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Paul's Exhortations & Instructions to Brother Titus Volume 15
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Paul Gives Titus the Qualities of a Sound Church Part 5
Titus 2:9-10 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. KJV
During the time that the Apostle Paul lived and wrote this letter to Brother Titus, slavery was a common occurrence and practice. Therefore, Pauls next words to Titus here may seem to us today as cavalier, careless, or even cold, but the facts then were that there were many people that were owned by other people and some of these slaves came into a saving knowledge of our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ through hearing the preaching of the Gospel of Christ and became members of the Body of Christ and remained slaves after their conversion, because their earthly state, status, or situation in this life did not change upon becoming a Christian, but their inner man and inner woman did change along with their eternal place of residency (heaven now), so Paul now writes these words to Brother Titus instructing him on what to teach these slaves on how they should now conduct themselves with their masters, "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;" (Titus 2:9) (KJV). The English word 'servants' used at the beginning of this verse is translated by the Greek word doulos meaning (as used here) a slave (literally and involuntarily). The little English phrase 'to be obedient' is translated by the Greek word hupotassō meaning to subordinate; reflexively to obey: - be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.
In other words, now the born again slave is to voluntarily subject himself to his owner or master knowing all the while that his or her true master is in heaven seated at the right hand of God the Father, that is, our Lord Jesus Christ, for Paul wrote this same directive or command with these words to the believers in Ephesus, "Slaves, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service as to the Lord and not to men (knowing that whatever good thing he does, he shall receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or a freeman)." (Ephesians 6:5-8) (MKJV). Here is what Adam Clarke had to say about slaves being obedient to their masters pleasing them in all things, "The Apostle refers to those who were slaves, and the property of their masters; even these are exhorted to be obedient, to their own despots, though they had no right over them on the ground of natural justice. They were to endeavor to do this in all things, though they could not hope to succeed in every thing." When Paul writes, 'not answering again', he means that the born again slave was to obey the commands of his earthly master without complaining or disputing the command or even grumbling, that is, making a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone at his or her displeasure of the command and the state of being a slave. This truly is easier said than done and must require the power of God the Holy Spirit to work in the disposition or temperament to carry out such an attitude of non complaint when one was living in such a state or condition as this.
Here is what Albert Barnes had to say about this matter of not answering again, "Not contradicting, or not disobeying. They were to do what the master required, if it did not interfere with the rights of conscience, without attempting to argue the matter - without disputing with the master - and without advancing their own opinions. Where this relation exists, no one can doubt that this is a proper frame of mind for a servant. It may be observed, however, that all that is here said would be equally appropriate, whether the servitude was voluntary or involuntary. A man who becomes voluntarily a servant, binds himself to obey his master cheerfully and quietly, without gainsaying, and without attempting to reason the matter with him, or propounding his own opinions, even though they may be much wiser than those of his employer. He makes a contract to obey his master, not to reason with him, or to instruct him." Paul then makes this also the requirement of the servants or slaves with their masters for the end result of showing Christ even in the absolute most worst of living conditions as a pilgrim on this earth, "Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." (Titus 2:10) (KJV). The English word 'purloining' is translated by the Greek word nosphizomai meaning (apart or clandestinely); to sequestrate for oneself, that is, embezzle: - keep back, purloin.
In other words, it is a big Greek word for stealing or taking something that belongs to the master and using it for yourself, that is, making off with the belongings or property of others and in this case the property of the master. Here is what Albert Barnes had to say about the servant not purloining, "Not to appropriate to themselves what belongs to their masters. The word 'purloin' means, literally, to take or carry away for oneself; and would be applied to an approbation to oneself of what pertained to a common stock, or what belonged to one in whose employ we are - as the embezzlement of public funds. Here it means that the servant was not to apply to his own use what belonged to his master; that is, was not to pilfer - a vice to which, as all know, servants, and especially slaves, are particularly exposed." However, instead of doing this the slave that has come to Christ, that is, been born again must show to his master 'good fidelity' which simply means that he or she must be faithful to his or her master, which is also what a Christian man or woman must do today to their employer, for their true employer is our Lord Jesus Christ, so the child of God must work for their employer as if they are working for Christ Jesus Himself which they are. In doing this they will then adorn or garnish themselves with the doctrine or instruction or teachings of God our Savior, that being our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what John Wesley had to say about adorning the doctrine of God our Savior in all things, "Showing all good fidelity - Soft, obliging faithfulness that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour - More than St. Paul says of kings. How he raises the lowness of his subject! So may they, the lowness of their condition."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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