Throughout our lives we encounter various individuals who really help mold us into who we are to be. We learn from these people and they change our thoughts and actions. We see this most frequently from our parents. I catch myself saying something or thinking something, and I immediately think, “That sounds just like my Dad.”
Another individual who impacted me greatly, was Mr. Rodney Middleton. He was an older gentleman in my home church. He gave me my first real job. He taught me about work, fun, love, hope, and how Jesus makes all of these possible.
WHY GRACE IS NEEDED
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
- God’s grace in saving all people (young, old, slave, free) should motivate us to live godly lives.
- “grace of God” – undeserved and unearned favor. “His beneficial activity on behalf of humans – corporately and individually.”
- “has appeared” – God’s grace was made manifest in the person and life of Jesus. Grace has a name. So the question isn’t so much what is grace, but WHO is grace?
- “bringing salvation” – grace is foundational to salvation and it comes through the life and sacrifice of Jesus for our sake. It has to be brought to us, because we do not desire it, nor can we achieve it on our own.
- ILLUSTRATION: Olympians, “bring home the gold” because we can’t.
- “for all people” – the gospel is not constrained or issued dependent upon the lives of its recipients. Therefore, salvation is found in a variety of people and cultures.
- “God’s grace toward us is based solely on his love and our total inability to meet God’s standards. God’s grace is a gift we do not deserve and cannot earn. Without God’s grace, there can be no salvation since grace is foundational to salvation.”
WHAT GRACE LOOKS LIKE
12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
- “Paul did not limit the operation of God’s grace toward Christians to justification in the restricted, legal sense of the conversion experience. Rather, throughout his letters Paul indicated that God’s grace continues to operate in the sanctification process of the Christian’s life. God’s grace is active and powerful. It sustains in time of need (2 Cor 12:9), it provides strength (1 Cor 15:10; 2 Tim 2:1), it produces thanksgiving and glory to God (2 Cor 4:15), it affects our conversations (Col 4:6), and it enables believers to live holy and godly lives (2 Cor 1:12).”
- The continual presence and working of God’s grace in a person’s life brings about life change.
- “training” – instructing and educating; The Holy Spirit leads believers into truth and godliness. The intent is to form proper habits of behavior. The word is often called “discipline” because often times growing in godliness can be a painful process, be cause it involves changing our behavior which is often in opposition to God.
- The Holy Spirit teaches us to say no to “ungodliness and worldly passions (desire)”.
- And to say yes to “live” godly lives.
- ILLUSTRATION: Dieting involves saying yes and no.
- “self-controlled” – sensible, moderate behavior. (SELF)
- “upright” – living in a way that reflects what grace has done for us…from the inside out. (OTHERS)
- “godly lives” – reflects a desire to live in a manner that reflects the glory of God. (GOD)
13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
- Not only does salvation change our behavior, it also gives us a new priority and focus for living.
- Salvation should lead the believer to focus on the eternal, not the temporal.
HOW GRACE CAME
14 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.
- This verse provides a great summary statement on chapter 2.
- “gave himself” – Christ’s death was completely voluntary
- “for us” – Christ’s death was substitutionary
- “redeem” – a purchase from sin. See Mark 10:45 – gave his life as a ransom for many.
- “purify” – the purpose of Christ’s death results in purification from sin, which allows us to become “his own possession” marked by a new zeal in pursuing righteous living.
- “zealous” – eager to do good.
- ILLUSTRATION: What’s my why? Jesus gives you your why, your how, and your what.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH GRACE
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
- Grace is something we share, to make a difference in the lives of others.
Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (1992). Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.