1 & 2 Thess.
1 & 2 Timothy
1 & 2 Peter
Gifts of the Spirit
Exposition of The Spirit in Titus
What then does this verse mean?
"The verb is in the aorist tense which in Greek commonly indicates one particular occasion." (Expositor’s Bible) i.e. baptism.
We must as Peter says: (1 Peter 1:3-9)
We are not saved ultimately until the return of Christ. Paul says we are "heirs according to the hope of eternal life"(Titus 3:7).
This is the same as "He might redeem us from every lawless deed" of 2:14 (cf. Psa. 130:8). We are redeemed "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18). Paul in Eph. 5:26 explains "having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word". (cf. 1 Pet. 1:25; John 15:3).
Belief of the gospel plus baptism is what Paul means. We are "created again" at baptism, the gospel having changed our thinking, the water having buried our old man. The rising out of the water is the rising of a "new creature".
This "renewing"4 probably has reference to the word "purify" in 2:14. It is growth in the truth after baptism has taken place. It is said to be "by the Holy Spirit" because it was this medium through which Christ revealed his word to the Apostles. (Eph. 3:3-10); Paul in Colossians 3:10-17 demonstrates what renewing entails:
As has been demonstrated, the phrase does not mean the Cretians got a renewed supply of the Holy Spirit because they had lost the old supply.
The "Word of Christ" believed and obeyed5 was the renewing influence, not an "indwelling of the Spirit".
This reference back to Pentecost and Joel (cf. "pour out", Acts 2:17-18,33; 10:45) demonstrates that the gifts are meant. These miraculous gifts enabled the Gospel to be proclaimed, and the ecclesias to be edified, exhorted and comforted. This renewing action of spoken words caused the hearers to be transformed. (Rom. 12:2).
2 "Paul"(1:1) "to Titus"(v. 4), "I left you", "that you", "I directed" (v.5) Ch. 3:8 "I want you to speak." Only in the last verse are all included.
3 see Section B - "Did Not Cause Righteousness".
4 see Rom. 12:2 which contains the only other occurrence of the word ‘anakainosis’ (Y).
5 see notes at John 3:5.