“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us…” (Titus 2:11-12).
The phrase, “the grace of God” refers to the system of grace which is found in the New Testament. The message of the New Testament is “the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32), “the word of the truth of the gospel… the grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1:5-6). This messages of grace had been preached throughout the world in Paul’s day (Titus 2:11 cf. Colossians 1:5-6; 1:23; Romans 1:8; 10:18; 16:25-26).
God’s desire is for all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11). It is for this reason, God sent this message into all of the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47 cf. Acts 1:8). He has no desire that we be lost.
His grace appeared to all (Titus 2:11); yet, not all will be saved (Luke 13:23-24; cf. Matthew 7:13-14). Man, today, accesses this grace through Christ and the system of faith (Romans 5:1-2).
“Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Titus 2:12a).
The New Testament message teaches us how we ought not to live. (1) We are not to be ungodly. The word literally means “not well devout.” We are not to lack devotion to God. (2) We are not to live a life which is guided by worldly lusts. There are desires from which we should flee (2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Timothy 6:10-11; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14 cf. Colossians 3:5).
“We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12b).
The New Testament messages teaches us how we ought to live. (1) We are to live soberly. The word has to do with being of sound mind and thinking rationally. We are to be thoughtful. We are to be thinkers, testing all by the word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). (2) We are to live righteously. We are to strive to conduct ourselves properly according to God’s word (cf. Psalm 119:172; Romans 1:17; 1 John 3:7). (3) We are to be godly. The word means to be “well devout.” Vine’s says that, “it denotes that piety which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is pleasing to Him.” Our lives are to be devoted to God.
“Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
The New Testament teaches us to live in anticipation of Jesus’ return, and to aspire to be right with Him on that day. Some go through life thinking of little but the here and now. The Christian should live knowing that there is more to life than the here and now. There is a hereafter.
“What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see / and I look upon His face The one who saved my by His grace / When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the promised land / What a day, glorious day, that will be” (Jim Hill, What A Day That Will Be).
Note Jesus is called “God” in this passage. Wayne Jackson writes, “In this passage the terms ‘God’ and ‘Savior’ both refer to Christ. There is a rule in Greek grammar, known as the Granville Sharp Rule, which suggests that when a solitary definite article (rendered ‘the’ in our English text) precedes compound nouns which are joined by ‘and’ – in this case ‘God’ and ‘Savior’ the latter noun refers to the same person as the first noun” (Jackson, Notes From the Margin of My Bible, Vol. 2, p. 137).