2:11-15 The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel, is for all ranks and conditions of men. It teaches to forsake sin; to have no more to do with it. An earthly, sensual conversation suits not a heavenly calling. It teaches to make conscience of that which is good. We must look to God in Christ, as the object of our hope and worship. A gospel conversation must be a godly conversation. See our duty in a very few words; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly, notwithstanding all snares, temptations, corrupt examples, ill usage, and what remains of sin in the believer's heart, with all their hinderances. It teaches to look for the glories of another world. At, and in, the glorious appearing of Christ, the blessed hope of Christians will be complete: To bring us to holiness and happiness was the end of Christ's death. Jesus Christ, that great God and our Saviour, who saves not only as God, much less as Man alone; but as God-man, two natures in one person. He loved us, and gave himself for us; and what can we do less than love and give up ourselves to him! Redemption from sin and sanctification of the nature go together, and make a peculiar people unto God, free from guilt and condemnation, and purified by the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is profitable. Here is what will furnish for all parts of duty, and the right discharge of them. Let us inquire whether our whole dependence is placed upon that grace which saves the lost, pardons the guilty, and sanctifies the unclean. And the further we are removed from boasting of fancied good works, or trusting in them, so that we glory in Christ alone, the more zealous shall we be to abound in real good works.
12. Teaching—Greek, "disciplining us." Grace exercises discipline, and is imparted in connection with disciplining chastisements (1Co 11:32; Heb 12:6, 7). The education which the Christian receives from "the grace" of God is a discipline often trying to flesh and blood: just as children need disciplining. The discipline which it exercises teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Greek, "age," or course of things) where such self-discipline is needed, seeing that its spirit is opposed to God (Tit 1:12, 16; 1Co 1:20; 3:18, 19): in the coming world we may gratify every desire without need of self-discipline, because all desires there will be conformable to the will of God.
that—Greek, "in order that"; the end of the "disciplining" is "in order that … we may live soberly," &c. This point is lost by the translation, "teaching us."
denying … lusts—(Lu 9:23). The Greek aorist expresses "denying once for all." We deny "worldly lusts" when we withhold our consent from them, when we refuse the delight which they suggest, and the act to which they solicit us, nay, tear them up by the roots out of our soul and mind [ST. Bernard, Sermon 11].
worldly lusts—The Greek article expresses, "the lusts of the world," "all worldly lusts" [Alford], (Ga 5:16; Eph 2:3; 1Jo 2:15-17; 5:19). The world (cosmos) will not come to an end when this present age (aeon) or course of things shall end.
live soberly, righteously, and godly—the positive side of the Christian character; as "denying … lusts" was the negative. "Soberly," that is, with self-restraint, in relation to one's self: "righteously" or justly, in relation to our neighbor; "godly" or piously, in relation to God (not merely amiably and justly, but something higher, godly, with love and reverence toward God). These three comprise our "disciplining" in faith and love, from which he passes to hope (Tit 2:13).