Say No to Sin
Read Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)
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 to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
According to this verse, what does the grace of God do?
“I can do whatever I want!” From kids to grown-ups, it seems that everyone is embracing that ideology these days. And while it’s not completely false, it certainly isn’t the whole truth. You can do whatever you want. God gave you free will. You can make your own choices. But you have to remember that those choices have consequences.
There are many Christians who are also embracing this ideology. They claim that because they have grace and forgiveness, they can live their lives however they choose. But is that what the Bible teaches? No. In fact, in today’s verse, Paul wrote to Titus and his congregation that the grace of God brings salvation but it also trains us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.” God’s grace teaches us to “say no to sin.” In other words, God’s grace shows us that we shouldn’t just do whatever we want.
Notice that in verse 14, Paul wrote that Jesus gave Himself to redeem us. Yes, grace is a free gift for us but it was costly to Him! And His purpose for offering the free grace that gives us salvation is clear—to redeem us from sin and purify us! He did not die for us so that we would continue to live however we want. The grace that He freely extends to us is meant to change us.
God gave us His moral law. He told us what was right and wrong from the very beginning. But apart from Him, we were not able to obey it. Apart from Him, we had no self-control. But because God has given us His grace, we are now enabled to grow in self-control and we are strengthened by His grace to pursue holiness. Grace teaches us that it’s no longer a question of “what do I want to do?” The question is now: “what does He want me to do?”
Friends, it is possible to live however you want without self-control. But every choice has consequences and God knows that the consequences of sin are not what is best for us. But if, by His grace, we submit to Him and commit to living lives that are “self-controlled, upright, and godly” we will wisely walk in ways that are pleasing to Him, a blessing to others, and for our own good.
Lord, thank You for the free gift of Your grace. May I never use it as a license to live without self-control. Please help me to walk in the strength of Your grace, living a “self-controlled, upright, and godly” life. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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