Making Space for Godliness

Brian Mahon - 12/12/2021


Text: Titus 2:10b-15


The Cretan churches are being infiltrated and disturbed by Judaizers and their own Cretan culture. Paul writes to Titus to put things that have fallen out of order back into good order. He says that the very truth of the Gospel is on the line in the conduct of the churches, for it evinces the reality of God's grace in Christ. Some want to make grace a license for sin. Paul says such do not understand the purpose of God's grace. It's epiphany or manifestation in Christ's incarnation, return, and death (Paul's arrangement in the text) regenerates, trains, and motivates all Christ's own to be godly and zealous for good works as a testimony to the doctrine of salvation. Godliness is the product of keeping eyes on Jesus, back upon His cross, ahead to His appearing, always in His school of grace. Titus is to declare these things with the authority of Christ; and so, the churches are to give the word of godliness, whether exhortation or rebuke, their most attentive and appreciative ear. Where the King increases in us, so too will space for godliness and good deeds.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior: the churches' situation, 2:10b.
  2. Adorn godliness because Christ has appeared, 2:11-12.
  3. Adorn godliness because Christ will appear, 2:13.
  4. Adorn godliness because Christ has atoned, 2:14.
  5. Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior: the delegate's commission, 2:15.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Titus 2:10b-15. With it, read 1:5, 1:9, 1:10-16. What's going on in the churches at Crete? What is it for a church to be 'out of order'? What is Paul concerned about (1:16)? How do Paul's final words in 2:10 set things straight? Have we thought of doctrine as something we adorn? What is the importance of that adornment? Is salvation evident in a person's life? If it isn't, what are the implications---that is, what does a mere profession adorned by ungodliness suggest (1:1-2; 1:16; 2:8; 2:11-14)?
  2. According to 2:11, why is it not feasible that a church should be ignorant of the need to adorn godliness? What is meant by grace having appeared (consider 3:4 also)? Is grace just an idea? Does it have a concrete expression? What did it bring? In 2:12, what does it do? How might that be contrary to the way some think about the applications of grace? More truly, what does Grace incarnate labor for us to exercise, negatively, then positively? How does He train us (again, the truth here concerns the advent and/or incarnation of God the Savior)?
  3. In 2:13, we're told about the second advent of Christ. How does that also motivate our godliness? Consider Hebrews 11 and 1 John 3:2-3.
  4. In 2:14, Paul brings us back to the cross of Christ. How does that further ground our hope in the second coming of Christ? What purpose did Christ have in the cross according to this verse? How might that be additional to how we usually think of the purpose of the cross? Again, there is a 'negative' followed by a 'positive'. What are they? Paul has already described godliness in terms of addressing personal behavior (2:11-12) and living by that sanctifying hope (2:13). How does he describe it in 2:14? Perhaps, go through Titus and consider what Paul means by 'good works.'
  5. In 2:15, Paul gives Titus an apostolic injunction for the church of Christ. What is it? Have we thought of the under-shepherds' call as refusing to let anyone dismiss Christ's imperative: that in everything we're to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior? Do you think this is a common theme in pastoral ministry and in our churches? How are we doing in submitting our lives to the full import of Christ's salvation?

This Advent, meditate, as the King increases in us, so too will rest, so too will devotion, so too will godliness.

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