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 Isn’t
This subject of God’s grace is a controversial subject today with many people turning God’s grace into a license for immorality, for lasciviousness:
“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).
The sad reality of it all is that this represents the predominant teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the modern church of today in America. For they have altered the gospel message to make it more acceptable and appealing to the people of the world and to human flesh.
They are teaching God’s grace as though it is merely forgiveness of sins, no repentance required, and freedom from the punishment of sin, and a false hope of eternal life with God in heaven based on a lie. All they have to do is make a confession or a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and then they are congratulated that they are now part of God’s family with heaven secured.
They do not teach dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness as part of saving faith, and some people are even teaching against it, calling it “works-based salvation,” and discouraging their adherents from forsaking their sins, from obedience to Christ and to his commands, and from submitting to Christ as Lord of their lives.
The Grace of God Is
Now, the grace of God is his favor brought to humankind via Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yes, it is a free gift, but “free” doesn’t mean there are no requirements or that we do nothing. It just means that Jesus paid the price so that we could now be delivered from our slavery to sin so that we would no longer live under sin’s control, and so we would now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness and walk in purity of devotion to our Lord.
So, when we receive this “free” gift, what we are receiving is us dying with Christ to sin and us being raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We are receiving Jesus as Master of our lives, so our lives are now surrendered to him, and so we leave our lives of sin behind us and we now follow him in obedience.
We are receiving death to our old lives of living to sin and to self, but not just once, but daily, by the Spirit and in the strength of the Lord. And we are receiving freedom to walk in holiness and in obedience, and to putting on Christ and his righteousness daily, walking by the Spirit and no longer walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh.
We are receiving changed lives, transformed by the power of God’s Spirit in turning us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Ac 26:18; 1 Pet 2:24).
This is God’s free gift of grace to us. It comes from him. It is his gift to us. And it includes his empowerment to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God. For we can’t do this in our flesh. Our flesh is opposed to the Spirit so flesh can’t drive out flesh nor does it submit and yield to God’s Spirit. So there is no way this can be us trying to earn our own salvation.
He Gave Himself
Jesus Christ did not give himself up for us on that cross so that we could go on living in sin guilt free. He died to put sin to death in our lives. He died so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He did not die for our sins so we would now ignore him and his commands and continue to go our own way. That’s not love! He died to free us!!
Jesus gave himself up for us to redeem us from all lawlessness. Do you get what this is saying? We are not free from having to obey our Lord’s commands or his moral laws. We are not free to be lawless. We just don’t have to obey all those old liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, and purification laws that the Jews had to obey under the Old Covenant.
In God’s eyes, faith is still obedience and unbelief is still disobedience (1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13). For when Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) it was so we would now honor God with our bodies (with our lives), not so we would continue living in rebellion and in deliberate and habitual sin while claiming that God’s grace covers it all or that God can’t even see when we sin anymore. Poppycock!
God’s grace trains us to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to God daily, and he empowers us to do so, too, in his strength. And he teaches us to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return. He does not tell us we are now free to live however we want and that living for him in obedience is “works-based salvation.”
Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross to purify for himself a people for his own possession. And if we are his possession he owns us. He is now Lord and Master of our lives. We relinquish control over our own lives. For we are now his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10).
And Jesus gave himself up for us on that cross so we would now be his people who are zealous for good works. Did you hear that? He is not saying that we don’t have to do works or that no works are required. It is that the works are now the ones God prepared beforehand that we should walk (in conduct, in practice) in them, in his power and strength.
So, don’t buy into the lies which are telling you that God’s grace is just forgiveness of sins and a guarantee of heaven as your eternal destiny. His grace delivers us from our slavery to sin so we can now become slaves of his righteousness. We do not have the freedom to continue living in sin now that we are under grace. God forbid! So surrender your lives to Jesus today.
[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]
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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