For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.Titus 2:11-14
One of Paul’s main concerns in writing to Titus, and especially in this chapter, is to impress upon him the need to teach in accordance with SOUND DOCTRINE (2:1) [ie with God’s Word as our infallible authority] and to back this up with consistent godly living.
This is particularly relevant for us today. There is much that passes for ‘Christianity’ that is a misunderstanding of ‘the grace of God that brings salvation’, but even more that is slow to ‘say “No” to worldly passions’. How much do we make a stand against the various ‘passions’ of our present age?
I don’t think Paul is only thinking about sexual passions. Today we are constantly impacted by countless other pressures from the God-rejecting culture in which we live: consumerism, fashion, and worldview, for example. How much time and money do we spend on being ‘up there’ with the latest electronic technology? How careful are we about modesty in the way we dress? How discerning are we in the use of social media? Are we really living ‘self-controlled, upright and godly lives’? Do we TEST EVERYTHING by the standard of God’s written, infallible Word? Are we so concerned about being relevant and acceptable in our culture that we fail to be ‘DIFFERENT ‘ -as salt and light (Matthew 5:14-16)?
In the verses that follow, Paul reminds Titus that Jesus is coming back, and that when he does he will be expecting to find that his death to redeem us was not in vain but is bearing real fruit in our daily lives and witness.