Here Paul sums up the instruction he has given for various age groups by explaining why we now live differently than before we knew God. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age”(Titus 2:11-12). Our change has not originated with us; it came when God’s grace appeared in the person of Jesus. But that grace not only blesses us. It teaches us. Grace teaches us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions”—that some things are definitively wrong and must be eliminated—and “to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives”—that our new life will be one where we show the discipline and devotion we failed to show previously. Grace teaches us that God’s blessings must be met with our commitment to live for him.
Grace also teaches us to anticipate the return of the one who has done so much for us: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works”(Titus 2:13-14). As we work, we anticipate the return of the savior who has loved us so richly. Our obedience fulfills his dream of a pure people who long to do good works.
Grace is not simply about a transaction in which God gives and we receive. It is about God’s kindness revolutionizing our lives and teaching us a better way to live. Knowing his great love and kindness, we go out of our way to please him. God loves us tremendously—and that love teaches us to love and obey him with diligence and passion.
------------- One Thing to Think About: How do I respond to God’s great kindness toward me?
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