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, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:11-13 ESV).
God calls believers in Christ to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions in their lives. Additionally, He also calls believers to be self-controlled, upright and godly. The Apostle Paul elsewhere referred to this discipline of sanctification as putting off the old self and putting on the new self (Eph. 4:17-24). It is not being conformed to this fallen world but rather being transformed by a renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2). This is the Christian’s present responsibility.
“It is fitting that those who have been redeemed by Christ should live changed lives because the purpose of His redeeming work on the cross was to “redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). The grace of God that paid for our sins teaches us to turn away from them as we follow Jesus Christ through faith,” states Pastor Tom Ascol.
The believer in Christ is also waiting for something; or rather waiting for someone. Waiting (προσδέχομαι; prosdechomai) is a present, middle participle. This means that believers are presently and personally looking forward to an event. Paul calls this occasion the blessed hope (μακάριος ἐλπίς; makarios elpis) or the happy expectation ((cf. Rom. 8:22–23; 1 Cor. 15:51–58; Phil. 3:20–21; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; 1 John 3:2–3).
All of us throughout the year have a happy expectation of an upcoming event. It may be, a birthday, a summer vacation, a trip to the beach, the beginning of the autumn season, a sporting event, a concert, or a favorite holiday. The anticipation is often as enjoyable as the actual event.
The blessed hope, or happy expectation, for the Christian is the soon return of Jesus Christ. Paul referred to this event as the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Biblical hope is a firm conviction that the future promises of God will be fulfilled. Hope is not mere wish projection but an assurance of what will come to pass,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.
The word appearing (ἐπιφάνεια; epiphaneia) means a visible manifestation or display. Our English word Epiphany comes from this Greek word. What is to appear Paul calls the glory (δόξα; doxa). This refers to splendor and brightness. This glory belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose coming represents the believer’s deliverance from the presence of sin.
Paul calls Jesus our great God and Savior. He affirms the deity of Christ (John 1:1-2; Rom. 9:1-5; Col. 1:15-20).
We are to live each day Coram Deo; before the face of God. We do so in light of the confident expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. May our lives reflect the eternal perspective of the now and the not yet.
Soli deo Gloria!