Titus 2:11-12 says, “For 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.”
Notice that Grace Teaches us. The word “Teaching” is the Greek word “paideuo” (pi-DO- o), it means “to train children; to be instructed or taught or learn, to cause one to learn. To chastise; to chastise or castigate (reprimand severely) with words, to correct. It is used of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition” (Thayerʼs Lexicon). So Grace instructs us and causes us to learn, chastises and reprimands us severely with words when we stray, and corrects us for the purpose of moulding our character by its reproof and admonition.
Grace Teaches Us. Now what does Grace “teach” us? “…that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Grace teaches us to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts.” Ungodliness is the Greek word “asebeia” (ahs-AY-bah-ah) which means “want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness” (Thayer). “Worldly” is the word “kosmikos” (kos-me-KOS) which means “of or belonging to the world, having the character of this present corrupt age.” When we walk in ungodliness, following the character of this present corrupt age, we walk in a manner that fails to “reverence” God properly. We are dishonoring and disrespecting God. Grace would NEVER teach you to dishonor and disrespect God and fail to reverence Him by living a lifestyle of ungodliness!
Grace teaches us to live “soberly” (Greek: “sophronos”–“with sound mind, soberly, temperately, discreetly). “Righteously” (Greek: “dikaios”–“just, agreeably to right; properly, as is right; uprightly”). “Godly” (Greek: “eusebos”–“piously, godly”). Notice the Word says, “We should” live this way! Grace is very interested in how we live. “Jimmy, are you teaching sinless perfectionism?” Absolutely not! What I am saying is your affections should be toward godliness, not ungodliness. If we are seated with Christ in Heavenly places, as Ephesians tells us we are (Eph. 2:6), shouldnʼt our affections be upon Heavenly things? If we are “new creatures” in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17), shouldnʼt there be a difference in the new man and the old man?
When we think Grace teaches us we can live however our flesh dictates, we donʼt understand grace. Grace is training, instructing, and molding our character into the image of Christ.
Blessings to you!