Friday, November 21, 2014

Titus 2 Grace is God's Power for Godly Living



Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

As a grace preacher, Paul makes no apology for spelling out clearly the do's and don'ts of godly behavior for his readers:
  1. Older men (v.2): "be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness"
  2. Older women (v.3-5): "be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine... teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands"
  3. Younger men (v.6-8): "be self-controlled... be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned"
  4. Slaves/Employees (v.9-10): "be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith."
Whenever I hear grace being used to excuse or even affirm ungodly behaviour -- "Of course, I'm imperfect, that's why I need grace"--I cringe because the speaker has missed the whole point about grace. Some are even proud about their imperfection because they think it somehow magnifies grace. This attitude violates Paul's teaching on the purpose of grace as expressed in verses 11-12: "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age." The problem isn't grace--the problem is the wrong application of grace.

Paul's answer to those who boasts about their imperfections is: "Shall we sin that grace may abound?" Paul's letter to Titus should be read by everyone who thinks they magnify grace by affirming their ungodly behavior. Let's put a stop to this unbiblical nonsense.

Father, thank You that Your grace is given to save us from ungodliness and worldly passions so that we can live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the power of Your Spirit. Amen.

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