Grace in the 'Now' Age
Copyright © 1986, Indian Hills Community Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
The following text is taken from a sermon preached by Gil Rugh, Senior Pastor at Indian Hills Community Church in Lincoln, NE. The text has been edited and condensed by IHCC staff for use as a Bible Study aid.
Paul has been instructing Titus on the type of conduct that is fitting for those who profess a relationship with Christ. The importance of conduct is seen when we understand that God's purpose in redeeming us is to secure a people who will serve Him with their lives.
He is going to focus attention on the past, present and future aspects of our salvation to show how important a godly life-style really is.
"For" ties this close to what he said in 2:1-10; here is the reason we must live lives that conform to godliness.
Verses 11-14 are all one sentence with "the grace of God" as the subject. Grace is "unmerited favor" or "kindness sovereignly bestowed by God."
"Has appeared" (aorist tense) The reference is back to Christ and His death on the cross (cf. 1:4; 3:4; 2 Tim. 1:9, 10).
"Bringing salvation to all men" - God's grace provided salvation for all men. No race, nationality, class or group is excluded. Male or female, old or young, rich or poor - all are guilty before God and all can be saved by His grace (cf. Eph. 2:8,9).
"instructing us" (paideuo) - literally, "to train a child," or "to bring up a child." God's grace instructs or teaches us in the realm of godliness. There is a process of developing and training the believer to live consistently with his new life in Christ.
"To deny ungodliness" - We are to renounce or avoid everything that is contrary to the character of God.
"To deny . . . worldly desires" - These are desires and lusts that are centered in this world. The unsaved man has no place in his life for God and so his desires are occupied with the things of this passing world (cf. 1 John 2:15-17).
"To live sensibly" - This is the fifth time this quality of life has been mentioned in this epistle (1:8; 2:2,5,6). We are to live self-controlled lives. Rather than being controlled by our passions and appetites, we discipline ourselves for godliness.
"Righteously" - This is an upright life; one that is characterized by truth and justice.
"Godly" - The ungodly have no place for God in their lives. But the believer's life centers on Him and conforms to His will.
"In the present age" - This would be in contrast with "the age to come." God's grace is teaching us how to live today! (cf. 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:10).
We live properly in "the present age" (v. 12) because we have our hope fixed on the age to come.
"Looking for" - There is to be an eager expectancy on the part of the believer.
"The blessed hope" is the hope that brings blessing. It is identified as "the appearing of the glory" (Granville-Sharp's rule).
Jesus Christ is "our great God and Savior." This looks to the Rapture of the Church when we shall be caught up in the air to behold Him in all His glory (cf. 1 Cor. 15:50-53,58; 1 Thess. 4:16,27; 1 John 3:2,3).
"Who gave Himself for us." Christ's death was a sacrifice offered on our behalf (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3). He gives two reasons for Christ's giving Himself:
"From every lawless deed" - Everything that is contrary to the character of God. "Lawlessness is the essence of sin" (cf. 1 John 3:4).
"A people for His own possession" - "a peculiar treasure," that is, something that belongs in a special sense to oneself (cf. Ex. 19:5, Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18),
"Zealous for good deeds" - Believers are to be actively and agressively pursuing the works God would have them do (cf. Deut. 26:18).
This ties back to 2:1, "These things" refers specifically to 2:2-14.
He follows this with three present imperatives:
"Speak" (laleo) - Probably has the connotation of "teach."
"Exhort" (parakaleo) - He is to encourage or urge them to obey these instructions.
"Reprove" - The wayward and disobedient will have to be rebuked,
He is to do this with authority and to let no one disregard him.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, © Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. All quotations used by permission.
Permission was received from Indian Hills Community Church for the posting of this file on Bible Bulletin Board. Our gratitude to the Holy Spirit for leading Pastor Gil Rugh to preach/teach messages that are bold, and doctrinally sound—they are so needful to this generation.
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