11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the 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 wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Thus far in our study of Titus 2 we have seen that God’s grace not only brings salvation, but it teaches us how to live.
Negatively, God’s grace instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly passions. Positively, we saw that it teaches us to live soberly and upright.
But Paul uses a third adverb to describe how we are to live and that adverb is GODLY. We are to live godly lives in this present age.
The word εὐσεβῶς is used only twice in the New Testament. In 2 Timothy 3:12 we read, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted . . .” Paul has just rehearsed his life and ministry in 2 Timothy 3 as well as the persecutions and sufferings he has had to endure. He then says, “Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them” (v. 11). Want to be godly? Then count on persecutions!
The word εὐσεβῶς can also be translated “inward piety.” That’s precisely what our world wants from us — inward piety! It’s when our piety — our godliness — gets externalized that we get into trouble. (to be continued)