The Sum of The Christian Life-The Denial of Ourselves Part Three

Section 3 Self-Renunciation according to Titus Chapter 2

 In another passage, Paul indeed gives a brief but more distinct account of each of the parts of a well-ordered life: “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Ti 2:11-14). After holding forth the grace of God to animate us, and pave the way for His true worship, he removes the two greatest obstacles that stand in the way: namely, ungodliness, to which we are by nature too prone; and worldly lusts, which are of still greater extent. Under ungodliness, he includes not merely superstition, but everything at variance with the true fear of God. Worldly lusts are equivalent to the lusts of the flesh (1Jo 2:16; Eph 2:3; 2Pe 2:18; Gal 5:16). Thus, [Paul] enjoins us, concerning both tables of the Law, to lay aside our own mind and renounce whatever our own reason and will dictate. Then he reduces all the actions of our lives to three branches: sobriety, righteousness, and godliness. Sobriety undoubtedly denotes, as well, chastity and temperance as the pure and frugal use of temporal goods and patient endurance of want. Righteousness comprehends all the duties of equity, in every one his due (Rom 13:7). Next follows godliness, which separates us from the pollutions of the world and connects us with God in true holiness. These, when connected together by an indissoluble chain, constitute complete perfection. But as nothing is more difficult than to bid adieu to the will of the flesh, subdue, nay, abjure our lusts, devote ourselves to God and our brethren, and lead an angelic life amid the pollutions of the world. Paul, to set our minds free from all entanglements, recalls us to the hope of a blessed immortality, justly urging us to contend (1Th 3:5). Because, as Christ has once appeared as our Redeemer, so at His final advent He will give full effect to the salvation obtained by Him. And in this way [Paul] dispels all the allurements that becloud our path and prevent us from aspiring as we ought to heavenly glory. Nay, he tells us that we must be pilgrims in the world; that we may not fail of obtaining the heavenly inheritance.

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“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Titus 2:11