“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see”. God’s grace is amazing and should transform our lives.
As the opening passage above indicates, the apostle Paul speaks of how God’s grace should transform our lives. It certainly had transformed Paul’s life. Paul had gone from one who was breathing threats and murder as he had persecuted Christ and His church (Acts 9:1; 8:1-3) to one who had given his life for the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ (1 Timothy 1:12-16; Acts 9:15-16; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). What led to this great transformation in Paul’s life was God’s grace at work in Paul’s life. Regarding his transformation, Paul told Timothy, “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:14).
How should God’s grace transform us? First, the grace of God teaches us that we are to let go of certain practices. His grace teaches us that we are to be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Titus 1:12). God did not extend to us His grace so that we could use it as a crutch to persist in living like the world in the practice of sin. Paul wrote, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it” (Romans 6:1-2)? While facing temptation and succumbing to occasional sin is something Christians will continue to struggle with on this earthly sojourn (James 1:12-15; 1 John 1:7-9), it is by no means something we allow ourselves to continue to seek to practice (1 John 2:15-17)!
Secondly, God’s grace teaches us how to live. Not only does God’s grace teach us to let go of the practice of sin, but also that we “should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). God’s grace gives meaning to our lives. We are not to live just to have a career, buy a bunch of material goods, or just enjoy a family. God’s grace has called us to a much higher purpose. God’s grace teaches us that we have been asked by God to live lives that take our service to Him seriously as we strive to live godly so that we may glorify Him on our earthly pilgrimage (Matthew 5:13-16).
Finally, the grace of God teaches us to what we are to look forward. As Christians we are to look forward to much more than our seeing our children graduate college, spending time with our grandchildren, or enjoying the years of retirement from our jobs. God’s grace teaches us that we are to be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). We are to keep our eyes focused on going home to be with God!
God’s grace teaches me to let go of sin, live godly in this present age, and to look forward to going home to be with my Savior! I do not want to take God’s grace for granted. Today, I will allow God’s grace to teach me and to transform my life!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).