Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, by Witness Lee


Titus 3:10 and 11 say, “A factious man after a first and second admonition refuse, knowing that such a one has been perverted and sins, being self-condemned.” A factious man is a heretical, sectarian man who causes divisions by forming parties in the church according to his own opinions. The Gnostic Judaism referred to in the preceding verse must be related to this. The divisiveness is based on differing teachings. This is the reason that verse 10 comes after verse 9. Certain believers may have insisted on the teaching of the law and in so doing became divisive.

In verse 10 Paul charges Titus to refuse a factious man after a first and second admonition. In order to maintain good order in the church, a factious, divisive person, after a first and second admonition, should be refused, rejected. Because such divisiveness is contagious, this rejection is for the church’s profit that contact with the divisive one be stopped.

In verse 11 Paul speaks a severe word, saying that a factious man has been perverted, that he sins, and that he is self-condemned. Literally, the Greek words rendered “has been perverted” mean turned out of the way. It is more than being turned away from the right path (Titus 1:14). One who has been perverted in this way is spoiled, damaged, destroyed, with respect to God’s New Testament economy.

Paul tells us that factious persons are self-condemned. When a factious person is alone, deep within he may become conscious of a feeling of condemnation. He knows that he does not have genuine peace. With his tongue he may say that he is not condemned, but deep in his heart he has questions and a sense of uneasiness. Some of those who left the Lord’s recovery argued strongly about various things. But deep within they did not have true peace. Instead, they were self-condemned. If they did not have a feeling of condemnation within, they would not struggle to vindicate themselves and to convince others they are right. Their efforts at self-vindication are a sign of their self-condemnation.


A. The Apostle’s Fellowship

In verses 12 and 13 Paul says, “When I send Artemas to you or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me to Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Zenas the lawyer and Apollos send forward diligently that nothing may be lacking to them.” Nicopolis was a city in the southwestern corner of Macedonia, where this Epistle was written. Artemas and Tychicus were intimate fellow-workers of Paul; Zenas and Apollos worked independently of him. Yet Paul still charged Titus to care for them, showing there was no jealousy between the two groups of co-workers.

Paul’s word in verse 14 is related to what he says in verse 13: “And let those also who are ours learn to maintain good works for necessary needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” They were to take care of the needs of the Lord’s servants and to help them on their way.

B. Greetings

In verse 15 Paul concludes, “All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in faith. Grace be with you all.” The faith here is subjective and denotes our believing act which brings us into organic union with the Lord (John 3:15; Gal. 3:26) and operates through love (Gal. 5:6). It is in the element and operation of this faith that the saints who were one with the Lord in His concern loved the suffering and faithful apostle.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)