Titus 3:4-7

Titus 3:4-7
Fourth Sunday of Advent – A Women’s Lectionary


But when the goodnessA and loving kindnessB of GodC our SaviorD appeared,E 

Notes on verse 4

A “goodness” = chrestotes. 10x in NT. From chrestos (useful, good, well-fitted, benevolent, kind, gracious; also a name given to slaves in the ancient world); from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request). This is properly useable, good or ready for service – just what one needs to meet real needs. Figuratively, this speaks of moral excellence, strong character, uprightness, kindness, integrity.
B “loving kindness” = philanthropia. 2x in NT. From the same as philanthropos (humanly, kindly, human, courteous); {from philos (beloved, dear, friendly, fried; someone that is loved or cared for in a personal sense – a confident; this is love based on personal engagement and not love in an abstract sense) + anthropos (person, humankind; refers to all genders)}. This is love for humanity, kindness, benevolence. Literally, it refers to the level of kindness that one gives to a friend (but is extended to others). This is where the term “philanthropy” comes from.
C “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
D “Savior” = soter. From sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively.); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is savior, deliverer, preserver.
E “appeared” = epiphaino. 4x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear); {perhaps from phos (light, radiance; light literal or figurative)}. This is to shine on, appear, become visible, give light. It can figuratively mean to reveal or be known. It is where “epiphany” comes from.

he savedF us, not because of any worksG of righteousnessH that we had done,I but according to his mercy,J

Notes on verse 5a

F “saved” = sozo. Related to “savior” in v4. See note D above.
G “works” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
H “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
I “done” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
J “mercy” = eleos. This is mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion, whether from humans or from God. This is mercy, generally understood in action by word or deed. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is related to this word.

through the waterK of rebirthL and renewalM by the HolyN Spirit.O 

Notes on verse 5b

K “water” = loutron. 2x in NT. From louo (bathing and washing; literal or ritual cleansing, but particularly washing the whole body). This is a washing or that water used for it. It can be a public bath or a private one or, figuratively, refer to baptism.
L “rebirth” = paliggenesia. From palin (back, again, further); {probably from the same as pale (wrestling, struggle, conflict); from pallo (to sway or vibrate)} + genesis (origin, lineage, life, nativity, nature, generation); {from the same as genea (family, generation, kind, or nation;  an age as a period of time, infinity); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth)}. This is regeneration, new birth.
M “renewal” = anakainosis. 2x in NT. From anakainoo (to renew, renovate, to make new); {from ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + kainos (not new as in new versus old; new in the sense of novel, innovative, or fresh)}. This is renewal that includes internal change as well as changing one’s life and actions. It can also be renovation.
N “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
O “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

This Spirit he poured outP on us richlyQ through JesusR ChristS our Savior, 

Notes on verse 6

P “poured out” = ekcheo. From ek (from, from out of) + cheo (to pour). This is something poured out in a liberal fashion. So, it is gushing, spilling, or shedding.
Q “richly” = plousios. 4x in NT. From plousios (wealthy, having full resources; a rich person or God’s abundance); {from ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity)}. This is richly or abundantly.
R “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
S “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

so that, having been justifiedT by his grace,U we might becomeV

Notes on verse 7a

T “justified” = dikaioo. Related to “righteousness” in v5. From dikaios (see note H above). This is to be righteous, plead the cause of, justify, acquit. Properly, it is being approved, particularly carrying the weight of a legal judgment. It is upright, render just, or innocent.
U “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
V “become” = ginomai. Related to “rebirth” in v5. See note L above.

heirsW according to the hopeX of eternalY life.Z 

Notes on verse 7b

W “heirs” = kleronomos. 15x in NT. From kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); {perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)} + the same as nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is heir, inheritor, or possessor – whether literal of figurative.
X “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.
Y “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
Z “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

Image credit: “AIN KELT, Geography of Palestine” by Esti Kaplan, between 2014 to 2016.

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