13 …”waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:13–14 (ESV)
“It is an example of God’s merciful kindness to fallen humanity that He has willed that all of the knowledge needful for a relationship with Him, and for correct worship of Him, should be provided by Him. If it were not so, we would stumble in our own blindness. It is to the revelation of the divine mind expressed in Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura) that all our thoughts, doctrine, worship, and obedience must always be conformed,” Dr. Bruce Bickel.
In anticipation of His glorious return, the Apostle Paul affirmed to Titus the greatness of the great God and Savior; Jesus Christ. In doing so, Paul not only summarized the work of Christ but also the work of His followers.
To begin with, the apostle stated that Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness. The phrase gave himself (δίδωμι ἑαυτοῦ; didomi heautou) means that Jesus personally and at a particular point in time “gave” Himself as a substitutionary, atoning sacrifice on the cross for sinners (Mark 10:45; cf. Matt. 20:28; Gal. 1:4; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14).
The purpose of Christ’s substitutionary gift of Himself on the cross was to redeem us (λυτρόω; lytroo). To redeem means to liberate and to deliver sinners from their spiritual indebtedness to God because of their sin. It refers to freeing someone by paying a ransom price (Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; Acts 28:19).
“Redemption means to release or set free, with the implied analogy to the process of freeing a slave—‘to set free, to liberate, to deliver, liberation, deliverance,” explains Greek scholars Johannes Louw and Eugene Nida.
The phrase all lawlessness (ἀνομία; anomia) means to live with a complete disregard for the laws or regulations of a society. It is to be wicked (Matt. 7:23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:12; Rom. 4:7; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Thess. 2:3, 7; Titus 2:14; Heb. 1:9; 10:17; 1 John 3:4+; Mark 16:15).
Not only did Christ redeem sinners from something (lawlessness) but He also redeemed us for something; to be a purified people zealous to serve Him by their good works. Today’s text says, “… to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Purify (καθαρίζω; katharizo) refers to cleansing. Possession (περιούσιος; periousios) means to be Christ’s very own possession. Zealous (ζηλωτής; zelotes) means to be enthusiastic (Acts 21:20; 22:3; 1 Cor. 14:12; Gal. 1:14; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 3:13). Good works (καλός ἔργον; kalos ergon) refers to praiseworthy deeds.
“To redeem . . . purify summarizes the dual effect of salvation (regeneration and sanctification). To “redeem” is to release someone held captive, on the payment of a ransom. The price was Christ’s blood paid to satisfy God’s justice (Acts 20:28; Gal. 1:4; 2:20; 1 Pet. 1:18; cf. Mark 10:45). A people for his own possession are people who are special by virtue of God’s decree and confirmed by the grace of salvation that they have embraced (Titus 1:1–4). Cf. 1 Cor. 6:19–20; 1 Pet. 2:9. Good works are the product, not the means, of salvation. Cf. Eph. 2:10,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.
Take time today to praise the Lord Jesus Christ for redeeming your soul and that He also has purified you in order to enthusiastically serve Him. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!