"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14who 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."
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 takes care of all people by providing for them sunshine, rain, shelter, food, government, laws, general health, etc. Common grace extends to every human alive.
On the other hand, saving grace is that favor from God expressed upon those whom He has chosen. 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. Saving grace is based upon the love of God manifested in the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
Grace is not commodity or a substance. It is an action of God, therefore, it has a result. That is what is spoken of in v. 11, the grace of God that has appeared is the incarnation, the sacrifice, of Christ, the resurrection and the indwelling Spirit.
- The indwelling grace that results in salvation also actively instructs you to turn from worldliness in this present age.
- The Greek word for grace is charis. It means undeserved favor, good will, loving-kindness.
- Grace is a state of being for us, and action for God.
- We are under God's grace; He keeps us in grace.
- Grace is God's exertion of holy, merciful, and kind influence upon the souls of His people.
- The result is salvation. You have been turned by God to Christ, kept, strengthened, and caused to increase in the Christian faith. It works within you to develop your knowledge and holy virtues.
- How does grace instruct you?
- By the example of Christ and the Apostles as you observe them in the Word.
- Consider, for example as you reflect on the humility of Christ as He washed the feet of His disciples in John 13:1-17.
- Consider how Jesus forgave the prostitute who washed His feet with her tears in Luke 7:36-50.
- Consider also how Paul the apostle suffered shipwreck, imprisonment, and slander and in it all praised God.
- Grace also instructs you by the indwelling Spirit (1 John 2:27)
- "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit __ just as it has taught you, remain in him" (1 John 2:27).
- The Holy Spirit lives in you and convicts you of sin, reminds you of righteousness, and enables your fellowship with God.
- The Holy Spirit empowers you to be able live godly lives: "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being" (Eph. 3:16).
- It is this saving grace that continues to work in you to bring you to where God wants you to be.
- By the example of Christ and the Apostles as you observe them in the Word.
- You need this instruction by grace to survive spiritually in this present evil age.
- In the Bible there are two ages: This age and the age to come.
- 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.
- Some references that speak of this age are: "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields __ and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first" (Mark 10:29-31).
- Truly, this age is ungodly. Consider this:
- 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.)
- "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)
- "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.)
- 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.)
- On the other hand this saving grace continually works in you to instruct you to turn to Godliness.
- 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.
- " 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).
- Godliness is devotion to God and His will in heart, mind, and action and it is generated by an inner power.
- "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).
- In the last days, the Scripture says that people will have "a form of godliness but deny its power" (2 Tim. 3:5 ).
- Godliness comes by the power of God through the indwelling Spirit...and this by the saving grace of God that lives within you.
- This saving grace also teaches you to look forward to the appearance of Jesus.
- Verse 13 says, "while we wait for the blessed hope __ the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"
- Jesus appeared once long ago in the incarnation. He will come again and every eye will see Him.
- The cult evangelist 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.
- In the Greek it is the "appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."
- I think it is significant that in the Greek it says the appearing of the glory of our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
- The NIV says, "while we wait for the blessed hope __ the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," (Titus 2:13).
- What does it mean, "appearing of the glory."
- At Jesus'' first coming we see the manifestation of Grace. 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.
- "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen" (Rev. 1:7).
- "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:30).
- There are those who do not look forward to the return of Christ:
- The ungodly, the one who loves worldly desires
- The sinning Christian
- Do you look forward to the return of Christ?
- This indwelling grace that results in your salvation makes you zealous to do good works.
- This is because as it says in verse 14, Jesus gave Himself for us so that we might be purified and zealous to do good.
- THE CROSS - purifies you and the grace of God in you continues to purify you.
- The Holy Spirit lives in you and you have the very presence of God dwelling within you.
- With God living in you, you should become excited, filled with love, eager to please...zealous to please God, zealous to do good.
- To be zealous means "to be ardently devoted to a purpose," fervent, enthusiastic, even fanatic.
- 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 OK but to be so eager about it the way she was was cause to be treated.
- It's OK for sports fans to spend days in lines waiting for tickets. It's OK for them to scream at the top of their lungs for their team to make a touch down or run the bases. It's OK 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 OK if you want to live for Jesus.
- I know all kinds of Christians. Some eager to please God. Some not so eager.
- I remember when I first got saved, I was tricked into it,.....I couldn't stop doing good works. Talk about being eager to do good works....sheeesh!
- What are good works. What makes a work good? Philosophers have debated it. Movies have illustrated it. Poets have written about it.
- But only in the Bible is true goodness revealed.
- That which is good is centered on honoring God.
- The standard of goodness is found in the law of love: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And...love your neighbor as yourself. In this is all the Law and the prophets summarized.
- Are you eager to do good works?
God's indwelling grace is active. It leads you and influences you. It brings change to you and within you.
The grace that results in salvation should be continuing to have a profound affect upon your hearts:
While eagerly looking ahead to the return of Christ, you are to turn away from ungodliness, you are to turn to holiness, and you are to do good works. This is the result, the manifestation of saving grace.
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.