Second, grace trains us to live soberly, rightly, and godly. “Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Tit. 2:12). The adverb “self-controlled” (sophronos) means “soberly, moderately, showing self-control Tit 2:12.” (Gingrich) The self-controlled life is expected of every believer—older men, older women, young women, and young men (Tit. 2:2-6).
The word “upright” (dikaios) means “rightly” (Gingrich); “ethically in a right way, honestly, with integrity (TI 2.12).” It “describes life in accordance with standards of justice and fairness.” (Marshall) Paul used the same word in his letter to the Thessalonians. “You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous (dikaios) and blameless was our conduct toward you believers” (1 Thess. 2:10). The words “holy and righteous,” “describes conduct which conforms to both divine and human laws.” (Gene L. Green)
While in Thessalonia, people accused Paul and his co-workers of disobeying Caesar’s laws. But Paul wrote that they followed the law while in Thessalonica. They were upright in dealing with people. They did not violate traffic rules when driving. They paid their taxes. They treated people kindly. They did not say bad words and dirty jokes. They were upright before God and people.
The adverb “godly” is from the Greek, eusebes, where we get our English name, “Eusebio.” I had a classmate back in Grade School whose name is Eusebio. But he did ungodly things that his name Eusebio doesn’t seem to fit.
The word eusebes means “in a godly manner; of life lived in a reverent relation to God piously, devotedly.” (Friberg) I learned an interesting Cebuano word—“dinios,” from the root word, “Dios” (God). My salesman once told me, “Sir, dinios ni ang akong pagtrabaho.” (I do my job in a godly and devoted way.)
Luke used the same word to describe Cornelius.
“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
2 a devout man [eusebes] who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.
3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”
4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:1-4)
Note that the word “godly” is translated “devout.” In the NT, a godly man is a devout man. Today, many people are “devout” in their religion, but “ungodly” in their daily living. They are so devout in the ways of their religion. But in life, they utter cuss words, they lie, and they cheat.
Cornelius was a godly man, a devout man. He was a centurion, a commander of 100 soldiers in the Roman army. He feared God. He gave to the poor. He prayed to God always. Fear of God. Giving to the poor. Praying to God. These are marks of a godly life.
When do we renounce sin and live in godliness? Paul wrote, “in the present age” (v. 12). In v. 12, Paul writes of the present age. Then in v. 13, he writes about the coming of Christ. Thus, the present age covers the time of Christ on earth to the time of the coming of Christ. The present age is here and now until the return of Christ. There is the present age and the coming age. The present age is the age of grace. The coming age is the age of the kingdom of Christ.
God’s grace does not only prepare a place for us in heaven. Grace trains us to live a godly life here and now, while we wait for the coming of Christ. The goal is to impact the present world for Christ.
This brings to the third training of grace.