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Titus 2:12 worldly desires versus sanity

26-06-2023 - Posted by Hans

… training us that, disowning irreverence and worldly desires, we should be living sanely and justly and devoutly in the current eon…

In contrast to the irreverence that characterizes the current eon, stands the righteous (read: faithful) and devout life that believers are allowed to live. The other contradiction is that of “worldly desires” and “sanity”. The word “worldly” or “worldly” is the adjectival form of “world” (kosmikos – kosmos) and occurs in Hebrews 9:1 as well as here. There the tabernacle is called a “worldly sanctuary”: a sanctuary as the world knows it, i.e. made with hands (Heb.9:11,24; Acts17:24). Titus 2:12 speaks of “worldly lusts,” which are the lusts by which the world is governed. It is not those desires themselves that are wrong by definition, but they are when one is guided by them.

Paul contrasts “worldly lusts” with sanity, a concept that we encounter for the sixth time in this letter. This prominent role that Paul assigns to sanity is explained against the decadent background of the Cretans who behaved like beasts (2:12). By the way, our ‘modern culture’ teaches that man is actually an ‘animal’, so that being guided by instincts and feelings is actually considered quite normal. But God’s grace trains us to live sanely!