For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He night redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:11-14
Did you notice that in these four short verses we have the essence of the Gospel? Embedded in this passage are two “appearings” of the Lord. In verse 11 we see “The grace of God that has appeared bringing salvation to all men.” This verse refers to the first coming of Christ when He secured our salvation on the cross. In verse 13 we read that we are looking for “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” This refers to the Lord’s second coming when He will return to earth in glory. These truths should ring a bell, we proclaim and sum them up every Sunday in church when we say, Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.
The Christian life includes looking back and looking forward while we live in what Titus simply calls this present age. How should we live during this in between time? What will our attitude be? How will our actions reflect what we believe? What will our lives look like?
Titus basically says that because of the grace of the Lord who has brought us salvation, our lives will be different. He doesn’t give us specifics in this passage but he gives us the general idea. We will turn from ungodliness, lawless deeds and worldly desires. We will actively pursue a life that is sensible, godly and zealous for good deeds. It is up to us to seek the Lord for the specifics of what this will look like in our individual lives.
The Advent look back to the grace filled salvation that Jesus secured for you. Look forward to the culmination of our salvation, the hope of our resurrection and the appearing of the Lord of glory. In the meantime stand strong in the Lord and be thankful.
As we think about the general guidelines that Titus gives us for how we should live in this present age,
- Kathy Phillips
1. Ask the Lord to show you anything you He wants you to stop doing?
2. Ask the Lord to show you some specific thing(s) that He wants you to do.
3. Take some time to listen and write down what you think He is saying to you.
-Did you know that there are some places and some people you can’t visit without obeying some special rules? For example, women have to cover their hair with veils to visit the Pope. Men and women must bow or curtsey for the Queen of England (and you can never show her your back!). You have to wear long pants or skirts to visit some ancient cathedrals around the world. Did you know that there is a special rule for being with God? You have to be sinless. That means no bad thoughts, no bad actions, no mistakes. It’s impossible to be sinless (even your parents!!!). That is why Jesus’ work on the cross is so important. Because Jesus took our punishment and took away our sins, we can be with God and live with him forever.
--Father, you are greater than time and the work of our salvation in the past, present, and future is so hard to understand sometimes, but we are still amazed. Thank you for the real hope we have in you, and may we continue to work towards the day of Jesus’ return in the strength of your Spirit. Amen.