In Week 1, we talked about John 1:14, 16 with emphasis on the following
- Grace came in the person of Jesus Christ
- He came full of grace and truth, not a balance between
- In His fullness, we have received the saving grace in place of grace already given
This week in the Victory Group resource, we are going to study verses from Titus 2
New International Version (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Lord thank you for your word. Thank you for bestowing us an instruction manual we can live by. I pray for guidance in understanding and that only your intention will be heard. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
To continue where we have left off from last week, Jesus, (the fulfillment of the
promise – Gen 3:15) “came”, Titus 2:11 put it as “appeared”.
It’s says here, “For the grace of God has appeared“. Also, because this verse starts with “For“, it also means that this verse is meant as a concluding statement of its preceding verses. (You can read that in your own time).
We had a lot of emphasis on the coming of grace already from last week, so we continue to the later parts of verse 12, “that offers salvation to all people“. Now, think about this – “For the grace of God” (Jesus, the embodiment of grace), “that offers“, examine the word that was used is “offers”; when you experience that word today, to some people, when you offer something, the common mindset is that “you offer because you probably expect something in return” doesn’t it. It seems sad but it’s a reality we live today.
The world made in itself a way to make the “performance driven” culture more evident than “love driven”. I’m not saying that performing is bad, in fact, that is good in a sense. But what is not good is people are more concerned what the world will see in us than what God is supposed to see in us.
Know this, the Bible talks about “salvation” (going back to the word), that is offered free. But listen – because it is offered, it is not automatically yours until you respond. Who should respond? Is says here “to all people”. There was no exception there. Not to a chosen few. Not to a specific denomination. Not to people who outperforms the other. Not just the rich. Not just the good. It will be to anyone who “responded”, to the one who “acted”, to the one who “received” it. Again, salvation is offered to all people, and those who responded, acted on receiving it, get it. Otherwise, to those who do not, it remains to be just an offer doesn’t it?
Unlike any other stuff offered though, like food, or drinks, or anything you can touch, these offer is one that is not something felt, or smelled, or ingest, this is something beyond. Receiving it is not the same as receiving all the other stuff, but this offer; you receive “by faith“. Galatians 3:14 …through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
What is more interesting is that, even though it was not something you get physically when you receive it, it manifests itself in the inside, which comes as a proof that you have it. Titus continued, 1st part of verse 12 “It teaches us“, who is being taught? Those who acted, received, and responded through faith. Believers are influenced by that of which they received… grace; it says here, it teaches – “to say ‘No’ to ungodliness“. What are these? Just taking a cue from the law handed down to Moses, those that although it says “thou shalt not” and we still do 🙂 .
Unloving (or hate), idolatry, dishonor, murder, adultery, robbing, lies, coveting – you name it, but my point is… “Rather than being a person who knows the law and trying to abide by it to stay out of trouble“… by being in the saving knowledge of grace, you are taught to say ‘No’… “‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions”. You are induced to the concept of eternal rather than temporal. It teaches you to be immune to worldly desires. It teaches you “to live self-controlled, upright and godly“. Our country is in crisis today because some officials are allegedly involved in corruption; it is demoralizing from a sense where the government is failing from watching over itself… what more to other people who it is supposed to be watching. The difference with grace is that it teaches self governance, to be under the authority of the Lord, and its fruit is righteous men and women.
Last part of verse 12, “in this present age,” well, if the Bible says present age, does it then described before? Is it in the timeline where the book of Titus was written? Let me ask you, in the world we live today, does hate exists? Does idolatry exists? In the world today, do we see dishonor, murder, adultery? Is there no more theft and is the world free of lies? In fact, come to think of it “in this present age,” is truer now than it’s ever been doesn’t it…
Verse 13 “while we wait for the blessed hope“. Let me circle back to the idea on verse 12 and back to verse 13 again to build on the point…
Grace teaches us self governance, influences us to live righteously, in this present age, WHILE we wait for the blessed hope.
Blessed hope by which John described in John 14:1-3 referring to Jesus promise:
New International Version (NIV)
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Blessed hope, which is the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
To close, verse 14 “Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
As we have concluded from the previous meeting, His presence from the beginning (John 1:1-3; Genesis 1:1,26), will give “14 who gave himself for us” a twofold story – (1) give up heaven for a time ‘and make his dwelling among us’ (John 1:14). Jesus, who is blameless, to live among us – Isaiah 64:6 put it this way “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” Can you just imagine if I ask you to go and live with beggars who are unable to change their clothes for a long time because of poverty? That doesn’t sound very appealing but that’s the picture here. And that is not all – (2) he came to us, live with us, so that he can die for us. How many times does he need to ‘give himself for us’? He gave himself, so that he can give himself for us, redundant enough? Here is more 🙂 : He gave himself to us, so that he can give himself for us, because he has not given up on us. Going back to the word, it says here “to redeem us”. Redeem us “from all wickedness”, you see, when Jesus gave himself for us, it was to redeem us from ALL wickedness. So if you are FREE from wickedness, you who are sinful; was made sinless before God; spotless; blameless. It adds here “and to purify“. It was a necessary sacrifice because he was establishing the church; the body of Christ – “to purify for himself a people that are his very own”.
Lastly, it concluded “eager to do what is good.” and I especially like this part. This last part here is also what made me say:
“What is more interesting is that, even though it was not something you get physically when you receive it, it manifests itself in the inside, which comes as a proof that you have it.”
back from the top.
This is a result of grace. Grace gives us, strengthens us, sustains us, transforms us, and makes us “eager to do what is good.” This is a proof of grace. “Eager (or wanting, longing, yearning) to do what is good.”
And I end with this verse:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
New International Version (NIV)
Praise be to God!