v1-10 - Remember the context of these letters we've been reading to Pastor Timothy and Pastor Titus. These men did not have the benefit of being able to attend seminary or have access to hundreds of inspirational books and videos published every year on how to do this or that in the church, so Paul wrote them these letters to give them a crash course.
Chapter two makes clear a big part of the job: teach.
Teach the older men (v2), older women (v3), the young men (v7) and even the slaves (v9) (remember, most people were slaves in that day & age).
Pastor Titus will be able to do this because he himself has been taught by grace to say no to the world and instead live a godly life (v11-12).
You may not be a pastor or elder, but this same principle applies to you as well. As you are taught by grace, you have a responsibility to be teaching all those you are in relationship with.
v11 - The NIV translates v11 as "the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people." Most of the other translations state that God's grace has appeared bringing salvation to all people. Doesn't this seem like proof that salvation is universal, that is, all people are saved rather than just a certain few? Is the NIV translation leading people to a false theological conclusion?
It is certainly true that God's grace brings salvation to all people (that's literally what the Greek text says), but this doesn't mean that all people are saved by it.
Just like the old saying says, 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.'
All people have grace offered (brought) to them,
but only those who have been graciously regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit will accept the grace that's been brought to them.
It's hard to arrive at this conclusion simply based on this one verse, but one of the key rules of biblical interpretation is that scripture interprets scripture.
In other words, we never read a single verse on its own, but rather in the context of all the other verses.
With this principle in mind, we can have strong confidence in the interpretation the NIV translation leads to.
v12-15 - Accepting the grace that's been brought to you has massive implications for how you live: you are to say 'no' to ungodliness and 'yes' to "self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (v12)."
Don't miss the tremendous proof of Jesus' deity in v13, which states that Jesus is "our great God and Savior."
Once again, this theological truth is emphasized by adding a comma to the translation after the word 'Savior,' helping the reader to see that Jesus is both Savior and God, since without the comma the English translation could be read either way.
The online NET Bible is an awesome tool for helping readers understand why things are translated the way they are, and the entry for v13 will help you make sense of why the comma is necessary. Plus this tool is absolutely free!
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Ezekiel 37:23 (NIV)
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
Notice how this demonstrates God's sovereignty: "I will save them... I will cleanse them... They will be my people, and I will be their God." But as we read chapters like Titus 2, we can see that we have responsibility to cleanse ourselves after having been brought God's grace.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul emphasizes one thing for Titus to teach to young men. What was it? (See verse 6.)
How would you summarize what this chapter says about the right things to be taught by Christian teachers?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (v13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for strength to say no to ungodliness and to live a godly life while you wait (v12)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: