“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 . .” Titus 2:11-12
The same thing that saves you is the same thing that sanctifies you.
The One who brings salvation to your soul is the One who transforms your soul.
Jesus saves you to make you look like Jesus.
Think about it. . .
Look carefully at what Paul tells Titus: “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.”
Who or What has appeared that brings salvation for all? Jesus.
What is Jesus described as? God’s grace.
Jesus is the grace of God made manifest in a man.
But what else does Paul say about this grace (Jesus)? “. . . training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Translation: Not only does the grace of God save, it also trains for godliness. This “grace of God” that has appeared trains the disciple to be like Jesus.
How? How is it that Jesus – identified here as the “grace of God” – sanctifies His followers?
First, understand the word for “training” here literally means “to help a child understand.” Paul knows this is a lifelong process. Followers of Jesus – those who are gripped by the grace of God – are not going to all of a sudden “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” No. It is going to take time. Paul knows that the more of God’s grace – in Jesus – is understood, the more godly we become. It is a lifelong process and journey.
Second, think about it. Paul didn’t have to say “the grace of God has appeared.” He could have just as easily said, “Jesus has appeared.” But he identifies Jesus as grace . . . God’s grace. The more you understand the grace of God, the more you hate the things that caused you to so deserve His grace. In other words, as you grow as a Christian – you understand more and more of why Jesus had to die . . . for you. Growing in that understanding “trains” you to renounce the things that you are now saved from. If you think about it, it is crazy to claim how great Jesus is and how He has saved your soul from sin, then turn around and verbally abuse your spouse. That just doesn’t compute. If you are growing in the grace of God, you are growing in your understanding of the massive love of God for you in spite of your sins. I can’t partake of the Lord’s Supper and rejoice that my sins are forgiven, and get high on drugs the second I get home. No, no. If I do that, it proves I really don’t understand grace at all. To be trained in God’s grace means to grow in my understanding of what I have been saved from and what has been given to me that sin could never do. Do you see?
Jesus saves and Jesus sanctifies.
We are saved by grace alone and we are transformed by grace alone.
We don’t “get saved” by Jesus and then move on to “bigger and better” things. No. No. No. No. No. No. We get saved by the grace of God in Jesus and then proceed to grow in our understanding of that grace that He has so lavishly given us even while we were yet sinners.
When was the last time you contemplated the grace of God in your life? It will be the best thing for your sanctification that you do today.
Oh for grace to trust Him more.