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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Titus 2 : 1-15

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…” -Titus 2:11

“The grace of God,” is a key expression of Paul in his teachings. We cannot think of Christian salvation apart from the grace of God! In today’s reading, Paul explains how the grace of God works in our lives- an important concept to understand and live by, to experience a close relationship with God and consistent victory over sin. Christian truth and conduct are founded on God’s grace.

God’s grace-His unmerited favor showered blessing on us when we only deserved His judgment and wrath. The world works on the merit system: if you do well in academics, sports, you get good grades, awards and applause. If you do an untidy work you will be fired. When try to understand God’s grace as His unmerited favor, it doesn’t mean that it’s a free pass to sin, with no consequences for disobedience and a permit for sloppy living. It doesn’t mean, you have to add your works to what Christ did on the cross, to go to heaven to be rewarded. Our text corrects both these misconceptions of God’s grace. Paul shows that… God’s grace first saves and then trains His people for godliness and good deeds (Titus 2:14).

The word “for” that starts Titus 2:11 links what he has said in Titus 2:1-10—that all groups of believers should display godliness and good deeds so as to attract others to the Saviour.  At the heart of everything is the crucial concept of God’s grace which:

1.  Brings salvation to all people (2:11)

When Paul writes, “For the grace of God has appeared” he points us to the embodiment of grace in the person of Jesus Christ, who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  It doesn’t negate God’s grace in the Old Testament. John 1:17 states God’s continual work in history which culminated in Christ: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” The coming of Jesus Christ was the light of the grace of God’s salvation that dawned upon our sin-darkened world.  The appearance of God’s grace in Jesus Christ brought “salvation to all men.” The mention of the various groups in the context (Titus 2:1-10) means all types of people, including those whom the world despises, even slaves—no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace!

To appreciate God’s grace, understand we were once under God’s wrath headed for eternal judgment until someone intervened. Spurgeon rightly said, “you know that the rope is around your neck. God’s grace cuts the rope, even though you are guilty as charged and deserve to die.” 

2.  Trains us in godliness (Titus 2:12-14)
Training/instructing is like “child-training.” God’s grace in us is a process that begins at salvation and continues until we stand before the Lord.  It does not mean, to live as you please rather grace trains, teaches, corrects, disciplines and instructs us in godly living. Paul mentions three ways that grace trains us:
To Deny ungodliness and worldly desires (2:12)
To Live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age (2:12)
To Live in godliness by looking ahead and behind (2:13-14) – looking ahead to the second coming of Christ and behind to the cross and its implications on our lives.

3.  Trains us to be zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:2:14b).
“Good deeds” refer to deeds done out of sincere love for God and others in obedience to His Word. Connect the word “zealous” with Paul’s fanatical zeal for Judaism prior to his conversion (Gal. 1:14). Understanding that we have been bought from the slave market of sin with the blood of our Saviour, we should be fanatics for good deeds, being totally devoted to serving our new Master.

That’s how God’s grace works: it saves, trains, motivates us to be godly people in this present age, zealous for good deeds, as we look for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us.

Quote for the day:

“Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.

It's a way to live. The law tells me how crooked I am.

Grace comes along and straightens me out.”     
-D L. Moody

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