Thursday, October 19, 2023

2023.10.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Titus 2:11–15

Read Titus 2:11–15

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose what has appeared (Titus 2:11)? What does that grace bring? To whom has it appeared? What two things does grace teach us to deny (Titus 2:12)? In what three ways does grace teach us to live? When? What does grace teach us to look for (Titus 2:13)? For Whose appearing is this blessed hope? Who is this great God and Savior? What has He given (Titus 2:14)? For Whom? To do what for us? And to do what for Himself? What is the result of purifying this special people—for what are they zealous? By what three modes of communication is Titus to relate this to the Cretan church (Titus 2:15)? In what manner is he to communicate? What mustn’t he permit?

What does grace teach us? Titus 2:11–15 looks forward to the second serial reading of in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that grace teaches us to pursue that for which Christ has laid hold of us. 

Grace for all sorts of menTitus 2:11. Older men (Titus 2:2), older women (Titus 2:3), younger women (Titus 2:4-5), younger men (Titus 2:6), ministers (Titus 2:7-8), slaves (Titus 2:9-10)… “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Every sort of man needs grace, and every sort may have it in Christ. It’s God’s grace; its efficacy is in God, not the man.

Grace that teaches usTitus 2:12. Although the efficacy of grace is entirely in God, and the righteousness that it gives us is entirely in Christ, yet grace DOES teach us what we must deny, how we must live, what we should look for, and how to prepare for it. While justification is only through faith, Christianity is more than justification, and God’s grace teaches us to persevere in sanctification unto glorification (all in dependence upon grace!). 

What grace says to denyTitus 2:12. Deny ungodliness. One thing always to remember about God’s law is that it teaches us how make application, in our living, of all of the implications of Who God is. Those who cry “legalism” over God’s law unwittingly prefer to be godless. Such an idea of grace is almost exactly the opposite of the Bible. Deny worldly lusts (“lusts of the cosmos”). Grace teaches us to count Christ worth more than all this world. 

How grace says to liveTitus 2:12. Grace says to live soberly (same as “sober-minded” in Titus 1:8, “temperate” in Titus 2:2, and “sober-minded” in Titus 2:6)—controlled by wisdom, theologically principled, not impulsively changing with feelings or inclinations. Grace says to live righteously—justly unto God (first great commandment), unto neighbor (second great commandment), and brother (“new” commandment, cf. John 13:34). Grace says to live godly—the law is not just a set of rules; it is how to live well in light of the Lord and in relation to Him.

What grace says to look forTitus 2:13. As obvious as it sounds, there are actually many “Christians” who look chiefly for something less than “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” And even those who do have this as our chief desire when we’re “thinking straight,” often lose sight of this great desire. But grace corrects us and redirects us. Let us look for and long for His appearing!

How grace says to prepare for itTitus 2:14. Finally, grace teaches us how to live in this longing for Christ Himself: by pursuing what he pursued in “giving Himself for us.” He did that not just for our forgiveness but for our purity. And not only purity for its own sake; He purifies us for Himself as His own special people. So what grace teaches us to look for in Titus 2:12 has its source in Christ’s own desire for us to be with Him (cf. John 17:24), for which we must be sanctified (cf. John 17:13–19). Grace teaches us to be zealous for good works. 

As the apostle writes to Titus, a minister mustn’t shrink from speaking, exhorting, and rebuking with all authority (Titus 2:15) that Christians are to be zealous for good works. Titus must teach all of these things above, because the grace that brings salvation teaches all of these things. Faithful preaching and believing hearing is the means that the God of grace has appointed for applying that purity and zeal from Christ, that He gave Himself for us to obtain. 

What is something specific that you need to deny? What is a specific improvement that you hope to make in how you live? How will you increase your longing for Christ Himself? What is an area of obedience and service in which you will commit to being more zealous?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise and thank You for Your saving grace that has appeared to us in Christ, Who gave Himself to redeem us from every lawless deed and purify us for Himself as Your special people, zealous for good works. But we confess that whereas You teach us to deny ungodliness, we are often forgetful of You. And we confess that whereas You teach us to deny worldly desires, we often live for them. And whereas You teach us to live soberly, we often live impulsively. You teach us to live righteously, but we continuously falter in love to You, neighbor, or brother. Forgive us, and cleanse us by Your grace, O God of our salvation, we ask through our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH533 “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” 

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