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Titus: Grace at Work (Titus 2:11-3:8)

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· We will be picking up in our study of Paul’s letter to Titus in . Up to this point in chapter 2, we have seen Paul give instructions to Titus for the Christians on the island of Crete. They all, no matter their age, gender, or social status are given high expectations to live by. The sound doctrine that Titus was to teach them was to be obeyed so they could live lives that were sound/healthy spiritually. The way Paul puts it in verse 10, once again, God’s doctrine needed to be “put on.” He tells the slaves to “adorn the doctrine of God” by living according to the instructions that is instructed to them by the Gospel.
· Verse 11 begins with the word “for,” tying everything that follows with what we studied in verses 1-10… Verses 11-14 give us the reasoning (or the theology) behind why the instructions of verses 1-10 need to become part of our lives. What we must do in response to the Gospel is based on what God has done to make salvation possible. The main focus in this passage
· Verse 11, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men."
· God’s grace has “has become visible, has come into the light” for all men…
· God’s grace is so vitally important… we cannot talk about it too much… For salvation to be possible, God must be willing to forgive those who have rebelled against Him… He had to be willing to reach out to all men to offer such an amazing gift… and then give it to those who are cleansed…
o We tend to focus more on our part and not enough on what God has done by His grace… Without His goodness, kindness, and grace, salvation would be impossible for all of us because we could not do enough good to earn Heaven on our own.
· God’s grace appeared through the work of Jesus Christ and it rescues sinners, those who are enemies of God, from the inevitable vengeance, judgment, and wrath of God. Those who are washed and renewed by God’s grace are rescued from the fear of physical death. They are rescued from death spiritually, being separated from God for eternity.
· God’s great and amazing favor has come and brought salvation for all… man or women, young or old, slave or free… All have the opportunity to know and experience God’s favor through the Gospel…
· What things does God’s grace teach us?
· To deny all things contrary to God’s will and to do live according to God’s will “12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age”
o God’s grace does not give us a license to sin… this is an idea where Paul was misrepresented in his teaching… (It seems he talked about grace so much that it led to people misunderstanding and misrepresenting him) In , the end of ch5 and into ch6, we see that many were slandering Paul be saying that he was teaching that a Christian “could do evil that good may come (3:8).” But he spoke strongly against this idea… In , he says that those who teach these things will be justly condemned, and in 6:1, he says “may it never be” the case that we desire to sin so that we can receive more grace… God’s grace should never be used as a license to sin…
o God’s grace teaches us to say "NO!" to sin and to things that will distract us from our obligations to God. We cannot love the world or the things in the world.
· To look forward to Christ’s appearing
o God’s grace appeared in the past through the Gospel; through the work of Jesus Christ, but in the future, something else will appear… Jesus will return…
o Knowing this, God’s people are watching for it; desiring it; preparing for it…
o When you are anticipating something, these are the things that you do… For example, when a husband and wife finds out that the wife is pregnant, what do they do over the next 8 months or so? They get ready for the baby’s appearance into the world… They buy what the baby will need and get the baby’s room ready, and they get more and more excited as the day draws near…
o Does this ever describe our desire for the return of Jesus? His return is much closer now than it was when we first believed? Are we getting more and more excited for it? And the fact that it could happen at any time, does this lead us to be even more urgent… Are we preparing ourselves by growing spiritually and working on our character? Is it something that we desire to happen soon? Do we just want to see Jesus return so we can be with God?
· Why Christ died for us. God’s grace and the Gospel shows us what the mission of Jesus was when He came to this earth. They show us what God intended to happen for you and me when we obeyed the Gospel and received that grace…
o “who [Jesus] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
o To redeem (purchase) you from every lawless deed: Jesus gave His life so we could no longer have this large debt of sin on our account that enslaved us… His blood is the payment that removes the debt and frees us. God demanded a payment for sin, and Jesus paid it. And no matter what the sin may be, Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient enough to take care of it! “every lawless deed” was
o To purify you: He came so our sins, what was making us an enemy of God, could be removed – so they could be washed away.
o To make you His possession: Jesus died so you could belong to Him as a prized possession of His! Peter says the same in , where he says that we are “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…” Our “owner/master” has changed. We were released from slavery to sin to become servants/slaves of the Lord Jesus, so that we then can be, as His great, holy priesthood, zealous for good deeds…
o To make us zealous to do good deeds: Titus talks a lot about Christians doing good deeds. In contrast to the false teachers and rebellious men who are spoken of in 1:10-16, Paul instructs Titus to teach Christians these things:
§ Young men are to be taught to be an example for others in doing good deeds (2:7)
§ All Christians are to be zealous for good deeds (2:14)
§ All Christians are to be ready to do good works (3:1) prepare to do good…
§ (another one of Paul’s trustworthy sayings) All Christians are to be careful to engage in good deeds (3:8)
§ All Christians are to learn to good deeds and meet pressing needs (3:14) if they desire to be fruitful in Christ…
§ We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works just as our Lord did. When His grace is at work in us, it will challenge us to get to work.
o Paul continues along the same line of thinking in chapter 3 as what we have looked at in 2:11-14. He shows them how God’s grace needed to affect their lives in Christ. He gives them some examples of the “good works” that they need to be zealous for:
o 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy toward all people.
o First, towards the authorities, those who would be guilty of mistreating the people of God, Paul says to be ready for every good work. We need to show grace to them because God has placed them over us in authority and we need to honor them by being humble and obedient towards them. Whether our leaders may in our minds be worthy of honor or not, they must still be honored if we are going to be people that ae zealous for good works.
o Then he says not to speak evil/blaspheme anyone. This would surely include those who are in authority… but it applies to everyone we talk about… Don’t slander someone, either to their face or behind their back… We are not doing good works if we are attacking the character of those who are made in God’s image…
o Be peaceable – don’t be contentious or quarrelsome… and so on…
o In our interactions with our brethren and with those who are in the world, we need to be different… we need to be god-like in our willingness to show kindness and love towards those who are unworthy of kindness… no matter how someone may treat us…
o WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS??? “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
o Why should we show kindness towards all men? Paul’s answer, “because without God’s mercy and grace, we are no different then any other man… lost in sin…” He was gracious. He washed us when He poured out His Spirit upon us whenever we were baptized. He forgave us. He saved us. He did good for us when we were helpless sinners… His enemies… justified by grace to show God’s grace to others in the good works that we are zealous to do…
· God’s grace has appeared, bringing salvation to us… so we can be changed… so we can be different from the world… living for Christ zealously…
· How has God’s grace affected you? Have you received it? Have you been taught by it to live for Christ and to look forward to His appearing? Are you being zealous/passionate in doing good and showing God’s kindness and grace to others?
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