Titus 2:11-14, The results of God's saving grace

by Matt Slick
12/1/1997

 

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds," (Titus 2:11-14).

In theological terms there are two types of grace: common grace and saving grace. Common grace is the favor that God gives to all people. Generally, it is manifested in the way God provides sunshine, rain, shelter, food, government, laws, general health, etc. Common grace extends to every person.

On the other hand, saving grace is that favor from God expressed upon those whom He has chosen for salvation. This expression of grace results in salvation; hence we have such verses as Ephesians 1:11, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."

We, the chosen, have had the blessing of saving grace bestowed on us in abundance. But this grace is not a substance.  It is not a thing that can be transfered, bestowed, or earned. Grace is not commodity or a substance that can be infused, lost, and regained.

  1. The grace of God, which is God's work in you, helps you to turn from worldliness.
    1. The Greek word for grace is charis. It means undeserved favor, good will, loving-kindness.wow
      1. We are under God's grace because of the love of God that has manifested in the cross of Christ.
    2. You have been turned by God to Christ (John 6:65), kept, strengthened, and caused to increase in the Christian faith.
    3. How does God's graciousness instruct you?
      1. By the example of Christ and the Apostles as you observe them in the Word of God.
        1. Consider, for example as you reflect on the humility of Christ as He washed the feet of His disciples in John 13:1-17.
        2. Consider how Jesus forgave the prostitute who washed His feet with her tears in Luke 7:36-50.
        3. Consider also how Paul the apostle suffered shipwreck, imprisonment, and slander and in it all, he praised God.
      2. God's graciousness to you, works with the indwelling of God's Spirit (1 John 2:27)
        1. "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him," (1 John 2:27).
        2. The Holy Spirit lives in you and convicts you of sin, reminds you of righteousness, and enables your fellowship with God (1 John 1:9).
        3. The Holy Spirit empowers you to be able live godly lives: "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man," (Eph. 3:16).
    4. You need God's grace to survive spiritually in this present evil age.
      1. In the Bible there are two ages: This age and the age to come.
      2. The Bible says that in this age we have the influence of sin and the promise of persecution as we work to fight against the evil one as he works in this world.
      3. Some references that speak of this age are: "Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first,”" (Mark 10:29-31).
      4. It is true that this age is ungodly. Consider this:
        1. Don Feder a Conservative Columnist states that within some schools readers from grades one to six are being exposed to books that "promote the New Age and the occult; a controversial drug education program called ''Quest,'' which tells students that they alone can decide whether or not it's OK to use drugs: as well as texts that direct students to fantasize about suicide, attack religion and undermine family authority." (Don Feder, Conservative Chronicle, In fighting censorship, PAW does it its way. Sept 22, 1993, Vol. 8 #33.)
        2. "Lee Rainwater, a Harvard sociologist emeritus, testifying to the Finance Committee...foresees 40% of all American births...out of wedlock by the turn of the century" (George F. Will, Conservative Chronicle, Illegitimacy approaches crisis proportions. Oct. 31)
        3. "According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, the average TV watcher sees 14,000 references to sex in the course of one year (and they are not uplifting references). The average child watches 8,000 murders and 100,00 acts of violence by the end of elementary school." (Mona Charen, Conservative Chronicle, Are Americans really religious? Vol. 9 #16, April 20, 1994.)
        4. The New York Times has stated that the "religious right confronts us with a threat far greater than the old threat of communism." (Joseph Sobran, Conservative Chronicle, Liberals are worried about the religious right. Sept. 15th, 1993.)
  2. On the other hand God's grace continually works upon you to move you to turn to godliness.
    1. The Greek word for ''godliness'' is eusebeia. It is used frequently in the Pastoral Epistles. In general it means piety, reverence, whether towards men or God.
    2. "Godliness is more than Christian character. It covers the totality of the Christian life and provides the foundation upon which Christian character is built." (Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 1983, p. 12).
    3. Godliness is devotion to God and His will in heart, mind, and action and it is generated by an inner power.
      1. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Pet. 1:3).
      2. In the last days, the Scripture says that people will have "a form of godliness but deny its power" (2 Tim. 3:5 ).
    4. Godliness comes by the power of God through the indwelling Spirit.
  3. This saving grace also teaches you to look forward to the appearance of Jesus.
    1. Titus 2:13 says, "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,"
    2. Jesus appeared once long ago in the incarnation. He will come again and every eye will see Him.
      1. The apologist in me can't help but focus on this text here in Titus 2:13 a bit. It is definitely a text that proves the deity of Christ because it speaks of one appearing. It isn't the appearing of God and the appearing of Jesus; that is, one appearing for each. It is one appearing for Jesus, the great God and Savior.
    3. In the Greek it is the "appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."
      1. What does it mean, "appearing of the glory."
      2. At Jesus'' first coming we see the manifestation of God's grace to save. At the second coming we see the manifestation of glory. He will, upon His return, manifest Himself not only as the returning Savior, but also as God the Judge.
        1. "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen," (Rev. 1:7).
        1. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory," (Matt. 24:30).
    4. There are those who do not look forward to the return of Christ:
      1. The ungodly, the one who loves worldly desires
      2. The sinning Christian
    5. Do you look forward to the return of Christ?
  4. The continued graciousness of God moves you to do good works.
    1. This is because as it says in verse 14 (Titus 2:14), Jesus gave Himself for us so that we might be purified and zealous to do good.
    2. THE CROSS - purifies you and the grace of God continues to purify you.
    3. The Holy Spirit lives in you and you have the very presence of God dwelling within you.
      1. With God living in you, you should become excited, filled with love, eager to please...zealous to do good.
      2. To be zealous means "to be ardently devoted to a purpose," fervent, enthusiastic, even fanatic.
      3. While I was counseling a Christian couple I was told by one of them who had been seeing a psychiatrist that the psychiatrist wanted to give her some drugs to calm her down because she had an abnormal fanaticism upon Jesus. Religion was okay, but to be so eager about it the way she was was cause to be treated.
      4. It's okay for sports fans to spend days in lines waiting for tickets. It's okay for them to scream at the top of their lungs for their team to make a touch down or run the bases. It's okay to be fanatical if it is for women's rights, to be pro-abortion, to shout and scream at political conventions. But it isn't okay if you want to live for Jesus.
      5. I know all kinds of Christians. Some eager to please God. Some not so eager.
    4. I remember when I first got saved, I was tricked into it (short story of it).....I couldn't stop doing good works. I couldn't stop talking about Jesus.
    5. What are good works. What makes a work good? Philosophers have debated it. Movies have illustrated it. Poets have written about it.
    6. But only in the Bible is true goodness revealed.
      1. That which is good is centered on honoring God, through Jesus.
      2. The standard of goodness is found in the law of love: Matt. 22:37, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’." And...Matt. 22:39, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
    7. Are you eager to do good works, works that are loving, works that are because of the work of Christ on the cross??

Conclusion

God's grace is active. He does not sit idly by and leave you without guidance or conviction.  The grace of God that results in salvation should be continuing to have a profound affect upon your hearts:

Titus 2:13, "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,"  

Take account in your life, in your mind, in your heart, and see if you find the results of saving grace. Examine yourself to see if you are eager to do good, if you look forward to the return of Christ, if you avoid the sin of this present evil age.  Seek Him because He has bought you with His blood (Acts 20:28).  You are not your own.  Live God's love by honoring Him and helping your neighbor.

 

 

 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.