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Anticipating The Blessed Hope Titus 2:11-14

by Larry Miles

Larry2016How Then Shall We Live?

One of the greatest and most precious promises in the Word of God is the certainty of the return of the Lord Jesus for His church.  Christians are expected to live a different kind of life than that of the unbeliever. Col. 3:1-2 tells us that we are to set our minds on the things that are above; that is on things that have a Heavenly perspective.

How should we live and conduct ourselves in the here and now as we wait for Jesus’ return?  Every generation of Christians from the first century has had the promise of His coming. Believing that He could come at any time should motivate us to greater service for Jesus and His church.

How should we be living in anticipation of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)?  We must be found not only waiting and looking forward to His coming but must be active and faithful in our service to Him. Paul gave us a wonderful motivation for righteous living in that believers are waiting for a hope that is already a certainty. We can look forward to Christ’s return with eager expectation.   We must adhere to the words of a popular song: “We’ll work till Jesus come.”

Thank God for His Grace

“For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men.” We find these words in Titus 2:11. This is the opening passage to the thoughts in Titus 2:11-15. This passage might be titled “Christian Living in Expectation of the Return of Jesus.”

In this passage “grace” is both a person and an action. It is evident to the reader that this verse is talking about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus. In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4:4-5) to redeem mankind. We have the promise of God throughout the Old Testament to send forth the Redeemer prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); He came to save all mankind (Romans 5:8).

This grace is also an action. The saving grace of Jesus illustrates His great love for mankind. God so loved the world (John 3:16). It is in this action that we have the Godhead showing forth this great love towards mankind. The grace of God is truly wonderful and beyond description. We never will deserve it, but we praise God that we can enjoy the blessings of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ

The main crux of the verse is that both of these thoughts in Titus 2:11 bring salvation. There is no salvation outside of Jesus (John 14:6; and Acts 4:12). Let’s embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord and never fail to praise Him and thank Him for His great mercy “in that while we were yet sinners.” He died for us.

The Incarnation of the Lord Jesus.

The grace of God appeared bodily in Christ and also as an action from a loving and merciful God. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) All have sinned. (Romans 3:10Romans 3:23.  He came to save all men. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)   The message of grace arrived in Crete with Paul and Titus. When the Gospel light is turned on in a place of darkness, changes are inevitable. Those who respond are transformed; but those who resist and reject the message can do so, but must face the consequences.

Instructing Us to Deny Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts.

We must Say “NO!” to the attractions of the world. All of Paul’s instructions in Titus 2:1-10 can be summed up in this 11th verse: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” Believers must refuse any action that lacks reverence for God. Ungodliness means a lack of love or total disregard for God. (Rom. 1:18) We live in an age when many totally reject God’s influence in any area of life. Christians must renounce that attitude. We must seek His kingdom first. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matt. 6:33) Worldly passions are desires for the pleasures and activities of this world.

And To live Soberly, Righteously and Godly in This Present World.

Christians are to live in the world but not be of the world (I John 2; 15-17) 15 do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Christians live “in this present age” but do not live like it or for it. Christians must not only renounce ungodliness and worldly passions; they must replace these desires with positive characteristics. To fight against lust, we must say no to temptation, but we must also say yes to service for Christ. The power to live as a Christian comes from the Holy Spirit. ‘Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4).  God’s salvation by grace directs our lives in “this present age.”

“Looking for that Blessed Hope”

Paul gives us a wonderful motivation for all this righteous living. Believers are waiting for a hope that is already a certainty; the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can look forward to Christ’s return with eager anticipation and hope.

“Blessed Hope” Paul brings out two   aspects of Christian Living that must be stressed today. (1) Waiting with anticipation and (2) hoping for Christ’s glorious appearing.  The waiting is good for us: it builds our character, endurance and perseverance. The hoping makes the waiting bearable.

  1. S. Lewis wrote: “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have been ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.” In the term “wait,” we find the tension of an eager expectation. Jesus is the only hope this world has. The world has many anchors, but Jesus is the only one that holds. Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?

He is returning for His bride (John 14; 1-3) 1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.3 and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ

This passage stresses the teaching of the Deity of Christ. Christ’s appearing is meant to be a comfort (I Thes. 4:18) “Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” We will receive the “Crown of Righteousness.” (2 Tim. 4:6-8” “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”

Jesus Is Our Redeemer

Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost.” He came to bear our sins. He came to die in our place. The “Great God and our Savior” (2:13) whose return believers await, is the same Jesus who came to earth and died for us. Christ’s act of sacrifice is summed up in the words “gave Himself.” He gave Himself voluntarily. All are lost (Rom. 6:23) ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We need a Redeemer!  He gave Himself on our behalf. First that He might redeem us. It means to purchase our release from the captivity of sin with a ransom.

We Are His Special People

We are His own people, the church (Matthew 16:3-18). We are also a Royal Priesthood. (I Peter 2:9-11) 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. We work because we are saved. Grace says you get the privilege to work. We should live according to God’s will, zealous for good works. Then, when Christ returns, He will find us ready, watching, waiting and working for Him.

Every generation of Christians from the first century has had the promise of the Lord’s coming. Believing that He could come at any time should motivate us to greater service to Jesus and His church. We must live a different kind of life than the unbeliever. Col. 1:1-2 tells us that we are “to set our minds on the things that are above…” That is what is called having a heavenly perspective.  Let’s live in that expectation. Keep looking up! Jesus may come today!

Larry Miles is co-editor of the Word and Work and  attends the Cherry Street  Church of Christ, New Albany, IN.

 




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4