1:10-16 False teachers are described. Faithful ministers must oppose such in good time, that their folly being made manifest, they may go no further They had a base end in what they did; serving a worldly interest under pretence of religion: for the love of money is the root of all evil. Such should be resisted, and put to shame, by sound doctrine from the Scriptures. Shameful actions, the reproach of heathens, should be far from Christians; falsehood and lying, envious craft and cruelty, brutal and sensual practices, and idleness and sloth, are sins condemned even by the light of nature. But Christian meekness is as far from cowardly passing over sin and error, as from anger and impatience. And though there may be national differences of character, yet the heart of man in every age and place is deceitful and desperately wicked. But the sharpest reproofs must aim at the good of the reproved; and soundness in the faith is most desirable and necessary. To those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; they abuse, and turn things lawful and good into sin. Many profess to know God, yet in their lives deny and reject him. See the miserable state of hypocrites, such as have a form of godliness, but are without the power; yet let us not be so ready to fix this charge on others, as careful that it does not apply to ourselves.
12. One—Epimenides of Phæstus, or Gnossus, in Crete, about 600. He was sent for to purify Athens from its pollution occasioned by Cylon. He was regarded as a diviner and prophet. The words here are taken probably from his treatise "concerning oracles." Paul also quotes from two other heathen writers, Aratus (Ac 17:28) and Menander (1Co 15:33), but he does not honor them so far as even to mention their names.
of themselves … their own—which enhances his authority as a witness. "To Cretanize" was proverbial for to lie: as "to Corinthianize" was for to be dissolute.
alway liars—not merely at times, as every natural man is. Contrast Tit 1:2, "God that cannot lie." They love "fables" (Tit 1:14); even the heathen poets laughed at their lying assertion that they had in their country the sepulchre of Jupiter.
evil beasts—rude, savage, cunning, greedy. Crete was a country without wild beasts. Epimenides' sarcasm was that its human inhabitants supplied the place of wild beasts.
slow bellies—indolent through pampering their bellies. They themselves are called "bellies," for that is the member for which they live (Ro 16:18; Php 3:19).