Grace Short Meditations: 17. More on Salvation
Titus 2:11 “the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”
Yes, the same verse again. Yes, we need to follow up what we saw yesterday as he spells out in more detail what we saw before. God’s grace – God’s goodness appeared on the world stage in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through his life, death and resurrection we saw the goodness of God being expressed in human form and in such a way that suddenly men and women were proclaiming that something new had been revealed, and the world was never the same again.
Quite often, and quite rightly, we emphasis the big picture of what God has done. He has, as Paul wrote elsewhere (Col 1:13) delivered us out of the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of the Son, which is a kingdom of light: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomeit,” (Jn 1:5) and in this light we live different lives from those we knew and experienced before. That is the big thing about ‘salvation’, it involves transformation. Yesterday we saw it in the big sweep of being turned from self-centred godlessness to a Christ centred life of God-awareness.
But Paul also goes on from the negatives of yesterday to say that the “grace of God … offers salvation (that) … teaches us …. to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.” What a simple three-point sermon structure:
1. Be self-controlled, i.e. be in full control of your life by the enabling of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22,23). [The way we live]
2. Live ‘upright’ lives – decent, respectable, truthful. [The nature of the way we live]
3. Godly – honouring God, God-aware, God-focused. [the foundation of the other two]
These are the things that God’s grace is leading us into being. So, when grace comes from God, His intent is that we will be changed by it in these three ways.
No longer are we “blown along by the wind,” (Jude 1:12) of fashions, of populist emotions, of self-concerned desires, but instead there is a rock-solidness of our lives whereby we are in control, prompted and aided by the Spirit, but in control.
We have abandoned lives that resort to subterfuge, deception, bending the truth, playing with ‘fake news’, instead are ruled by honesty, decency, integrity, and truth. Indeed this grace drew us into a sphere of knowledge and understanding where we realised God was here, even indwelling us, becoming our very foundation. Grace did all of this.