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Titus 2:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Teaching us, that, denying, etc. - Παιδευουσα· Instructing us as children are instructed. Christ is the great teacher; and men, in order to learn, must become his disciples - must put themselves under his tuition, and learn of him.

Denying ungodliness - Ασεβειαν· All things contrary to God; whatever would lead us to doubt his being, deny any of his essential attributes; his providence or government of the world, and his influence on the souls of men. Every thing, also, which is opposed to his true worship; theoretical and practical atheism, deism, and irreligion in general.

Worldly lusts - Such desires, affections, and appetites, as men are governed by who have their portion in this life, and live without God in the world. Gluttony, drunkenness, lasciviousness, anger, malice, and revenge; together with the immoderate love of riches, power, and fame.

We should live soberly - Having every temper, appetite, and desire, under the government of reason, and reason itself under the government of the Spirit of God.

Righteously - Rendering to every man his due, injuring no person in his body, mind, reputation, or property; doing unto all as we would they should do to us; and filling up the duties of the particular stations in which it has pleased God to fix us, committing no sin, omitting no duty.

And godly - Ευσεβως . Just the reverse of what is implied in ungodliness. See above.

In this present world - Not supposing that any thing will be purified in the world to come that is not cleansed in this. The three words above evidently include our duty to God, to our neighbor, and to ourselves.

  1. We are to live soberly in respect to ourselves.
  • Righteously in respect to our neighbor. And
  • 3. Godly, or piously, in respect to our Maker.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    Teaching us - That is, the “grace of God” so teaches us; or that system of religion which is a manifestation of the grace of God, inculcates the great and important duties which Paul proceeds to state.

    That denying ungodliness and worldly lusts - “That by denying ourselves of these, or refusing to practice them, we should lead a holy life.” The word ungodliness here means all that would be included under the word impiety; that is, all failure in the performance of our proper duties towards God; see the notes at Romans 1:18. The phrase “worldly lusts” refers to all improper desires pertaining to this life - the desire of wealth, pleasure, honor, sensual indulgence. It refers to such passions as the people of this world are prone to, and would include all those things which cannot be indulged in with a proper reference to the world to come. The gross passions would be of course included, and all those more refined pleasures also which constitute the characteristic and special enjoyments of those who do not live unto God.

    We should live soberly - See the word “soberly” ( σωφρόνως sōphronōs) explained in the notes at Titus 2:2, Titus 2:4. It means that we should exercise a due restraint on our passions and propensities.

    Righteously - Justly - δικαίως dikaiōsThis refers to the proper performance of our duties to our fellow-men; and it means that religion teaches us to perform those duties with fidelity, according to all our relations in life; to all our promises and contracts; to our fellow-citizens and neighbors; to the poor, and needy, and ignorant, and oppressed; and to all those who are providentially placed in our way who need our kind offices. Justice to them would lead us to act as we would wish that they would towards us.

    And godly - Piously; that is, in the faithful performance of our duties to God. We have here, then, an epitome of all that religion requires:

    (1)our duty to ourselves - included in the word “soberly” and requiring a suitable control over our evil propensities and passions;

    (2)our duty to our fellow-men in all the relations we sustain in life; and,

    (3)our duty to God - evinced in what will be properly regarded as a pious life.

    He that does these things, meets all the responsibilites of his condition and relations; and the Christian system, requiring the faithful performance of these duties, shows how admirably it is adapted to man.

    In this present world - That is, as long as we shall continue in it. These are the duties which we owe in the present life.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel, is for all ranks and conditions of men. It teaches to forsake sin; to have no more to do with it. An earthly, sensual conversation suits not a heavenly calling. It teaches to make conscience of that which is good. We must look to God in Christ, as the object of our hope and worship. A gospel conversation must be a godly conversation. See our duty in a very few words; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly, notwithstanding all snares, temptations, corrupt examples, ill usage, and what remains of sin in the believer's heart, with all their hinderances. It teaches to look for the glories of another world. At, and in, the glorious appearing of Christ, the blessed hope of Christians will be complete: To bring us to holiness and happiness was the end of Christ's death. Jesus Christ, that great God and our Saviour, who saves not only as God, much less as Man alone; but as God-man, two natures in one person. He loved us, and gave himself for us; and what can we do less than love and give up ourselves to him! Redemption from sin and sanctification of the nature go together, and make a peculiar people unto God, free from guilt and condemnation, and purified by the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is profitable. Here is what will furnish for all parts of duty, and the right discharge of them. Let us inquire whether our whole dependence is placed upon that grace which saves the lost, pardons the guilty, and sanctifies the unclean. And the further we are removed from boasting of fancied good works, or trusting in them, so that we glory in Christ alone, the more zealous shall we be to abound in real good works.
    Ellen G. White
    That I May Know Him, 316.2

    There is a great work for us to do if we would inherit eternal life. We are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live a life of righteousness.... There is no salvation for us except in Jesus, for it is through faith in Him that we receive power to become the sons of God. But it is not merely a passing faith, it is faith that works the works of Christ.... Living faith makes itself manifest by exhibiting a spirit of sacrifice and devotion toward the cause of God. Those who possess it stand under the banner of Prince Emmanuel and wage a successful warfare against the powers of darkness. They stand ready to do whatsoever their Captain commands. Each one is exhorted to be “an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12), for we are to “live soberly, righteously, and godly” in this present evil world, representing the character of Christ, and manifesting His spirit.... TMK 316.2

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    Ellen G. White
    This Day With God, 284.5

    We are not to fashion ourselves by the world's criterion or after the world's type. God's people will hear conversations regarding the carrying out of wrong methods and plans. Words of irreverence will be spoken. Religion will be jested about. Hear the voice of God, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10). Those who are controlled by the Spirit of God need to keep their perceptive faculties awake.... Have courage to do the right. The Lord's promise is more valuable than gold and silver to all who are doers of His word. Let all regard it as a great honor to be acknowledged by God as His children.—Manuscript 121, October 2, 1898, “An Example of Faithfulness.” TDG 284.5

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    Ellen G. White
    The Upward Look, 342.1

    Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Titus 2:12. UL 342.1

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    Ellen G. White
    The Acts of the Apostles, 505

    In the precepts of His holy law, God has given a perfect rule of life; and He has declared that until the close of time this law, unchanged in a single jot or tittle, is to maintain its claim upon human beings. Christ came to magnify the law and make it honorable. He showed that it is based upon the broad foundation of love to God and love to man, and that obedience to its precepts comprises the whole duty of man. In His own life He gave an example of obedience to the law of God. In the Sermon on the Mount He showed how its requirements extend beyond the outward acts and take cognizance of the thoughts and intents of the heart. AA 505.1

    The law, obeyed, leads men to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts,” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:12. But the enemy of all righteousness has taken the world captive and has led men and women to disobey the law. As Paul foresaw, multitudes have turned from the plain, searching truths of God's word and have chosen teachers who present to them the fables they desire. Many among both ministers and people are trampling under their feet the commandments of God. Thus the Creator of the world is insulted, and Satan laughs in triumph at the success of his devices. AA 505.2

    With the growing contempt for God's law there is an increasing distaste for religion, an increase of pride, love of pleasure, disobedience to parents, and self-indulgence; and thoughtful minds everywhere are anxiously inquiring, What can be done to correct these alarming evils? The answer is found in Paul's exhortation to Timothy, “Preach the word.” In the Bible are found the only safe principles of action. It is a transcript of the will of God, an expression of divine wisdom. It opens to man's understanding the great problems of life, and to all who heed its precepts it will prove an unerring guide, keeping them from wasting their lives in misdirected effort. AA 506.1

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