Teaching Us to Renounce Ungodliness

Instructions in Holy Living
A Summary of Titus 1:1-2:10

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect wrote a letter to Titus whereby he gave him several instructions, the first of which was to appoint elders in every town. And then he listed for him the spiritual qualifications for these elders. Some of those included living a life above reproach, not being arrogant or quick-tempered, or a drunkard or violent or greedy. But he must be self-controlled, upright, hospitable, holy and disciplined. And he must hold firm to the trustworthy word of God so he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine, etc.

He told him that he must teach what accords with sound doctrine. And then he gave him instructions in what should be the character traits and the behaviors of older and younger men and women, including instructions in how he should conduct himself. Some of those included being sober-minded, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness; to be reverent in behavior, pure, submissive, not slanderers; to teach what is good, to be a model of good works, and in your teaching to show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned. All good stuff!

Now, I know that these instructions in holy living were given to specific groups of people, but I see nothing in the ones I just listed here that should not apply to all of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For I believe most all of these (if not all) are also instructions given to the body of Christ as a whole, in the New Testament as a whole. Although we are not all called to be teachers, as our ministry, we all teach every day by our lives and by the things that we say (or don’t say). And we are all called to proclaim the excellencies of God who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.

God’s Grace Bringing Salvation
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.”

And here is the crux of the whole matter. The reason why we are being given all these instructions in holy living, and in the things that we are to do and not do, is because of God’s grace to us in sending Jesus Christ, God the Son, to die for us on that cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Jesus died, too, that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him, and that we might now honor God with our lives and with our bodies (2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

In other words, God’s grace is NOT free license to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against God. His grace freed us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we would now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. By faith in Jesus Christ 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 now sin is to have no more mastery over our lives. We are to let sin no longer reign in our lives to where we obey its lustful desires (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains (instructs, teaches) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts), and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And this is the essence of the gospel message that by faith in Jesus Christ we are to die with Christ to sin daily and we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to him and to his commands (New Covenant). We are to no longer walk in deliberate and habitual sin, but in righteousness and holiness, by the grace of God, and for the glory and praise of God.

Then, if this is how we live our lives on this earth, by God’s grace, and if we continue steadfast in those walks of faith and of dying to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, in obedience to Christ, then when Jesus returns for his bride we will go to be with him for eternity. And then our salvation will be complete and our marriage to Christ will be consummated. But if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, in stubbornness of heart and mind, then we do not have the hope of salvation from sin nor the promise of eternal life with God. Heaven will then not be our eternal destiny.

[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 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

I Can Only Imagine

Song by Bart Millard

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk by Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes would see
When Your face is before me

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees, will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine, yeah

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine, yeah

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