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Titus 2:14 Zealous for ideal acts

13-07-2023 - Posted by Hans

… that He should be redeeming us from all lawlessness and be cleansing for Himself a people to be about Him, zealous for ideal acts.

That Christ gave Himself on our behalf is to be cleansing for Himself a people. He does this, as we saw before, by the water bath of his word. We do not cleanse ourselves, but Christ cleanses us when we as a people are gathered around Him (read: His word). Negatively, this means that He clears us of impurities in our thinking. And the positive purpose is to make us “zealous for ideal acts.” ‘Zealous’ is here singular and thus refers to the ‘people around Him’.

The word “zealous” (Gr. zelotes) comes from a verb meaning “boiling.” That can be both negative and positive. Negatively it is called “jealous” (Acts 7:9; 13:45) and in a positive context it is called “fervent” (Acts 18:25). Being zealous  is beautiful, provided, of course, in the good. For without understanding even zeal is useless (Rom.10:2; Prov.19:2).

The “ideal acts” here are subtly distinguished from “good act” as mentioned in 1:16. “Good” (Gr. agatos) refers to the salutary effect of an act, while “ideal (Gr. kalos) acts” are beautiful in themselves. Christ’s word makes us fervent from within so that we will adorn in everything the teaching of God our Savior!