Titus 2:11-14 ESV
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
The Grace of God
What is God’s grace? It is his gift to us, his favor to us, and his kindness towards us. It comes from God and not from ourselves. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve it. It is God giving us a benefit, a blessing, that we would not otherwise have.
But what is this blessing exactly? It is his forgiveness of our sins. It is salvation from sin. It is freedom from eternal punishment (damnation, condemnation) of sin, and it is the promise of eternal life with God. But is that all? NO!
It is the faith to believe in Him for salvation. It is the desire and the ability for us to repent of our sins, and it is deliverance from our slavery to sin via dying with Christ to sin and being reborn of the Spirit of God. So, it is new life in Jesus, too, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. So, it is also the empowerment of the Spirit to live godly and holy lives.
[Eph 2:8-10; Tit 2:11-14; Acts 5:31; 2 Tim 2:25; Rom 2:4; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9]
So, how do we receive this gift? By faith, which is a gift from God, too, which is divine persuasion as to his will for our lives. So, if from God, and if we are persuaded of God as to his will, then by faith we will submit to his purposes, we will repent of our sins, and we will follow him in obedience. If we do not, then that “faith” is not of God, but of self (of the flesh).
Many people today are teaching a false (cheap) grace which is of the flesh of man, not of God, for it does not submit to God, repent of sin, or follow the Lord in obedience. In fact, it believes it doesn’t have to.
But God’s grace, his gift to us, instructs (trains) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And God is not going to instruct us to do something against his will or without empowering us to do it.
So, this totally contradicts this cheap grace that is being taught today which says we don’t have to repent (leave our sins), we don’t have to obey the Lord, and we don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, or which teaches that our sins no longer matter to God.
Too many people are finding ways around the truths of Scripture by pulling Scriptures out of context to build their doctrines on and by ignoring the bulk of the rest of Scriptures on obedience, submission, and holy living. Or they find ways to excuse those away, too.
But the Scriptures are clear. Jesus died on that cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His blood bought us back for God, so we now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).
And Jesus’ death on that cross paid for our sins so that we could be delivered from our bondage to sin, not so we would continue to live in sin guilt-free. And he provided the way of escape from temptation to sin, too. Everyone just has to take the way out he provided and stop making excuses for why they are continuing to live in sin, some of them for many years.
I am convinced, based on the teachings of Scripture, that those who are claiming some “addiction” to sin, and who are hanging on to that status for many years, still “struggling” (giving in regularly) to their sin (idol) of choice are still addicted to sin by choice because they refuse to take the way out which Jesus provided, because they want to hold on to their sin.
To Purify Us
But living in addiction is not of God, but it is of the flesh of man. For the Word teaches us that if we walk (in conduct, in practice, in addiction) according to the flesh (in sin), we will die in our sins. But if we walk (in practice) according to the Spirit, by the Spirit, then we have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
For Jesus didn’t give his life up for us on that cross merely to forgive us our sins so we could escape hell and so we could go to heaven when we die. He gave his life for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives, and to free us from our addiction to sin. And he gave himself up for us on that cross to deliver us from all lawlessness, not so we would become lawless under the guise of his grace.
And he died for us on that cross so that he might purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. He died to make us holy, righteous, pure, honest, trustworthy, faithful, moral, and upright. So, if this is how we live, it is not us trying to earn our own salvation.
We are to be his own possession, meaning he now owns us, and he is master of our lives, and he is the one in control over our lives, not ourselves, and not Satan, and not sin. So, this means we surrender our lives to him, and we submit our lives to his will.
And he saved us for good works. The good works are not our own, and they are not of the flesh trying to earn our salvation, but they are the works of the Spirit which God prepared in advance for us that we should walk (in conduct, in practice) in them (cf. Eph 2:10).
Thus, it is God’s will that by faith in him we should submit to him as Lord, walk in obedience to his commands, and leave our lifestyles of sin behind us. We are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but now we are to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.
An Original Work / January 10, 2012
Fellowshipping with my Lord, Savior, King.
He is Lord of all; Lord of ev’rything.
He is with me through ev’ry hour of day,
List’ning to me speak, as I humbly pray.
He cares for my needs,
and He intercedes for me,
‘cause He loves me in ev’ry way.
Obey His commands and do all He says.
Sitting at His feet, daily in His word,
Let His word speak to me in ev’ry way,
Giving comfort and healing through each day.
Oh, how Jesus loves,
And He cares for you,
Which is why He died for our sins, in truth.
Love our Lord God, Savior, and King of kings.
Worship Him in truth, for He reigns supreme.
He created us with a plan in mind
For us to be His servants, and Him mind.
Follow Him in truth;
Go where’er He leads.
Share His love with others, and their needs meet.
Others: their needs meet.