact, amenable to a law system that was not the Law of Moses, as Paul made clear in Romans 2:12-16 when he wrote:
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified: (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them).
Though Gentiles were not under the Law of Moses (as were all Jews prior to the Christian dispensation), they were under a law, which they could either obey or disobey. At least part of this law included their conscience. In his commentary on Romans, Robertson Whiteside observed:
The Gentiles never had the law of Moses, but there are certain fundamental principles that inhere in the nature of our existence and in our relations to one another. Some things are right, and some things are wrong, within themselves. If a man never had revelation from God, he would know that it was wrong to murder his fellow man, or to rob him of his possessions, or in any way to infringe on his rights. Cain sinned in killing his brother and felt his guilt, though we have no record that God had told him not to kill. God’s moral law is the same to all nations…. [T]hey [the Gentiles—EL] did have an idea of right and wrong (1988, p. 57).
The Gentiles’ Patriarchal Law involved all “the law written in their hearts,” plus whatever direct revelation they received from God. Adam, Cain, Noah, and Abraham all received direct revelation from God. These, and all others who were never under the Law of Moses (e.g., Cornelius, Acts 10), were to obey the commands given to them, as well as “law written in their hearts.” Together, these laws and eternal principles written in the hearts of man made up what is known commonly as “the Patriarchal Law.”
Although there still is much we do not understand about the Patriarchal Law, (e.g., what direct revelations they received; what “laws” were passed down from generation to generation; etc.), we can know that the Gentiles were under a law (that was not the Law of Moses or the Law of Christ), because they were guilty of “transgression” (Romans 4:15; 5:13). And if there is transgression, then there must be some law. Man has given this law a name—patriarchy.
The most important thing you must realize about the Patriarchal Law is that it is no longer in effect today. The reason it continued for Gentiles beyond the giving of the Law of Moses was because the Law of Moses was not a universal law—it was given only to the Israelites and to those Gentiles who suffered themselves to be proselyted to it (Deuteronomy 4:1-8; 5:1-21; Acts 2:10). Today, however, all Jews and Gentiles are under one law—the Law of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22). Why is this the case? Because this new law is universal in scope. It is addressed to “all nations” and is to be obeyed by both Jews and Gentiles (Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47; cf. Acts 1:8; Acts 17:30).
“Patriarch” (1986), Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson).
Whiteside, Robertson L. (1988), A New Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Saints at Rome (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation).
The Passing Pleasures of Sin
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
“But, honestly now, how can we possibly expect married people who are living in adultery to break up their marriage?” This is a question over which every sincere student of God’s Word has agonized. When we consider the tears, the heartache, the children, the finances, the physical and emotional trauma—we cannot help but wish it could be otherwise! Surely,God does not expect adulterous marriages to be dissolved!
But then we reconsider the biblical perspective. We find that, more often than not, living righteously before God entails tremendous hardship and deprivation. We find that the peace, joy, and genuine happiness that characterizes the Christian life is achieved through (i.e., in the midst of) suffering—not through an absence of hardship. Remember Moses (Hebrews 11:23-27)? Moses literally grew up in Pharaoh’s own household. Imagine the tender affection which he received at the hands of Pharaoh’s daughter. She literally “nurtured him as her own son” (Acts 7:21, NASB). Imagine the deep emotional and psychological bonds that were formed between Moses and his adopted family! Imagine the intellectual influence exerted on Moses’ mind, since his educational basis was derived via the Egyptian world view (Acts 7:22). Visualize the irresistible attraction and allurement of the riches and power that were his. For 40 long years, Moses sank the roots of his very being deeper and deeper into a maze of human relationships and strong emotional ties.
But in God’s sight, this relationship could not last. When Moses realized this, he was forced to amputate the ties of a strong physical, psychological, and emotional relationship in deference to an obedient relationship with God. His choice to forego momentary pleasures meant hardship, suffering and ill-treatment (Hebrews 11:25). Listen to the inspired writer: “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-25, emp. added).
We, too, must come face to face with the same dilemma. It may be the decision to subdue an insatiable desire for alcohol; it may involve the severance of a financially productive business relationship; and yes, it may entail foregoing a marital relationship. In short, living the Christian life may mean the radical and total disruption of social and family existence (study carefully Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 12:51-53).
The real tragedy is, most are unwilling to make such essential decisions. The sacrifices are simply too great. In Moses’ case, he considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26). Each of us must decide. Are we willing to launch out and take the necessary steps to please God?
The Origin of the Papacy
The Bible clearly teaches that Peter was not the first pope and that he was simply one of the apostles of Jesus (see Pinedo, 2008a; 2008b). The question remains: “When did the papacy begin?” Since the Bible authorizes no hierarchy like the papacy, we will focus our attention on history to learn how it came into existence.
When Christ established His church in the first century (A.D. 30; cf. Acts 2), “He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors [i.e., bishops or elders] and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). Jesus never elevated one bishop over others, but rather established an equable office for service. Sadly, man deviated from the original biblical pattern in search of power, honor, and deification. The first indication of this deviation was the distinction among the terms “bishops,” “elders,” and “pastors”—titles which the New Testament writers used interchangeably (e.g., Acts 20:17,28; Titus 1:5,7; 1 Peter 5:1-4). The title “Bishop” was given more significance and applied to only one man who was given sole authority over a local congregation, unlike bishops during apostolic times (cf. Acts 14:23; 15:4; 20:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14). Soon, the “Bishop” ruled over not only one congregation, but over a “diocese,” several congregations in a city or an entire district (see Miller and Stevens, 1969, 44).
With the influence of Constantine (A.D. 280-337), who made Christianity a “religion of power,” the bishops strengthened and increased their privileges. During this time there were five metropolises: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Rome in the West and Constantinople in the East gained greater prominence because of their locations (Mattox, 1961, p. 137). While the power of the episcopacy grew in these cities, so did the controversy over which of these two cities, and their representative churches and bishops, should have supremacy.
On October 10, 366, a man named Damasus was elected Bishop of Rome. He was an energetic man who fought for the pontificate against his opponent Ursinus, another bishop elected by a small number of followers (see “Damasus I,” 1997, 3:865-866). During his pontificate, Damasus fought to confirm his position in the Church of Rome. He also fought to compel the other cities to recognize the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over all other bishops. Damasus even went as far as to assert that the “Church of Rome was supreme over all others, not because of what the council [of Rome in 369 and of Antioch in 378—MP] decided, but rather because Jesus placed Peter above the rest, elevating him as the cornerstone of the church itself” (“Saint Damasus,” 2005).
In spite of Damasus’ efforts to establish the preeminence of Rome and his pontificate, he did not finish his work. After his death in December 384, Siricius was elected as the Pontiff of Rome. He was less educated than Damasus, but empowered himself with a higher level of authority than other bishops had demanded. Siricius claimed inherent authority without consideration of the Scriptures. He demanded, and threatened others, in order to gain more and more power. He was the first to refer to himself as Peter’s heir (see Merdinger, 1997, p. 26). Siricius died on November 26, 399. Without a doubt, he and Damasus were principal forces behind the development of a universal ecclesiastical hierarchy.
In 440, Leo I became the pontiff. He was an ardent defender of the supremacy of the Roman bishop over the bishops in the East. In a declaration to the Bishop of Constantinople, he stated:
Constantinople has its own glory and by the mercy of God has become the seat of the empire. But secular matters are based on one thing, and ecclesiastical matters on another. Nothing will stand which is not built on the Rock which the Lord laid in the foundation.... Your city is royal but you cannot make it Apostolic (quoted in Mattox, 1961, pp. 139-140).
The supremacy referred to by Leo I was based on the assumption that the Lord exalted Rome, including its church and pontiff, over other major cities because of traditions about Peter. By that time it was accepted as “fact” that Peter had been the first Bishop of Rome and that he had been martyred there. Those traditions, along with Rome’s legacy as an evangelistic influence in the first century, gave the city a “divine aura” that supposedly connected it to the apostolic age and distinguished it from other cities. These beliefs greatly influenced the development of a hierarchy in the church.
On September 13, 590, Gregory the Great was named Bishop of Rome. He was another advocate of Petrine tradition, and named himself “Pope” and the “Head of the Universal Church.” By the end of his pontificate, the theory of Peter’s primacy and that of the Bishop of Rome was firmly established. Finally, with the appearance of Boniface III on the papal throne on February 19, 607, Roman papacy became universally accepted. Boniface III lived only a few months after his election. Many other bishops followed his legacy of “runners for supremacy.”
The apostle Paul told the Ephesians, “For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being Himself the savior of the body” (5:23, emp. added). Just as there should be only one husband with authority over one wife, there is only one Person with authority over the one church. That Person is Jesus Christ!
“Damasus I” (1997), The New Encyclopædia Britannica (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Mattox, F.W. (1961), The Eternal Kingdom (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).
Merdinger, J.E. (1997), Rome & the African Church in the Time of Augustine (London: Yale University Press).
Miller, Jule and Texas Stevens (1969), Visualized Bible Study Series: History of the Lord’s Church(Houston, TX: Gospel Services).
Pinedo, Moisés (2008a), “Is the Papacy a Divine Institution?” [On-line], URL:http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3780.
Pinedo, Moisés (2008b), “Was Peter the First Pope?,” [On-line], URL:http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3811.
“Saint Damasus” [“San Dámaso”] (2005), [On-line], URL: http://22.214.171.124/documento.php?f_doc=2477&f_tipo_doc=9.
The Order of the Lord’s Supper
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
In Matthew (26:26-27) and Mark’s (14:22-23) record of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus blessed the bread first and then the cup. However, Luke seems to give the opposite order with the cup mentioned first (22:17-19). Is this difference a discrepancy in which the inspired writers contradict each other?
It is certainly the case that Jesus only instituted the Lord’s Supper one time. He either blessed the bread first or He blessed the cup first. He did not do it both ways. So can we make sense of the text in such a way that the Bible is not discredited, recognizing that Jesus did not do it both ways? On that lone night so long ago, when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which way did He do it? Bread then cup, or cup then bread?
It is clearly the case that Bible writers do not always claim to be representing a particular event in chronological sequence. Luke could have easily been treating the Passover and Lord’s Supper incident topically. In such a case, no contradiction would exist. However, in this particular instance, a different explanation presents itself.
Read carefully Luke’s reporting of the event:
Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” …When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (22:7-21, emp. added).
Observe carefully that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on the tail end of the observance of the Jewish Passover. One must be careful to distinguish between the two, particularly since the same emblems were used for both, and since the former typifies the latter. The killing of the Passover lamb under Judaism anticipated the death of Jesus Who, in turn, became “our Passover” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Luke, more than Matthew and Mark, demonstrates this close parallelism.1
Luke actually has two allusions to “cup”—one in verse 17 and the other in verse 20. The first “cup” was taken during the Passover and the second “cup” was part of the institution of the Lord’s Supper.2Hence, Luke does not differ from Matthew and Mark in specifying the same order for partaking of the Lord’s Supper, i.e., first the bread and then the cup. Luke’s use in verse 21 of “likewise” refers back to “He took bread,” and “after supper” refers both to the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Supper.
This fact is further supported by Paul in his recounting of the occasion in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. Observe the indications of sequence he portrays—
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body (emp. added).
Observe that Paul goes out of his way to emphasize the order that Jesus instigated—bread/cup and eat/drink. He even clarified that the cup that is part of the Lord’s Supper was done “after supper,” i.e., after the Passover meal. So the “cup” of Luke 22:17-18 was the cup that was associated with the Passover meal—not the Lord’s Supper cup which is noted in verse 20 after the Passover meal and after the bread of the Lord’s Supper.
Another consideration pertains to the fact that Luke 22:17-20 constitutes a textual variant. However, the Committee for the UBS Greek text concluded that the cup-bread-cup sequence is authentic based on “the overwhelming preponderance of external evidence.”3 Further, Sir Frederick Kenyon and S.C.E. Legg offer the only plausible explanation for the existence of variants by noting:
The first cup given to the disciples to divide among themselves should be taken in connection with the previous verse (ver. 16) as referring to the eating of the Passover with them at the reunion in Heaven. This is followed by the institution of the Sacrament, to be repeated continually on earth in memory of Him. This gives an intelligible meaning to the whole, while at the same time it is easy to see that it would occasion difficulties of interpretation, which would give rise to the attempts at revision that appear in various forms of the shorter version.4
Hence, the first allusion to “cup” in verse 17 links back with the eating and drinking of the Passover meal in verses 15-16, while the second allusion to “cup” refers to the Lord’s Supper. Luke agrees with Matthew and Mark that, when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He first took the bread and then took the cup. There is no contradiction.
1 See J.W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton (no date), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Foundation), p. 646.
2 Ibid, p. 658. See also J.W. McGarvey (1910),Short Essays in Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Company), pp. 342-343.
3 Bruce Metzger (1971), A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies), p. 176.
4 Sir Frederick G. Kenyon and S.C.E. Legg (1937), “The Textual Data” in The Ministry and the Sacraments, ed. Roderic Dunkerley (London: SCM), pp. 285-286.