By: Eric Turner Faith, Grace, and Torah
Titus 3 is one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly interpreted Chapters in all of the Bible. What we will do today is allow the scriptures to interpret themselves, and figure out exactly what the fullness of the message is that Paul commissioned Titus to deliver as an overseer in the assemblies in Crete. Most mainstream theologians twist these scriptures, along with the other scriptures, to promote an Anti-Law doctrine that simply is not Biblical in any way. What we will find is that Paul has been falsely accused as well as highly misunderstood in most of His Epistles, especially this Chapter, and it can be extremely damaging to the souls of our Brothers. I pray that your eyes be opened, and your ears not be dull of hearing the message Titus is being commissioned to deliver.
1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be OBEDIENT, to be ready for every GOOD WORK, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we 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. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and RENEWAL of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO GOOD WORKS. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
We see in verse 1 Paul starts speaking on disobedience and good works. He continues in saying that he too was once foolish, disobedient, and spent his days passing in envying and malice towards others. He then goes on into saying that the Grace of God was revealed so that we can receive RENEWAL of the Holy Spirit and cleansing by this renewal. Was Paul speaking of something new here? Or, maybe Paul was testifying in something that had already been Prophesied to happen. He also mentions that those who believe should devote themselves to good works. These good works are manifested by the impartation, cleansing, and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Where was Paul pulling this from?
25 Then will I sprinkle CLEAN WATER upon you, and ye shall be CLEAN: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I CLEANSE YOU. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a NEW SPIRIT will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put MY SPIRIT within you, and cause you to WALK IN MY STATUTES, and ye shall KEEP MY JUDGMENTS, AND DO THEM.
So we see here that the Holy Spirit will empower us to do the commandments, with all it’s statutes and judgments. Paul also speaks on this concept in the Book of Romans, he equates those who walk after the flesh to refusal of submitting to the Authority of YHVH’s Law.
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to deal with sin. He condemned sin in the flesh 4 SO THAT THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US, who do not live according to the flesh BUT ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. 5 For those who live according to the FLESH set their minds on the things of the FLESH, but those who live according to the SPIRIT set their minds on the things of the SPIRIT. 6 To set our minds on the FLESH leads to DEATH, but to set our minds on the SPIRIT leads to LIFE and peace. 7 That is why the mind that is set on the FLESH is hostile toward God. FOR IT REFUSES TO SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S LAW because it is powerless to do so. 8 Indeed, those who are under the control of the flesh CANNOT PLEASE GOD.
So we see that the Holy Spirit enables us to do “good works” as prescribed in the Torah/Law of YHVH. The evidence of the Torah/Law being written upon the heart of a person is that they do instinctively what the law requires. This is backwards from what modern popular theology teaches. The stumbling block comes in verse 9, where we are told to “avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Now, what we find in verse 8 is that the “good works” that the Holy Spirit leads us into, the Torah/Law of YHVH, is “excellent and profitable for people”. So, what is the issue Paul is speaking of in verse 9, when he says avoid foolish controversies about the law? Most thologians interpret this as saying that we should not discuss the Torah/Law at all, and that it is unprofitable and useless. That is in tremendous error, because all throughout the scriptures inclusing Paul’s writings we find that ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable, so what is this meaning? I see many teaching that one must be a blood descendant of Israel to be of Israel, and I also see the Mainstream Churches trying to separate themselves from Israel, as if Yeshua is divided, based on genaologies and certain dogmatic traditions. This is in complete error on both sides. Genaology has nothing to do with one’s identity in the House of YHVH, and even Gentiles who convert and enter Covenant are no longer counted as “Gentiles” but fellow heirs of Israel. This is the theme all throughout scripture.
48 And when a STRANGER shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and HE SHALL BE AS ONE BORN IN THE LAND: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the STRANGER that sojourneth among you.
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past GENTILES in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, and STRANGERS from the covenants(PLURAL) of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made BOTH ONE, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are NO MORE STRANGERS AND FOREIGHNERS, but FELLOW CITIZENS with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
For info on the statement of “abolishing the law contained in ordinances” in verse 15, see my Ephesians 2 Commentary
So we see here that Paul is not saying we should avoid debates on whether or not we are to observe the Torah/Law, but that we should avoid foolish controversies on whether one is “worthy” or “saved” according to the reckoning of genealogies. We also see that the “good works” of the Torah/Law that the Holy Spirit enables us to do are excellent and profitable for people. This is echoed also all throughout the scriptures.
2 Timothy 3
16 ALL SCRIPTURE(not some) is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: 17 That the man of God may be PERFECT, thoroughly furnished unto all GOOD WORKS.
Most will argue that these “good works” are not speaking of the Torah/Law commandments, but in just a moment, we will have Paul clear that up as well in this Titus Chapter. Moving on to the rest of the chapter, for it will answer this question in itself.
10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 DO YOUR BEST TO SEND Zenas the LAWYER and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO GOOD WORKS, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
The Word in Greek used for “lawyer” in this verse is,
From G3551; according (or pertaining) to law, that is, legal (ceremonially); as noun, an expert in the (Mosaic) law: – about the law, lawyer.
So we see here that Paul commissioned an EXPERT in the Mosaic Law, the Torah, to teach people to devote themselves to “good works” so they will be lacking in nothing and will not become unfruitful. My question is this, if Paul did in fact teach in other Epistles that we should not observe the Torah/Law of Moses, why then is he commissioning an expert in the Torah to teach this group “good works” if the “good works” have nothing to do with the Torah/Law? The answer is simple, the Father’s instructions, commandments, statutes, and judgments are all good works, he commands nothing that is not good, nor would he deliver the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, to fifty days later put them back into bondage as so many these days call the Torah/Law bondage. The Torah/Law is NEVER spoken of as unprofitable, but always spoken of as just, perfect, righteous, Holy, good, and sanctified. King David, a man after YHVH’s own Heart understood the Torah/Law to be more desired than anything else the world can offer.
7 The law of the LORD is PERFECT, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is GREAT REWARD.
97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
So, what we find is Titus 3 is one of the most misunderstood chapters of the Bible, but one of the most confirming chapters in the Bible that the Torah of Moses, the Law of YHVH, is still full well in requirement for believers in Yeshua/Jesus, and that Paul commissioned experts in the Torah/Law to teach the Churches the good works that YHVH has established from the beginning. The problem of the misinterpretations of this Epistle lies in those that Peter warned us about, who misunderstand Paul’s letters, and twist what they say along with the other scriptures to self- destruction and a lawless Gospel, which is no Gospel at all.
2 Peter 3
15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother PAUL also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in ALL HIS LETTERS when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with THE ERROR OF LAWLESS PEOPLE and lose your own stability.
There is no “good news” in a lawless Gospel. I hope and pray that this has helped edify those who have been stumbling over this letter, and I hope that you can see that if we allow the Word to interpret itself, instead of injecting our man made opinions and interpretations, we find that Paul delivered a Gospel of obedience, and good works, so that the man of YHVH may be mature and lacking in nothing. Paul has been misunderstood and falsely accused of teaching lawlessness for far too long, may YHVH open the eyes and ears of His People so that we may bring repentance, reconciliation, and restoration to the Body, so that we may finish the Commission we were ordained to carry out, may it be so, HaShem Yahoshua, Amein Amein!
Faith, Grace, and Torah