Grace Personified (Part Three)- Titus 2:11-14

We have demonstrated that grace is a person, the person of Jesus Christ, and that He is continually “teaching” us, training us up as children to teach us how to conduct ourselves as we encounter life together. But how does all this apply to our lives, what and how does He teach us? Paul, in this passage, tells us what He teaches in verse 12 and how He does so in verse 14. In verse 12, we find that He teaches us in both the negative and positive dimensions, teaching us what to say no to and also what to say yes to. We are told to say no to “ungodliness and worldly passions”. The Greek word translated “say no” here is apnesamenoi- to renounce or disown, we are to moment by moment and day by day renounce two things: ungodliness and worldly passions. Ungodliness here is asebia, literally “without fear or reverence for God”, and it describes an attitude. This attitude is shown in living as though God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter, and is the primary characteristic of the attitude of the world toward God. It is something grace has rescued believers out of, and Jesus teaches us to say no to this attitude and live as though God exists, to live as though they are always in His presence, and to live as though He matters more than anyone or anything else. He also teaches us to say no to “worldly passions”, epithumia in Greek. Thumia describes passions, and epithumia describes inordinate passions, passions out of control. The world is here characterized as not controlling their passions but as having their passions control them. Grace also teaches us to say no to this, and to think and choose what God wants us to do, not reacting out of emotion in a knee jerk fashion. We then find what Jesus teaches us to say yes to: living “self-controlled, upright and godly lives”. These three terms cover all three dimensions of living: before ourselves, before others, and before God. The term self-controlled here is sophroneo and is contrasted with epithumia, for they are opposites, and it refers to keeping passions and desires under our control rather than them controlling us. “Upright” here is dikaios and refers primarily to how we live before other people, that we live in a manner that other people can readily see we belong to God. Godly here is eusebos and is the opposite of asebia. It refers primarily to how we live before God, that how we behave is acceptable in His sight, that we live as though He does exist and that He matters more than anything else. Having seen what He teaches us, we now move to verse 14 to see how He teaches us. We learn here that Jesus “gave Himself for us”, that He offered Himself up to the Father and lived a “self-controlled, upright and godly” life by doing so, and he “teaches” us to do the same. He is, moment by moment and day by day, using the circumstances of life to “teach” us to offer ourselves up to the Father, so that we can live “self-controlled, upright, godly lives” also. Jesus here gradually teaches us to offer ourselves to the Father, letting Him live through us just as Jesus did, and in this way fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for our lives, just as He did in the life of Jesus. This type of “teaching” can only be done by a person, and Jesus, as grace personified, is the person who teaches us as we encounter life together with Him.

No Comments Christianity  //  Growing In Grace  //  Jesus Christ

Leave a Reply

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.