"THE EPISTLE TO TITUS" The Grace Of God That Brings Salvation (2:11-15) INTRODUCTION 1. The doctrine of grace is a wonderful concept... a. Grace means "goodwill, loving-kindness, favor" (Thayer) b. A popular definition is "unmerited favor" 2. The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace... a. We are justified freely by God's grace through the redemption in Christ - Ro 3:24 b. God's gift is salvation by grace through faith, not of works
- Ep 2:8-9; cf. Tit 3:4-7 3. Yet some misunderstand and abuse the concept of grace... a. Believing that grace allows one to sin without consequence b. Which Paul and Jude sought to counter in their writings - cf. Ro 6:1-2; Jude 3-4 [In Tit 2:11-15, we read about "The Grace Of God That Brings Salvation", and how it certainly does not permit license (freedom to sin). As we consider our text more closely, note first that God's grace...] I. HAS APPEARED TO ALL MEN A. ONCE IT WAS A HIDDEN MYSTERY... 1. Kept secret since the world began - Ro 16:25 2. Which had been hidden from ages and from generations - Col 1: 26-27 3. God's plan for redeeming man had been a mystery, even to angels - cf. 1Pe 1:10-12 B. BUT HAS NOW BEEN REVEALED... 1. Starting with the teaching of Christ Himself - Mt 13:10-11, 34-35 2. Continued with the preaching of the apostles - Ep 3:3-5 3. Now made known to all nations - Ep 3:8-9; Ro 16:25-26 [The grace of God that brings salvation, unlike Gnosticism which shrouds itself in privileged secrecy, is good news that God intends for every one to hear. Not just to hear, but also to heed...] II. TEACHES US HOW TO LIVE A. DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS... 1. Teaching us to say "No!" to ungodliness (asebeia) a. Impiety toward God, ungodliness, lack of reverence - TCWD b. Wickedness in general, neglect or violation of duty toward God, our neighbor or ourselves, joined with and springing from impiety toward God - ibid. 2. Teaching us to deny worldly lusts (kosmikos epithumia) a. Improper desires pertaining to this life - the desire of wealth, pleasure, honor, sensual indulgence - Barnes b. Such passions as the people of this world are prone to - ibid. 3. For one cannot love the Father if they love such things in the world - 1Jn 2:15-17 a. Grace is certainly not license to sin! b. It calls us to love the Father, which should affect the way we live B. LIVING SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY... 1. To live soberly (sophronos) a. With sound mind, soberly, temperately, discreetly - Thayer b. As conduct becoming older men (temperate), young women (sober), young men (sober minded) - Tit 2:2,4,6 2. To live righteously (dikaios) a. Justly, conformable to justice; honestly, without injuring anyone - TCWD b. This refers to the proper performance of our duties to our fellow-men - Barnes c. Perhaps best summed up in the "Golden Rule" - Mt 7:12 3. To live godly (eusebos) a. Piously, godly - Thayer b. In a godly manner, according to the Word of God, and agreeably to the will of God; and in all godly exercises, both public and private, and to the glory of God - Gill 4. Notice how these three virtues point inward, outward and upward: a. "Soberly," that is, with self-restraint, in relation to one's self b. "Righteously" or justly, in relation to our neighbor c. "Godly" or piously, in relation to God (not merely amiably and justly, but something higher, godly, with love and reverence toward God) - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown C. IN THIS PRESENT AGE... 1. An evil age, from which Christ died to save us - Ga 1:4 2. In which we now live - in the world, but not of the world - cf. Jn 17:14-16 D. LOOKING FOR THE BLESSED HOPE AND GLORIOUS APPEARING... 1. Awaiting with anticipation the return of Jesus Christ! - cf. 1Co 1:7; Php 3:20-21 2. Described here as "our great God and Savior" (asserting the deity of Christ) - Tit 2:13 [Thus the grace of God teaches us how to live in this world, all the while preparing and looking for the world to come! Of course, this wonderful grace of God that has appeared to all men...] III. INVOLVES JESUS' GIFT OF HIMSELF A. TO REDEEM US FROM EVERY LAWLESS DEED... 1. Redeem (lutroo) - to redeem, liberate by payment of ransom - Thayer 2. From every lawless deed (anomia) - the condition of without law, because ignorant of it or because of violating it; contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness - Thayer 3. Jesus died to liberate us from the guilt of lawlessness, by offering His precious blood as compensation - 1Pe 1:18-19 B. TO PURIFY US FOR EVERY GOOD WORK... 1. Purify (katharizo) - to make clean, to purify from wickedness - Thayer 2. For every good work (kalos) - works that are "beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable" - Thayer 3. This He accomplishes through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (an allusion to baptism) - Tit 3:4-5; cf. Jn 3:3-5 C. TO BE HIS SPECIAL PEOPLE, FULL OF ZEAL... 1. Special (periousios) - It refers to God's chosen people in whom He has a special interest, one which exceeds His common concern for mankind in general. Thus the phrase should better be translated, 'His treasured people' - TCWD 2. Zealous (zelotes) - A zealot, one zealous for or eagerly desirous of something - TCWD 3. In particular, as stressed in this epistle, zealous for good works! - Tit 2:14; cf. 3:1,8,14 4. Though when all is said and done, our works have not saved us by their own merit - cf. Lk 17:10 CONCLUSION 1. Concerning such things Titus was to speak to his brethren - Tit 2:15 a. Exhorting and rebuking with all authority b. Letting no one to despise him c. Certainly such should be equally emphasized in our preaching today 2. What then is the proper response to God's grace...? a. It does not preclude obedience - cf. He 5:9 b. It does not include works of merit - cf. Tit 3:5 3. It begins with faith, repentance, and baptism... a. Faith in Jesus who gave Himself for us - Ro 3:24-26 b. Repentance for sin, which God commands of all - Ac 17:30-31 c. Baptism into Christ, in which we experience a renewal - Ro 6:1-4; cf. Tit 3:4-8 4. But then God's grace teaches us to... a. Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts b. Live soberly, righteously, and godly c. Be zealous for every good work What has been our response to the grace of God? To excuse continuing in a life of sin, or a serious effort to live a life of holiness to the Lord...?