Sunday, November 16, 2008

Titus 2:12-13 (2)

We live, as Paul notes at the end of verse 12 ‘in the present world’, and as we live, we look. Verse 13 says ‘looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ.’ We are to live in the present world, eat, drink, relate, go to work, go to school, pay our bills, in the present world, because that’s where we are. But we must have our eyes up. We must have our hopes somewhere else. Philippians 3:20 says ‘our citizenship is in Heaven, and from there we await a saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ’ This is what it is to be a Christian. Feet on the ground, mind engaged, heart waiting for Jesus to return.

The hope we look for is a blessed hope. The word that Paul uses for looking is best translated as ‘longing with an eager certainty.’ Like the way we look for the sunrise. It’s coming, we know, because of the sovereignty of God, that the sunrise is coming, just like we know, because of the sovereignty of God, that Christ is coming. It’s a blessed hope, a happy hope because of this. It is a happy hope because we know it is coming. It is a happiness that transcends circumstance or election results, it is a hope that the world neither understands nor envies. But it’s real. And it changes things. And it helps us to live in the present world, without a hope in the things of the world. The looking is certain, the happy hope is certain.

We look for a happy hope, we look for a glorious appearing. Christ’s first appearing was a gracious one, a humble, born in a stable to a virgin appearing. This appearing will the opposite. This a glorious appearing. This time, when we see this happy hope that we look for, we will see Christ as He is in His glory. We move from grace appeared to glory appeared. We move to the appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Who is Jesus? He is the great God, and our Savior. Jesus is the great God. Jesus is the God who is there, Jesus is the God who saves us. This is another clear declaration in scripture of the deity of Jesus Christ, and gives lie to the notion that various later church councils voted on whether or not Jesus was and is God. Here is Paul, a contemporary of Jesus calling Him ‘the great God.’ And He is our savior. He saves us from the penalty of sin, as we saw last time in verse 11, and He saves us from the presence of sin, by the appearing of His glory as we see here. Who then is a God like our God? Who better to hope in, whom better to worship than Jesus, the great God and our Savior.

This is something worth hoping in… This is a better hope. This is how we live as Christians, between the gracious appearing and the glorious appearing. Between what Christ did as He shed His blood on the cross, and what we will do as He wields His sword in judgment. We live in the present world, and we look for the glorious appearing. There is a balance to be maintained here as we live and look. We don’t want to be like the Christians in 2 Thessalonians who quit there jobs and were sun bathing in the yard because Jesus was probably coming back that afternoon, but we don’t want to be like so many Christians here and now whose lives suggest that their final hope is in people, or politics or ideology or legislation. We find a balance. We live and we look.

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