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, upright, and godly. WHEN are we to live this way? Paul makes it clear that God’s grace teaches us to live NOW — “in this present age.” The expression Paul uses — ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι — can be literally translated “in the now age.” The phrase is also used in I Timothy 6:17 where we read: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” When are we who are wealthy to put our hope in God? Now. While we are in this present world. When are we to live soberly, righteously, and godly? NOW. In this present age.
Our world hates Christians “imposing” their values on culture. It also criticizes Christians for being “so heavenly-minded that they are of no earthly good.” The world can’t have it both ways! We are to live IN THE NOW WORLD. A futuristic Christianity does not attract present people to the reality we have in Christ. A nostalgic Christianity only entertains aged saints in nursing homes as they reminisce. Our world needs to see right-now, just-in-time, real Christianity being lived out by convinced, committed, counting-the-cost disciples who are ready to be hated by the world.