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What Every Christian Should Know About Grace – Titus 2:11-14

19 Sep

Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. {12} It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, {13} while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, {14} who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

As a Christian husband/father, I appreciate so much what’s occurring in the United States:
· advertising groups are producing catchy, appealing presentations teaching our children to ‘say no’ to drugs
· there are now bans on public smoking in most places because we’re finally admitting the harm done by secondary smoke
· there’s a constant public outcry against drunk driving and many groups are trying to enact stricter laws and pressure is being put upon the court system to see that the penalties are carried out

I thank God for the progress!…though it’s only treating the symptoms of the real problem: the worship of self.

But I’ve said that to make this statement to us today: we can’t expect society “to clean itself up.”

It is, however, a role the church ought to assume, though the method might be surprising:
· we’re to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world
· and those who become Christians must bring about dramatic lifestyle changes in their lives!

A simple question: is Christianity a “yes” religion or a “no” religion? What do I mean? Do you see the requirements put upon us by Christ as mainly negative or positive?

We say “YES:”
· to God and His authority
· to Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord of our life
· to the Bible as our only map to eternal life
· to the purpose of the church and the need to make it important in our families’ life
· to the responsibility we have as parents “to give our children back to God”

I hope we also realize that pleasing God involves both “yes” and “no.”

Matthew 12:43-45: “”When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. {44} Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. {45} Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and
live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.””

This side of grace is powerful beyond words:
· It appears to all men
· It brought the death of Christ 
· It makes those dead in sin alive in Christ.
· leads and guides us…it doesn’t throw us into confusion
· redeemed us from all wickedness
· purifies us as His people
· inspires us to the extent that we’re eager to do what’s good and right!

It teaches us what to avoid and what to follow! 

There is another side of grace, grace as it relates to the Christian, the “us” side of grace…it teaches us some truths we all need to learn:

1. GRACE TEACHES US TO LEAVE 
Jesus said, “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).

This is not some initial act once performed that should never be considered again. It is an ongoing act! 

We must constantly deny (say NO!) to “ungodliness and worldly lust” 
· Ungodliness is a lack of reverence for the spiritual and a lack of worship and devotion that results from not living like the Lord. 
· To deny ungodliness is to strive always to avoid that which pulls you away from God. 
· This demands ongoing evaluation. Worldly lusts are those desires which lead one further from the kingdom of God.

Salvation is not only a change of position as we’re set free from the slavery of sin…it’s also a change of attitude, ambition, and action.

And if God’s gift of grace doesn’t change us, and give us a different lifestyle, then something is eternally wrong!

Anything I do that Christ wouldn’t do…or anything I do which would bring reproach upon God and the church, I must say “NO!” to it!

1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. {17} And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the
one who does the will of God abides forever.”

2. GRACE TEACHES US TO LIVE
We must live “under control”…..it’s a way of life. This isn’t the idea of being “in control” but being “under control.” They key is a surrender or yielding to God in a dignified, reasonable way:

· God tell us that man cannot direct his own steps
· the key to winning is losing
· to way to be first is to be last
· the way to be great is to be least
· and if we think we can control our lives, the devil smiles in hell and God weeps in heaven!

Second, we must live righteously. This is a matter of our relationship with the Lord. It’s the concept of “clothing ourselves with Christ” We’re made righteous because of the constant cleansing in the blood of Christ.

We live according to a standard…and first and foremost, God wants us to know that that He sent us a man to follow.

Third, we are to be godly. 
The idea here is to include God in all our plans…God must not be the “third man out” with the Christian. We should have a reverence, respect, worship, and devotion that moves into daily life and causes us to live as the Lord wants us to live.

When we yield, study and follow God’s Word and God’s will, we become people-centered…which leads us to ask “what does God like?” (we answer that by looking at God incarnate):
· Jesus liked little children
· Jesus liked people who innocently and completely trusted in Him
· Jesus liked to forgive prostitutes and “sinners”
· JJesusIsLordofthisWebSiteesus liked to spend much time in small groups teaching and training people
· He loved His mother
· He was willing to die for His friends but also His enemies
· He was comfortable with His friends (He could tell Martha to get out of the kitchen and spend more time with people)
· He was involved and interested in people and spent little time worrying for material things or things which would bring Him comfort

Notice the text: we’re eager to do good!

  1. GRACE TEACHES US TO LOOK
    We look for Jesus’ return. This is our blessed hope, our fulfillment. It will be a glorious appearing. We will get to see Jesus, our great God and Savior. It is a shame that we have so preached on the second coming that even Christians do not look forward to it. We must remember who is coming. He is the One who redeemed us from the lawlessness of sin and purified us as
    His own special people. Our specialty is good works. When we live by grace, the world can see our specialty.
 
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Posted by on September 19, 2019 in Doctrine

 

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