Sunday, July 1, 2018

God’s Grace Teaches

Gordon Crook

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14

God’s grace is not just some idea or some philosophy. It is the reality of God reaching out to fallen man. It is the expression of God’s love manifested in His Son Jesus Christ. God didn’t just talk about mercy and grace, He demonstrated to us through Jesus. In the Old Testament, God lays out His plan for reaching out to us, and of providing for our need.

God’s grace brings unto us the free gift of salvation that makes us righteous in His sight. In Romans we learn that none was able to make themselves right with God, and none could stand in God’s presence for all were sinners. We needed a substitute to take our deserved punishment so God’s righteousness could be satisfied. And so, God’s grace appeared in the form of Jesus Christ. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Many think that teaching grace is bad because it gives place for people to live their lives any way they please. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s grace teaches us something very different. Thinking that grace teaches licentious living is a result of a reprobate mind that has not understood the truth of God’s Word. A true revelation of God’s grace will humble us before God. Licentious living is a result of man’s pride leading him to ignore God’s grace.

The result of God’s grace is a new life; the life of Jesus, in us. It brings change and renewal. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

That new life is pleasing to God, not me trying to please myself (licentious living), or even me trying to please God. It is me yielding to the life of Christ that is now in me.

God’s grace compels us. It draws us, and it moves us to be pleasing unto Him. This is a result of a revelation of our complete lack of ability and goodness without Jesus.

What does God’s grace teach us? What are we learning? To live soberly (sound in mind); we are not fooled by the enemy to follow the world. We live righteously and godly; our lives reflect the life of Christ as we go through this world. Our revelation of the grace of God causes us to want to share it with others.

The key is found in verse 13. We are looking for something. God’s grace gives us the right, ability and desire to look forward to something that supersedes this world and its desires. We are not truly of this world, and are not stuck in this evil world. We have a marvelous hope of the coming of our Lord that we might be where He is. John 14.

The grace of God has appeared in the form of Jesus, and there is yet another appearance that brings us to the peak of God’s grace. It is a happy hope and is glorious beyond our understanding. That hope keeps us looking for Jesus. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Philippians 3:20. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2Timothy 4:8

Those that have had a revelation of God’s grace, are loving and longing for the coming of Jesus.

God had a purpose in sending His Son to bring us salvation through His sacrifice. He was purchasing (redeeming) us for His special purpose. We are a peculiar (special) people.

The ‘good works’ come as a result of God’s action of grace. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. As those that have been purchased by a price; the precious blood of Jesus, we are equipped to live godly lives that are pleasing to Him who paid the price for us. What have you learned from God’s grace?