The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

The True Grace of God

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 the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

The “grace that brings salvation” is the same grace of which Eph. 2:8-9 speaks.  It is that grace by which “you have been saved through faith.”

Notice that the grace that brings salvation “teaches us.”  Grace is not a covering for the sin of a person who continues in sin. It is not merely “undeserved favor.” Grace teaches those who are receiving it to change their behavior.

First, the grace that brings salvation teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.

Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal.5:24)

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Rom. 6:5-14)

Did you see that? Under the tutelage of grace, sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION over you! Why?—because grace teaches you to deny ungodliness! The person receiving grace is NOT serving sin!

Grace also teaches us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”

Can it be any clearer? Grace changes our behavior in the present age. Grace doesn’t simply impute Christ’s righteousness to our otherwise wicked lives; grace teaches US to live righteously now.

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself [now!], just as He is pure. (I John 3:2-3)

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. (I John 3:7-8)

John implies here that there are deceivers who would tell you that you can be righteous even though your life is characterized by sin. Many false teachers are teaching this very doctrine in pulpits across America today. John says, “Let no one deceive you”! Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

It is what we DO that shows whether we are a righteous person (child of God) or a wicked person (child of the devil.)

Because the “grace of God that brings salvation” teaches us, it presupposes that the one who receives the grace of God is teachable.  If a person is refusing to learn to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, or to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age, then he is not receiving the grace of God that brings salvation.  He is unsaved.

Does Jesus not say, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…”? The only Savior—and the only one who can give rest to your soul—says you must wear His yoke and learn from Him.

David wrote, “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation.” (Psa. 25:4-5)

God does not give grace to proud people who refuse to learn from Him, but to the humble who are willing to learn of Him.

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. (Prov. 3:34)

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble; therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:6-7)

Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed (not just from the penalty of sin, which is hell). His stated goal here was to purify for Himself His own special people zealous for good works.  This is why true saving grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live righteous lives in this age!

You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins [not in their sins, but from their sins.] (Matt. 1:21)

Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Rom. 6:6)

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Rom. 6:15­-22)

Notice from the underlined portions:

1. We are not to sin because we are under grace; sin leads to death.

2. Obedience leads to righteousness.

3. The Christian is set free from sin, and is a slave of God.

4. The end result of being a slave of God—rather than sin—is everlasting life.

Dear reader, is the grace of God that you are trusting in the same grace outlined here in these Scriptures?  Is it the grace of God that brings salvation?

See also The Real Good News

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