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Category Archives: Titus 2

Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 8

In examining the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2, we saw the following:

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.

animated-clock-image-0004Our 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.

 

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 7

In examining the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2, we saw the following:

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.

"Your Christianity must be personal -- but it dare not be PRIVATE!" (Carl Henry)

“Your Christianity must be personal — but it dare not be PRIVATE!” (Carl Henry)

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)

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 6

In examining the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2, we saw the following:

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.

God’s salvation-bringing grace doesn’t stop at saving us.  It teaches us — and it does so from two perspectives.
First, from a negative perspective, God’s grace shows us what to deny (ungodliness and worldly passions).
Second, from a positive perspective, God’s grace teaches us to live.  We are live (a) soberly, with moderation,
Notice today that we are also instructed to live (b) “upright.”  The word “upright” is δικαίως and is used five times in the New Testament.  As an adverb, it can be translated “justly” or “righteously.”  δικαιως is used in Luke 23:41 by the repentant thief on the cross when he says to the other thief being crucified with Jesus: “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”  In I Cor. 15:34, Paul writes: “Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 7.20.51 AMsinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”  The verb “come back” here has the idea of “return to soberness of mind” or “snap out of!”  Literally, “be sober out of [righteousness].”  (ἐκνήψατε δικαίως- awake up to righteousness!)  In I Thes. 2:10, Paul says “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.”  The term δικαιως is also used in I Peter 2:23 where we read “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

We are to snap out of the stupor of the world and awake to righteousness!  It is right and proper for us followers of Jesus to live righteously; to come back to our senses and stop sinning; to conduct ourselves in holiness, righteousness, and blamelessness; and to entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly.

That’s a tall order for the Jesus-follower.  But that’s how we are to LIVE.  And righteous living always has a double effect:  it draws some (who want to live honorable lives before God) to the Savior and repels others (who want to live life on their terms) away.  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 5

In examining the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2, we saw the following:

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.

God’s grace is not only a SALVATION-OFFERING grace, but also a TEACHING grace.   God’s grace teaches us from two perspectives (negative and positive) how to live the Christian life.  We saw that we are to deny UNGODLINESS and WORLDLY PASSIONS.  But God does not want us to be passionless people!  The same word for “desires” can be translated “lusts” (depending on the context).  We are to deny, to turn away from, ungodliness and the worldly passions.  Some “worldly passions” that occur to me are (1) a sense of entitlement:; (2) an attitude of ownership; and (3) a spirit of minimalism:  I will do only what is expected or required of me, especially in spiritual matters (church involvement, witnessing, social concern).

"I'll drink to sober living!"

“I’ll drink to sober living!”

God’s grace also teaches us from a positive perspective Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 7.49.03 AMhow to live the Christian life.  It instructs us what to affirm.  We are to LIVE!  We are not to simply exist or stagger about like religious zombies denying everything we see. We are to LIVE.  How are we to live?  Note that we are to (1) live soberly.  The word used by Paul is σωφρόνως and is used only once in the New Testament (here in Titus 2:12) and may be translated “soberly,” “with moderation,” “prudently, or “with sound mind.”

When followers of Jesus make outrageous choices, live undisciplined lives, embarrass the body of Christ, we should not be surprised that a watching world stops watching us.  And looks elsewhere for truth about God. (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 4

We’ve been studying the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2.  There we read:

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.

God’s grace is not only a SALVATION-OFFERING grace, but also a TEACHING grace.  It is a grace that FORMS OUR TASTES for the things of God.  God’s grace teaches us from two perspectives how to live the Christian life.  First, we see that His grace teaches us to DENY.  We are to deny UNGODLINESS.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.44.18 AMSecond, we are to deny WORLDLY PASSIONS!  The word κοσμικός has the meaning “of or belonging to the world.”  It can be used to mean “relating to the universe” or “earthly” or “worldly” (having the character of this present corrupt age).  The Latin Vulgate translates the world as saecularis (= secular).  The word ἐπιθυμία is used frequently in the New Testament and is variously translated “desires,” “lusts,” “impulses,” or even “concupiscence” in Colossians 3:5 (KJV) (I’m sure you use the word “concupiscence” often in your daily conversation!).

God does not want us to be passionless people!  But the same word for “desires” can be translated “lusts” (depending on the context).  Paul is admonishing Christians to deny “the worldly lusts.”  What are “the worldly lusts” in our culture which secularize the believer in Jesus?

What can  you put your finger on?

What can you put your finger on?

We are to deny, to turn away from, ungodliness and the worldly passions.  Some “worldly passions” that occur to me are:

(1) a sense of entitlement:  The world owes me a living, good fortune, relaxation, comfort.

(2) an attitude of ownership:  My life is my own; I can choose to do what I wish with my time, my money, my desires.

(3) a spirit of minimalism:  I will do only what is expected or required of me, especially in spiritual matters (church involvement, witnessing, social concern).

What worldly passions occur to you?  Can you put your finger on a specific one from which you need to turn away? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 3

We’re examining the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2.  There we read:

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.

We have seen that God’s grace is not only a SALVATION-OFFERING grace, but also a TEACHING grace.  It is a grace that FORMS OUR TASTES for the things of God.  God’s grace teaches us from two perspectives how to live the Christian life.  First, we see that His grace teaches us to DENY.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.44.18 AMDid you ever stop to think that what you deny as a believer is almost as important as what you affirm?  For example, we deny that Jesus is God’s highest creation (as our Jehovah’s Witnesses friends say).  We deny that all people will be saved whether they want to be or not (as our universalistic friends say).  We deny that homosexual behavior (as well as heterosexual promiscuity) is an acceptable lifestyle.  There are many ideas and beliefs that we Christians deny.  In this text, God’s grace teaches us to deny two categories which lead the believer away from the life God intends: (1) ungodliness and (2) worldly lusts.

This word ἀσέβειαν can be translated as “impiety,” “irreverence,” “wickedness” or “ungodliness” and is used six times in the New Testament.  In Romans 1:18 we read that “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness . . .”  In Romans 11:26 we read: “and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 8.08.42 AMhe will turn godlessness away from Jacob.”  The same term is used in 2 Timothy 2:16 where the believer is told: “Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.”  This same term is used two times in the little epistle of Jude.  In verses 14-15 we read, 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”  The word is used three times in verse 15!  In verse 18 of Jude 1 we read, “They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”  Jude is referring to the predictions of the apostles about false teachers who would come, scoffers who will follow their own ungodly Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 8.24.55 AMdesires.  We also have the word used in our text, Titus 2: “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age . . .”

Do we recognize ungodliness when we see it?  There was an ad for a cleaning lady in a newspaper that read: “Wanted. One person to clean my house.  Must be able to recognize dirt.”  Are we able to recognize dirt? (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 2

We’re looking at the Apostle Paul’s Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AMparagraph on the Christian life found in Titus 2.  There we read:

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.

Please notice that God’s grace is not just a SALVATION-OFFERING grace.  It is also a TEACHING grace.    We do not naturally know how to live as Christians, how to work out into daily experience the salvation we have been given.  We need to be taught; we need to see ourselves as students of God’s grace.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 7.46.35 AM“But I HATED school!”, some might say.  Get over it.  Whether you had a lousy English teacher or a grouchy math teacher — your instructor in the Christian life is God the Holy Spirit (see John 14-16 for some details).

Who sets the curriculum for these grace-lessons?  God does, of course.  He is the One who knows what we need to know.   I am deeply impressed by Flannery O’Connor statement when she said, “The high-school English teacher will beScreen Shot 2015-07-27 at 7.36.56 AM fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

Are you allowing God the Holy Spirit to FORM your tastes to the things of God?  In our next post we will notice two areas in which our tastes desperately need to be formed! (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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