3:8-11 When the grace of God towards mankind has been declared, the necessity of good works is pressed. Those who believe in God, must make it their care to maintain good works, to seek opportunities for doing them, being influenced by love and gratitude. Trifling, foolish questions must be avoided, and subtle distinctions and vain inquiries; nor should people be eager after novelties, but love sound doctrine which tends most to edifying. Though we may now think some sins light and little, if the Lord awaken the conscience, we shall feel even the smallest sin heavy upon our souls.
9. avoid—stand aloof from. Same Greek, as in 2Ti 2:16; see on 2Ti 2:16.
foolish—Greek, "insipid"; producing no moral fruit. "Vain talkers."
genealogies—akin to the "fables" (see on 1Ti 1:4). Not so much direct heresy as yet is here referred to, as profitless discussions about genealogies of aeons, &c., which ultimately led to Gnosticism. Synagogue discourses were termed daraschoth, that is, "discussions." Compare "disputer of this world (Greek, 'dispensation')."
strivings about the law—about the authority of the "commandments of men," which they sought to confirm by the law (Tit 1:14; see on 1Ti 1:7), and about the mystical meaning of the various parts of the law in connection with the "genealogies."