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, 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 all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.Titus 2:11–14
In Titus 2 we find the great chapter on “conduct within the church,” Paul’s instructions for Titus and the churches in Crete for how the body of Christ must look, from older men and women to younger men and women to masters and bond servants. These verses form the basis of many peoples’ understanding of discipleship and Christian maturity, as they ought to.
However, these last few verses are often overlooked, or at least not emphasized in our study of Titus 2. This is a grave mistake! These verses give us the “why” of Paul’s expectations of Christian conduct. Simply put, we are to look a certain way because of what we have received by the grace of God through the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We should:
- Renounce ungodliness and worldliness.
- Live lives of self-control and moral purity.
- Eagerly await the return of our Savior.
- Remember our identity as Christ’s possession.
- Foster a zeal for good works.
The gospel reality of our redemption in Christ is what must fuel our pursuit of holiness and maturity. To reverse the two is to practice self-righteousness and legalism! When we let the glory of the gospel be front and center in our thoughts and actions, maturity, dignity, and holiness will flow out in a beautiful testimony to God’s goodness. This is the sign of true Christian conduct and maturity—and it is entirely dependent on Christ!
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!