On Titus 2:13-15

Titus 2:13-15
But there is another all-important branch of truth and full of rich fruit for the believer-" Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (ver. 13).
It is the object before us which forms our character. The Christian object is the Lord in glory; we may say of it in this respect what David said of Goliath's sword, "There is none like it." The essential thing for the soul's salvation undoubtedly is Christ and His work for us received in faith. But if the true hope be lacking to the believer, the blank is irreparable. This is the fact, even if energy of faith and love may do much to hinder the wiles of Satan, who would insinuate false hopes under fair pleas as a substitute for the faith once delivered to the saints. As Christ is the proper object of faith, and as the -Spirit forms us practically by our beholding Him living for us in heavenly glory, and thus transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as we read in 2 Corinthians so the right and divinely given object of hope is the coming of Christ to receive us to Himself.
Here the apostle presents it in a comprehensive way, not only the blessed hope, but the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Grace, we know, has already appeared (ver. 11), saving grace for all men. This they reject at their peril; for salvation cannot be otherwise, and the richer and surer the grace that saves, the guiltier is the unbelief that refuses or slights it. The grace of God alone leads into a walk of communion, and of practical righteousness for every day. But we need also to look for " the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory." These are the two parts which comprise the revealed object God would have before our souls. " The blessed hope " is that which alone can satisfy the heart; it is to be in the presence of Christ on high, changed at His coming into His likeness and with Him forever. " The appearing of the " divine "glory " is bound up with it, and follows in due time, as that display of the divine manifestation in power, which our renewed souls cannot but desire to the utter exclusion of moral and physical evil and of Satan's guileful energy. It is Christ Who introduces it. As He brought the grace of God here below, so will He the glory to appear in His day. And He is called " the great God " as well as our Savior, lest we might forget His essential nature, when He executes judgments as Man glorified.
There is nothing nobler to act on the affections and the convictions, on the ends and ways, of man here below. Not in the smallest degree weakening the faith which works by love, it cheers and animates in the face of all which makes him groan; and we do groan now because, reconciled to God ourselves, we see nothing yet reconciled around us. Yea, we know not only a perishing world but a morally ruined church; not only the Gentiles still without God, but the Jews most of all hating the gospel of Christ. And what deliverance have we wrought in the earth? how far have we christians, individually or together, reflected the heavenly glory of Christ as a testimony to those without? If the righteous with difficulty are saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?
Truly there is no ground for boasting save in the Lord, " Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works " (ver. 14). Thus, when bringing in the bright future of God, which alone can dispossess the enemy and deliver a fallen race and rained world, carefully does the apostle remind our souls that all has been of grace. We have no claim, no desert; we stand by and to nothing, bat the Savior Who gave, not this or that merely, nor a thousand other things, however precious, which He indeed, and only could give, but that which is beyond all price, "Who gave Himself for us." God the Father had His blessed part in the inestimable gift. He knowing all gave Him, sent Him. And. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?
The effect too answers to the cause: there is no failure, nor can there be, in the result for those that believe. What was His aim? "That He might redeem (or ransom) us from all lawlessness, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works." Let us seek sedulously to make this good in our hearts, and to be a people for His own possession and delight (not " peculiar " in words or manner, habit or feeling), but for Him to have us as His own. It is wondrous that He should care to have us, or make much of such a possession. What joy to the heart that He values us I May we be encouraged for this the more to be zealous of good works, not benevolent only but honorable and comely, not of forms or ordinances like Jews, nor of false gods like Gentiles.
" These things speak, and exhort, and reprove, with all authority. Let no man despise thee " (ver. 15). Arduous is the work of the ministry. Speaking, and exhorting, and reproving, must all have their place in faithful service. And "all authority" is thoroughly consistent with all humility. Woe be to those who despise Christ in the least of the servants whom He sends!