“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ …” (Titus 2:11-13)
In these words of Paul to one of his pastors he is giving us a wonderful theological description of Christmas. Paul writes of the appearing (epiphany) of the grace of God that brings salvation. That is what happened on that first Christmas Eve. He then writes of the glorious appearing (epiphany) of Jesus Christ in the Christmas that shall be. He also calls that epiphany “the blessed hope.”
Then he writes of a third epiphany that shows us the purpose of that first Christmas Eve. It also shows us our motivation for looking forward to the blessed hope of that epiphany to come. He is writing of the appearing (epiphany) of God right now to this present age through the righteous and godly living of people who believe in all three of these epiphanies.
He goes on to write of God’s purpose in all this by explaining that God wanted to redeem for Himself a unique people who would be His own peculiar – in the sense of unique – people in this world. This describes and summarizes the Christmas that was, that shall be, and that is right now.
The people who were involved in the Christmas that was were mostly holy and godly people. Paul is writing here that those who are involved in the Christmas that is right now are people who are living soberly, righteously and godly lives. Are you one of those peculiar people who are the epiphany that is? By faith you can be.