We are now in Part 6 of my sermon series on influencing our world for Christ based on Titus 2. Paul urged the Cretan Christians to behave in a godly way in vv. 1-10. If they behave in a godly way, they will impact people around them. The reason for godly living is that the grace of God has appeared in Christ. Last time, we saw the indication of grace in v. 11. There is the grace of God, the appearance of the grace of God, and the saving grace of God. God’s grace is the event of Christ and the person of Christ. God’s grace has shined brightly in Christ. God’s grace saves us from our sins. That is the indication of grace.
Now we turn to the instruction of grace in vv. 12-13. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us” (vv. 11-12). The grace of God is not only a saving grace; it is a training grace. Grace trains us. The participle “training” (paideuo) means, “instruct, train, educate.” (Gingrich) It also means “disciplining an adult correct, give guidance to, discipline (1T 1.20).” (Friberg) Grace trains us. Grace teaches us. Grace disciplines us. The grace of God is training us in three ways.
First, to live renouncing-ly.
Paul wrote, “Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” (v. 12). The word “renounce” (arneomai) means “say ‘no’ to;” (Knight); or “turning from ungodly conduct renounce.” (Friberg) It speaks of breaking away from something. (Marshall) To renounce is to say No to sin, to turn from sin, or to break away from sin.
There was a false teaching going around in Paul’s time. It is called “antinomianism” in theology. It comes from the Latin word “anti” which means “against,” and the word, “nomos” which means “law.” Antinomianism means “against the law.” It is a belief that we do not need to live under the moral law of God. Faith in Christ alone is necessary to salvation, not obedience to the law. Thus, you just need to believe in Christ, not obey His commands. Since we are under God’s grace, it is okay to sin. God is gracious. God is forgiving.
However, it is a false teaching. God’s Word teaches us the complete opposite. The grace of God trains us to renounce sin. Saving grace is training grace. Salvation includes sanctification. Sanctification is the work of the Spirit of sanctifying you, making you holy, conforming you to the character of Christ, by the renunciation of sin and the renewal of the mind (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Thess. 4:3-7). If you have been touched by God’s grace, then you will be transformed by God’s grace. Either you will break away from sin because God’s grace has transformed you, or you have not been touched by God’s grace at all. The work of grace then is the work of sanctification–leaving sin, overcoming sin, and cleansing from sin.