Today’s Scripture: Titus 2:11-12
“The grace of God has appeared . . . training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.”
Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness. Ungodliness in its broadest form basically comprises disregarding God, ignoring him, or not taking him into account in one’s life. It’s a lack of fear and reverence for him. The wickedness portrayed by Paul in Romans 1:18-32 all starts with the idea that “although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him” (verse 21, NIV). A person may be highly moral and even benevolent and still be ungodly.
When we trust in Christ as our savior, we bring a habit of ungodliness into our Christian lives. We were accustomed to living without regard for God. As unbelievers, we cared neither for his glory nor his will. Basically, we ignored him. But now that we have been delivered from the dominion of sin and brought under the reign of grace, grace teaches us to renounce this attitude (as well as actions) of ungodliness. Obviously this training does not occur all at once. In fact, God will be rooting out ungodliness from our lives as long as we live on this earth.
Grace also teaches us to say no to worldly passions, the inordinate desire for and preoccupation with the things of this life, such as possessions, prestige, pleasure, or power. “For this world in its present form is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31, NIV).
Saying no to ungodliness and worldly passions basically means a decisive break with those attitudes and practices. In one sense, this decisive break is a divine act that occurred when we died to the dominion of sin in our lives. In another sense, we’re to work out this breach with sin by putting to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13).