SUMMARY.--Duties of Christian Life. The Former State of Christians. How God Saved Us. The Bath of Regeneration. The Treatment of Heretics. Personal Directions.
1, 2. Be subject to principalities and powers. To the authorities over them. The Cretans were subjected to Roman sway B. C. 67, but had always been turbulent and impatient. Christians should keep aloof from seditions which could only work evil. 2. Gentle. Forbearing and patient.
3-7. For we ourselves. We Christians. Were sometimes. Once we were just as foolish, disobedient, turbulent and sinful as others. 4. But after that. That we are not so now is due, not to ourselves, but to the love of God shown in the gospel. 5. He saved us. Not by our righteousness, but by his mercy. The means chosen by his mercy to place us in the state of salvation are next spoken of. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Two elements enter into the saving; these are referred to in John 3:5 as the birth of water and of the Spirit. God's spirit effects the renewal of the spirit of man by bringing him to faith and repentance through the preaching of the gospel; thus the renewal of the Holy Spirit is begun, and the gift of the Holy Spirit is promised as a sequence of baptism. Rom. 6:1-8 shows that the sinner dies to sin, is buried by baptism, rises to a new life, and is a new creature. Washing of regeneration. Literally, "Bath of regeneration." 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. The term "regeneration" only occurs here and in Matt. 19:28. 6. Which. The Holy Spirit. Shed on us abundantly. On the church. On some even in miraculous measure. See Acts 2:1-10. 7. That being justified. Our sins all forgiven, that through God's grace, we might be accepted as his children.
8, 9. This is a faithful saying. What has been said in the last last four verses. Affirm confidently. That they are saved by the gospel, and hence must live holy lives. Maintain good works. Active in good deeds. 9. But avoid foolish questions. How often this admonition! Genealogies. See note on 1 Tim. 1:4. Strivings about the law. Disputes over points connected with the Jewish law.
10, 11. An heretic. A divider, or schismatic. Any one who preaches doctrines which divide the household of faith is a heretic. So is any schismatic or factious man. Reject. First admonish and warn, repeat it, and if there is no change, then refuse his fellowship. 11. Knowing, etc. No one can continue factious unless he is perverted from the truth. This is the only passage in the New Testament where "heretic" occurs, though "heresy" is elsewhere named.
12-15. When I shall send. Titus was not stationed permanently in Crete, as a diocesan bishop, but was left for a certain work (1:5), and is now bidden to leave as soon as another is sent to take his place. Artemas. Otherwise unknown. Tychicus. Often named as one of Paul's companions. See notes on Col. 4:7 and Eph. 6:21. Come unto me to Nicopolis. A town on the west coast of Greece in Epirus, so named because Augustus Cæsar gained the great battle of Actium there. It means, "City of Victory." History seems to make it probable that Paul did go there to winter, was again arrested, and carried to Rome to die. 13. Bring Zenas the lawyer. Of him nothing more is known. And Apollos. See Acts 18:24-28. It was the custom of the churches to help the early evangelists forward on their journeys. 14. Let ours. Our fellow-Christians. This suggests that it would be a good work to aid Zenas and Apollos.