The Grace of God
Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
Very briefly, let us note the following. Paul made reference to two appearings. Firstly, Paul said, “the grace of God has appeared.” This refers to the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, Paul said, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing.” This refers to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first coming of the Lord Jesus sets before us three points. Firstly, we are told that Christ’s coming brings salvation to all men or all kinds of men, even the bondslaves referred to in vs.9. Secondly, those who are the recipients of God’s saving grace in Christ are instructed in two ways. The verb “instructed” also means “to train by discipline”. The first instruction is negative : we must deny, renounce, turn away from, say “no” to ungodliness and worldly lusts.
The second instruction is that we must live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age. The word “sensibly” means to have a sound (rational) mind and calls upon us to live in a self-controlled, thoughtful and rational manner. The word “righteously” means to live in an upright manner. The word “godly” means to live in a manner that reverences and pleases God. We cannot live sensibly, righteously, and godly unless our minds are rooted in, filled with, and governed by the word of God.
God’s grace in Christ does not only save us in this present age. God’s grace in Christ also teaches how live in this present age. This present age is marked by evil and sinfulness. Paul described it as “crooked and perverse” (Phil.2:15).
We are living in this context of evil and sinfulness. But Paul wants us to turn away from the evil and sinfulness of this present age and turn to a life that honors God in this present age.
This brings us to the final point in vs.13. The grace of God that has come to us as a result of Christ’s first coming wants us to look for the second appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take note of the verb “looking”. It means to look forward to with eagerness and expectancy. The second coming is described as the blessed hope and the appearing of Christ’s glory. The Lord Jesus Christ is also described as “our great God and Savior.” The literal translation is very important and says : “the great God and Savior of us, Jesus Christ.” The one definite article, “the”, ties together “God and Savior” and tells us that Jesus is described as “God and Savior”. The Bible clearly and emphatically teaches that Jesus Christ is God. Denial of this truth does not make it untruth. To deny this truth is to prove the presence of your darkened understanding. (cf. Eph.4:17-18).
In apply the truth of Christ’s second coming, the apostle John wrote, “everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself just as He is pure.” (1Jn.3:3). Believing in and looking forward with eagerness to the second coming of Christ will impact our spiritual growth and our moral conduct.