“For the grace of God that brings salvation has 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. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” Titus 2:11-15
When many people (even Bible teachers and preachers) talk about grace, it appears that they have an unbalanced approach to what grace really is. Most will immediately go to the Ephesians 2:8 verse, which says, “by grace are you saved through faith.” But they fail to realize that “Grace” is a Person. Please notice the opening part of the above quoted text: “For the grace of God…has appeared to all men.” God is a God of grace. 1 Peter 5:10 calls Him “the God of all grace.” So then, we could also say that God owns the corner on grace.
Ephesians 3:2 bears out that grace is dispensational (“If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God…”) Which means that it will run out one day soon. Grace is like the sand that is running through the hour-glass of time. It is flowing, but it is running out. Grace is also called a gift in Ephesians 3:7 which says, “…according to the gift of the grace of God…”
But make no mistake about it, the grace of God can be frustrated, received in vain, and abused. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God.” 2 Corinthians 6:1 says, “We then…beg you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.” And then we know from Romans that many were abusing (using) the grace of God as a license to sin…thinking that God’s grace would cover all their sinning.
They totally misunderstand what real grace is. Grace that forgives, but does not demand a change in conduct, makes God an accomplice to evil. And God will be no ones accomplice. He is Holy, Holy, Holy three times over. He is holy in His Spirit, He is holy in His soul, and He is holy in His body.
According to Jude v.4, there are “ungodly men who turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” So when a person uses God’s grace as a license to love their sin and commit their sins, then God sees them as an ungodly person. They have fallen from grace. Yes, people can fall from grace; Galatians 5:4 says they can. You can’t fall from something unless you first had it. These people had the grace of God, and they fell from it; because they attempted to use it to their personal advantage. These ones are so deluded. They actually think that they can live anyway they want and make it. They will not make it!!
It’s important that we realize that the Grace of God is a Person, and His name is Jesus Christ. Not only is He “full of grace” (John 1:14) – but He is grace incarnate. Grace is a Man. Now notice very carefully what this grace does. It teaches us. Isn’t that what the text says? Yes, it does. It says that “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us.” Now just what exactly is the grace of God teaching us? That “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Can you see that powerful truth? The grace of God (Christ) is teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and that we are to be living soberly (wide awake spiritually), righteously (not sinning), and godly (as He lived) in this present world.
1 Peter 2:21-22 says, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth.” Now please read those two verses one more time and see if you notice one of the most powerful truths in the New Testament. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example (now just WHAT example did He leave us?), that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin…” Do you see it? The example He left us, and the same steps we are to be following in, is to commit no sin, nor let any type of guile (any type of evil speaking, coarse conversation, deceit, lying, etc) be found in your mouth, or on your lips. This is the example He left us. To not sin. So..WWJD/WDJD (What Would Jesus Do/What Did Jesus Do)? He would not sin, and He did not sin!!! And this is the example He left us to follow. This is so powerful and life-changing. I only pray you can see the truth and walk in it. These are the steps we are to be walking in…Who committed no sin.
If we can see this truth and proclaim this truth to the Church, this will change everything. People need to know what the exact example Jesus left us is. And it is to commit no sin!!! He left us an example to not sin!!! Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! He reigns!!
So to tie these two passages together…the grace of God has appeared, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts (How?) by walking in His steps and following His example of (What?)…not committing sin. Wow, this is huge guys…HUGE!! What else can be said after that?
But notice in our opening text who is looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our Lord. It is those who are “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” and those who are living “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” If you’re not living godly and denying worldly lusts, passions of the flesh, and the entertainment of this world, then you’ll have no desire to even be looking for the Lord. A lot of folks’ “Lord” is this life, and they are serving many foreign gods (work, TV, books, children, spouses, money, sexual vices and perversions, sports, and a litany of other things); failing to remember God’s commandment of “You shall have no other gods before Me.” This has a two-fold meaning: You shall not have any other object of affection in the place of God; and you shall not have them before God…before His eyes.
When God comes to you, will you have to do what the Shulamite woman did in the Song of Solomon? The Lord came to her door and knocked, and she made excuses to not open immediately. In other words, she had to clean up and hide things so that He would not see them. Are you hiding things in your heart and mind that you don’t want the Lord to see? Dear child, He sees it all!! The Bible says that there is nothing hidden from His eyes. He sees all, and He knows all.
Jesus said in Luke 12:36, “And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when He will return from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks they may open to Him immediately.” Jesus is a gentleman. He will not force Himself upon you. He won’t even turn the doorknob…He just knocks. And if you can’t open it all up (your heart, your mind, and your living) to Him immediately, then when you do make it to the door…He’ll be gone. He will be gone. The sand will have run out, the clock will have struck midnight, and He’ll be gone…and you’ll be left quoting Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” The harvest of your soul came and went and you chose to remain. The summer of His love is over and you failed to fall in love, and you were not saved from the wrath to come.
Yesterday afternoon as we ministered to the women at the jail, I quoted that verse to them in tears, and they wept when I explained what it meant to them. What does it mean to you? Are these things precious to you really? Do you really love this Man with everything in you? If not, then Jesus Himself said that you were not worthy of Him, or of eternal life. What a statement for Him to make!! But He made the statement because His Father told Him to say it.
Now…back to our opening text: “Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” So then, why did He give Himself for us according to this exact text? “that He might redeem us from all iniquity” AND “purify unto Himself a peculiar people” – why? – so that we would be “zealous of good works.”
Are you zealous of good works? In other words, does your life revolve around Christ and His Word, and doing the works of the Father that He has commanded us to do. The only difference between the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 is what they did…and did not…DO!!
And our text today ended with, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” There are many people now preaching and teaching these truths about holiness, righteousness, and the wrath to come. Our voice is the least of them all that is proclaiming that without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. And we are exhorting you to live righteously in your body, soul, mind, and spirit, and sin not. The word “exhort” means to warn…and that is what I try and do each week with this briefing…is to warn you (as my friend Jeff always says) that God is not a doting grandfather sitting benignly in the heavens looking down through rose-colored glasses, giving smiling condolences to godless lifestyles, dooped by the deceptions of men, and overlooking sins, while He wiles away His time. He hates sin, He’s angry with those who sin, and He sent His only Son to die for sin.
And so we end this by “rebuking with all authority” those who are sinning. If you are living in sin in your mind, your body, your soul, or the words of your mouth, then know this…a fiery indignation, which will consume His adversaries, awaits you unless you repent of your uncleanness and forsake all known sin(s)(ing) and live upright before Him.
Only the overcomers will reign on high. I pray I see you there. The choice is yours alone. He has set before you life and death…therefore choose life.
John 5:14 “Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you.” Consider this verse in the light of what Christ has done for you who were sick, lame, unable to walk spiritually, and without any help from man. Christ singled you out of many, ministered to you, made you whole, and healed you spiritually. How dare we take this lightly, and just go on our little merry way…as most do.