“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”

// Titus 2:11-14

In Titus 2:11-14, the Apostle Paul distills the essence of Christianity into one small paragraph that focuses on godliness. God’s grace, he explains, teaches us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” as we await the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Put simply, if Paul were asked how a Christian should live, he would reply, “Like God.” This means having the same heart as God, a heart which gives and forgives.

As the Son of God, Jesus is our model of godliness. He is the grace of God personified, training us in the ways of the Father as well as making clear that which is not of Him. Through Jesus, we discover the limitless love of God for all of humanity, His lost children. God willingly seeks after us, He stands ready to forgive us, and He rejoices with all of Heaven when He finds us. These are the characteristics of God. Not only is He good and righteous, but He is also forgiving! Not only does He want us to reject worldly passions, but He also wants us to turn away from disdain and persecution.

In the Parable of the Lost Son, Jesus reveals that, if we live a self-controlled and upright life without a gracious heart, we too are lost. Notice that in this story the father goes after both of his sons – the younger son who squanders his inheritance through living without restraint, as well as the older son who grows hard of heart through serving his father out of duty. Though the older son seemingly lives the kind of upright and sacrificial life God calls us to, his jealousy and pride reveal deep-seated ungodliness.

Let us never forget that it is by grace – and grace alone – that we have been redeemed. Whether we were wasting away our inheritance or failing to embrace all that has been granted to us through Christ, we were lost! God, our Father – the creator of Heaven and Earth – sought after us. From this revelation we must take on His giving and forgiving heart. Today, let us embrace the gift we have received from our Father, and out of that fullness let godliness abound!

// Roshard Bryant