For Christians, it is far too easy to live, think, and talk like the world around us—yet Paul tell us those are the things we are to deny and reject. As Christians, we are called to live set apart and different than the world around us.
In this second study from Titus 2:11–15 we talk about how God’s grace is training, disciplining, and enabling us to reject ungodliness and worldly desires and now genuinely live as Christians. We have been born again and we are brand new creations in Christ Jesus.
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Titus 2:11–15 – For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all lawlessness, and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
God’s Grace Teaches and Disciplines us to “say no” (Deny/Reject)
- Deny (arneomai) – to deny (someone or self), to abnegate, not accept, reject, to refuse something offered
- Warren W. Wiersbe – The verb [deny] means that we do it once and for all. It is a settled matter.*
- God cannot deny Himself
- Bonus thoughts:
- 2 Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
- People denying God by how they live
- 2 Timothy 3:5 – … holding to a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Keep away from such men as these.
- Titus 1:16 – They profess to know God, but by their works they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and unfit for any good work.
1. Deny ungodliness (anything unlike God)
- Romans 1:18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
- 2 Timothy 2:16 – But avoid godless and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,
- Jude 14–18 – But Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of their own benefit. But you, beloved, must remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
2. Deny worldly desires/passions/lusts
- James 1:14–15 – But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully matured, it brings forth death.
- Ephesians 2:3 – … among whom we all also formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
- Romans 1:24 – Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
- Romans 6:12 – Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts …
- Romans 13:14 – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
- Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
- Galatians 5:24 – Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Ephesians 4:22 – to lay aside, in reference to your former conduct, the old man, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
- Colossians 3:5 – Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
- 2 Timothy 2:22 – Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
- Titus 3:3 – For we ourselves also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another.
- 1 Peter 2:11 – Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul …
- 1 John 2:15–17 – Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
- Bonus Passages to consider
- Mark 4:19 – … but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for anything else enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
- John 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Respond and Repent
Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
* Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 267.
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
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