10 Non fraudantes, sed in omnibus fidem bonam ostendentes ut doctrinam salutaris nostri Dei ornent in omnibus
6. Exhort likewise younger men. He merely enjoins that young men be instructed to be temperate; for temperance, as Plato shows, cures the whole understanding of man. It is as if he had said, “Let them be well regulated and obedient to reason.”
7. In all things shewing thyself.For doctrine will otherwise carry little authority, if its power and majesty do not shine in the life of the bishop, fc32 as in a mirror. He wishes, therefore, that the teacher may be a pattern, which his scholars may copy. fc33
A pattern of good works in doctrine, uprightness, gravity. In the original Greek the style is inhere involved and obscure, and this creates ambiguity. First, he makes use of the words in doctrine, and then adds, in the accusative case, integrity, gravity, etc. fc34Without mentioning the interpretations given by others, I shall state that which appears to me to be the most probable. First, I connect these words, of good works in doctrine; for, after having enjoined Titus that, in teaching he shall inculcate the practice of good works, he wishes that good works, which correspond to this doctrine, may be visible in his life; and consequently the preposition inmeans that they shall be suitable, or shall correspond, to the doctrine. What follows is in no degree obscure; for; in order that he may exhibit a representation of his doctrine in morals, he bids him be “upright and grave.”
8. Sound speech, unblamable. fc35 “Soundspeech” relates (in my opinion) to ordinary life and familiar conversation; for it would be absurd to interpret it as relating to public instruction, since he only wishes that Titus, both in his actions and in his words, shall lead a life that agrees with his preaching. He therefore enjoins that his words shall be pure and free from all corruption.
Unblamable may apply either to the words or the person of Titus. I prefer the latter view, that the other nouns in the accusative case (which the Greek syntax easily allows) may depend upon it in this sense — ”that thou mayest shew thyself unblamable in gravity, in integrity, and in sound words.”
That the adversary may be ashamed. Although a Christian man ought to look at other objects, yet this must not be neglected, to shut the mouth of wicked men, as we are everywhere taught that we should give no occasion for slander. Everything that they can seize on as improper in our conduct is maliciously turned against Christ and his doctrine. The consequence is, that, through our fault, the sacred name of God is exposed to insult. Accordingly, the more we perceive that we are keenly observed by enemies, let us be the more attentive to guard against their calumnies, and thus let their malignity strengthen in us the desire of doing well.
9. Servants, that they be subject to their masters. It has been already said that Paul merely glances at some things by way of example, and does not explain the whole of these subjects, as if he undertook, expressly, to handle them. Accordingly, when he enjoins servants to please their masters in all things, this desire of pleasing must be limited to those things which are proper; as is evident from other passages of a similar nature, in which an exception is expressly added, to the effect that nothing should be done but according to the will of God.
It may be authority of others shall be obedient and submissive. With good reason he does this, for nothing is more contrary to the natural disposition of man than subjection, and there was danger lest they should take the gospel as a pretext for becoming more refractory, as reckoning it unreasonable that they should be subject to the authority of unbelievers. So much the greater care and diligence ought pastors to use for either subduing or checking this rebellious spirit.
10. Not thievish but shewing all good faith. He censures two vices that are common among servants, petulant replies, and a propensity to steal. fc36 The comedies are full of instances of excessively ready talk, by which servants cheat their masters. Nor was it without reason that an exchange of names took place in ancient times, by which “servant “and “thief “became convertible terms. Thus prudence requires that we make our instructions apply to the morals of each individual.
By faith he means fidelity to their masters; and therefore, to shew all faith is to act faithfully, without using fraud or doing injury, in transacting the affairs of their masters.
That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. This ought to be a very sharp spur of exhortation to us, when we learn that our becoming conduct adorns the doctrine of God, which, at the same time, is a mirror of his glory. And, indeed, we see that this usually happens; as, on the other hand, our wicked life brings disgrace upon it; for men commonly judge of us from our works. But this circumstance ought also to be observed, that God deigns to receive an “ornament” from shaves, whose condition was so low and mean that they were wont to be scarcely accounted men; for he does not mean “servants,” such as we have in the present day, but slaves, fc37 who were bought with money, and held as property, hike oxen or horses. And if the life of those men is an ornament to the Christian name, much more let those who are in honor take care that they do not stain it by their baseness.