Teaching us - That is, the "grace of God" so teaches us; or that system of religion which is a manifestation of the grace of God, inculcates the great and important duties which Paul proceeds to state.
That denying ungodliness and worldly lusts - "That by denying ourselves of these, or refusing to practice them, we should lead a holy life." The word ungodliness here means all that would be included under the word impiety; that is, all failure in the performance of our proper duties towards God; see the notes at Romans 1:18. The phrase "worldly lusts" refers to all improper desires pertaining to this life - the desire of wealth, pleasure, honor, sensual indulgence. It refers to such passions as the people of this world are prone to, and would include all those things which cannot be indulged in with a proper reference to the world to come. The gross passions would be of course included, and all those more refined pleasures also which constitute the characteristic and special enjoyments of those who do not live unto God.
We should live soberly - See the word "soberly" ( ́ sōphronōs ) explained in the notes at Titus 2:2, Titus 2:4. It means that we should exercise a due restraint on our passions and propensities.
Righteously - Justly - ́ dikaiōs . This refers to the proper performance of our duties to our fellow-men; and it means that religion teaches us to perform those duties with fidelity, according to all our relations in life; to all our promises and contracts; to our fellow-citizens and neighbors; to the poor, and needy, and ignorant, and oppressed; and to all those who are providentially placed in our way who need our kind offices. Justice to them would lead us to act as we would wish that they would towards us.
And godly - Piously; that is, in the faithful performance of our duties to God. We have here, then, an epitome of all that religion requires:
(1)Our duty to ourselves - included in the word "soberly" and requiring a suitable control over our evil propensities and passions;
(2)Our duty to our fellow-men in all the relations we sustain in life; and,
(3)Our duty to God - evinced in what will be properly regarded as a pious life.
He that does these things, meets all the responsibilites of his condition and relations; and the Christian system, requiring the faithful performance of these duties, shows how admirably it is adapted to man.
In this present world - That is, as long as we shall continue in it. These are the duties which we owe in the present life.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Titus 2:12:
1 Peter 2:11
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