The grace of God
Several passages in Scripture reveal the beauty of the gospel. One of them is Titus 2:11-14.
“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” (ESV).
Titus is an epistle written by the apostle Paul to an elder named—well, Titus. It’s one of the “pastoral epistles.” Like 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus has numerous instructions for how the local church should function. This includes the qualifications for being a pastor, the importance of sound theology, and how Christians should relate with one another.
Nestled towards the center of his letter, Paul shares these 4 verses. This week, I want us to see a grace that appears, a grace that trains, and a grace that waits.
In verse 11, we see a grace that appears. And how does this grace appear? Through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Now, the coming of God into our world is something we celebrate during Christmas. You know the verse which reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV).
But the appearance of grace is always worth celebrating. If you want to put a face on the grace of God, look to Christ.
Then, in verse 12, we see a grace that trains. And this almost sounds like a contradiction. How often is training graceful? Training is typically more strenuous than graceful. But the grace of God teaches us “… to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” The grace of God patiently teaches us to pursue Christ more fully.
When we experience the grace of God through salvation, it takes time to develop into who God desires us to be. In fact, it’s an ongoing process we call sanctification. But God never leaves us on our own. Each and every one of God’s people are being trained for godliness. The grace of God picks us up in our brokenness and teaches us how to walk.
Lastly, in verses 13 and 14, we see a grace that waits. There is hope beyond this world. There is coming a day when the grace of God will be revealed in the face of Christ a second time.
As we walk through this life, we long for something better. The grace of God produces hope in our hopelessness.
I’m reminded of the psalmist, who writes, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6 ESV).
I’m not sure what you’re going through today. It’s a time of suffering for a whole bunch of people. It might be a new year, but there’s still a virus. And it’s an easy time to be discouraged.
That’s why I want us to embrace the grace of God. The grace that rescues us from our sin and shame. The grace that goes with us along the way. And the grace that gives us great hope.
Have you experienced the grace of God? If not, I pray you do today.