vv.1-4 In the salutation or greeting of this epistle, Paul expands upon his apostleship in a remarkable way. We must remember that Paul was in the twilight years of his service, and now looking back, he reflects on the true place that God had given his ministry. Perhaps in his younger days this aspect of things was not in Paul’s view, because it is normal for those in the freshness of youth to focus on the work at hand, rather than the big picture. But in Paul’s later epistles (Titus, 2 Timothy), he reflects on his ministry through the lens of eternity!
The Writer and His Apostleship (vv.1-3)
Godliness or Piety.
Godliness, sometimes translated piety, comes from the Greek word meaning "well devout", and it refers to a manner of living that is totally pleasing to God. Godliness or devoutness involves our motives, our attitude, and our conduct in the sight of God. Christ is the perfect example for us in this (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 5:7).
Our Savior God. Notice that God is mentioned as “God our Savior”, not as “God our Father” as in other epistles. In fact, we find the same title found throughout this epistle (Tit. 1:3; 2:10, 13; 3:4), and also throughout 1 Timothy. When God is presented in this way, He assumes a character in relation to all mankind; as a God of mercy and grace, reaching out as a deliverer for all mankind. And as such, our behavior as associated with Him is important as a testimony to all mankind; “God our Saviour”.1
The Recipient and His Relationship to Paul (v.4)
The Need for Order and Good Behavior (1:5-16)
Titus’ Mission in Crete: to Establish Order Titus (vv.5-9)
Aside: The Cultural Backdrop of the Cretan Assembly (vv.10-16)
- God assumes here, in a peculiar way, the character of a Saviour-God with regard to the world: a principle of great importance in all that concerns our conversation in the world and our intercourse with men. We represent in our religious character a God of love. This was not the case in Judaism. He was indeed the same God; but there He took the character of a Lawgiver. All were indeed to come to His temple according to the declaration of the prophets, and His temple was open to them; but He did not characterise Himself as a Saviour-God for all. In Titus we find the same expression. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.