on Titus 1 :9
Holding fast the faithful word - Conscientiously retaining, and zealously maintaining, the true Christian doctrine, κατα την διδαχην, according to the instructions, or according to the institutions, form of sound doctrine, or confession of faith, which I have delivered to thee.
That he may be able by sound doctrine - If the doctrine be not sound, vain is the profession of it, and vain its influence. It is good to be zealously affected in a good thing; but zeal for what is not of God will do no good to the souls of men, how sincere soever that zeal may be.
To exhort - Them to hold the faith, that they may persevere.
And to convince - Refute the objections, confound the sophistry, and convert the gainsayers; and thus defend the truth.
on Titus 1 :9
Holding fast the faithful word - That is, the true doctrines of the gospel. This means that he is to hold this fast, in opposition to one who would wrest it away, and in opposition to all false teachers, and to all systems of false philosophy. He must be a man who is firm in his belief of the doctrines of the Christian faith, and a man who can be relied on to maintain and defend those doctrines in all circumstances; compare notes, 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
As he hath been taught - Margin, "in teaching." Greek "According to the teaching." The sense is, according to that doctrine as taught by the inspired teachers of religion. It does not mean as he had individually been taught; but he was to hold the faith as it was delivered by those whom the Saviour had appointed to make it known to mankind. The phrase "the doctrine," or "the teaching," had a sort of technical meaning, denoting the gospel as that which had been communicated to mankind, not by human reason, but by teaching.
That he may be able by sound doctrine - By sound teaching, or instruction; Notes, 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 4:16. He was not to dictate, or to denounce; but to seek to convince by the statement of the truth; see the notes at 2 Timothy 2:25.
Both to exhort and to convince - To persuade them, or to bring them over to your views by kind exhortation, and by the instruction which shall convince. The former method is to be used where men know the truth, but need encouragement to follow it; the latter, where they are ignorant, or are opposed to it. Both exhortation and argument are to be used by the ministers of religion.
The gainsayers - Opposers Literally, those who speak against; that is, against the truth; Notes, Romans 10:21.
on Titus 1 :9
1:9 As he hath been taught - Perhaps it might be more literally rendered, according to the teaching, or doctrine, of the apostles; alluding to Acts 2:42.