ARE YOU TAUGHT BY GRACE?
1. Titus 2:11-13, from the Amplified Version of the New Testament, reads as follows:
A. "For the grace of God--His unmerited favor and blessing -- has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. "It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually-whole) lives in this present world. "Awaiting and looking for the (fulfillment, the realization of our) blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One."
2. As is noted in this translation, the grace of God is the unmerited, undeserved, favor of God.
3. The greatest manifestations of this favor are, the life and death of Jesus for our sins, and the Bible, which tells us all we know about God, and all we need to know about God.
A. This grace-given Bible also tells us of the work of Jesus in our behalf and His message of love.
1) This message of love tells us how to be saved and how saved people ought to live in order to show their love for God.
I. GRACE TEACHES US WHAT WE HAVE DENIED AND RENOUNCED IF WE ARE TRULY CHRISTIANS.
A. The word "denying" as is used in most major versions of the Bible, in Titus 2:12, is actually an aorist participle in the Greek.
1. So, it should read, "having denied" or "having renounced."
2. This aorist tense suggests that this denial is a "once for all" thing: that we never intend to practice such things again as long as we live.
B. First, we have denied "ungodliness".
1. This word suggests impiety, irreverence and disrespect for God.
a. Since this attitude is manifested in general disobedience to God, the word is used for such sins as make us unlike God.
b. And since people refuse to follow the example of Jesus, 1 Pet. 2:21, they are ungodly. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, Matt. 1:23.
C. Next, we have renounced "worldly lusts".
1. Our English word "lust" is used almost always to mean "evil desire," but the word Paul used here can mean simple desire.
a. So, he used the word "worldly" to indicate that the desires we have renounced are evil.
2. These worldly lusts are the spring out of which flow all filthy, foolish conversation and evil deeds.
a. Solomon says: "Guard thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Prov. 4:23.
3. This renounciation of ungodliness and worldly lusts is what Paul calls "death to sin" in Rom. 6.
a. There he tells us that when we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into death to sin.
1) This means that our relationship to sin was terminated in baptism.
2) And since we have died to sin, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal body to obey its lusts.
3) Neither are we to keep on presenting our members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness but we are "once for all" to present our members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Rom. 6:11-13.
b. In Col. 3:9,10, Paul speaks of this: "Ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."
II. GRACE TEACHES US SOBRIETY.
A. This word "soberly" comes from a Greek word which "suggests the exercise of that restraint that governs all passions and desires, enabling the believer to be conformed to the mind of Christ." ---Vine.
1. As Paul wrote in Phil. 2:5, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
B. In this word "soberly", grace teaches us that we are to continue to deny ourselves ungodliness and worldly lusts.
1. We are to love the things Jesus loved and hate the things He hated.
2. We are to "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world", 1 Jno. 2:15.
3. We are to love God with our whole heart and mind and strength, and then love our fellow-man as we love ourselves.
a. If we love God, we will obey Him, 1 Jno. 5:3; if we love our neighbor, we will do him no ill, but rather serve him, Rom. 13;10; Lk. 10:30-37.
III. GRACE TEACHES US TO LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY.
A. When "righteously" and "godly" are used together, the word "righteously" has reference to our treatment of our fellowman and the word "godly" has reference to our treatment of God.
1. Read what Paul says in: Rom. 12:10-18; 14:13.
2. To the Ephesians, Paul gave instructions on righteous living. Eph. 4:25-32.
IV. GRACE TEACHES US GODLINESS.
A. Godliness is "Godlikeness".
1. This word suggests that we be truly pious and reverent in our worship and communion with God.
a. The Psalmist said: "Holy and reverend is his name." Psa. 111:9, and we must recognize and remember our sinfulness in contrast with His perfect holiness and come into His presence with the deepest respect, humility and reverence.
1) Sometimes during the course of worship I look out over the audience and see a lot of disrespect going on.
V. GRACE TEACHES US TO LOOK FOR THE COMING OF JESUS.
A. Read Titus 2:13.
B. Since we know not the day of His coming to end all things, nor the day He is coming for us individually, in our death, it behoves us us to be ready at all times to meet Him. Heb. 9:27.
1. Paul says we have turned unto God to "wait for his Son from heaven." 1 Thes. 1:9,10.
2. But we cannot be said to be waiting until we are ready for His coming.
a. One is not said to be waiting for a bus unless he is at the bus stop.
3. But if we do not live soberly, righteously, and godly, we are not ready for His coming, and we cannot say we are "waiting for the Lord" to come for us to take us home with Him, can we?
1. Yes, the grace of God teaches us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. 2 Pet. 1:2-4.
2. In order to reap the salvation that comes by grace we must learn and learn well from this teaching.
3. And what we learn by His grace, we must put into practice. This is hearing and doing. Matt. 7:24-27; Jas. 1:22-25.
by Jim Sasser
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