Saying No To Ungodliness- Titus 2:12

In our previous post, we examined the teaching here that Jesus is our paidagogos, that He is the one doing the “teaching”. In this post we will begin to examine the content and purpose of His teaching, examining what He teaches us and what that teaching is intended to accomplish. In verse 12, we are told that Jesus teaches us to “say no to ungodliness and worldly passions”. The Greek word translated as “say no” is the aorist participle form of the verb arneomai, which essentially means to “renounce, disown, have nothing to do with”. It is presented here in context as a one-time decision, a once-for-all renunciation of something, a choice of the will to renounce something from here on out, and what is renounced here is “ungodliness”. The Greek word translated ungodliness here is asebeian, which may be most precisely phrased in English as the lack of the “fear of the Lord”. This expression refers to one who lives their life in a proper attitude toward God. It refers to one who understands that God is God and he or she is not, that God determines what is true or false, right or wrong. It appears here in its noun form, showing that it refers to a state of existence, to a person who has decided once and for all to live with Jesus as Lord, and to do nothing which would dishonor His name. This ungodliness expresses itself in the pursuit of “worldly passions”, here as kosmikas tas epithumias. The Greek word epithumia is the word for passions or desires, with an intensifier prefixed to it, and is commonly rendered as “lust” in the English. The use of the intensifier here increases the intensity of the desire, and is the basis for the difference between desire and lust. When a desire becomes so intense that it controls us, it becomes lust. In the Biblical way of seeing things, desire is merely desire when we are in control of it, and becomes lust when it is in control of us. The fact that these desires here are referred to as worldly shows that they are desires which contradict what God would desire from us and of us. So what we find here in these few words is what Jesus first teaches us as our paidagogos, that we would, like Him, make a one time decision to live in the fear of the Lord, that our desires would conform to what God desires, and that we would learn to control our desires rather than have them control us.

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