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.”
What is God’s grace to us? Basically we come into this world as sinners, and we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval in and of ourselves. Not one of us can be righteous or acceptable to God in our own merit, according to our own good works done in the flesh. Our own good works will never outweigh our bad deeds.
So, God the Father sent Jesus Christ (God the Son) to the earth to be born as a baby to a human mother but conceived of the Holy Spirit. He grew to manhood and at age 30 he began his earthly ministry. While he lived on the earth he was both fully God and fully man. He healed the sick and afflicted, he raised the dead, delivered people from demons, and he fed the hungry.
He also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. He said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and daily take up his cross (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) Him. For, if we hold on to our old lives, we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die to sin) for Jesus’ name, we have eternal life.
At around the age of 33 Jesus’ enemies, who were the rulers in the temple of God, had him crucified on a cross, although he had done no wrong, because they hated him. They hated the things that he did and that he said and the fact that he claimed to be God. But they were also jealous of him and his temporary popularity among the people.
But this was all in God’s plan for our redemption. Jesus’ blood was shed for us on that cross to buy us back for God so we would now honor God with our bodies (with our lives). He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.
So, by faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was put to death with Christ so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin and under its control, but now we would be slaves to God and to his righteousness.
So, now we are to walk no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. We are to find out what pleases our Lord and do it. We are not to be hearers only of the word but doers. For, if we walk according to the flesh, and we make sin our practice, and righteousness is not what we practice, then we don’t have eternal life with God, no matter what we profess.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
What is our salvation? It is the things discussed in the section above. It is deliverance from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and it is being born spiritually of the Spirit of God into the family of God. And it is empowerment of God to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God, and for the praise and glory of God. And it is forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life.
It is not just forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven as our eternal destiny with no requirements of us to turn from our sins to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways. For, Jesus died on that cross to transform us and to conform us to his likeness, and to make us holy vessels, set apart for God and from the world, to be used of God for his purposes and glory.
Jesus taught that following him meant forsaking our former lives and going with him wherever he leads us. He made it clear that if we did not leave all to follow him that we were not worthy of him. We can’t look back. We can’t go back to where we were before. We are on a new journey with Jesus Christ in the new lives he has given to us, for his praise.
Also, our salvation from sin is not a one-time event which takes place in our lives which secures us heaven regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. Our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns and he takes us to be with him for eternity. In the meanwhile, we must surrender our lives to him and walk in obedience to his commands and remain in him forever.
So, if after we receive the knowledge of the truth and we make a confession of Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, we return to a life of sin, making sin our practice, we will not have eternal life with God but we will die in our sins. You can read all about it in the verses referenced in the section above. So, our salvation is conditional upon our walks of obedience to our Lord.
For, God’s grace to us is not carte blanche (free license) to continue living in sin, engaging ourselves in sinful practices deliberately and habitually. His grace, which brings us salvation, trains us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts). By God’s grace, and in his strength and power, we can say “No!” to sin. This is what his grace is all about!
And by God’s grace, and in his strength and power, you can live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life while you await our Lord’s soon return. It is possible. It isn’t something to wait for in the future. You can do it now! You just have to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and obey him and his commands (New Covenant) and stop resisting the Lord.
For, Jesus Christ gave himself up for us on that cross to redeem us from all lawlessness (sin) and to purify for himself a people for his own possession (he is our master) who are zealous for “good works,” which are the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them. We are saved to do the works God prepared for us to do (Eph 2:10; Php 2:12-13).
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope