The Education of Grace, Part 1
Scripture: Titus 2:11–2:14
The Education of Grace
Text: Titus 2:11-14
“The passage thus forms the basis for the preceding instruction on Christian living by reminding the readers that the purpose of God’s saving intervention in the world in the self-giving of Christ was to deliver people from evil behavior and make them into a community characterized by good works; God’s grace has an educative transforming effect on people which enables them to turn away from godlessness, to live lives of positive goodness, and to look forward to the final revelation of God’s glory in which they will share. Consequently, it is appropriate that they should accept the instructions given to them as part of the educative process in which they have been enrolled,” (I.H. Marshall, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 263).
To godliness, which is great gain,
Promise is said to appertain:
But know, lest you the gospel mar,
In whom it is we godly are. Ralph Erskine
I. The Grace of God Saves. v. 11
“If these fires do not stir you, you are colder than cold,” (Martin Luther, LW, vol. 29, 65).
“…the believer is delivered from the power of the law, and the power of sin too; having cast off the law as a covenant, and finding nothing to satisfy and still his conscience but the blood and righteousness of Christ, that satisfies divine justice; as in this way he finds rest from the curse of the law, so also some rest from the rule and dominion of sin; the faith of God’s love in Christ does purify his heart, and kill his natural enmity, insomuch that he can attest, to his sweet experience, that the faith of the love of God in Christ is so far from leading him to licentiousness of life, or encouraging laziness, that he finds it the hottest fire in the world, to melt his heart for sin; and the strongest cord in the world, to bind him to duty, while the love of God is shed abroad upon him (Ralph Erskine, The Works of Ralph Erskine, vol. 2, “Law-Death, Gospel-Life,” p. 72).
“Be of sin the double cure: save us from sin’s guilt and power.” Augustus Toplady, Rock of Ages
“What a strange salvation it is, if people who are saved do not care about holiness!...Those who think they have received a salvation such as this abuse the grace of God in Christ, and turn it into license for sin. They want to be saved by Christ, but apart from Christ, so to speak. They want to be saved, but they also want to remain in a fleshly state, with a fleshly lifestyle. This is simply not how salvation works!...They would take one part of His salvation, and leave out the rest. However, “Christ is not divided”…You cannot have a half a Christ,” (Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, p. 115)!
1. The content of the Christian message is summed up in the phrase, “the grace of God.”
2. Do not harden your heart and ruin your soul forever by wrongly thinking that salvation by grace only consists of the forgiveness of sins.
© John Fonville
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More in Titus
January 18, 2015Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship, Part 2
September 14, 2014Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship
August 31, 2014Threats To Good Citizenship, Part 4