Tit 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
There is such a sweet simplicity in this eleventh verse: the grace of God bringeth salvation! No other source exists or is needed for our deliverance, both eternally and daily, outside of the grace of God. The very simplicity of this blessed truth causes men to stumble until it pleases God to reveal this truth through the working of the Holy Ghost.
We must be careful in our assessment her of “all men.” If we stop to look around us, it is apparent that not every person everywhere understands that the grace of God brings salvation. To grasp the intended meaning, we must consider the evidence that is given in the twelfth verse. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to everyone who knows to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live a righteous life before God.
Also, consider the word “appeared.” There are children of God in the world to whom this salvation is not yet known: it has not appeared unto them. It is the manifestation of this truth in our lives that affects our behavior. However, our behavior does not change the grace of God or the salvation that comes from that grace. Our knowledge of our salvation by His grace changes our behavior.
When salvation by grace appears (is manifested) to us, there is some teaching that comes as part of our deliverance. Once this deliverance has appeared, we are taught to deny ungodliness. Before we knew God and His love for us, we gave no thought to ungodliness. The truth of our salvation moves us to reject the ungodliness that we once reveled in. We are empowered, by His grace, to turn away from our corrupt desires.
There is always a balance and harmony to God’s word. The appearing of the grace of God that brings us salvation not only teaches us things we should deny, but also things we should embrace. Rejecting ungodliness requires embracing a godly life. When God’s deliverance is manifested to us (and in us), it teaches us that we should have direction from a sound (sober) mind, which comes from being in the company of Jesus Christ.
A sound mind enables us to live our lives with moderation (see Strong’s definition of sober). The only time the word “moderation” appears in the scripture is in Philippians 4:5 and it means “appropriate” and implies gentleness and patience. When we truly understand that our salvation is from and by the grace of God, we can then demonstrate patience where we once would have been short-tempered. This is true because we now know from our own experience that only God’s grace can change us.
The word “teaching” here implies “learning.” In addition to learning to be gentle, we also learn to live justly. By God’s grace we are able to do what is right in His sight instead of using men’s logic to direct our actions. His deliverance in our lives allows us to learn to live godly lives that honor Him. This all takes place in the here and now.
We are not being taught here about something that is only going to be of future benefit to us. God has, by His grace, caused our salvation to appear to us now. His salvation by grace that has appeared to us now teaches us now. We learn the lessons we are taught, to reject ungodliness and live gently, justly, and godly, now. When the grace of God that brings salvation appears, it truly makes today the day of salvation.
May we all rejoice that we are taught of Him, by His delivering grace, to live a godly life now, as becomes sound doctrine (Tit 2:1)!