The Grace of God

Titus 2:11-14:

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the 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 wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14 NIV)
Church As we take communion we are celebrating Gods grace.
You see, it is grace that is remembered and proclaimed in the Lord’s Supper.
The passage that I have read out from Titus reveals the grace of God as being the source of salvation: (vs 11) “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”. At the heart of the Christian message lies salvation, and at the heart of salvation lies grace.

Grace, of course, is for sinners. It’s important to keep that in mind. There was nothing attractive to me about Christianity until I realised that I was a sinner and that I needed God’s grace. If you asked me (or the people that knew me) to describe Gary Hoban they would have told you that I was a “good person”. It didn’t matter that I lied, drank too much, cheated, used drugs, been disobedient, refused to do the things I knew were right and embraced the things I knew were wrong. I believed the popular misconception that if someone has reasonably high moral standards, is friendly and helpful, a loving family member, and if they were trying really hard, then they were a good person. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that everyone has “sinned and falls short of the glory of God”.

It was when I realised that I had sinned against God that I saw the relevance of Christianity. According to the Bible, by refusing to live the way God wants in just one area of our lives, we have given God who we know is perfect no alternative but to punish us for our sins. He does this first by not allowing us relationship with Him while we are on Earth, and ultimately by pouring out His wrath on us forever in Hell. That is what we deserve because we have sinned.

The power of the Christian message is salvation, and salvation comes by God’s grace. We need Gods grace, but not everyone is able to receive it. James 4:6 says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

God’s grace is for those who can say, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). God’s grace is for those who can say, “Father, forgive me. I know I am a proud, no-good, sinner who needs Christ.” It is by grace alone that we are saved from our sin, and from the wrath of God upon that sin.

Paul writes to Titus that this “grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” It has manifested or shown itself. How has it done this? It has appeared through My Lord Jesus. Paul is not just talking about the birth of Christ, but His entire earthly ministry. That grace was especially shown in Christ’s death. Paul wrote that Christ “gave himself for us”.

Jesus took our place on the cross. He suffered the wrath of God we would have otherwise rightfully suffered. Laid on Him was the guilt of our sins. His physical body was punished for sins that we have committed, and if we have the faith to live with Him as our Lord we no longer have to be punished.

The passage in Titus tells us that not only does grace lead to salvation but it also says in vs 12 “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age”

The grace of God instructs us for living. What does God’s grace teach us about our way of life? I think It teaches us two things: to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to say “Yes” to living “self-controlled, upright and godly lives”

These two responses to God’s grace are together known as repentance. Do you notice how in this verse Paul uses the word “teaches”? He doesn’t use the word “taught”. I believe (and this is a bit of Gary Hoban here so feel free to correct me later) that the word “teaches” here suggests a continual ongoing process. Everyday God’s grace is teaching how to live lives that please Him. Paul calls this “dying daily”. This is a daily decision not a one off one. Of course, by ourselves this repentance is simply impossible; it is totally beyond us. Only God’s grace, only His life-giving Spirit, can make this possible. Jesus said in John 15:5 “apart from me you can do nothing”.

Church, we are very privileged. Ours is the “grace of God that brings salvation” and teaches us repentance. There is one final thing I would like to share before we examine ourselves and take the emblems. The passage I read out from Titus says that we are to live “Godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, and eager to do what is good.”

Jesus is coming back again. He is coming back for those he died to save.
At the cross, God in His sovereignty and grace had in His mind our immediate neediness and our Glorious future with Him.

As we celebrate the Lord’s Supper today, we are reminded not only of God’s grace shown through the sacrifice of Christ but also of our future hope.

When he spoke about communion Paul says in 1 Cor 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

As we eat and drink from the Lord’s Table lets remember what this grace that brings us salvation cost Jesus, and lets also remember the blessed hope that we have in His return, and allow those things to motivate us as we examine our hearts. If God is telling you to stop doing something Stop doing it, or if He is saying to do something Do it. Now is a God time, so recommit yourself to what God wants you to do.

Let us pray