Titus 3:14
And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
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(14) And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses.—“Ours,” that is, those who with St. Paul and Titus in Crete called upon the name of Jesus. A last reminder to the brethren, whom with a loving thought he calls “ours,” constantly to practise good and beneficent works. In the expression “let ours also learn,” it would seem as though St. Paul would have Christians trained to the wise and thoughtful performance of works of mercy and charity.

It was with such injunctions as these that men like St. Paul and St. James laid the foundation storeys of those great Christian works of charity—all undreamed of before the Resurrection morning—but which have been for eighteen centuries in all lands, the glory of the religion of Jesus—one grand result of the Master’s presence with us on earth, which even His bitterest enemies admire with a grudging admiration.

In the short compass of these Pastoral Epistles, in all only thirteen chapters, we have no less than eight special reminders to be earnest and zealous in good works. There was evidently a dread in St. Paul’s mind that some of those who professed a love of Jesus, and said that they longed after the great salvation, would content themselves with a dreamy acquiescence in the great truths, while the life remained unaltered. It is noteworthy that these Epistles, containing so many urgent exhortations to work for Christ, were St. Paul’s last inspired utterances. The passages in question are Titus 1:16; Titus 2:7; Titus 2:14; Titus 3:14; 1Timothy 2:10; 1Timothy 5:10; 1Timothy 6:18; 2Timothy 2:21.

3:12-15 Christianity is not a fruitless profession; and its professors must be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. They must be doing good, as well as keeping away from evil. Let ours follow some honest labour and employment, to provide for themselves and their families. Christianity obliges all to seek some honest work and calling, and therein to abide with God. The apostle concludes with expressions of kind regard and fervent prayer. Grace be with you all; the love and favour of God, with the fruits and effects thereof, according to need; and the increase and feeling of them more and more in your souls. This is the apostle's wish and prayer, showing his affection to them, and desire for their good, and would be a means of obtaining for them, and bringing down on them, the thing requested. Grace is the chief thing to be wished and prayed for, with respect to ourselves or others; it is all good.And let ours - Our friends; that is, those who were Christians Paul had just directed Titus to aid Zenas and Apollos himself, and he here adds that he wished that others who were Christians would be char acterized by good works of all kinds.

To maintain good works - Margin, profess honest trades. The Greek will admit of the interpretation in the margin, or will include that, but there is no reason why the direction should be supposed to have any special reference to an honest mode of livelihood, or why it should be confined to that. It rather means, that they should be distinguished for good works, including benevolent deeds, acts of charity, honest toil, and whatever would enter into the conception of an upright life; see the notes at Titus 3:8.

For necessary uses - Such as are required by their duty to their families, and by the demands of charity; see Titus 3:8.

That they be not unfruitful - - That it may be seen that their religion is not barren and worthless, but that it produces a happy effect on themselves and on society; compare the John 15:16 note; Ephesians 4:28 note.

14. And … also—Greek, "But … also." Not only thou, but let others also of "our" fellow believers (or "whom we have gained over at Crete") with thee.

for necessary uses—to supply the necessary wants of Christian missionaries and brethren, according as they stand in need in their journeys for the Lord's cause. Compare Tit 1:8, "a lover of hospitality."

And let ours also; either those of our order, ministers of the gospel, or those that are Christians.

Learn to maintain good works; in the Greek it is, to excel, or to be in the front, or to show forth, or maintain, and each sense hath its patrons of note.

For necessary uses; for the necessary uses of the church, or of others, or for their own necessary uses. I take their sense who would expound the phrase,

maintain good works, by learning some honest trade, to be foreign to the true sense of the phrase.

And let ours also learn to maintain good works,.... By which are not only meant honest trades, as some choose to render the words: it is true, that a trade is a work; and an honest lawful employment of life is a good work; and which ought to be maintained, attended to, and followed, and to be learnt, in order to be followed. The Jews say, that he that does not teach his son a trade, it is all one as if he taught him to rob or steal; hence their doctors were brought up to trades; See Gill on Mark 6:3; as was the Apostle Paul, though he had an education under Gamaliel: and such an one is to be learned and maintained for necessary uses, for the good of a man's self, and for the supply of his family; for the assistance of others that are in need; for the support of the Gospel, and the interest of Christ; and for the relief of poor saints; that such may not be unfruitful and useless, in commonwealths, neighbourhoods, churches, and families. The Jews say (c).

"there are four things which a man should constantly attend to with all his might, and they are these; the law, "good works", prayer, , and "the way of the earth", or "business"; if a tradesman, to his trade; if a merchant, to his merchandise; if a man of war to war.''

But though this may be part of the sense of these words, it is not the whole of it; nor are acts of beneficence to the poor of Christ, to the household of faith, to strangers and ministers, to whom good is especially to be done, only intended; though they, may be taken into the account, in agreement with the context; but all good works in general, which are done in conformity to the revealed will of God, in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God, are meant: to maintain them, is to endeavour to outdo others in them, not only the men of the world, but one another; and to set examples of them to others, and to provoke one another, by an holy emulation, to them; and to be constant in the performance of them: and which believers may "learn" partly from the Scriptures, which contain what is the good and perfect will of God; these show what are good works, and direct unto them, and furnish the man of God for them; and also the grace part of the Scripture, the doctrines of the grace of God, teach to deny sin, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives; and from the examples of the apostles and followers of Christ; and above all from Christ himself, the great pattern and exemplar of good works: and this lesson of good works is to be learnt by ours; meaning not only those of the same function, who were in the same office, ministers of the Gospel, as were the apostle and Titus; but all that believed in God, who were of the same Christian community and society, professors of the same religion, and partakers of the same grace; and were not only nominally, but really of the same number, even of the number of God's elect, the redeemed from among men, the family of Christ, sharers in the common faith, and heirs of the grace of life; who lie under the greatest obligations to learn to do good works: "for necessary uses"; not to make their peace with God, or to atone for their sins, or to procure the pardon of them, or to cleanse them from them, or for their justification before God, or to obtain salvation and eternal life; but to glorify God, testify their subjection to him, and gratitude for mercies received; to show forth their faith to men; to adorn the doctrine of Christ, and a profession of it; to recommend religion to others; to stop the mouths of gainsayers, and put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: and "that they be not unfruitful"; in them, and in the knowledge of Christ; good works are the fruits of the Spirit, and of his grace; they are fruits of righteousness; and such as are without them are like trees without fruit, useless and unprofitable.

(c) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2. & Gloss. in. ib.

And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Titus 3:14. Μανθανέτωσαν δὲ καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι] οἱ ἡμέτεροι are the Christian brethren in Crete, not, as Grotius thought, Zenas and Apollo. Καί stands with reference not merely to the Jews (Hofmann), but to non-Christians in general. As non-Christians provide for the needs of their own, so ought Christians, and not refrain through their anxiety for heavenly things.

καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι] in the same general sense as in Titus 3:8, but the words following give the phrase a more special reference to works of benevolence; εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας, “in regard to the necessary wants.”

ἵνα μὴ ὦσιν ἄκαρποι] The subject is οἱ ἡμέτεροι. Hofmann construes the words εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας with the clause of purpose following them. He says that “the particle of purpose is placed after the emphatic part of the clause,” a thing which frequently occurs in the N. T., and for this he appeals to Winer, p. 522 [E. T. p. 764]. In this he is entirely wrong. Such a construction seldom occurs, and of all the passages there quoted by Winer, that from 2 Corinthians 12:7 alone is to the point; the rest are of quite another kind. It is quite clear from what was said on ἵνα in 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:1[22] that such a construction is not to be admitted here. The exhortation in the passage does not refer simply to the present case of equipping Zenas and Apollo, which indeed occasioned it, but is in general terms, and is applicable to all cases where the necessary wants of others have to be considered (van Oosterzee).

[22] To say that with the common construction the clause of purpose is too general (Hofmann), is not to the point, since it can easily be defined from what precedes.

Titus 3:14. The δέ does not mark an antithesis between οἱ ἡμέτεροι and the persons who have just been mentioned, but is rather resumptive of Titus 3:8; repeating and emphasising at the close of the letter that which St. Paul had most at heart, the changed lives of the Cretan converts. οἱ ἡμέτεροι of course means those of our faith in Crete.

καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι: See on Titus 3:8.

εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας: The best commentary on this expression is 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12. Although καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι does not mean to profess honest occupations, yet it is plain from St. Paul’s letters that he would regard the earning one’s own bread respectably as a condition precedent to the doing of good works. The necessary wants to which allusion is made are the maintenance of oneself and family, and helping brethren who are unable to help themselves (Acts 20:35; Romans 12:13; Ephesians 4:28). This view is borne out by the reason which follows, ἵνα μὴ ὦσιν ἄκαρποι. See John 15:2, Php 4:17, Colossians 1:10, 2 Peter 1:8.

14. let ours also learn] More clearly as R.V. and let our people also learn. Theod. Mops, excellently, because Titus (as a poor person) could not be expected to do all, ‘teach,’ he says, ‘your people to attend carefully to the support of their religious teachers.’ St Paul quotes again half of the ‘Faithful saying’ of Titus 3:8, ‘maintain good works,’ and gives this as a most important and primary application of the general law for a practical Christian life, by adding ‘for such necessary wants’ for the needful wants of the ministry. The article requires this interpretation; these well-known and existing wants that are inevitable, when your ministers have to spend their time in saving, not money, but men’s souls. For the usage of this word (in the plural) always as ‘wants,’ not ‘uses,’ cf. Acts 20:34 ‘these hands ministered unto my necessities,’ Romans 12:13 ‘communicating to the necessities of the saints.’

This passage recording the visit of an ‘apostle,’ and a ‘teacher,’ and dwelling on the support of the ministry, finds a striking illustration in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which dwells with especial prominence on the work of travelling and resident apostles, and prophets, and teachers, and on their support. It is noticeable too how in the twenty or thirty years which probably elapsed between this Epistle and the ‘Teaching’ the large-hearted law here laid down had been liable to abuse, and required guarding. Three out of the sixteen chapters. xi., xii., xiii., are occupied with this subject. See introduction, pp. 22–24.

Titus 3:14. Μανθανέτωσαν, let them learn) by thy admonition and example.—καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι, ours also) not only we, but also ours, whom we have gained at Crete. These seem not to have given sufficient assistance to Zenas and Apollos, when they ought to have done so. [It is not proper that some should ever and anon devolve the business in hand from themselves upon others.—V. g.] Zenas and Apollos were already in Crete with Titus; for this is the reason why he distinguishes them from Artemas and Tychicus, who were not until afterwards to be sent.—εἰς τὰς ἀναγκείας χρείας, for necessary uses) even as spiritual necessity [i.e. the tie which necessarily binds saints to help one another] requires; so χρεία, Acts 6:3. Spiritual necessity [‘necessitudo,’ tie of necessary obligation or relationship] lays the foundation of obligations, so that one cannot withdraw from another [so as not to help him].[15]

[15] Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 4: Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (J. Bryce, Trans.) (317–326). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

Verse 14. - Our people for ours, A.V. Our people also. The natural inference is that Titus had some fund at his disposal with which he was to help the travelers, but that St. Paul wished the Cretan Christians to contribute also. But it may also mean, as Luther suggests, "Let our Christians learn to do what Jews do, and even heathens too, viz. provide for the real wants of their own." To maintain good works (ver. 8, note) for necessary uses (εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας); such as the wants of the missionaries (comp. 3 John 5:6; see also Romans 12:13; Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:16, etc.). The phrase means "urgent necessities," the "indispensable wants." In classical Greek τὰ ἀνάγκαια are "the necessaries of life." That they be not unfruitful (ἄκαρποι); comp. 2 Peter 1:8 and Colossians 1:6, 10. Titus 3:14Ours (ἡμέτεροι)

Our brethren in Crete.

For necessary uses (εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας)

The phrase N.T.o. With reference to whatever occasion may demand them.

Unfruitful (ἄκαρποι)

Only here in Pastorals. In Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:14; Ephesians 5:11. Not only in supplying the needs, but in cultivating Christian graces in themselves by acts of Christian service.

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