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

In our previous post, we have presented grace not as just something, but also as someone, grace as more than a concept or doctrine but also as a person. We saw that this concept comes out of a Hebrew way of thinking, but is it actually taught in the New Testament? We will now examine Titus 2:11-14 in order to show that grace personified is taught in the New Testament, as well as to see the difference this teaching can make in the lives of believers. In verse 11, Paul begins with the word “for”, which connects this passage to what precedes it. In Titus 2:1-10, Paul instructs Titus, who is a “pastor” of a church, in what he is to teach the people to whom he ministers. He has told Titus first what he is to teach, and with the use of “for” here, he tells Titus how he is to teach it. Titus is only able to teach his people anything because “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared”. And what is the grace of God that brings salvation? Once again our “Greek” thinking is displayed here, for within the question we find the assumption that grace is primarily an it, and it may be more proper to ask “who” is the grace of God that brings salvation, because the one who “brings salvation” is the savior, and the savior is Jesus Christ. In this verse, the grace of God and the one who brings salvation are one and the same. The one who brings salvation is Jesus Christ, therefore the grace of God is also Jesus Christ. Grace here is personified, and grace is the person of Jesus Christ, He is grace, God’s gift to us, He is the stronger coming to the aid of the weaker (Us) to make us acceptable to God. This understanding of grace as a person is further verified through Paul telling us here that the grace of God has “appeared”. The Greek word translated appeared here is epiphaino, a term commonly used to denote the appearance of a god, demi-god or divine emperor in Greek culture. It is a term used to describe the appearance of a “person”, of someone not something, and its usage here points to the understanding of grace here as a person. Further confirmation of the teaching of grace as a person is found in verse 12, in which we find that the grace of God is “teaching” us. The Greek term “teaching” here is paideuousa, the present active participle of paideuo. The Greek term paideuo means “to teach”, but refers to a specific form of teaching. The word paideuo is from the root pais, which means child, and paideuo refers to the “training up” of a child. This teaching was normally done by a paidagogos, which described a servant appointed by the head of the household to train up a child, to be with the child everywhere and teach the child how to live, how to conduct himself or herself moment by moment and day by day. The relevant point in all of this is that this type of teaching can only be done by a person, it describes one person teaching another how to conduct themselves in their daily lives as they encounter life together. Grace here is our paidagogos, and this paidagogos is the person of Jesus Christ. He is with us everywhere, and endeavors to teach us how we are to conduct ourselves in our daily living, as we encounter life together. The child “grew” as he grew to know his paidagogos, and as believers we “grow” as we grow to know our paidagogos, as we grow to know grace personified, the person of Jesus Christ, and we grow to know Him more intimately as we encounter life together.

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