11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” (Titus 2:11-12 ESV).
Godliness is an effect brought about by a preceding cause. The cause is the grace of God.
For the grace of God. Grace (χάρις; charis) refers to God’s unmerited and kind favor. It is favor originating from and sourced solely in God; the One, True God.
Paul stated that this grace of God has appeared (ἐπιφαίνω; epiphainō). Grace is a manifested and revealed work by God for sinners. Grace appeared not as a doctrine but more importantly as a person; Jesus Christ. Jesus is the embodiment of grace and the source of grace (Rom. 3:21-26).
Grace brings salvation (σωτήριος:sōtērios) or deliverance from sin’s penalty, power and eventual presence. This gracious salvation is extended to all people, or all kinds of people.
“Bringing salvation to all people is sometimes misunderstood as meaning that all people will be saved. However, such a reading is not necessary here and flatly contradicts other Scripture (I Tim. 2:4). It means, rather, that salvation has been offered to all people (including all ethnic groups), not just to some,” explains Dr. Ray Van Neste of The University of Aberdeen.
This gracious salvation does not just address our past sins, along with our future hope of heaven. It also speaks to our daily pursuit of godliness. In the midst of this quest for Christ-like character, the believer battles the world, their remaining sinful desires (the flesh) and the Devil.
God’s grace presently and actively trains (παιδεύω; paideuō) or disciplines believers to renounce (ἀρνέομαι; arneomai) or deny certain behaviors. “Salvation is transforming (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8–10), and transformation (new birth) produces a new life in which the power of sin has been broken (Rom. 6:4–14; Phil. 3:8–9; Col. 3:9–10),” states Dr. John MacArthur.
Paul then instructs Titus regarding what the believer in Christ should do. This includes being self-controlled (σωφρόνως; sōphronō), upright (δικαίως; dikaiōs), and godly (εὐσεβῶς; eusebōs). This is how the Christian ought to live.
Is your Christian life characterized by not only what you do not do, but also what you do? Take time today to examine your walk with the Lord. Ask Him to reveal to you where you need strength and courage to be godly.
Soli deo Gloria!