Titus 2:11-15 Redeemed By Grace.
“God’s purpose in extending grace to sinners is their salvation (3:4-7; I Tim. 1:9)” (NGSB p.1928). It is God’s grace alone which can bring salvation, and it has appeared to all men (v. 11). Paul does not say that all are recipients, only that it has appeared to all men (Cf. Rom. 5:15). We see this appearing in the change it effects in those who have received it. It teaches “us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (v. 12). Salvation involves denying our sinful desires, and turning to live as the Lord’s redeemed. Again Paul emphasizes that we are to live soberly, that is, we must pay attention to how we live, that our lives would reflect the image of Christ perfected in us. Christ is our sole motivation, because He is our help.
The blessed hope of the resurrection and eternal life awaits us with the “glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (v. 13). Paul’s testimony concerning the deity of Christ could not be clearer, as also that He alone is our Saviour. Christ has saved or redeemed us by giving Himself up for us as the only payment possible for our redemption-the sinless, spotless offering up of Himself in our place. With Christ there is this turning away “from every lawless deed,” since He has paid the redemption price. Through that same redemption we are empowered to live for Him, a people purified for Himself to become “His own special people” (v. 14b). This is simply another way of saying that we are His covenant people, with a covenant confirmed in His own blood.
Redemption from “every lawless deed,” leaves nothing out. It also speaks to the individual nature of this redemption, but individuals who collectively are His bride. These are the truths which Paul wanted Titus to emphasize, and that which we must continue to emphasize. We all at various times need both exhortation and rebuke, as long as we remain in this life sin must be mortified as a work of His grace. Paul also reminded Titus, and indeed all ministers of the word who follow, that God is the authority behind what is preached, and therefore it should not be despised (v. 15). No doubt some were also tempted to despise Titus because of his age. The point that Paul makes is, the authority does not rest in men, but in God who calls. The change wrought in us makes us “zealous for good works” (v. 14b).