Posts Tagged ‘Titus 2:11-12’

Call to holy living: Be sober

January 6, 2016

1_Peter_1-13

The Verse of the Day for January 6, 2016 comes from 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT) offered as “A Call to Holy Living”:

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

Here is the King James Version:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

13 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

Here is verse is graphically illustrated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2ya8qMJE1Y

The whole idea of living soberly was also mentioned in the recent blog entry for January 3, where the Verse of the Day was taken from Titus 2:11-12 (KJV):

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;

The New Living Translation renders the passage thusly:

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers another reason for sobriety:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

One translation of the Greek word verb for “be sober” renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.” Altogether, “be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

Notice that 1 Peter 1:13 also connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return and that is the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ. Note the exhortation to “be sober” in light of the Hope:

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s album The Zoo, offering another reminder to “be sober.”

How should we then live?

January 3, 2016

Titus 2--11-13Take one day at a time, seeking God’s direction and guidance each day. In light of the previous Verse of the Day which reminds us to number our days, as we apply our hearts unto wisdom, The Verse of the Day for January 3, 2016 shows us what we should deny or reject and what we should embrace.

Titus 2:11-12 (NLT)

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

This passage brings to mind How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the historical documentary film series and book by theologian Francis A. Schaeffer. Originally published in 1976, the series presents Schaeffer’s view that when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken, this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society. This leads to what Schaeffer calls “Freedom without chaos.”

In response to the question raised by the title of the celebrate work by Schaeffer, “How should we then live?” Titus 2:12 clearly proclaims:

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God

If we are to live meaningful lives that make a difference and impact the world in a positive way, we must understand the importance of these three vital character traits:

Wisdom

In our efforts to live lives that are pleasing in God’s sight, wisdom is essential. James 1:5 (NLT) exhorts us regarding this notable virtue:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

As a kind of golden thread that is woven throughout the Book of Proverbs, Solomon’s advice to his son provides a priceless resource for seeking and applying the principles of wisdom. We are encouraged to pursue wisdom:

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

Righteousness:

“Righteousness” is an essential aspect of our identity as Christian believers. 1 Corinthians 1:30 makes known this truth:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Righteousness is one of those divine attributes of God imparted unto us through Christ. Think of it as being in a right relationship with the Creator, our gracious Father. We are “all right” with God, and God is “all right” with us. We abide in a state of righteousness, not our own which is “as filthy rags” but in the righteousness of God.

Devotion:

Devotion in a spiritual context is said to be wholehearted commitment to God. The people of God are encouraged to demonstrate such commitment and dedication. Often devotion is expressed in terms of prayer or worship or some other evidence of godly behavior. Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the Temple makes this statement:

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. (1 Kings 8:23)

While reflecting upon the Verse of the Day, I thought of a poem that speaks directly of wisdom and makes reference to “Christ, our righteousness,” and ends with the phrase “the fear of the Lord,” which is connected to devotion:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in Your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand perfected and destined to walk upright,

Your beloved ones, whose heart Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

 

We close with the Scripture Memory Song: Titus 2:11-12:

It’s not enough

January 3, 2015

Titus 2--11-13

The Verse of the Day for January 3, 2015 comes from Titus 2:11-12 (KJV)

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;

The New Living Translation renders the passage in this way:

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

Clearly, the Scriptures provide instruction as to how believers should conduct their lives. If the Scriptures tell followers of Christ to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world,” then it must be possible to so live.

First of all, what does it mean to live soberly? The expression “be sober” is used in Titus 2:2, 4, and 6 and directed toward “older men, older women, young women, and young men. One translation of the Greek word renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.” “To be sober” is a strong reminder to everyone, both old and young alike. The Verse of the Day reminds us that, as believers, we should live “with wisdom” or “live soberly.”

In addition, believers are exhorted to live righteously, that is to conform our lives according to the standards of God’s commands. We should conduct our lives so as to always remain in fellowship, in right standing in our relationship with God. Through His son Christ Jesus we are made the righteousness of God, and we can thus live our lives with righteousness.

The final exhortation of Titus 2:12 is to live godly lives or express our devotion to God in all that we say and do. Our lives should be a reflection of godliness: “[which] supposes knowledge, veneration, affection, dependence, submission, gratitude, and obedience,” according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. The essence of godliness is respect for God that impacts the way that a person lives.

I recall the lyrics to a song popularized by the Christian duo, Angelo and Veronica, “Not Enough” which became the inspiration for this poem with the same title:

Not Enough

“It’s not enough to say thank you,

for all the times you brought me through.

It’s not enough to say I’ll serve you, Lord, trust and obey.

The only way you’ll know is how I live.”

Angelo and Veronica

 

If I were fluent and could speak with 10,000 tongues

From every tribe that inhabits a place on this Earth

And could I speak 10,000 words of praise with each one,

Such words still fail to describe the measure of your worth.

Could I select choice words that men and angels have spoken,

They would be inadequate, as I try to express

All that lies within me, for words are but a token

Of my gratitude for your faithfulness and goodness.

As I strive to walk in love, the more excellent way,

I seek to align words and deeds so that they are one.

Read between the lines of all that I attempt to say,

As you assess my whole life when all is said and done.

In the midst of darkness, times have never been more tough.

Though my heart overflows, words alone are not enough.

Listen to Angelo and Veronica as they sing “It’s Not Enough”: