The gift that keeps on giving
After spending the previous 10 verses explaining to specific groups within the Cretan church “What’s next” for them after becoming believers, Paul goes on to give the over-arching and insightful reason as to why those teachings were selected for them:
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Notice that it is by God’s grace that salvation is available to everyone. No one deserves it, no one can contribute toward it. God’s favor was given to us by his own choice, without influence by us. Like a light piercing the darkness, he has chosen to offer this gift of salvation to all mankind.
But the workings of God’s grace doesn’t stop there. After stating the general mission of the grace of God, Paul then gets specific as to how it still works within a believer’s life, even after accepting Jesus as Savior:
Titus 2:12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age
God’s grace continues on by teaching and training us. We didn’t merit salvation from sin’s eternal penalty of separation from God…and we don’t merit the training God gives us after we are saved, either. Thankfully, God shows us love as adoptive sons and daughters – which means he cares for our development and growth.
We have to be taught how to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, because on our own we give in to them every time. Turning away from sin isn’t easy, and our old nature battles against this kind of change. By God’s grace, we were transferred from the kingdom of darkness and into God’s kingdom of light; and also by God’s grace, we are taught to turn away from ungodliness and worldly passions in order that we can say “Yes” to the kind of life we were created to live in this present age.
However, looking at this leaves me wondering:
If I was willing to accept his gracious gift of salvation, why do I fight his gracious gift of training for my life in this present age?