The Pulpit Commentary

Titus 2:12 (Titus 2:12)

Instructing for teaching, A.V.; to the intent that for that, A.V.; and righteously for righteously, A.V. Instructing us, to the intent that . This is an unnecessary refinement. Huther is right in saying that the sentence beginning with ἵνα might have been expressed by the infinitive mood, as in 1 Timothy 1:20 , and that we ought to render it not "in order that," but simply "that." The phrase in 1 Timothy 1:20 , ἵνα παιδευθῶσι μὴ βλασφημεῖν , manifestly would justify the phrase, παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς ζῆν δικαίως , " teaching us to live righteously." Alford surely is wrong in saying that the universal New Testament sense of παιδεύειν is "to discipline," i.e. teach by correction. In Acts 7:22 ; Acts 22:3 ; 1 Timothy 1:20 ; 2 Timothy 2:25 , the idea of teaching, not of correcting, is predominant. But even if it was so, the pastoral Epistles are so decidedly classical in their use of words, that the classical use of παιδεύειν in such phrases as παιδεύειν τινα κιθαρίζειν or σώφρονα εἴναι (Liddell and Scott)is an abundant justification of a similar rendering of this passage And as regards the use ἵνα , such phrases as εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γενῶνται , "Command that these stones become bread" ( Matthew 4:3 ; Matthew 20:21 ; Luke 4:3 ; Luke 10:40 ); διεστείλατο ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν , "He commanded them not to tell" ( Matthew 16:20 ); συμφέρει αὐτῷ ἴνα , "It is profitable for him that" ( Matthew 18:6 ); προσεύχεσθε ἵνα , "Pray that" ( Matthew 24:20 ); παρεκάλει αὐτὸν ἵνα μή , "He besought him not to send them away" ( Mark 5:10 ); παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἅψηται , "They beseech him to touch"; ἐδεήθην ἵνα , "I asked … to" ( Luke 9:40 ); ἐρωτῶ σε ἵνα πέμψῃς , "I intreat thee to send" ( Luke 16:29 ; Colossians 4:2 ;, etc.);—prove that the sense "in order that" is not necessarily attached to ἵνα , but that we may properly render the passage before us " teaching us … to live soberly," etc.

- The Pulpit Commentary

Titus 2:1-15 (Titus 2:1-15)

Practical godliness the end of spiritual doctrine.

The teaching of St. Paul soars very high in respect of the hidden things of God. To none of the apostles were given more abundant revelations of heavenly mysteries. Caught up into the third heaven, hearing unspeakable words, saturated with gifts of the Holy Ghost, he was able to lead men's souls into depths and heights of unseen things as no other teacher was. His eloquent tongue, pouring forth the riches of knowledge of an enlightened heart, could speak of God's love to man, of his eternal purposes, of his predestinating grace, of the coming and kingdom of the Lord Jesus, of the resurrection of the dead, of the inheritance of the saints in light, in words of wisdom and power certainly not inferior to those of the very chiefest apostles of Christ. And yet, in dealing with the practical duties of Christian men and women, and in teaching morality as an essential part of Christianity, there is a particularity of detail, a searching application of truth, an earnest tone of warning and of exhortation, which could not be exceeded by any teacher of ethics who knew of nothing else but human conduct and the present interests of society. With St. Paul, familiarity with the highest doctrines of revelation does not depreciate the importance of the humblest duties of daily life; it rather magnifies it, and raises those duties from an earthly to a heavenly platform. If St. Paul's sole end and aim in his apostolic labors had been to bring the daily life of every class of the community to whom he wrote into accordance with the law of righteousness, and to make human life on earth pure and happy, he could not have dwelt upon those details of practice, on which the economy of society depends for its comfort and- happiness, with more earnestness and particularity than he has done. The demeanor of old men, the behavior of old women, the influence of the aged upon the young, the innermost domestic duties of the wife and the mother, words, deeds, looks, dress, temper, disposition, affections, all comes under the constraining influence of the gospel as preached by St. Paul. In like manner that degraded portion of mankind whose condition was so pitiable in the Roman empire, the slaves, of whom there were such numbers in every considerable household, is brought under the elevating influence of Christian motive. Relations and duties full of naught but Fain and humiliation in themselves, and leading naturally to the vices which are born of degradation, are elevated at once into platforms of eminent virtue. Under the holy influences of Christian faith new principles are called into life, new motives of thought and action are awakened, and the low life of the dishonest, insolent, and deceitful slave becomes the arena for the exercise of some of the highest virtues of the saint. What a lesson we have here for the Christian teacher! If the parish priest, whose intercourse with his flock brings him into contact with the infirmities and sins of the various classes of his parishioners, would bend his strength in this direction, and upon the basis of the doctrine of grace would build the superstructure of a severe and minute instruction in the details of a really holy life, the value of a parochial ministry would be seen to the full. Christianity in the family, Christianity in the shop, Christianity in the daily intercourse of man with man, would be a preaching of Christ to the world which would put the caviler to shame, and which no adversaries would be able to gainsay or to resist.

- The Pulpit Commentary

Titus 2:11-13 (Titus 2:11-13)

The grace of God the true ground of all sanctification.

The apostle now sets forth the real foundation on which this exhortation to practical duty on the part of servants, and, indeed, of people of every age and sex, is based.

I. THE GRACE OF GOD . "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared."

1. This grace is from God, as its eternal Fountain, from which it flows to men.

2. The nature of this grace.

(a) The gift is worthy, for it is his own Son.

(b) The end is worthy, for it is his own glory and man's salvation.

(c) The instrumental condition is worthy, for it is faith.

3. The scope of this grace. "That bringeth salvation to all men."

(a) This does not imply that all men will eventually be saved, for Scripture expressly asserts the very contrary.

(b) The connection of the passage explains the universality of the reference: "Servants, be obedient to your masters, that you may adorn the doctrine of God your Savior; for his grace is for slave and master alike." There is no respect of persons with him.

(c) It signifies that grace is the only means by which salvation is possible for the race of man.

4. The manifestation of grace.

II. THE EFFECTS OF THE GRACE OF GOD . "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."

1. This grace first manifests itself by teaching, just as the first thing in creation was light. It must begin with teaching, and the Spirit of God is given "to teach us all things" ( John 14:26 ). The original word implies the idea of a disciplining process, effected by the grace of God to correct the inherent naughtiness of the heart.

2. The grace of God works toward the rejection of evil, for it teaches us "to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts."

(a) Ungodliness includes impiety, blasphemy, and infidelity.

(b) It includes all living without relation to God, whether we are blasphemers or not. Thus a man may be ungodly who seeks his own pleasure, or distinction, or happiness in the world.

(c) It implies the deeper enmity of the heart to God ( Romans 8:7 ).

(a) sensual lusts ( 2 Timothy 2:22 );

(b) the inordinate desire of worldly things, which may be lawful in themselves.

3. The grace of God produces certain positive effects. "We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."

(a) In keeping a fair balance of judgment intellectually;

(b) In keeping a due mastery over our passions—"a sobriety in speech, in behavior, in apparel, in eating and drinking, in recreations, and in the enjoyment of lawful satisfactions."

III. THE SPHERE IN WHICH THIS GRACE OF GOD PRODUCES ITS EXTENSIVE AND INTENSIVE EFFECTS . "In this present world."

1. True piety does not disregard or despise the duties of common life.

2. It is in a hostile world this grace is to operate with such purifying results. It is called "this wicked world" ( Galatians 1:4 ); for the devil is its god, and sin is its prevailing character.

3. It is a world that cannot be overcome but by faith. ( 1 John 4:4 , 1 John 4:5 .)

4. It is a transitory world, in contrast with the world to come, of which the apostle immediately speaks.

IV. THE ATTITUDE OF THE BELIEVER IN RELATION TO THE FUTURE GLORY . "Looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." This attitude of blessed expectation tells powerfully upon the life of grace. The believer's position is that of waiting for and looking unto the coming of the Lord. The patriarchs waited for his first coming; we wait for his second coming.

1. The believes waiting attitude is lit up by a blessed hope.

2. The believer ' s waiting attitude has respect to the manifestation of the Lord ' s glory. This is connected with his second coming. It is the glory of "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ," and not of the Father, because:

- The Pulpit Commentary

Titus 2:12 (Titus 2:12)

True self-denial.

Here we see that the cross of Christ has its influence within ourselves as well as on the moral government of God. We are not left passive in a mere receptivity of blessing; we are actively to co-operate with the Spirit of God in working out our salvation.

I. HERE IS SELF - DENIAL . But what are we to deny? Our better selves? No; we are to please our conscience, to satisfy our sense of moral order and beauty, to gratify the spiritual being. All depends, in our consideration of self-denial, upon which self we are to deny, the lower self or the higher self. Ungodliness is to be denied; for nothing can minister to the true ends of our being that is not of God. Without "godliness" we are graceless, and all seeming beauty is meretricious and unreal. Worldly lusts are numerous. Lust is love in wrong directions. It is not merely excess or a question of degree; it is a question of kind. Love may be pure, or it may be the lust of the eye, which is sensuality. The pride of life is the lust of pride in mere carnal enjoyment and ambitious aim. We must deny the thorns and the tares of the one to leave room for the harvest of holiness. But—

II. NEGATIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH . We are not good by what we give up simply, but by what we take up. The cross has its creative as well as its destructive influence. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;" and how? "Soberly;" giving room for reason to take the place of passion, and for conscience to conquer the excitements of intoxicated desire. "Righteously;" so that it may be seen that wickedness is wrong—our life "wrung," that is, twisted from the "straight." "Godly;" that is, not governed by laws of custom, or expediency, or self-pleasing, but by God's will, and the Spirit of God in the heart. For as nature is beautiful because therein we see the ideal of God—no art being really beautiful that is not true to nature—so no life is pure and holy that has not God's thought and purpose in it. And we are to do all this amid temptation and hesitation, in "this present world."—W.M.S.

- The Pulpit Commentary

Titus 2:11-15 (Titus 2:11-15)

The soul-culture of the world.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," etc. "Taking occasion from what he had just said of the connection between the conduct of Christians and the doctrine they professed to have received, and the connection of both with the glory of God, the apostle proceeds in these verses to ground the whole of his exhortations respecting the behavior of Christians in the essentially moral nature and design of the grace of God, as now manifested in the gospel' (Dr. Fairbairn). As if the apostle had said, "You must exhort all orders, those of every age and condition, of each sex, bond as well as free, to struggle after spiritual goodness because the 'grace of God,' or the gospel, has come to you." Our subject is the soul-culture of the world. Man requires training. He needs physical training, intellectual training, and, above all, spiritual training, the training of the soul into a higher life. We have here the instrument, the process, and the end of true soul-culture.

I. THE INSTRUMENT OF TRUE SOUL - CULTURE . What is it? Not science, legislation, philosophy, poetry, or any of the arts. What, then? "The grace of God." What is that? Undoubtedly God's merciful plan and ministries to restore the fallen world. The Epiphany, or manifestation cf this redemptive love of God for the world, we have in the advent and ministry of Christ to this earth. "The grace of God" stands for the gospel. Concerning this instrument, observe:

1. It is the love of God. Divine love is the cause, the essence, and the effective energy of all God's redemptive ministries.

2. It is the love of God to save. "That bringeth [bringing] salvation." Salvation, that is, the restoration of man to the knowledge, the image, and the friendship of God. This is the aim and the work of the "grace of God." Without this grace there would be no salvation.

3. It is the love of God revealed to all. "Hath appeared to all men." The gospel is not for a tribe or a class, but for man as man. Like the concave heavens, it embraces the wide world; it is for " all men. "

II. THE PROCESS OF TRUE SOUL - CULTURE . This process involves three things.

1. The renunciation of a wrong course. "Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts." These expressions are an epitome of all that is sinful and wrong in human life. Are they not all-prevalent and all-potent? "Ungodliness," or practical atheism, where is it not? "Worldly lusts," the impulses of sensuality, selfishness, pride, and ambition, they are the springs of worldly action the world over. Now, these are not only to be renounced, repudiated, but they are to be defied, resisted, and renounced; they must be given up. "Ungodliness" must give way to true piety, "worldly lusts" must be renounced for impulses spiritual and Divine.

2. The adoption of a right course. "We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." It is not enough to renounce the evil; the good must be adopted. Negative excellence is not holiness. Strip the soul of all evil, and if it has not goodness in it, it "lacks the one thing" without which, Paul says, "I am nothing." We must live "soberly," holding a mastery over our own passions and impulses; "righteously," rendering to all men their due; "godly," practically realizing the presence, the claims, and the love of God in our every-day life. All this "in this present world," or in the present course of things. This "present world" urgently requires such a course of life, for it is dangerous and transitory withal.

3. The fixing of the heart upon a glorious future. "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the [appearing of the glory of our] great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Are there two personalities here, or one? One, I think. "The great God our Savior," or our great God and Savior. The object of hope is, then, the future epiphany of the Divine, all glorious to behold. To see the redemptive God as we have never yet seen him in this morally hazy scene, this is the "blessed hope." Such a hope implies:

III. THE END OF TRUE SOUL - CULTURE . "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Observe:

1. The end is moral redemption. "Redeem us from all iniquity." Redemption is not something that takes place outside of a man; its achievement is within. It is a raising of the soul from ignorance to knowledge, from vice to virtue, from selfishness to disinterestedness, from materialism to spirituality, from the mastery of the devil to the reign of God.

2. The end is spiritual restoration to Christ. "Purify unto himself a peculiar people [a people for his own possession]." Restoration to his likeness, his friendship, his service.

3. The end is complete devotedness to holy labor. "Zealous of good works." What are good works? Not any particular class of works. All works are good that spring from a good motive; and the good motive is supreme love for the Supremely Good. Works springing from this motive, whether manual or mental, social or personal, civil or ecclesiastic, public or private, all are good.

4. The end involves the self-sacrifice of Christ. "Who gave himself." Here is the grandest sacrifice ever made in the universe. Nothing grander could be.

- The Pulpit Commentary