- Identify the Text
2:11-14 is a stand-alone explanation as to why the believers should act in accordance to sound doctrine as explained above.
v. 15 is included here but it is actually the grounds for 1:10-2:10.
- Identify the Genre
vv. 11-14 Expository
v. 15 Hortatory (command to teach)
- Identify the Structure of the Text
The text begins with gar, for. This is an “explanatory gar” meaning that it gives us the reasons Titus should teach these things, and by extension why they should do the things, described in 2:1-10.
In this way, after the introductory statement in v. 11, this complicated text could be seen to have two main divisions in vv. 12-14. The motivation to teach these things, and obey these things are the two things that he mentions God has done:
- God is bringing salvation to all through the appearance of Christ (and we are waiting for his second coming).
- God gave himself so that we would be that unique people who are “zealous for good works.”
- Exegete the Passage
vv. 11-14 represent one of the most beautiful passages on the incarnation in Scripture. The grace of God that appeared is a metaphor for Christ. The appearance is the word epiphaínō. Think of epiphany. The word is used in extra-biblical literature to describe the sun rising. Christ just showed up. The same word is used to describe his second coming in v. 13. In sum, Christ appeared to teach us how to live godly before He appears again. We should live lives that are consistent with our doctrine because Christ appeared to make us holy and He is coming again! This is supreme capacity and supreme motivation.
v. 11 The “all,” panta, of v. 11 is meant to be understood as salvation is available to all people, and not of course that all people will be saved. This is clear from v. 14. Note the tension. He brought a salvation that is available to all people (v. 11) and yet the result is that he will redeem from this larger group a unique people (v. 14).
vv. 12- 13 note the two participles that are the effects of the cause of Christ’s first advent: When His grace appeared he was training us while we are waiting for His second coming.
v. 15 is included in this teaching unit but only for the practical reason that it groups chronologically with this text. The question is, what are the “things” that he is to reach, exhort and rebuke? The answer seems to be that the pronoun, τοῦτο, has as its refereent not the immediate context, but 1:10-2:10 where the exhortation began. So Paul concludes all the things that he is supposed to teach with a strong affirmation to keep teaching and to let no one disregard, periphronéō, you. The idea is not personal defensiveness, but living a life that is above reproach as per 6,7, and 8 and therefore cannot be criticized for evil.
- Let the structure of the text inform the structure of the sermon
When the text is seen as a motivation for the things given in 1:10–2:10, a natural structure emerges.
A potential sermon outline could explain why we should teach these things or why we should do them. One is explicit and the other is inferred.
We should live in a way that mirrors right doctrine because:
- The reality of God’s salvation: God is bringing salvation to all through the appearance of Christ (and we are waiting for his second coming). (vv. 11-13)
- The nature of God’s salvation: by way of redemption gave himself that we would be that unique people who are “zealous for good works” (v. 14).