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
You hear a lot of folk talking these days about God’s grace, but many are using that term rather loosely and with only a partial meaning to what it truly is, which then is leaving the masses with a faulty notion of what God’s grace truly is. For the way that the many are teaching God’s grace these days, it appears it is just the forgiveness of sins, the removal of punishment of sin, and the promise (guarantee) of eternal life when we die.
The word “grace” means “kindness, favor, a gift, leaning towards to share benefit, i.e. God freely extending himself (his favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people” (source: https://biblehub.com/greek/5485.htm).
So, what is that gift exactly? It is our salvation from sin, certainly. And what does that look like? Well Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) him. And the Scriptures teach that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.
They also teach us that Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our bodies. And it teaches us that when we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives that we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
And we are taught that, by God’s grace, and through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. Therefore, sin is to no longer reign in our mortal bodies to make us obey its passions, but we are to present our members to God as instruments for righteousness, for sin is to no longer have dominion over us.
And then we read that we are to no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) as we did before we believed in Jesus, giving ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. For that is not the way we should have learned Christ, IF we were taught the truth in him. And that truth is that we are “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Eph 4:17-24).
[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 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
And all this fits perfectly with this passage in Titus 2 which teaches us that God’s grace is training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to free us from the punishment of sin, but to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
The Free Gift
So, when you hear people speak of the “free gift” of God’s grace, it does not mean we are free now to live however we want and that we don’t have to do anything – no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to Christ as Lord. “Free” does not mean nothing is required of us. “Free” just means we did nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve it, and Jesus paid the price for our sins on that cross so we can be free of slavery to sin and free to walk now in holiness and righteousness in the power of God.
“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
So, let’s not pervert the grace of God by lessening it to only a half-truth, which if willful is a lie. God’s grace reminds us of our sinful condition and it persuades us to forsake our lives of sin to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. And it trains us to say ‘No’ to sin and ‘Yes’ to God and to live godly and holy lives pleasing to our Lord. For this is why Jesus died, to free us from our slavery to sin and to empower us to live righteously.
For, if we don’t, i.e. if all we do is make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ or pray a prayer to receive Christ, but we don’t deny self, and we don’t put off our old self, but we still give ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity, then the Bible teaches that we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. For not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of God the Father who is in heaven.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Worthy is the Lamb
By Darlene Zschech
Thank you for the cross Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace
Thank you for this love Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace
Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
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