“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
Jesus came and died for us.
He’s coming again.
So, what do we do in the meantime?
According to Titus 2:11-14, we renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope. We could also add the Great Commission to make disciples of all people. These two things aren’t separate, though. It’s impossible to make disciples, baptizing and teaching all that God has commanded while living a godless life. Living a self-controlled, upright, and godly life is part of our witness.
“But it’s so hard, pastor!”
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave it just to us to do. Christ’s appearance and salvation “train[s] us to do it. Moreover, Jesus sends us His Spirit who wills and works this within us.
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – Philippians 2:13
“Yet, I still struggle with sin, pastor!”
Yes, so do I. Paul addresses that in Romans 7.
“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” – Romans 7:21-23
Paul wants to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life, but he keeps finding himself doing the opposite because his sinful nature still lives within Him.
So, where does that leave us?
It leaves us back where we started, Christ’s appearing and bringing salvation. We try to follow God’s will and commands and pray for Him to work in our lives. When we do, we praise the Lord for what He is doing in our lives. When we fall, we are reminded that our sinful nature is still at work in our bodies and we, once again, fall before the cross in repentance. However, we do not despair. Though it, at times, seems hopeless, it never is because our hope is always in Christ, alone…or as Paul sums up Romans 7…
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!“
As I await Jesus’ return, work in my life to will and to do good works for Your purposes. When I fail, lead me back to the cross and remind me that whether I do good works or give in to sin, my hope is always in Jesus Christ, alone.
In Christ’s Service,